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Make. Paint. Build: Tips and tutorials for model trains, scale modellers and miniature war games.

Q&A

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

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 [...]

How To Make Landscape Scatter Materials On A Budget – Thrifty Thursday Model Building Tip, #1

Coffee granules - budget dirt for model railway
If you're looking for soil, dirty or sand material for your landscape, park any thoughts of buying scatter materials and head to the kitchen with this weeks [...]

How To Remove Glued Ballast From Model Train Track In Five Easy Steps

If you want to re-use track that has ballast glued in place you'll probably be wondering how to recover the track and remove the ballast. Here's how I solved [...]

Beginner’s Q&A: How much does it cost to start a model railway?

If you want to buy a model railway for yourself, your son or daughter or perhaps a friend you may be trying to work out how much it costs. If so, this is just [...]

Beginners Q&A: How much space do I need to build a model railway

window sill model railway
Thinking of building a model railway and wondering how much space you'll need? It's a question anyone building their first model railway asks and here's the [...]

How to ballast a model railway, the definitive guide

Mike Buick Track Work
Everything you need to know to safely and easily ballast your model railway with the best results, including top videos. a step by step guide and loads of [...]

How To Avoid 5 Easy & Common Track Laying Mistakes

Track Laying Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
In our eagerness to get trains running, we all often make mistakes when laying track but don't make these potentially expensive mistakes. [...]

What’s the difference between DCC and DC trains – which is best?

When first starting out you'll undoubtedly come across two terms — DC and DCC. What does DCC mean, what are the differences? Which should you get? [...]

How To Expand Your Hornby Model Train Set — The Best Track Expansion Kits

So you've taken the first tentative step and got a model railway starter kit, but what next?  [...]

How to look after your train set: tips for floor based train sets

Floors are deadly places. And not just for spiders that get stamped on as they cross the room! Carpets and other floor surfaces are hostile places for your [...]

Who Invented Hornby Trains – They Story Of Frank Hornby

Update: This post on Frank Hornby was originally written in September 2013 when I launched model railway engineer. It's since been updated with more [...]

Model Railway Beginners Q&A: What’s the difference between scale and gauge

If you're just starting out in model railways one question that'll you'll invariably want answered is what are scale and gauge? What's the difference between [...]

40 Essential Model Railway Words You Need To Know

Just getting started in model railways? Here are 40 essential must-know words for your new hobby. From AC to Z Stop, in alphabetical order you'll find them [...]
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