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The German Railway in H0

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What Do I Read - November 2015

We all get our knowledge from somewhere, so where do I get mine? This article is a list of magazines, videos and other sources of information that I use to obtain knowledge. Enjoy!

Magazines

My primary source of information comes from magazines. They provide me with information about the prototypes, but also stuff about digital operation and landscaping.

My list of magazines in no particular order:

Märklin Magazin - This is the main source of information for followers of the Märklin company and its products. I like their track plans and their articles about the prototype. The magazine also contains a great deal of information on the digital world. If you own the Central Station 2, the magazine is a must read.

Available in English as a subscription service, or as part of the membership of one of the Märklin customer clubs.


Hornby Magazine - For fans of the British model railway. I like Hornby Magazine because the magazine often contains concepts for small exhibition layouts and micro layouts. The magazine also gives me a great insight on what goes on in the 00-scale world, which I also follow. Even though the name implies so, the magazine is not affiliated with Hornby Hobbies Ltd. it covers every aspect of the UK railway modelling scene.

Available in English. I subscribe digitally.

British Railway Modelling - Again, a UK based magazine. BRM delivers great articles on the subject model railway layouts. I like their layout building articles, which are informative and inspirational. They also publish some interesting in-depth special editions that concentrate on one particular subject.

Available in English. I buy my editions digitally.


Eisenbahn Kurier - In my opinion one of the best sources for information on the German Railway past and present. The magazine usually contains a good mix of prototype articles and modelling tips. I buy it from time to time, but do not keep a subscription.

Only available in German.


Videos

I do not keep a video library. I do, however, follow a series of YouTubers and I subscribe to an On-Demand Model Railway video service.

YouTube
I follow quite a lot of YouTube channels. The majority being official channels from manufacturers, but I also follow some enthusiast channels. YouTube channels are a rich source of information, right there in front of you - and free.

Here are some of the channels that I follow, in no particular order.

InterCity82 - Will's channel about UK trains in 00- and occasional N scale. I like to watch his review videos. Reviews and unboxing is mainly what this channel is about. Occasional trips to heritage railways as well. I find the videos to be honest, relaxing and enjoyable.

Everard Junction - Richard's channel about his model railway "Everard Junction". A typical UK mainline set in the Network South East Sector in the mid 80'es, I believe. The channel is mostly a vlog with tips and tricks and landscape contruction. Great videos that I enjoy to watch.

Simon's Shed - Simon is currently building an N scale model railway in his shed in the garden. The channel is about the progress of the layout and reviews, tips and tricks. Lovely videos and fun to watch.

Other channels are: Hornby Magazine, Woodland Scenics, NOCH, Reynauld's Euro Import

Actually, Railway.zone has a channel as well, although it has failed to get much traction, mainly because of me failing to produce any content. Sorry about that. ;-)


Model Railroader Video Plus
Model Railroader Magazine's video subscription service with weekly updates on the model railway industry (from a U.S. point of view, which is something quite different), product reviews and so on. The channel contains next to nothing about European modelling, but their layout construction videos are worth the price. Scenery- and construction tips are universal after all. The crew is friendly and the videos are professional and entertaining. A sort of model railway equivalent of "The DIY Network".

It seems like the videos are aimed at the beginner, because they can be rather basic from time to time, but do not let that fool you. We are never to old to learn something. I like their videos on doing bench work, because I know absolutely nothing about that.

Having a model railway is about having fun, and MR Video Plus nails that.

Cab Ride Videos
You may laugh at me all you want, I know how this may sound, but if you knew how much you can learn about the railway from watching cab ride videos, you would be amazed. There are a tonne of these videos on YouTube and surprisingly many of them are very well made, some even in HD.

Go find some, and learn all you need to know about how the landscape looks along the railway, how the signals works, how almost no road is ever placed at a 90-degree angle on the track - and how little action actually takes place at station platforms. 

A cab ride video is the ultimate opportunity for a glimpse of railway reality! I highly recommend it.

Here's one from a winter day, since it is winter time now.


