Tools and Tips


I started modelling in my teens when TRex and The Sweet were in the pop charts. My early efforts weren’t very good but I exhibited my first layout when I was 17. Since then I have tended to concentrate more on building loco’s and stock than layouts. For my layout fix I have been involved with clubs and groups modelling both 4mm standard gauge and then 4mm & 7mm narrow gauge.

What this is leading up to saying is that whilst initially not very good my modelling improved with practice. Over the years I have had made my share of cock ups and had drawers and boxes full of kits that never got finished or were consigned to the bin. Its all part of learning!

Often I do demo’s at shows and I have lost count of the number of times my doing a soldered joint in front of a crowd is followed by members of the crowd saying “I wish I could solder like that”.  You can, you just need to have a go and practice. Your first effort may not be brilliant but the look at what you did and try to work out how to do it better next time. I guess the message is you can’t expect to be brilliant at something without putting some effort in and that starts with having a go and sticking with it.   Don’t let today’s “everything instantly” culture prevent you from what becomes a really satisfying hobby.

The following sections aim to pass on hints and tips I have learnt over the years along with some notes on the selection of tools.  When it comes to tools the list of tools I have is probably bewildering but I do this full time now. You don’t need all of them straight away and you can manage quite well without many of them, I did for many years, but if you buy decent tools when you need them and look after them your collection eventually grows but you can start with quite a basic set.

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