How To Buy a Model Train Set

Photo of toy train

Trains amaze children and the amazement usually goes on until adulthood. Having a model train at home is a nice way for parents to bond with their children when they share a common interest in trains. When buying a model train set for the home, plan it thoroughly and consider these ideas.

  • Consider your budget. Model train sets vary in price depending on the materials and how detailed the designs are. Look at online train set stores like Lionel and Walthers, so you can get an idea on how much a model train set costs. Also visit toy stores and hobby shops to compare prices. You can take a look at auction sites and second hand stores for model train sets that have been previously owned for sale. These may come cheaper, but do not buy on impulse. Make sure you are given a chance to check it out and inspect the items before you decide to buy.
  • Decide what kind of train set you want. It will depend on your objective. If the train set will be used as your children’s toy, then you might want to consider buying the cheaper brand especially if your children are very young and their toys are prone to breakage. If your children are at least ten years old and are very much interested in building a model train set, then you should buy them the basic model and move on from that. The cheaper models usually come in plastic materials, and the parts are printed in stickers that your children can place on the train set. The model train sets that are actually miniature versions of the actual models are more expensive, and are more interesting for children and adults alike, who are interested in building the set.
  • Decide where to place the train set. A complete train set with the train tracks, landscaping and trees will take a considerable amount of space. A lot a space in your home will be taken by the model train set since it will be a permanent set up. You do not expect to build the train set and pack it up at the end of the day. It may be placed in an area in the living room where the rest of the family can enjoy it, or put it in your child’s bedroom, or in the basement.
  • Assemble the train set. Take time to be familiar with the model train set by reading the manual and familiarizing yourself with the parts. Allot a free day to assemble it with your family or friends. You may have to set up a table or platform firs before setting up the model train set.
  • Allow for expansion and improvements. If you bought the basic set with a single engine and several cars, and a number of tracks that completes one loop, then allow for expansion later on. You may find interest in building bridges and tunnels, and developing the surroundings into a realistic landscape with small trees, ponds and people.

Read on books and magazines about model train sets and collectibles to give you more insights on building model train sets.


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