New to this

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by gryl, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. gryl

    gryl New Member

    Hello All,
    This is my first post here on The Gauge. After visiting some model train setups, and real ones in PA this summer my 5-year-old has the train bug (OK so does his old man). He has been going nuts with his Brio set, and has discovered my, and my Father's, HO sets from 20 & 40 years ago. I have set these up on a 4x8 set up and have most of the engines running. He & his sister are into Harry Potter and plan on getting the new HP train from Santa. Now Dad has some questions.
    How easy is it to get other UK prototype equipment (engines, stock, buildings...) in the states?
    Would getting the 03 Walthers catalog be a good investment?
    I have read other threads about roadbed (foam, cork, Homasote). How are these cut from the raw 4x8 sheets, and do you shape these in any way?

    A bunch more, but this is a start. And any links for a newbe would be helpful.

  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    Welcome to The Guage, Tom!!!
    As to your questions:

    How easy is it to get other UK prototype equipment (engines, stock, buildings...) in the states?
    Don't know - there must be some internet sites for these.

    Would getting the 03 Walthers catalog be a good investment?
    I'd just go to their web site at

    I have read other threads about roadbed (foam, cork, Homasote). How are these cut from the raw 4x8 sheets, and do you shape these in any way?
    Foam and cork roadbed are usually available from hobby shops - they are strips around 3 ft long or so, width depends on your scale. As for the shape - picture a flat trapezoid - that's a piece of roadbed in cross section. I know there is Homasote roadbed available presut as well, but don't know much about it.
  3. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Not sure of the US, but there's a place called Britannia in Vancouver that I'm planning to visit during Trains 2002 (they also have a website), so I'm sure there's plenty down your way.
  4. petersd

    petersd New Member



    I am new at this as well am currently in the process of building my first 4x8 layout and am currently in the process of putting my roadbed down which is cork. So what it is worth I recommend the following:

    The '03 Walthers catalog is a godsend. I use it all the time as is one of the best investments that I have made. If you do not have much experience I would recommend getting as much reading material since it has made my confindence level grow.

    I don't know about the other roadbeds but I am using cork and as stated previously and am in the process of laying as we speak. It is very easy to work with and you only need to glue down and I am putting down some track nails as well about every foot or so to keep in alignment while the glue dries. My biggest piece of advise would be to make sure you have track center lines down so you have a reference point in which to lay the cork against. When I first laid out the track I traced the edges and was going to put in the centerlines from this. When I made a compus to use for the curved sections I noticed that when I originally laid out the track I didn't have true radiuses. So needless to say I pretty much had to relay out the track while doing centerlines at the same time. This was fairly time consuming for me since I wanted to make sure that I was doing it right and that my radiuses were true and that I wouldn't have any gaps, etc... In the end the patience and detail has paid off for me by leaps and bounds so far.

    Hope this helps and remember to take your time and do it right the first time. It is more time consuming but every minute invested now doing it right will pay off tenfold in the future.

  5. petersd

    petersd New Member



    By the way ask a lot of quesitons since everyone has given me valuable information on this board. Books don't cover everything and nothing beats experience which a lot of these members have.

  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hello & welcome to the gauge Tom & Dave.
    Ask all the questions you like. Many of the guys here could write books on the subject of Model Railroading.
    Lots of material to read in the Academy/Archives.
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Welcome to the gauge. If you have been able to get 20, and 40 yearold HO locomotives running, you are well on the way to succeding in this hobby. Roco does european style equipment, and there are many plastic kits available of european prototype buildings. UK specific?, I can't be sure, but then, that's one of the
    challenges of the hobby, and why kitbashing exists.
    There is a range of skills here that should cover any subject you might need to get answers on, so ask away. Should you need some escape, you'll occasionally find diversion here also. Just open a "box". You might be amazed at what jumps out!
  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Tom & Dave,

    Many many things have been mentioned, talked about, hints, way to do things etc have been posted on here over the years. Just click the search icon up to the top of the screen, type in a few keywords, and Robert's your mothers brother.

    As you become more familiar with The Gauge, you will pick things up, and remember things already asked before. However, do ask, and all will help where they can. :cool:
  9. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Tom,
    That Harry Potter set is on for 69.99 right now, don't know how good a price that is.

    If you have a Local Hobby Shop they'll probably have some of the Atlas books which have a lot of basic info on layouts, electrical, Eetc., and inexpensive! My 1st advice is read read read.

