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Model Railway Features

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MAKING A SCENE: Creating a railway cutting

DAN EVESON

Cuttings can offer an extra dimension to a layout, and provide visual variety. DAN EVASON shows how to create a simple scene in ‘OO’ gauge step by step.

DAN EVESON
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RAILWAY REALISM: The British Royal Trains

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

The coronation of a new king in May will bring to the public’s attention one of the more unusual trains on our network, the Royal Train, which has been transporting our monarchs around the country now for almost 200 years. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks into its history.

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
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FAQ: Learning digital command control

MARK CHIVERS

We look to the enthralling world of Digital Command Control. MARK CHIVERS considers some of the terminology and jargon you may encounter along the way answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

MARK CHIVERS
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Direct Rail Services Class 37s

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

Although they were one of the earliest British Railways diesel classes which could well have faded into history by now, Cumbrian operator Direct Rail Services has used them for many years. Now though, their seemingly charmed existence looks to be coming to an end, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES reports.

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
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Class 08 Diesel Shunters

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

The Class 08 diesel shunters are amongst the most successful locomotives ever to run on Britain’s railways – yet they are often ignored by enthusiasts and modellers. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES argues this is a situation which should change. 

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
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BUILDING A DIESEL DEPOT - THE BACKSCENES

MIKE WILD

In the third instalment of our diesel depot series, MIKE WILD explains how the backscenes were fitted and how the depot was detailed to create a realistic scene.

MIKE WILD
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FAQ: Where to house your model railway

MIKE WILD

Looking for the best place to build your model railway? We highlights five of the best locations around the average home.

MIKE WILD
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REALITY CHECK: Western Region Blue Pullmans

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

Remembered by many as the high point of the 1950s modernisation of British Railways, the Blue Pullman trains set new standards of comfort and design, yet had a short and unhappy life, with much of it spent by necessity on the Western Region. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains all.

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
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Heritage traction on the main line

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

Trains operated by individuals or small private companies have, for more than 50 years, provided a welcome variation to what we can normally see in everyday service. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at how these workings came about and explains how they could provide variety on almost any post-1960s layout.

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
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FAQ: Railway Modelling Essentials

MARK CHIVERS

To help you get started in railway modelling we answer those most common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on essential modelling techniques and ideas. MARK CHIVERS discusses the hot topic of what type of layout you should build.

MARK CHIVERS
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MAKING A SCENE: Building a low relief Bus Depot

DAN EVASON

Low relief buildings are an excellent means of suggesting depth to a model railway where space is at a premium. DAN EVASON creates a unique bus depot scene in ‘OO’ gauge.

DAN EVASON
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Development of the ‘Pacific’ steam locomotive

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

For enthusiasts and modellers one of the best-known types of steam locomotive is the ‘Pacific’, a design that once dominated express services in Britain and produced the fastest steam locomotives ever to run on our tracks. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES investigates how the 4-6-2 developed and why it was to prove so successful. 

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
Heljan Class 58 sound installation guide Feature Premium

Heljan Class 58 digital sound installation guide

MIKE WILD

The range of speakers available to sound installers is far greater than ever before. MIKE WILD investigates the use of Smart Phone speakers in a Heljan Class 58 using a LokSound decoder.

MIKE WILD
Hornby Mk 3 Maglight installation guide. Feature Premium

Installing Hornby’s Mk 3 Maglights

MIKE WILD

Hornby’s latest generation Mk 3 carriages have been designed with the manufacturer’s new magnetic switched lighting strips in mind. MIKE WILD adds a full set to a Blue Pullman HST set in ‘OO’ gauge.

MIKE WILD
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TransPennine Express Mk 5 weathering guide

TIM SHACKLETON

With the deftest of touches, TIM SHACKLETON breathes fresh life into some of the most outstanding models yet released in ’OO’ gauge.

TIM SHACKLETON
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Model railway planning: A Fresh Look

PAUL LUNN

Rather than building a new layout to replace one you're happy with, PAUL LUNN argues that changing the scene can be just as enjoyable - and much cheaper.

