Modeling Tips & How To’s

A Column by David Lindemer

June, 2019

When I re-engaged with this hobby after a 55 year hiatus, I found almost everything new and different, a bit intimidating. In addition to our Division 5 NMRA meetings, various clinics, magazines and “how-to” books, I have found some internet sources and YouTube videos to be especially interesting and informative. And many of you have your own favorite internet sources that I know nothing about. At the invitation of Mark and Andy I am volunteering to write a column for our Capitol Division Newsletter where we can share those sources we each find helpful to our skill development.

Here’s how this will work initially (we can fine-tune this as we go; suggestions welcome): Members, please email me the sites and videos that you find helpful in your modeling skill development. I will then pull them together and get them to Mark for inclusion in the next issue of the newsletter. Each submitted cyber resource should include: 1 – the link to access the resource; 2 – the cost, if any; and 3 – a brief description of the subject matter.

I’ll kick it off this month with two suggestions. Take a look before our April 13 meeting if you’re able. We may take a couple of minutes during that meeting to discuss the workings of this new column. You may send your favorite sites for listing to me at:, please put “modeling resources” in the subject line.

1) You may google “Jason Jenson Trains” to be led to a selection of his YouTube videos that seem to deal with structures, weathering, and kit-bashing. Each video is well done, thorough, nicely presented. They’re free, longish but complete: 12 minutes to 55+ minutes each, and he frequently mentions (and uses) products from kc’s workshop. Samples: asphalt roofing, shingle roofing, siding, applying and weathering signs on buildings, etc.

2) Al Lee sends out emails one to 3 times per week, and each one will list tips for layout building that have been submitted to him by his readers. Most entries fall far short of MMR calibre, but occasionally there’s an interesting approach to a modeling issue. You will find an introduction to his site and blog at  His blog and emails are free, and he also hawks his son’s card-stock structures.

I found his site helpful when I first got back into the hobby. Several days ago I was quite impressed with a modeler’s entry about making the layout “accessible.” That is, creating removable scenery sections, so that all hidden track is accessible. That one is here: (sound comes in late and prepare for the British accent)