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June 2008 - Page 7


CUSTO M LAYOUT BUILDERS

ou can have a layout as re alistic as any you see in the pages of "The Journal." The time-hono'ed m hod is to do , It yourself. The dream . IS to fill a basement. But what if you don't have a basement? Build a module or three or four and stack them on bookshelves to be assembled in

y

lET THE PROS BUilD YOUR lAYOUT
This list is open to suggestions, especially from satisfied customers of these services, so please let us know what other firlns you would recommend.


Modern Railroad Models,



your garage or at a modular meet. Lack the skill or the time or both? Then spend your money not your time and have your layout built by a pro. You can have a 2 x 8 layout complete with structures of your dreams, or fill a basement. Pay for the perfect plan, have a custom layout builder create your dream layout, select the "signature" structures you need to make the scene real, and order them. You can even have a complete operating sig nal system designed and/or installed. You can order a complete model railroad as easy as ordering a pizza-all you do is put the loco motives and cars on the track and turn on the DCC control system. There are "buyer beware" aspects you need to be aware of when contracting layout design. layout construction, structure building, or signaling. These firms are in business and the work will take more hours than you would ex pect, so it will not be cheap-you must decide how much you are willing to do for yourself and how much you want to contract out. It will be between vou and the builder or designer to determine h w soon the work can be complet ed. Some firlns have a three or four-year back log, others can complete the work sooner. We would also strongly advise you to check with previous customers to determine if the quality of the work you are contracting for is up to

LAYOUT DESIGN PROS: Model Railroad Services, Byron Henderson, home.earthlink.net/-mrsvc/id4. html R ail Dreams, IVlVw.raildreams.com/ The Shelf Layouts Company, Lance Mind heim, www.shelflayouts.com/ Trackside Layouts, LLC, www.tracksidelayouts.com/ Bob Jans Design, www.modelrailroadstoneworks.com/ LAYOUT BUILDING PROS: Custom Model Railroads, www.custommodelrailroads.com/ Dunham Studios, wWIV.dunhamstudios.com/ H H Railroads, www.hhrailroadbuilders.com/ Hobby-Tronics, wlVlV.hobby-tronics.com/ Stephan Lamb and Associates, www.layoutsbysteve.com/ Layout Design & Construction Co., wlVw.layoutdesignco.com/ Layout Builders, www.layoutbuilders.com/ LeRoy's Modular Layouts, w \vw.1eroysmodula rIayouts. com/ Mini-Things, www.mini-things.com/ M odel Trains by Design, wlVw.modeItrainsbydesi gn.com/ Model Railroad Builders, Miles Hale, wlVw.modeIr ai IroadbuiI ders.com/

www.modernrailroadmodels.com/ Pop's Custom Model Railroads, www.popscustomlayouts.com/ Progressive Model Design, www.ProgressiveModeIDesign.com/ R ail Dreams, www.raildreams.com/


The Shelf Layouts Company, Lance Mind Smartt Models, Art & Technology, Inc., Sunset West Productions,

heim, wWIV.shelfiayouts.com/


www.smarttRR.com/


www.sunsetwestproductions.com/ Trackside Layouts, LLC, www.tracksidelayouts.com/ Train Layouts, Richard Roman, www.trainlayouts.com/

STRUCTURE PROS: Bill Bradford, www.Bill-Bradford.com/ Custom Built Structures, Chuck Hitchcock, www.chuckhitchcockstructures.com/ Stephan Lamb and Associates, www.layoutsbysteve.com/ Model Building Services, www.modelbuildingservices.com/ Scale Reproductions, LLC, scalereproductions.com/ T MB Custom Models, www.tmbcustommodels.com/ W hat-Detail! Inc., www.whatdetail.com/ Howard Zane, www.zanestructures.com/ SIGNALING SYSTEM PROS: C ontrol Train Components, Mike Burgett, www.CTCParts.com/ Custom Signaling Systems, www.customsignalsystems.com/ Hobby Gauge Electronics Design and Manu facturing, Ken Farnham, www.hobbygauge.com/ Stephan Lamb and Associates, www.layoutsbysteve.com/ Tractronics, Rich Weyand, www.tractronics.com RMJ



your personal standards. This is a list of pro spective sources, we have absolutely no way of measuring their quality or their timeliness of delivery. Check with your local dealer first to see if there is a local builder-communica tions can be easier when you talk face to face and there will be less transportation costs. The majority of the layouts and custom-made structures that are designed by these layout planners and built by most custom builders are for free-lance designs. If you really do want a replica of a specific prototype series of cit ies, towns, and scenes, you would be wise to spend your time to provide your own research input to the designer or builder. If, for exam ple, you really want dead-accurate buildings, virtually every one will have to be sratchbuilt, and most layout builders do not specialize in that area-the cost of the buildings alone could easily exceed the cost of the rest of the layout. The more practical approach (one that most modelers take) is to settle for just a few "signature" buildings like stations or some highly visible trackside structures, with the remaining structures built from kits or simple kit-conver ions.

T heir owners built these layouts, but the pros can do one with this level of prototype fidelity just for you.

RAILMODEl JOURNAL J UNE 2008 7

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