Model trains are a hobby that allows for plenty of creativity -- from planning the layout to designing the scenery, there's room for quite a bit of artistic expression. But with the wide variety of model options and accessories to choose from, getting started can sometimes be overwhelming. So whether you're purchasing the first set for your children or yourself, there are three key tips you should keep in mind to get the most enjoyment out of your new hobby. |
Start With A Theme
The first thing to decide when starting out with model trains is what type of theme you want for your set-up. You can find railroad sets that depict a variety of time periods, such as steam locomotives from the 19th century or diesels from the 1950s. You may also want to choose a well-known railroad to use for your display, like the Union Pacific or Southern Pacific. Consider whether you want your display to feature a passenger vehicle or one that carries lumber, coal, or other items from town to town too. Once you know what type of railway scene you want to create, it's easier to determine what pieces to buy. Find A Space
Before buying your model trains, you'll want to find a space to set up your display. If you're just planning to build a scene that includes the railway cars and track, you won't need much space. However, for a scene that includes buildings, landscape features, and other accessories, you'll need a larger area for the display. For example, you may want to devote your den, basement, or garage to your hobby and use a large, dining-size table for the set-up. If you're building a simple railroad with your children, though, a small table in the corner of a room may be sufficient.
Figure Out The Scale
The next step in creating your display is selecting the scale for your model trains. The scale refers to the size of the vehicles compared to the tracks, so it basically corresponds to the size of the railway cars. To figure out what scale will work best for you, consider how much space you have available for your display and how much money you're willing to invest. Larger trains usually require more space and money. For beginners, Z and N scale are good options if you have limited space; HO and O scale work well if you have a room to devote to the display. It's still a good idea to visit a hobby store where you can see the scale sizes in person before deciding on one, though.
There are plenty of factors to take into consideration when starting with trains, but if you keep these tips in mind as you begin your new hobby, you can take a lot of the guesswork out of it. It'll also you free you up to focus on the creative aspects so you can really have fun with your miniature railroad.
Looking for model trains in Michigan? Come to Junction Valley Railroad. Learn more at http://www.jvrailroad.com/.
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