Metal and wooden train models remain one of most beloved hobbies for many of us. It's a way to connect with our children as well as a way to take our own trips down memory lane remembering trains toys and other childhood favorites. Anyone who's ever known the satisfaction of seeing a completed model train assembled by his own hands knows how important the details are.
It's the passion and desire for perfection that draws people to building and adding their own wood structures versus incorporating a pre-fabricated kit. There's a sense of pride in knowing the tiniest details were carefully and painstakingly created by the owner. Whether you're a seasoned train collector or are just discovering this satisfying pastime, keep reading for a few tips for successfully adding wood structures for your metal or wooden train.
Your first task is to define the project. In your mind, what does the finished project look like? Like the idea of tunnels for your train to travel through? Making your scenery interactive with the working train isn't as difficult as you might think. You want it to blend seamlessly with the train and the tracks. Other ideas include greenery, mountains and of course, buildings.
Two options to consider include pre-fabricated kits that allow you to build your wooden structures with relative ease using the pre-cut pieces, or as many prefer, you can tackle the project "from scratch". This method is a bit more time-consuming, but the pride of having finished a project such as this is indescribable.
If you are considering the "from scratch" option, here are a few basic tools and materials that will help you get started:
• Crafting knife - also referred to as a hobby knife
• Exacto knife and blades - we suggest varying angles and curves for your blades which can be found in any hobby or craft store
• Pencils with erasers
• Ruler or a traditional tee square
• Carpenter's glue
• Wood strips
• Durable cardboard or press board to create templates
Remember, if you decide to build your wood structures, you'll need to first create templates from which to cut the sheets of wood from. Using your template, carefully trace it onto your strip wood. Don't forget windows and doors if they're part of your plan. From there, you'll be able to cut your wood verbatim to your template. One advantage of creating templates is the fact they're re-useable. Using your wood or carpenter's glue, secure the panels together to form your buildings. If you creating several buildings with the intent of using them as miniature homes, churches or other buildings, you'll naturally want them to vary in height and width.
Once your glue has dried, tiny nails gently driven into the seams will serve as additional strength to the structures. Sandpaper smoothes out the rough edges and provides a better foundation for any paint or stains you intend to apply.
It should be noted many avid toy train collectors build their models with roof structures that can be removed to decorate the inner walls. It's not uncommon to see houses with fireplaces drawn and chimneys extending from the wooden structures. Again, this is your vision, your metal or wooden train and your project. Be as creative as you wish.
Your trains toys and wooden designs very well can become a part of your legacy as it's passed down to children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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Joe Kanooga is a father of two kids, a successful business owner and the author of numerous articles about wooden train toys. Click here to download a free trains toys guidebook filled with hobby tips, ideas and information.
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