Do you wish that you could successfully pull your youngster away from his or her video games or iPad? Well, building a model train set requires the attention to detail and concentration that he or she already possesses, while building on their creative talents. But, how do you get started? It's much simpler than you would believe. Here are a few of the elements needed to build an amazing train set that your child can be proud of for years to come:
Image from Pixabay
Find or Create Quality Trains and Other Vehicles
The first thing that you need to build a beautiful train set is trains, of course! You can find fully-assembled trains at any toy shop in Great Britain, but you and your child will take greater pride in building a locomotive from scratch. You can find a train-building kit in any hobby or craft shop, and some kits even allow your child to customize his or her own designs.
Trains are your main ingredient, but they are not the only mode of transportation that you should represent in your set. It is also customary to build and/or purchase miniaturized cars, trucks, buses, and even boats. While these accessories are not always easy to find, there are several online companies that specialize in obscure pieces that can help you out.
Develop an Intricate Layout
What good would the best model trains be without a sturdy set of tracks? Wooden tracks are by far the most durable due to their innate strength. If you are looking for a trustworthy wooden brand, Brio toys makes a fabulous track set. Each connector is cut from the main piece, making each part universal. This means that they are guaranteed to fit with all other Brio sets.
Image from Knock on Wood Toys
However, all serious builders know that a good layout involves more than model trains and sturdy tracks. You can add all kinds of accessories, such as scenery, mountains, bridges, tunnels, stations, and tiny homes to build your own railroad city. You can find these at most hobby retailers, or you can make them yourself with your child from cardboard, or paper mache. You can plan a rainy afternoon around such an interesting art project.
Don't Forget the Human Element
Most people tend to forget the most important part of any cityscape – the people! By adding people to your set, you are giving your curious child the whole picture. People made from plastic are the most resistant to wear and tear, and are the easiest to glue into place around the track.
It is easy to find plastic figurines for your train set. If you look at homemade websites, such as Etsy, you will find an array of small shops that offer custom-made miniatures. Many of these are for dollhouses, jewelry, or dioramas for school projects, but they work just as well within your railroad town.
An alternative may be to purchase plastic figures wholesale at a craft store or online. These bags of miniatures are reminiscent of the bags of army figures that baby boomers may recall playing with as children. Many of them come in plain white, straight from their molds, and your child can engage his or her own creativity by painting each to their liking. Just be aware that such small parts make be a choking hazard to children under a certain age and they may require close supervision.
By building a train set from scratch, your child has learned patience, attention to detail, and perseverance. Also, they are sure to be entertained for hours on end as they link meters of track around your parlor and design their own little world. This is why train set building is a great hobby to share with your child for years to come.