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Model railway track plans, reviews, tips and techniques for creating the best model railway layouts. For those building a new layout, or following along with our project to build a comparable layout but without the magazine, these are the eight must-have railway buildings to add to the track plan. Some of these (Station, Signal Box and Engine Shed) can be bought as card kits, while there are Skaledale (Hornby) equivalents for all of the buildings, and Peco branded lineside accessories for the rest. For people looking at the headline costs, we estimate about 74 GBP for kit based models, and 140 GBP for ready to plant versions.
Metcalfe make a number of card kits that could be used for the station, but the Hornby ready to plant equivalents cost about the same, so might be a good option. For the engine shed, the Metcalfe kit is a double-track one, so instead we suggest the Superquick card model instead. To go with these buildings, there are a number of lineside accessories that are needed to build out the layout. The basic signal from Hornby (R171) is a cheap option, but Dapol also produce a range of electro-mechanical signals that look more realistic and work well, but are considerably more expensive. Ready to plant coal staithes from Hornby represent great value, but Ratio produce a kit that is both cheaper, and easier to customise.
Sadly, Hornby don’t produce a single track level crossing, and the Peco and Dapol ones are both kits that cost about the same amount. Finally, the tunnel portals come in both a card version, from Metcalfe, and ready to plant from Hornby. Your Model Railway Magazine costs 8.95 GBP an issue after the promotional issues (the first 5 are considerably cheaper).
Add to that the track, rolling stock, and everything that you need to build and decorate the layout, and it begins to look somewhat reasonable.


For anyone building Your Model Railway Village, or a layout inspired by this series, the above gives a great alternative list of good quality buildings to get you started!
If you are a beginner, you may want to subscribe here to get access to my newsletter, which will give you more great info. This model railway scenery ultimate guide will show you how scenery can be used effectively for any model train layout. Track ballast is the most important aspect of nearly every model railway train layout that your are likely to build. A badly constructed ballast scenery can make even the most interesting train layout look amateur.
Ballast scatter mats do not look as realist as homemade scatter as it looks too neat and tidy.
This stuff is a sponge material that already has ballast particles and is laid under your track.
We have two main options when it comes to using hill scenery within your model railway layout. Requires the use of a chicken wire frame and then you add the plaster impregnated fabric on top of this. Hi i have submitted my name etc and have never received your free quick starting quide or any other free material.
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On the other hand, the Metcalfe signal box is about half the price of the Hornby equivalent, so it really depends on the look that you are going for; red brick vs. Hornby also make a good ready made engine shed which looks almost like the one sold as part of the Your Model Railway Village magazine collection.


Hornby make a ready to plant footbridge which may be more than double the cost, but would be a great addition to the layout. The Peco models are more realistic, and therefore more expensive, but Hornby supply a cheaper possibility. Surprisingly, the Hornby ones are cheaper, but we prefer the look of the Metcalfe tunnel portals, and being made from card they are also easier to customise (i.e.
However, it is arguable that the quality of the Hornby, Metcalfe, Dapol and Peco equivalents will look better.
You need to learn how use scenery before you can ever hope to master the art of creating awesome train layouts. Handmade or built scenery is the cheapest option and for some types of model scenery it is also the only option (hills, rivers, rocks’┬Žetc) Handmade scenery can be very tricky to create properly and many railway beginners can end up with a lot of mess.
These are imitation rail built buffer stops, but a particular favorite alternative is the sleeper build ST-8 from Peco. That sounds like a lot, but we also estimate that, to use ready to plant equivalents for all the buildings would cost around 300 GBP. A good quality finish is sometimes easy to achieve with bought scenery but it can start to get expensive.



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