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How to Build Small Model Railroads
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 Posted: Wed Dec 3rd, 2014 11:46 pm
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jtrain
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I saw this in the magazine rack at Walmart the other day and decided to purchase this 80 page book on small model railways. Model Railroader has done several of these "Special Issues" in the past focusing on a particular set of techniques or area of the hobby. It's been my experience that these books are geared for beginners and those looking for inspiration, and this special issue is no different.

My overall opinion of "How to Build Small Model Railroads" was that it offered good ideas from notable modelers including Iain Rice and Lance Mindheim. The issue also took a look at the first Gorre and Daphetid railroad which has become an iconic railroad that was revolutionary at the time it was built. The four sections included in the issue look at planning, construction, inspiration, and techniques with a total of 22 stories. For anyone subscribed to Model Railroader Magazine and own several Kalmbach books, you'll perhaps note that many of these articles are repeats from earlier prints.

That being said, I think the strong point of this special issue is that the articles are all in one spot and presented in an easy to understand format. In other words, I think "How to Build Small Model Railroads" eliminates a lot of research and can serve as a basic guide to concepts unique to small/micro model railroads. This issue is a great starting point for beginners in my opinion.

One downside I see is that the issue should have been expanded slightly, even if made a dollar higher in cost, to include extra photos. Unlike most MRR articles, this issue is lacking in pictures. Another shortcoming that I think should have been addressed was the lack of recommended links, books, or reads in the article. Carendt.com was put in twice, and one blog that I'm aware of. But, seeing that this issue was meant for beginners, begs the question "where do I go from here?" Never the less, How to Build Small Model Railroads is something to consider for the modeler's library.

Here's the online link:

http://mrr.trains.com/marketing/2014/07/small%20model%20railroads

This issue can be found in a LHS or ordered online.

I am in no way affiliated with Model Railroader Magazine or Kalmbach Publishing. However, I feel this special issue deserves some recognition and discussion, hence why I started this thread.

So then, with my thought out of the way, who else has picked up a copy? Any thoughts?

I hope to do some more of these discussions in the future about different articles that come out. So far, I've only discussed this, an article from Westlake Publishing that flamed modelers about 2 years back, and a small list of resources for Colorado narrow gauge.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 01:54 am
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Herb Kephart
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Ont thing that Mindheim tends to forget when designing larger layouts is that most people don't have six foot long arms, nor are they capable of floating over the layout to reach features in the rear.

but I guess that you are safe with that book, by virtue of it's title.


Herb



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 02:01 pm
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jtrain
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Yeah Herb,

Mindheim isn't perfect, but his website has plenty of good ideas. I especially like the "less is more" mentality he takes, focusing more on a realistic track plan that is conservative with turnouts and careful with industries.

Lain Rice I think is more balanced with his designs, keeping it interesting but plausible.

As for the MRR staff that contributed, they obviously have skills. But, they tend to present the information in a way that makes it sound too easy.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 05:09 pm
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W C Greene
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James, the Model Railroader staff wants it to be easy, provided you have enough cash and can buy the latest whatever it is!

Woodie



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 05:23 pm
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hminky
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Got a copy of this in the mail the other day L:

My old "Model Railroad Planning" article on the defunct Pacific Coast Air Line On30 layout was the lead article.

Guess I'm not as irrelevant as I thought and have been elevated to notable :glad:

Made me go down in the basement again.

Visit:

Ride the PcalRwy



Thank you if you visit

Harold

Last edited on Thu Dec 4th, 2014 07:21 pm by hminky

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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 05:31 pm
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Basher
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Harold:
Glad to see you back in action again. I try to keep up with what are up to, always entertaining.
Ron D.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 05:35 pm
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Si.
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Use a microscope ?

Si.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 5th, 2014 03:26 pm
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Basher
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I like the tip on page 46. Barbara Brunette uses cabinet latches to make the buildings on her layout removable.
Ron D.

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