Model Railroader November 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
优惠 Get 40% OFF with code: START40
12 期号



Sketching with Steve Before you go running off to design a track plan using complicated computer software, Senior Associate Editor Steven Otte has another solution that may save you some stress: a track template. Read the latest edition of Sketching with Steve, as Steve explains the pros and cons of a tool that many may have dismissed as a way of the past. Layout video Interested in seeing more of Campbell Road? This 11 x 30-foot HO scale model railroad, first featured in the September 2021 issue of Model Railroader, is a freelanced Appalachian layout chock full of impressive details! Head on over to to check out the layout video shot by Contributing Editor Lou Sassi as he explores the rail-road and captures some of the trains in action. MORE REVIEWS & VIDEOS •…

introducing the variable location layout

We usually have an idea of what we want to model – the scale we will use, the era, the region, and the railroad. Actually getting around to building the layout is another thing, but having the basics in place is a start. But what if you have more than one favorite railroad? That was the dilemma faced by John Ciesla, whose HO scale Eastport Branch model railroad is featured on this month’s cover. John’s 15 x 20-foot layout consists of connected modules that hug the walls of his basement. Each module can operate as separate switching layout or combine to give trains on this New England-themed layout plenty of running room. “New England-themed” isn’t a very specific description – and that’s the point. John took a different path and built what he…

news & products

HO scale Alco C-424 diesel locomotives. Atlas offers these four-axle road units decorated for Morristown & Erie (Phase II re-issue with new sill stripes), Green Bay & Western (Phases I and II), Delaware-Lackawanna (Phase II, one road number), Erie Lackawanna (Phase I, three numbers), and Minnesota Commercial (Phase II, three numbers). The HO scale models are offered in two numbers per scheme unless noted; undecorated models are also available in Phase I and II body styles. Features on the Classic series locomotives include factory-installed grab irons, ladders, air horn, and see-through plastic drop steps; two painted crew figures; and Accumate couplers. Direct-current models with an 8-pin plug for Digital Command Control decoder are priced at $169.95. Versions with a dual-mode ESU LokSound Select sound decoder sell for $279.95. Atlas Model Railroad…

ask mr

Why do these boxcars have built-in lights? I recently saw these bright orange boxcars parked near the Canadian Q National Woodcrest Shops. They have CN reporting marks, though I haven’t gotten close enough to get specific numbers. Many of them have red lights on both ends that look to be like the ones used at crossing gates. They must move these cars often, because I notice the number and position of the cars are different almost every time I pass there. What are these cars carrying that warrants the extra visibility? Ed Schmidt, Des Plaines, Ill. A Those aren’t general-service boxcars, but rather, what Canadian National calls Distributed Braking Cars. They’re designed to help keep up brake line pressure during long trips through the Canadian winter, when cold temperatures can cause the air…

reader tip

Here’s a fast and easy way to make a gravel roof. The roof in this photo was painted with Rust-Oleum American Accents stone textured finish. It went on in one coat and looks even better in person than in the photo. This paint should be available just about anywhere spray paints are sold (I got mine at Ace Hardware). It even has the nubbly texture feel you’d expect from the real roof. It comes in a wide variety of colors, too. I sprayed it directly on the styrene roof of this Walthers kit. It should be noted that this paint will not go on this smoothly on all plastics. For example, it will bead up and look awful if applied directly on ABS, like that used in some Plastruct products. However,…

how to weather a covered cement hopper

The LafargeHolcim cement plant is one of the new industries planned for the Jones Island section of our HO scale Milwaukee, Racine & Troy staff layout. Eric White is scratchbuilding the towering industry for an upcoming issue of the magazine. Though we have plenty of two-bay Center Flow covered hoppers that would look right at home at LafargeHolcim, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pick up four new Rapido Trains American Car & Foundry Flexi Flo covered hoppers lettered for Lafarge. To give the cars an in-service look, I used a mix of contemporary and time-tested techniques to weather the cars. I turned to spray paint and alcohol-and-powered-pastel washes to give the wheelsets and couplers the look of gritty, worn metal. I used full-strength paint and a brush to pick out…