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December is Official Old School Month

Posted by on December 1, 2011

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Gifts! Great Food!
Parties! Christmas Eve Services!
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire!
Big funky, cheesy, electricity-sucking holiday light displays!!

Welcome to December, my friend. I love this time of year and I wanted to make this best month ever at Old School Rules. Let’s kick it off with a classic Christmas tradition, the model railroad.

Join me and the boys! Build a model railroad for Christmas!

One of the strongest visual Christmas recollections I have from my childhood was our train set. A big, Lionel O gauge set. That fifty plus year old set has recently been replaced by an HO engine, cars and tracks. And tomorrow, the boys and I begin work on the OSR. The Old School Railroad!


Model railroads are fun to build, fun to run and fun to rebuild and modify over the years. And a dad can do it all of it with the help of his #1 wingmen, his sons.  This makes it a quintessential Old School Father & Son fun activity.

And building a modest 4×8 model railroad is easy. The video below is the first part of a nine part series teaching everything you need to know to build a great model railroad for and with your kids. The total time for all the videos is less than an hour. To watch all the videos click here.

Here’s an outline of what’s covered.

Scene 1 – Introduction – duration 2:20
Scene 2 – Benchwork* Part 1 – duration 7:00
Scene 3 – Benchwork Part 2 – duration 5:31
Scene 4 – Laying Track – duration 5:51
Scene 5 – Control – duration 4:03
Scene 6 – Structures – duration 4:36
Scene 7 – Scenery Part 1 – duration 9:56
Scene 8 – Sceney Part 2 – duration 9:56
Scene 9 – Conclusion – duration 5:42
*”Benchwork” refers to building the  frame that is the foundation of a model railroad or toy train layout.

Each video will tell you what you need to get started. The benchwork materials can be picks up at your local building supply place, a couple of sheets of plywood and some hardware. Here’s the train stuff to pick up asap. Get it now and you and your boys could be running your railroad in a couple of days.

Bachmann Trains Thoroughbred Ready-to-Run HO Scale Train Set

Bachmann Trains Thoroughbred Ready-to-Run HO Scale Train Set

You’ll get an engine, two cars and a caboose. Gotta love the red caboose. You’ll also get some track, but let me recommend you get a separate track package with all the pieces you’ll need for the layout in the video. It’s going to make you job much easier. It’s pictured and linked below

Bachmann Trains Snap - Fit E - Z Track Steel Alloy World's Greatest Hobby Track Pack

Bachmann Trains Snap – Fit E – Z Track Steel Alloy World’s Greatest Hobby Track Pack

All the track you’ll need for the layout in one package, plus a dvd of the videos you’ve watched online.

As for the other items on the track, such as buildings, cars and people, I think the boys and I may go off the reservation for those things and do it our way. That’s my way of saying I’m pretty sure there’s no way the boys and I could build this without a Batman, a Batcave and I might feel compelled to make one of the buildings A World Famous Chili Restaurant.

Do this with us!

Get yourself the train, the track and get to work on the plywood table. Take some work in progress photos and put them up on our Facebook page. I’ll be posting some photos of our work there, too.

Keep it Old School, my friend

The Old Man, Chris Dixon

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