My World in HO Scale
By: H.E. Dinsen
COAL BELT & Subsidiary Systems
The Fun of Model Railroading
One of the fun aspects of model railroading is sharing your work with friends and family. Model railroading encompasses more than the trains, the layout is the scenery, the towns, vehicles, whether you are modeling 2009 or 1959—each item that you choose sets the tone of your layout—it’s your world.
The starting point for any layout, regardless of size is the idea you have and the vision of what you want it to look like when you approach the point you consider it “finished.” As I said in the previous installment: “There is no such thing as a finished layout.”
The one point I emphasis with people just starting: Do not rush the initial stage of construction. If you do, those mistakes will ruin a good layout. I and many other veterans recommend: go to your local hobby store and buy the Kalmbach “How-To” series on model railroad construction. This series covers every known point of the hobby you can think of—and a few more some of us had forgotten about.
Learning what you can about a particular railroad or region of the country gives an added value to your layout. Now days the internet is first choice for research; however, books still cover a wide area on the topic or region you have chosen to model. Most hobby shops have a book section that covers both recently published and used books rivals most book stores.
Another point that helps new comers to the hobby: When visiting the hobby shop, get to know the regulars there—like I usually say: Who’s who in the zoo? Or another way of putting it, networking. The owners of the two main stores here in Colorado Springs are veterans and a wealth of information—or, they know who to steer you to. Despite the lousy economy, it’s surprising the number of new comers to the hobby, or any family oriented hobby for that matter.
Nevertheless, in model railroading, regardless of the period being modeled, it will become a family project with everyone contributing his or her skills and talents. Last but not least, remember: it’s your layout—it’s your world, have fun.