Model Railway Features

VIDEO: A Fairlie good idea

The Hornby Magazine team are building a new narrow gauge model railway. Join Mike Wild and Richard Watson as they embark on a 'quick' project to model a Ffestiniog style narrow gauge layout inspired by the arrival of Bachmann's first ever ready-to-run 'OO9' Double Fairlie 0-4-4-0T. Log in or sign up to KeyModelWorld to watch this 1hr long feature video first today!

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Quick-fix ‘92’ upgrades

The Hornby Class 92 was the first of the manufacturer’s models to be entirely made in China in the late 1990s. MIKE WILD brings increased performance and a little extra detail to the dual-voltage electric.

English Electric Class 40 Feature Premium

Reality Check: 'Whistler' magic

It is hard to believe that 50 years have passed since the first of British Railways’ large diesel locomotives were introduced. The English Electric Type 4, or Class 40 as it later became, was one of the success stories of the modernisation plan. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the design’s history.

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Transfer request

Applying transfers to models isn’t always as easy as we’d like to think. TIM SHACKLETON explains proven ways of getting them on, getting them straight and getting them to stay put.

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Swindon was amongst the railway towns and cities established in the 19th century. Its works came to personify efficiency and quality, a reputation lasting well into the diesel era. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at this famous location and discovers how it came to occupy such an important pa rt in railway history.

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Designed for speeds higher than ever envisaged by the Victorias, the Great Western Main Line from London Paddington to Bristol via Reading and Swindon has been continually updated since its construction. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES relates how this carefully engineered railway has gone from a broad gauge steam operated line to one which features state-of-the-art Hitachi Class 800 bi-mode trains.

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Digital Voyager

Bachmann’s ‘OO’ gauge models of the Class 220 and 221 Voyager units pre-date the inclusion of decoder interfaces, but with the right parts they can be upgraded to digital sound and lighting. MIKE WILD shows how.

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Reality Check: The Advanced Passenger Train - Experimental

One of the most revolutionary trains ever to take to the rails in the UK was the Advanced Passenger Train – Experimental, which was taken out of service 40 years ago this year. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the development of this pioneering machine.

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The first gas turbine

Designers have been down many blind alleys in the pursuit of greater power, speed and efficiency. The Great Western Railway’s efforts to apply the gas turbine to rail were amongst them. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes the ups and downs of 18000, the first locomotive that resulted from this experiment.

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Down at the farm

Farms make an ideal corner filler for a model railway. DAN EVASON uses new laser cut kits from War World Scenics to create a realistic scene for a ‘OO’ layout.

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Print your own wagon

The digital age has made the possibility of printing a wagon kit at home a reality with the right equipment. TIM SHACKLETON explores high-tech ways of expanding your rolling-stock fleet.

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Rocket and the Flackwell Trials

Hornby’s all-new model of Rocket was a stunning and award winning addition to its range in 2020. TREVOR JONES saw simple ways to enhance this tiny model ’s haulage capacity and appearance.

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The Brush Type 4 – the first 10 years

The Brush Type 4 celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2022 and remains one of the most popular and successful locomotives ever, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.

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The eclectic Class 47s

Once British Railways most common mixed-traffic diesel, the Class 47s all looked much the same on the outside - but in fact there were many variations. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains all.

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Staff Projects: Retro modern

The modern railway scene has caught MIKE WILD’S eye of late for its colour and variety. One of his latest projects is a quick reworking of a Bachmann Class 37/0 as Colas Rail operated 37025 in BR ‘large logo’ blue.

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London Midland Region history

Of all the regions formed after the railways were nationalised in 1948, the London Midland was one of the largest, and most important, and greatly influenced the way that the country’s railways developed, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

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London Midland Region formations

BR’s London Midland Region covered a large area and generated a great deal of passenger and freight traffic. MARK CHIVERS presents a selection of modellable options from the 1950s and 1960s.

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Scratchbuilt Garage

What do you do if you want a particular building which isn’t available as a kit or ready-made structure? DAN EVASON shows how to build a bespoke garage in ‘OO’ gauge using readily available and cost effective materials.

How to detail Thompson carriages Feature Premium

A Thompson transformation

Cost-cutting can be fun, as TIM SHACKLETON finds when he takes a circular saw to some long-obsolete ‘OO’ gauge coaches. Making big improvements, he suggests, needn’t cost big bucks either.

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Modelling preserved steam

With the popularity of heritage railways and main line steam continuing to grow, RICHARD HALL demonstrates how to recreate this often-overlooked modelling subject, by modifying and detailing a Hornby ‘B1’ into a preserved example.

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PowerHaul Class 70 digital sound upgrades

The Freightliner and Colas Rail Freight operated Class 70 diesel locomotives are amongst the most advanced on the British network. MIKE WILD shows how a ZIMO decoder can be installed into the Bachmann ‘OO’ gauge model along with DCC Concepts and Rail Exclusive products for a full suite of sound.

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Staff Projects: Road and Rail

An impulse purchase saw MIKE WILD pick up a Kibri kit for a road and rail excavator –a simple and clever kit which builds into an appealing model. Read the full Staff Projects feature with extra images here.

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Railways of South Wales

In just over 200 years, the South Wales Valleys have gone from being the birthplace of railways, through housing one of the most intense freight systems in the world to becoming the home of a suburban commuter railway system. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at this fascinating area, which is bristling with modelling possibilities.

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The LMS Beyer-Garratts

The massive Beyer-Garratt articulated locomotives achieved a fair amount of success overseas but were never popular in Britain. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the history of the LMS variant and discovers why they never took off here.

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The English Electric 'Deltic'

One of the most evocative products of the Modernisation era was the 3,300hp ‘Deltic’, a class which was to revolutionise rail travel and in the process acquire an almost legendary status, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES relates.

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Reality Check: The LNER 'V2' 2-6-2

Locomotives designed primarily for freight work in general do not attract the same interest as those intended for express passenger traffic, but one exception is the handsome ‘V2’ 2-6-2 of the LNER , designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES delves into the history of this iconic class to mark the arrival of Bachmann’s all-new ‘OO’ model.

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The Great Central Railway then and now

The Great Central Railway is a unique survivor in preservation with its signature double-track main line, and this late 1890s built line forms the subject of our feature build for this year’s Yearbook. To begin the project, Mike Wild looks back at the real thing’s development, demise and resurrection.

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Back to ‘Schools’

Digital sound installations don’t have to be complex or mind boggling, as MIKE WILD shows by turning his attention to a Hornby ‘Schools’ 4-4-0 with a new sound profile from Locoman Sounds.

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Hornby’s original ‘Merchant Navy’ is a super model but it doesn’t cover all variations to the fleet. GRAHAM MUSPRATT adapts one of the first to enter traffic into its immediately pre-British Railways condition.

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ANDY GLOVER uses styrene sheet and strip to model an impressive canal side structure for his ‘N’ gauge layout with methods which can be used for 2mm or 4mm scales.