PAUL LUNN
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Great Central Railway ‘A5’ 4-6-2T

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

Built originally for heavy suburban traffic out of London Marylebone station, the ‘A5’ 4-6-2Ts spread their wings to all corners of the London and North Eastern Railway’s system. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks into the history of this long extinct class.

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
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Beeching – reshaping the railway

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

While the Beeching report of 60 years ago is best remembered for the closure of a third of our railway network, it proposed investment and improvement in some areas, particularly freight and long-distance passenger services. Some of these proposals were then seen as radical, but were they as original as generally thought? EVAN GREEN-HUGHES set out to find out.

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
ZIMO sound chip updates Feature Premium

DIGITAL PROGRESSION

Technology is always on the move and specialist model railway decoder manufacturer ZIMO is no exception. MIKE WILD discovers what this Austrian brand’s latest MS series sound decoders have to offer.

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iTRAIN software for model railways

MARK CHIVERS

Digital Command Control systems are available in many forms, including the ability for full automation of a layout. One such system is iTrain Layout Control, as MARK CHIVERS explains.

MARK CHIVERS
DCC Concepts Zen decoder family Feature Premium

DCC Concepts Zen Decoder family

DCC Concepts’ Zen decoder collection offers a comprehensive and flexible system with the option to add plug-and-play stay alives. MIKE WILD reviews the range.

Yamorc DCC accessory decoders Feature Premium

YAMORC ACCESSORY DECODERS

A new name to the Digital Command Control market is YaMoRC. MARK CHIVERS looks at this fledgling brand’s newly-released accessory decoders.

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BUILDING A DIESEL DEPOT - THE DEPOT KITS

MIKE WILD

In the second part of our series on construction of Natford TMD, MIKE WILD explains how Key Publishing’s exclusive laser-cut four-road sheds were built and painted to create a centrepiece for the scene.

MIKE WILD
Making Track 3 March update. Feature Freemium

VIDEO: Making Tracks 3 - March Update

CHRIS CLENTON

Peter Waterman's Making Tracks 3 ambitious project continues to make progress in preparation for its six week display starting at Chester Cathedral this summer. CHRIS CLENTON brings the story up to date with the latest update and exclusive video from the Making Tracks 3 workshop.

CHRIS CLENTON
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Staff Projects: Hornby Malcolm Class 90 makeover

MIKE WILD

Hornby’s Class 90 Bo-Bo electric may have started life in the late 1980s, but it still holds potential today. MIKE WILD shows how he enhanced Hornby’s latest version – the uniquely liveried DB Cargo operated 90024 which carries Malcolm Rail’s photographic livery.

MIKE WILD
HM189 Double Fairlie sound demonstration Feature Premium

Installing digital sound in the Bachmann Double Fairlie

JOHN GAY

The stunning Bachmann narrow gauge Double Fairlie has been a catalyst for new ‘OO9’ layout projects. JOHN GAY explains how you can upgrade the model to feature both sound and a stay alive for uninterrupted running.

JOHN GAY
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Scotland’s last steam locomotive: the LNER ‘J36’ 0-6-0

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

Throughout the Victorian era there was a requirement for sturdy goods locomotives of the 0-6-0 wheel arrangement, with one of the most successful and long-lived designs being the North British ‘J36’, a type which gave no less than 79 years continuous main line service, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES discovers.

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES
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Making Buildings from Scratch – part 2

MALCOLM BRIGGS

Having established why structures are built in the way they are, MALCOLM BRIGGS puts theory into practice by scratchbuilding a weighbridge hut in 'OO' scale for the second part of our building construction series.

MALCOLM BRIGGS
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Weathering LNER J27 0-6-0s in OO gauge

TIM SHACKLETON

It’s back to maths class as TIM SHACKLETON explains how, as far as weathering is concerned, what you take off can be just as important as what you put on.

TIM SHACKLETON
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The Class 90 electrics

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES

One of the most successful locomotives to have operated on Britain’s railways in recent years has been the Class 90, a second-generation electric design that has racked up millions of service miles. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES reviews its story.

EVAN GREEN-HUGHES