    One of my LHS's keeps some Hornby stuff on the shelf. It's mostly OO (1/76) scale, but pretty good quality, I think. I don't know how much UK is available in HO. Somebody? They also make an OO Harry Potter set. I think that Brittania store rockislandmike mentioned has UK trains available.

    Those British trains are an ocean apart from what I'm running, but they have some great trains and great train history!! I want one!! Anyway, welcome and good luck!! :D :D

    From Olive Branch,
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    UK Trains

    As one who is modelling British Railways in Canada, I can tell you that getting supplies can be a problem. I don't really know any US dealers personally, but you should try the British Railway Modellers of North America at:
    They have a list of dealers, 3 in the US.
    There are lots of dealers in Canada; if you want that info, let me know.

    Interesting about Hogwarts: The Bachman model which is available in North America is a model of the Hall class that was used in the movie. The Hornby model that's sold in the UK is a Castle class.

    The HO gauge with OO scale is the standard combo in the UK. It's about as far off as using On30 to model On3.
  11. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi Tom,
    Welcome to The Gauge. There is a modular group that I have seen setup at shows in northern CA called European Train Enthusiasts. Their layout uses Marklin track but the buildings and scenery would be compatible for your use. Pola is one company that makes European style buildings and scenery. You might try a search for ETE's website, I'm pretty sure they could help you with UK styled HO trains. Just a tip for you and Dave, when putting down the cork roadbed I use 3M brand Super 77 spray adhesive sprayed on the back of the cork only and use staples to hold the cork in place till dry and then remove the staples. This helps insulate the track from the tabletop.
  12. gryl

    gryl New Member

    Thanks for all the great replies eveyone. I have seen the set on the Train World site, and as a mater of fact one of Santa's helpers lives not to far from the LI store ;) It looks like I will be hitting the links above and the local hobby shop for books, as well as getting my layout finalized.

  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you need English buildings, you'll find a lot of them are cardboard kits. I demonstrate at shows and I always tell people that "the hard part's already done" (meaning the painting). Brands to look for are Superquick and Metcalfe. You may not be able to get them by mail order because they're susceptible to bending by the Post Office.
    You can also get plastic kits.
  14. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    Another source of European (not necessarily British) equipment is Reynauld's Euro-Imports.

    Also, there is Bachmann Branchline. They sell Lilliput and Graham Farish (N-scale), who make British models. They have links to "stockists" on the site, but I'm pretty sure that they are all over in Britain.

    Trainworld has the best price on the Harry Potter sets that I've seen. J. C. Penney had the deluxe set (includes an extra coach and Platform 9 3/4) for $50 after Christmas last year, but I don't see it on their site now.

    If your son is into Thomas the Tank Engine, Bachmann will be coming out with several Thomas items this Fall. They will be making Thomas, Percy, James, Annie & Clarabel, Bertie the Bus, a Sir Topham Hatt figure, Cranky the Crane and other things. The engines all have eyes that move as they run. Thomas and Percy can be purchased individually or in sets with track, rolling stock and power packs. I' son is eagerly anticipating the new series! (I'm planning on modelling of part of Thomas' branch line when we get moved into the new house.) I think they're going to be more toy-like than the "serious" models, but they do look really great for the price. Trainworld will be selling these, too, and so far they seem to have the best prices. Check out Walthers to see pictures.

    Do I win the prize for the most links in a post? :)
  15. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    On other thing... I met a guy at a train show about a year ago who specializes in selling British trains. He had lots of models, mostly Hornby, I think. Anyway, here is the information off of his card:

    British Trains
    Authentic British Steam Era Model Trains

    Mike Clark, Owner

    724 Bentley Court
    Tyler, TX 75703-4600

    Phone/Fax: 903-581-1580 888-995-5720
  16. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Tom,
    Listed on Bachmann site:
    Bachmann's Deluxe Thomas with Annie and Clarabel Train Set (Item No. 00644 - MSRP $105.00)

    Nov. MRR Trainworld ad p. 50 lists #00644 at 49.99, quite a discount! It's not listed on the website, yet, but if it's available, they'll take an order!! I've got another friend who's interested in this for his youg'un also. For my grandson, who's only two, we're sticking with the wooden trains (he sleeps with Duck). :D

    From Olive Branch,
  17. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Welcome aboard The Gauge Tom and Dave,

    Tom, here is a site in Scotland of a splendid model retailer who i deal with regularly. It is a small family business where you will get prompt and courteos service. He answers all e-mails promptly and postal rates are inexpensive compared to the USA.
    Try this

    You will find british equipmt from UK less expensive than other countries who have to pay import duty etc. It's worth a try.


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