Model Railway Features

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Class 57s

While remanufacture of existing locomotives is common practice in other countries it is quite rare in the UK. The Class 57, however, is an exception, having been rebuilt from the Class 47 two decades ago. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at this successful conversion and its subsequent service history.

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MAKING A SCENE: Submerged Spitfire scene

DAN EVASON was inspired by a story to create this stunning scene in 4mm scale - which, with adaptation, could be set in any era from the dawn of flight to the present day.

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Creating the cover for model for Hornby Magazine 200

Marking the 200th issue of Hornby Magazine called for a special cover shot. RICHARD HALL reworked a Bachmann class 40 to mark the occasion in style with a unique headboard.

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WORKBENCH: Tyne Dock steam finale

The Tyne Dock-Consett iron ore circuit has always fascinated modellers. TIM SHACKLETON blends consistency and variety within a nine-wagon rake of KR Models iron-ore hoppers.

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Installing Hornby Triplex sound in ‘TT:120’ scale

Hornby’s new collection of ‘TT:120’ scale locomotives makes use of the smallest and most compact DCC interface - Next18. MIKE WILD explains what it is and how it works.

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What is Hornby's HM7000?

Hornby launched a new way to control model railways in 2023. MARK CHIVERS explains how the HM7000 system works - and why you should consider it.

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In the final part of his series, MALCOLM BRIGGS shows how to add the finishing touches to model structures to make them look as realistic as possible.

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Iron bridges on the ‘iron road’

Although greatly favoured by early railway builders, the deficiencies of cast iron as a material for building railway bridges meant that its period of predominance was relatively short. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the history of this material and finds out what there is still left to see.

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Making a scene: Snow covering tips

Recent weather and the arrival of two new steam locomotives with snowploughs in the accessory pack prompted MIKE WILD to give Shortley Bridge’s viaduct scene a quick winter makeover.

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Making a Scene: Locomotive Rescue!

What do you do with a model beyond repair? DAN EVASON creates a scene of salvation in ‘OO’ scale using in the latest Making a Scene modelling guide.

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Cleaning Up Dirtying Down

Are you unhappy with factory weathering or unsure what to do about unwanted paint and pigments? If you want to change the appearance of your models, TIM SHACKLETON has the solution.

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REALITY CHECK: The BR Standard '2MT' 2-6-0s

The old saying of ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ is often used in railway circles and this saying was never more true than in the design of the ‘2MT’ 2-6-0s which, despite being a BR Standard design, were near identical copies of an earlier type, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

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Building Twelvemill Bridge's Platforms

New to the Key Model World Shop are laser-cut platform kits for ‘TT:120’ scale. MIKE WILD explains how they were built and painted for Twelvemill Bridge.

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Southern Region first-generation DEMUs

Forever identified with the Southern Region, British Railways’ first diesel-electric multiple units, affectionately known as ‘Thumpers’, were developed quickly due to a unique set of circumstances, yet proved very successful, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

Installing digital sound in the Heljan GWR AEC parcels railcar. Feature Premium

Installing ESU sound in the Heljan GWR AEC railcar

The revival of Grosvenor Square for the Spalding Model Railway Exhibition on November 4/5 prompted MIKE WILD to go back to the ‘60s by installing digital sound in Heljan’s new ‘OO’ gauge GWR AEC parcels railcar. Here’s how he did it complete with a video sound demonstration.

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Digital Sound: A tale of two ‘Panniers’

GWR ‘Pannier’ tanks are perennial favourites and Bachmann has added the ‘64XX’ version to its existing range. PAUL CHETTER investigates the internal changes made to this newer design in order to fit sound and ‘stay alive’ capability to this and the earlier ‘57XX’ series locomotives.

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Stanier's 'Turbomotive' design and development

Throughout the history of the railways experiments have aimed at improving the efficiency of the steam locomotive. One of these was Stanier’s ‘Turbomotive’, a bold initiative that used turbines instead of cylinders and valve gear for propulsion. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the history of this unusual locomotive.

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MAKING A SCENE: Modelling a Pill box

As Britain braced for invasion, pill boxes were built to defend the country. DAN EVASON builds a scene in ‘OO’ gauge which also pays homage to a famous and much loved comedy series.

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Modelling a three-car Class 205 Thumper DEMU

Southern Region Class 205 DEMUs make popular and distinctive models. Ten years after the Bachmann/Kernow model was launched, TIM SHACKLETON adds an extra coach to create an authentic three-car set.

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Building Twelvemill Bridge – Part Two: The Viaduct

In the second part of our series following construction of our brand-new ‘TT:120' scale layout, MIKE WILD explains how the laser-cut viaduct kit was built and installed.

Heljan Class 45 ZIMO sound installation guide for OO gauge. Feature Premium

Earth moving sound for the Heljan ‘Peak’

First released a year ago, Heljan’s new ‘OO’ Class 45 can be upgraded to feature a powerful Earth Mover speaker with digital sound. MIKE WILD explains how.

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Reality Check: Terminus Operation

Throughout the railway age the terminus has been an important part of the operational scene, and one that has brought with it special requirements, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.

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Converting an American station for a British layout

Looking outside the usual sources for a building can reap big rewards. TIM SHACKLETON explains how Grosvenor Square’s imposing terminus building came into being using an American outline kit as the basis.

Building Grosvenor Square's platforms. Feature Premium

Grosvenor Square: Building platforms

There is a myriad of methods and materials which can be used to make model platforms. Mike Wild explains how with a combination of timber, plastic, card, resin and ballast the extensive platforms for Grosvenor Square were built.

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Building a low relief backdrop

Creating a backdrop to a railway scene doesn’t have to rely on printed or painted backscenes. Mike Wild explains how the low relief scene at the back of Grosvenor Square developed.

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Station detailing at Grosvenor Square

There are many ways to bring life to a station scene. Mike Wild offers 10 top tips to make your layout’s signature location stand out from the crowd.

Grosvenor Square station canopy construction Feature Premium

Grosvenor Square: A roof over our heads

Hornby Magazine’s roofing contractor TIM SHACKLETON describes the construction of Grosvenor Square’s imposing overall canopy.

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Grosvenor Square Phase 1: the completed layout

Layout complete, it’s time to learn the ropes for how it will run. Mike Wild discusses how the original version of Grosvenor Square operated and what it ran with on its debut in 2016 at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition.

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Making Buildings from Scratch – Part 5

Taking all of the techniques used in his series so far, MALCOLM BRIGGS applies them to create a power house which, with adaptation, could easily find railway use.

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GWR ‘15XX’ 0-6-0PTs

Pannier tanks were synonymous with the Great Western Railway and their last evolution broke with many cherished traditions. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES charts the history of the distinctive and powerful ‘15XX’ class.