Model Railway Tools

There’s much more to planning an N Gauge layout than track, model trains and scenery.

To get started in railway modelling, you’ll need a tool box that can handle simple projects. These pieces will be used time and again, so investing in good quality tools that last is important. Think of it as an investment.

Don’t blow your bank balance buying every single model railway tool on the planet. A few, carefully chosen essentials will do the job brilliantly. You can pick up little extras and wish list items for specific jobs later.

Top 10 Essential Railway Modelling Tools & Materials

1. Craft Knife

A small but vital piece of kit, a decent craft knife should be the first item on your shopping list. You will use it in literally every single model railway project so it will pay for itself. Choose one that can be fitted with a replacement blade.

2. Safety Ruler

If you value the tips of your fingers, never use a craft knife without a safety ruler.

3. Tweezers

Anyone planning an N Gauge model railway scene needs tweezers. You’ll be working to a smaller scale and tweezers are invaluable when it comes to placing parts in tight spaces. It’s best to buy a pair of tweezers that are especially for railway modelling. Whilst you’re at it, pick up a set of small files –excellent when it comes to accessing small spaces.

4. Paint brushes

Again, quality is key. Precision is important as you’re working with smaller model trains. Poor quality paint brushes spell two things - uneven bristles and sloppy paintwork. You will need brushes that go from size 000 up. Head to a model shop for pots of paint. They carry shades and tones from all eras along with original railway colours.

5. Glue

You’ll need both plastic and multi-purpose glues for railway modelling. A glue gun is unbeatable for securing bits fast and precisely. Take extra care though – these get incredibly hot and you can end up with badly burnt hands if you aren’t 100% focused on the task in hand.

6. Cutting Board

Don’t simply use the surface of a table. Craft knives are sharp and you’ll be surprised at how many lines and scores you’ll make! A decent cutting board is the best base.

7. A Set of Small Screwdrivers

These have a dual purpose for railway modelling. Obviously they put in screws but they’re also excellent for nudging fiddly bits like buffers into place.

8. Small Hacksaw

Indispensable for cutting smaller pieces of wood and metal. A craft knife is a must but it can’t handle metal. You need a small/junior hacksaw. Preferably along with a vice for holding materials in place.

9. Wire Cutters

If you’ll pardon the pun, scissors and craft knives just don’t cut it when it comes to wires. There’s a good reason why wire cutters were invented. They’re safer for the specific job.

10. Drill

Vital for railway modelling, a hand or power drill enables you to put holes in your base board for power leads, lights and signals.