Clubs

Most manufacturers have some sort of customer club, that lets you flash your loyalty to a particular brand. The quality of the club membership varies quite a bit from club to club, and the general public seems to be split on the value of a membership.

I am a member of the Trix Club. This gives me:

  • A subscription to Märklin Magazin six times per year (in English)
  • A printed Trix Club newsletter six times per year (around 20 pages)
  • Two annual DVD's with a free movie about some prototype, modelling tips and news from the Märklin world of brands.
  • Free catalogues (new items catalogues, and the Trix Year Book)
  • An annual goods wagon model (included in the membership fee)
  • The possibility to buy a unique club model
  • Reduced entrance fee on many museums and exhibition layouts across Europe
  • If you live in Germany, you also get free shipping from the Official Märklin Online Store

The wagon itself is quite a piece and not just a random goods wagon with a funny print. Check out my article on the different club wagons from Trix.

Some people find these clubs to be a waste of money, I love my Trix Club membership, I think it gives me great value.


Books

Next to no information about the German Railway is available in English. Books are in German, so if you want your knowledge, you need to speak German. Thankfully, in Denmark, we learn German in school. My list of books is not long, but I like books about the technical parts of the railway.

  • DB Fahrzeuge (ISBN: 978-3-7654-7117-9, GeraMond). About German locomotives and rail cars.
  • DB Wagen (ISBN: 978-3-86245-150-0, GeraMond). About German coaches and goods wagons.
  • Signale der Deutschen Eisenbahnen (ISBN: 978-3-86245-167-8, GeraMond). About the German signalling systems.
  • Various publications from NOCH. NOCH (the landscaping company) occasionally publishes paperback books with landscape construction tips. The books are richly illustrated and contains a tonne of tips and tricks. They are great value for the money. Usually available at your dealer's NOCH shelf.

Conclusion

There you have it a variety of sources. This concludes the current status of my library and information sources. Of course there is also forums and friends! I highly recommend that you get some model railway friends, because there is nothing like sharing your hobby with like minded!

Happy Modelling!

How To: Enhance The Lighting On A Roco Class 112

I just love the German class 112, it is a cute little electric that you can use for all sorts of regional trains. It is widely used in the northern parts of Germany, it is a small engine and it looks good.

Roco is making a model of the engine, but unfortunately the lighting is very bad. The model could really benefit from an LED make-over, but there is an easier solution: Black isolation tape!

First some pictures of the problem. As the picture clearly shows, the light bleeds through the interior of the engine driver's cab. This does not look very realistic. It is worse with the taillights though.

When the taillights are on, you can see the light in the top lantern. This does not look very realistic at all.

Taking the model apart will show you the cause of the problem. The lighting tubes are not very well masked. Too much light can escape into several unwanted places.

To fix the problem, we need to add some additional masking. This is where the black isolation tape comes in handy.

Black isolation tape is easy to cut with a pair of small scissors, and manipulate into place using a pair of tweezers.

First I wrap the tube for the headlight in the isolation tape. Make sure not to cover the ends of the tube, since this is where the light goes in and out. Also make sure to leave just enough tape to cover the top of the tube as well.

I then put the cab interior back in place, and add some additional tape to stop the bleeding of light through the cab interior.

Depending on the model, you may have to experiment a bit to get it right. I found that the solution below was sufficient for this particular model. There might be other versions of the class 112 with different lighting configurations.

Last, but not least, I put some isolation tape over the lightbulbs on the locomotive frame. I noticed, that a little light came out there as well.

Now let the result speak for itself: A major improvement!

The front light is now crisp and clear, and no light escapes into unwanted places.

The same thing goes for the taillights. The top lantern is now black as a winter night - just as I want it to be.

If you own a Roco class 112 and are unsatisfied with the lighting, try using black isolation tape. I think you will be happy with the result.

About the model: The model in this article is Roco #72480 (112 148-2). The Schleswig Holstein Express. It can be seen in the front - and back - of trains running between Hamburg and Flensburg.

Happy Modelling!