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Make. Paint. Build: Hints, tips and products for model train enthusiasts, model makers and miniaturists


Q&A

All your most common questions about model railways are answered here by Andy and expert contributors to MRE.

Laying track across baseboard joints

make your own copper clad sleepers
If you're laying track across a baseboard join, you'll need to secure the track at the edges. The tried and tested technique for this is Copper clad sleepers. [...]

How to tip: cheap, authentic, point control

Using electric point motors for a model railway can get expensive. But if you just want to remotely control your points there's an alternative, cheaper, way.  [...]

How to make your own grass

how to make your own grass
This is a short but great tip for making your own super-realistic grass by modeller Stephen Fay. [...]

Model railway minimum curve conundrum – what’s the smallest radius?

What's the minimum curve radius for model railways? The numbers you need to know for Z, N, OO and HO track from Peco, Hornby, Märklin. [...]

How they do it: Sunday Scribbles on baseboard inclines, track, modelling tips and more for your mental toolkit

Want to build a better railway? Whatever your level of model railway building this week's Sunday Scribbles has something for you with five quick tips from [...]

How NOT to clean track, part 2

How not to clean track 2
Cleaning track is a fundamental maintenance task on a model railway but it's surprising how badly wrong it can go. [...]

The Ultimate Glossary Of Model Railway Terms

You probably know or can work out what railway points do and what gauge means? But what about loading gauge? A CDU? Or a flange? Don't be put [...]

How To Build Inclines Your Trains Can Climb – Maximum and Recommended Gradients UPDATED

If you want a fun and interesting model railway then you'll want your trains hauling up hills and hurtling down. Here's how to work out the space and gradient [...]

How To Make A Tunnel — The Trauma Free Guide To Model Railway Tunnel Building

"There's a light at the end of every tunnel" says the old adage. Yet for anyone who's tried adding a tunnel to their model railway it can sometimes seem a very [...]

How To Make A Model Garden

Look around any English landscape - town or countryside - and you'll see gardens so why not on your model railway. But that was easier said than done until [...]

Adventures in DIY Point Motors or How To Make Your Own Point Motors

After a recent slight miscalculation with off-the-shelf point motors I started thinking about making my own point motors. How difficult could it be and would [...]

How Much Space Is Needed for A Hornby Train Set

A question asked by many beginners is how much space will they need for a railway set. It's a good question but it's a bit more involved than you might [...]

N Gauge Track Laying – How To

Lay N gauge track flawlessly with this comprehensive collection of hints, tips and guides.  [...]

How To Get A Hornby Train Set Without Breaking The Bank

train in hand
Let's be honest, model trains and railways aren't a cheap hobby. It can cost a LOT but it can be done on a budget. [...]

How To Turn A Garden Shed Into A Model Railway Eden

model railway in a shed
Thinking of putting your model railway in the garden shed. Read this before going any further. [...]

How to lay and fix track with pins

Laying and fixing track doesn't seem difficult. But then you try it. It's surprising how many problems can be avoided with the benefit of hindsight. Here's [...]

How to make model railway hills – 5 steps from model making gurus

How to build model hills for your railway, the definitive guide. [...]

Everything You Could Want To Know About Sleepers – Monday Model Railway Factoid, #6

Sleepers are critical to railways and to vital for authentic model railways but what are their origins? How many are there? Here's all you could want to know [...]

How To Pick The Right Ballast For The Most Realistic Model Railway

The ballast on railways wasn't always grey and if you want your model railway to be authentic you'll need to get the colour and texture right on your layout. [...]

The Origins of Ballast – Monday Model Railway Factoid, #5

Even wondered what the origins of ballast are and why it's even called ballast? Read on for the fascinating history of the small grey stones found between [...]