Staff Projects

The Hornby Magazine team always has a project on the go, from layouts to locomotives, rolling stock and buildings. Discover projects by Mike Wild, Mark Chivers and Richard Watson here from the past and present.

Hornby Magazine Staff Projects

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STAFF PROJECTS - New Layout, New Location

Following a house move, BEN CHURCH starts afresh with a new ‘OO’ gauge layout to cater for his and his grandfather’s interests.

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Staff Projects - Track gang

It’s all about track on the rebuild of Topley Dale with a combination of lifting old rails, relaying and new track installation, as MIKE WILD explains.

Upgrading Newton Grove

With some structures having been damaged in the long journey from ‘Oz’, JONATHAN NEWTON reveals how he is building a new engine shed and road bridge for his ‘O’ gauge layout.

Staff Projects: Reviving Topley Dale

It’s approaching two years since Topley Dale was dismantled and put into storage, but now the layout is being rebuilt in a much bigger, extended form. MIKE WILD explains the first steps and the vision for the future.

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Staff Projects: Hornby Malcolm Class 90 makeover

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.

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ViTrains Class 47

Looking back at photographs from the early 2000s, MIKE WILD was inspired to find and revive a ViTrains Freightliner triple grey Class 47 to provide an alternative container train locomotive.

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STAFF PROJECTS: New Junctions for New Junction II

As New Junction II begins to take shape, sleeper spacing, a lack of track pins and a new track formation have added to the workload, as RICHARD WATSON outlines.

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STAFF PROJECTS: Electrical endeavours for New Junction

With the build racing ahead, it was time to pause for reflection giving time to complete the more mundane tasks on this new ‘OO’ layout. RICHARD WATSON plods on with the essential but repetitive tasks.

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STAFF PROJECTS: New levels for New Junctıon

The initial draft of the track plan is complete - but will it actually work? Eager to get trains running on his ‘OO’ gauge New Junction layout, RICHARD WATSON takes a cautious approach which uncovered some unexpected challenges.

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STAFF PROJECTS: Richard's new New Junction

The baseboards are here and RICHARD WATSON’S plans for a new New Junction ‘OO’ gauge layout are off to a flying start. He reveals the story behind the layout and its first steps.

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STAFF PROJECTS: Bachmann Class 37/4 restoration

The discovery of a partially stripped chassis and a tatty Class 37 body prompted MIKE WILD to assess returning this Bachmann model of 37411 to frontline service. Here’s how he did it.


Scenic modelling is one of the most enjoyable and creative parts of a model railway. MIKE WILD gets to grips with the landscape for the new ‘OO9’ narrow gauge layout in our second and final feature including the first chance to watch our brand new feature video.

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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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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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There and back again

RICHARD WATSON’S New Junction garden railway was always going to be a challenge as an end-to-end layout. With a little help from DCC Concepts and its ABC braking modules to create automated stopping and starting, running in the garden was about to become much easier.

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Staff Projects: Outdoor station

A station scene has been a longstanding plan for MIKE WILD’S garden railway and the arrival of Tower Models’ new resin platform sections provided the perfect excuse to start work.

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The opportunity to extend the ‘O’ gauge test track as the next step in its development was too good to pass up. MIKE WILD explains the changes and the next steps. Plus don't miss our Hornby Magazine Show video showing the expansion plan unfold.

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Staff Projects: Narrow Escape

Earlier this year RICHARD WATSON embarked on an extension to Hornby Magazine’s ‘OO9’ narrow gauge layout. Three months later the project is complete, for now...

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Staff Projects: Track Painting

Hornby Magazine’s ‘OO9’ narrow gauge layout expansion is fast becoming an idyllic scene. RICHARD WATSON shows us how he brought the track to life on the layout.

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Staff Projects: A Stone's throw away...

Hornby Magazine’s ‘OO9’ narrow gauge layout expansion is off to a flying start. RICHARD WATSON shows us how he tackled the first of the manmade structures on the layout.

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Staff Projects: Locked down with Topley Dale

Like many modellers MIKE WILD has been making the most of extra time at home during the recent lockdown to push forward with the Diversion Route on Topley Dale, but will our mammoth project ever be really finished?

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Staff Projects: Building bridges

Topley Dale has gained a third bridge scene with a new four-arch low height viaduct being built for the diversion route. MIKE WILD explains how it was assembled using the popular Wills kit.

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Staff Projects: Quarry Progress

Topley Dale’s new quarry scene has taken big steps forward this autumn and is well on the way to completion. MIKE WILD rounds up the latest developments and explains how the track and ground cover has been weathered for a more realistic finish. 

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Staff Projects: New frontiers

Its Yearbook time -and the Hornby Magazine team has been back in the workshop to create a brand new ‘OO’ gauge layout. MIKE WILD introduces the Great Central-set Quorn Magna.

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VIDEO: Topley Dale Quarry

Topley Dale is developing again and in the Great Electric Train Show Virtual Exhibition YouTube video Mike Wild shows how he is building and developing the scenery. In this feature we show exclusive images of the build so far together with the section from the main video on Topley Dale for subscribers.

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VIDEO: Building and weathering quarry buildings

Walthers' New River Mining Company plastic kit forms the basis of Topley Dale's new quarry scene. In this guide Mike Wild shows what goes into building this impressively sized kit as well as demonstrating powder weathering techniques on video.

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Staff Projects: Quarry Creation

The scenery on Topley Dale’s diversionary route is off the starting blocks as Mike Wild builds an American outline plastic kit as the basis of a new quarry scene.

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Staff Projects: Professional paint job

Hornby Magazine’s Associate Editor RICHARD WATSON took the opportunity to have his ModelU 3D printed figures professionally painted by Claudia Everett.

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Staff Projects: Topley Dale developments

Hornby Magazine's Topley Dale is making progress again with the first steps towards the construction of a new quarry scene. MIKE WILD rounds up the latest additions to the 'OO' gauge test track.

Completed garden railway construction at end of garden resting against fence and surrounded by plants Feature Premium

Staff Projects: Garden Railway Construction | Part One

Learn how Hornby Magazine editor Mike Wild constructed his 'O' gauge garden railway in his garden in our three part guide. Check out part one here.