Snowy Soo

Winter Railroading.

Friday, 4 April 2014

5 excellent model railroad YouTubers

As it has with almost everything, the Internet age has transformed this hobby.

I started this blog to connect with other model railroad enthusiasts and found it's been a great tool for keeping me motived to push forward and make progress on the layout. 

YouTube is an incredible resource for model railroaders. It's one thing to read descriptions of a layout or technique in a magazine, quite another to have it demonstrated and presented to you in free video you can stop, watch, rewind and watch again.. 

To fill the time before my next layout update (soon), here's a list of 5 YouTubers whose posts I enjoy. The subheads are links to their YouTube landing page. The embeds are specific posts that I enjoyed.

1) DJ's Trains

An N scaler and real-life CSX engineer, DJ's posts are speckled with money-saving tips, first-hand insight into how real railroads operate and, something I always appreciate, a self-depricating sense of humour.

In the video embedded above, he walks his viewers through a simple scratch build of a modern, rail-served warehouse.

2) NSTrainfan

This guy, another N-scaler, posts videos weekly, including how-tos, layout tours and train show visits. What I think sets him apart is the broadcast-level production quality of his videos. He uses plenty of graphics, cool links inside the videos. multiple cuts. He also has a sense of humour, which comes through in the presentation. His layout uses the track plan from the Salt Lake Route project layout that ran a few years back in Model Railroader.

Big Al Mayo is a bit of a MR YouTube legend. His weathering videos in particular are very popular. He can be a bit brash, which may turn some people off. In one recent video he got into a tangle with some people at a train show. A black man, Al didn't like that their booth sign featured the confederate flag. 

I don't at all mind his outspoken nature, and enjoy his fearless approach to trying new modelling techniques (and the hip-hop soundtrack he lays over his videos is always cool). He conveys a very strong sense of "You can do it too," which I think is empowering for armchair modellers who might be otherwise inclined to sit on the sidelines.

4) NS Modeller 24

This young man and his father have a great double-deck HO layout modelling Norfolk Southern. There's a very high level of modelling here. The channel features plenty of great how-to videos, everything from signalling and JMRI to installing decoders, soldering handrails, etc.

5) TNSortlineFan

A nice guy with an excellent modern, HO scale shortline modelled in an around-the-walls configuration. Lots of tips and prototype information. The video above is a few years old (he's done quite a bit of work on the layout since) but it provides a good "aerial" overview of his layout. Like a lot of the YouTubers I mention here, my only quibble is that he doesn't post more frequently.

And finally....

I would like to thank John at CP Manitoba & Minnesota Subdivision for his very kind mention of my layout last week. If you haven't already, check out his excellent blog.

I didn't think my in-progress switching layout ranked with some of the great ones he's highlighted but I do appreciate the mention. It certainly has helped provide some new motivation as I work to push forward my modelling.