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What a craftsman kit is in model trains

In model railroading, a craftsman kit is a model kit consisting of wood and sometimes paper, and detail parts cast from soft metal. There is usually a fair amount of measuring, cutting, and gluing involved to build the model, and it usually requires a fair bit of patience and skill. That’s where the name craftsman kit comes from. You could get kids to build structures and even model railroad rolling stock.

Craftsman kits lost some prominence due to the widespread use of plastics, but they are starting to see something of a resurgence in modern times. Here’s why.

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Dept 56 Village Express Electric train set

The Dept 56 Village Express electric train set was a train set made by Bachmann for Department 56. It was available from 1998 to 2006.

A train is a natural fit for Dept 56, which is meant to evoke a romanticized past. Today’s megastores have displaced those downtown shops that Dept 56 represent, and the automobile has displaced the passenger train has a favored means of travel. A passenger train and a few recognizable cars are a good way to firmly set the time period for your Dept 56 village.

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How big is an N scale train?

N scale is the second most popular scale for model railroading, because it’s small enough that you can fit a big layout in a reasonable space without it taking over your basement, or build a small layout in a very small space, as small as a coffee table. But how big is N scale? How big is an N scale train?

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What is basswood?

Basswood is a popular hobby wood, but what else is basswood used for? Where does it grow? And where do you buy it?

If, like me, you’ve been buying basswood at hobby shops for years but have never seen a basswood tree, there’s a reason for it. The tree that basswood comes from goes by many other names, including Tilia, Linden, and Lime.

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Picking a setting for your model railroad

I struggled for a couple of years trying to decide on a time and place for my train layout. I was afraid of locking myself into a specific time period. What if I chose the 1950s, then decided I wanted to run trains that were older than that? Fortunately, the answer for picking a setting for my model railroad came kind of out of thin air, once I thought about it some more.

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Testors Dullcote alternative

Testors Dullcote is a very useful clearcoat for a variety of hobbies, including building plastic models and model railroading. However, Dullcote is in short supply in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic. So here’s my favorite Testors Dullcote alternative. It’s reasonably cost effective and DIY.

You can make a Testors Dullcote alternative from Pledge Floor Gloss and Tamiya Flat Base. Best of all, you can mix it to exactly the sheen you want.

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