The number one piece of advice for building a model railway

This is my most recommended advice to those starting a model railway. If only I’d followed it.

And it’s not just me who recommends it.

In a recent conversation between members of the ModelRailwayEngineer community, it was suggested by three different modellers.

So what is this gem of wisdom?

Simply put, it’s not to rush.

When starting a model railway or even working on way that’s well underway, it’s all too easy to rush something; to take a short cut or not wait.

I’m very guilty of this.

My recently, I was fixing a backscene to a backboard so it had curved corners. I’d used a strip of old MDF for the background wood and I should have sanded it down before glueing the backscene on but in my desire to see how it looked, I skipped this stage and just fixed the backscene into place.

Bad mistake.

The rough surface showed through the paper, resuling in small bumps all over the place and completely ruining the look. Not taking my time and skipping a 10 or 15-minute job sanding the wood resulted in spoilt background and means I needed to rip it off and start again.

In another instance, I was creating a water feature. I do this using my own cheap water mixture and which I apply in layers to build up depth, letting it fully dry between each deposit. This takes ages, especially for deep or large expanses of what.

And on the harbour scene I was creating I got itching fingers and poured in the final layer before the previous one had completely set.

If only I’d just waited, taken my time and not rushed.

As one member of the group put it, “don’t rush as you’ll regret it later” and I certainly did.

So my advice to anyone starting, or indeed already working on their layout, is take it easy. A model railway is a lifelong hobby, take your time, enjoy it and you’ll avoid annoying, often expensive, mistakes and enjoy the results far more.

That’s my number one piece of advice, what’s yours?

> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.


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