Tips for First Time Model Train Builders

Posted by Richard Adelberg

So you're a hobby enthusiast and you've decided you want to get into model railroads. Congratulations! Model railroads are an exciting and rewarding hobby, but they do take a lot of hard work. There are many things first-timers may not know when it comes to building their first model railroad. Here are just a few tips for the novice:

1. Start off small- While excitement may be coursing through your veins, it's important not to get overwhelmed. Aiming too high can lead to frustration and distraction. It's easy for experts to make it look easy and effortless, but building a model train layout takes a lot of work. Start off small and build your way up as you gain more experience over time. 

2. Choose wisely when it comes to your scale- Do some research and find out what scale is most affordable for the space you are working with. HO scales are more popular depending on where you live and what space you are working with. Try not to overspend on the wrong materials, which leads me to my next point. 

3. Splurge on your track and rolling stock- There's nothing more frustrating than a locomotive that doesn't run smoothly! Poor quality track is also a common cause of derailments, which will lead to more money being spent in the long run. Low quality track will need to be replaced and you wouldn't want to waste more money or time.

4. Avoid kitbashing for your first model- Kitbashing is taking pieces from two or more ready-made kits and combining them to make a new model. Although expert builders may make this seem like a walk in the park, it takes some time to nail this skill down. It may be best to put this on hold until you've finished your first layout.

5. Try not to get frustrated- Remember why you started in the first place! Mishaps and mistakes may crop up... but that is all a part of the process! Relax, have fun and enjoy building your first model train layout!

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