Model Railroader February 2021

The world’s most popular model railroading magazine publishes the information you need to build your own railroad. Get Model Railroader digital magazine subscription today for step-by-step how-to projects; great model train layouts; and realistic track plans. You'll also get reviews of the latest locomotives, rolling stock, and accessories in HO, N, O, and other scales, expert tips, and more!

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
12 期号


make room for modules!

Long-time readers of Model Railroader are familiar with Contributing Editor Pelle Søeborg’s HO scale layouts, based on modern-day Union Pacific operations in the American West and Midwest. His meticulously crafted and highly realistic model railroads have been the subject of many magazine articles and several books Pelle authored for Kalmbach Media, including: Mountain to Desert: Building the HO scale Daneville & Donner River; Rebuilding a Layout from A to Z; and Building a Sectional Layout. Then a life change seemed likely to put an end to it all. Pelle moved from a house with a dedicated train room to an apartment in Copenhagen, Denmark, and his HO scale 11 x 22-foot Daneburg Subdivision (featured in the May 2017 issue of Model Railroader) was history. The loss of a train room, Pelle thought, meant his…

memories of a master modeler

As a nearly lifelong MR reader and subscriber (my first issue was January 1959, your silver anniversary issue), I was pleasantly surprised and amused at Keith Wills’ “Heritage Fleet” column in December’s issue, titled “Master custom builder Bill Lenoir.” When I was 15, it was my privilege to meet Lenoir, thanks to my late father, Kermit Tyndall, and to take a photo of the usually camera-shy Lenoir. While attending the National Model Railroad Association Sunshine Region convention in Tampa, I borrowed my dad’s Kodak Pony 828 slide camera and took Lenoir’s photo, also catching a calendar that dates the photo to October, 1960. I was very fortunate to catch Lenoir, as he was trying desperately to duck out of the photo, but thanks to my dad, I got what I am…

news & products

Electro-Motive Division F7A and F7B diesel locomotives. These Burlington Northern (ex-Northern Pacific) F units are now available from Athearn Trains. The HO scale Genesis series models are offered as an F7A, F7B, and F7A-B set in one number each. The F units have factory-installed and painted wire grab irons, etched-metal grills, and prototype-specific details. Direct-current models with a 21-pin NEM plug for a Digital Command Control decoder are priced at $199.98 (single A or B unit) and $379.98 (A-B set). Versions with a dual-mode SoundTraxx Tsunami2 sound decoder are $289.98 (single A or B unit) and $559.98 (A-B set). Athearn Trains, 800-338-4639, HO scale locomotives • Electro-Motive Diesel/Progress Rail SD70ACU diesel locomotive. Canadian Pacific (red with monochrome beaver herald and maroon-and-gray heritage scheme with script lettering in two road numbers each; Army…

ask mr

How long must a point-to-point layout be? Q What is the smallest point-to-point layout that doesn’t look like just a section of test track? How long does a shelf layout have to be to look like a working operation could be taking place? Richard Helton, Meridian, Idaho A That’s a matter of taste and perception, not something that can be quantified in feet and inches. If I say an 8-foot shelf layout is long enough to look realistic, does that mean a 7-foot 10-inch one isn’t? More important than the layout’s size is how that space is treated. Let’s look at some factors that can enhance or detract from a shelf layout’s realism. You mention the layout as being part of a “working operation.” For a layout to be realistically operable, it needs three…

build a tugboat for jones island

Our Jones Island Rehab My Railroad project is a waterfront scene on Lake Michigan that features industries served by rail and marine transportation. We’re plenty familiar with modeling rail transportation, but the marine side is a step outside the box. Most vessels worthy of rail-served industries are too large to include on a model railroad, but to get up to some of the wharfs they need a bit of help. Tugboats are the craft that do that, and tugs are a reasonable size to model. There are many tugboat models available, and for our project, we chose an HO scale cast resin kit from Frenchman River Model Works of a U.S. Army tug. These boats are about 45 feet long and were built in the 1950s. After the Army was done with…

detailing the foreground

Overlooked by many of us, the area between the foreground tracks and structures and the fascia of our layouts can often be improved with the addition of a few details, grass, and weeds. This process can become an enjoyable series of “one evening projects.” My wife, Cheryl, and I decided to take this approach on our On30 Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes RR. Before detailing, the area around the speeder shack in Kingfield was already realistically scenicked but lacked visual interest. There was nothing there to draw the eye. I began by adding a few steel barrels from Tichy Train Group and Wiseman Models around the building. After spreading a drop of Elmer’s Carpenters Wood Glue on the bottom of each one, I placed it into position. These were followed by strips…