New Product Spotlight – Christmas Accessories

23 12 2013

The big day is almost upon us. Putting your layout in the Christmas spirit doesn’t stop with the trains. From buildings to bridges to street lamps and figures, these accessories will help bring a seasonal touch to any display.


6-37187 Kris Kringle’s Kloseouts

For all the last minute shoppers out there, we introduce Kris Kringle’s Kloseout Shop. Filled with discounted bargains “direct from the North Pole” this bright building will look right at home on your town’s main street. This 9 1/4″ x 6″ building is sized to comfortably fit most layouts and comes with a lighted and decorated interior. Retail price $49.99.


6-37196 Extension Bridge girder 6-37197 Girder Bridge

We’ve got all the bridges you’ll need to get over those frozen streams and rivers. There is the simple Christmas Extension Bridge for just $14.99, the North Pole Central Girder Bridge for $29.99 or the classic covered bridge decorated with holiday greens and advertising and featuring a lighted interior for $42.99. All of the bridges will work with O-27, O or FasTrack.

covered bridge

6-37184 Covered Bridge

station platform

6-37121 Station Platform

Christmas travels begin and end at the train station. Our Christmas Station Platform comes all decked out for the holidays from bright red and green colors to Christmas scenes on the advertising billboards.  Retail price $24.99.


6-37151 Street Lamps

Light up the streets of your Christmas village with the new Christmas Classic Street Lamps. The set includes three of our working street lamps with metal posts and bright red decor. Great for use with other collectible Christmas Villages as well! Retail price, $39.99.


635295 Billboards

Advertise the Holidays on your platform with the new Christmas Billboard set. The set includes three billboard frames and three colorful double-sided signs featuring railroad, Lionel and Christmas motifs which you can install as you please. Retail price, $12.99.


6-37185 Christmas Railroad Signs

These last items are just pure fun. What would street signs look like at the North Pole? From Sleigh Loading Zones to Flying Reindeer Crossing signs, this set of six whimsical warning signs would look great around any Polar Express or North Pole display – or just for fun around your town no matter what it’s latitude. Retail price $9.99.

As our last blog posting before Christmas, we’d just like to end by wishing you all the very happiest of times with your family and loved ones this Christmas and beyond. Merry Christmas!

New Product Spotlight – Accessory Bundles

4 09 2012

In conjunction with our new modules, Lionel has created four “accessory bundles” to make adding scenery that much easier. Of course, you can take advantage of the convenience and savings on any layout. Each bundle features buildings, figures and accessories which compliment each other. Save yourself some time tracking them all down individually and save a little bit of money too.

Tis the Season 6-17139

Perfect for a Christmas layout or festive module, this action-packed bundle has lots of fun details large and small. You’ll get:

Tis the Season

Tis the Season Bundle

  • 6-37965 Christmas Operating Gift Terminal
  • 6-37907 Street Lamps with Wreaths (4)
  • 6-37997 Christmas Lawn Figure Pack
  • 6-37852 Christmas People Pack
  • 6-37909 Christmas Snow Blower

These can be combined with other accessories to create your own North Pole or decorated home town. And all are available for the price of $309.99 through

The Rail Yard 6-37141

Enjoying our new bone yard modeling project here on the blog? Get yourself started with this accessory bundle. With two animated accessories, lights, figures and a building all you need to complete your yard is track and trains! The bundle includes:

Rail Yard

Rail Yard Bundle

  • 6-37977 Tank Car Accident
  • 6-37958 Southern Pacific Scrapyard
  • 6-14241 Work Crew People Pack
  • 6-14071 Yard Lights 3-Pack
  • 6-37914 Work House

The lights and animation will take your rail yards to the next level and for more ideas on finishing this scene you need look no further than our Wednesday blog features. All of this comes together from for the combined price of $276.99.

Welcome Home 6-37142

Add a touch of home to your layout. In addition to the suburban home, you’ll get all the details you need to complete the scene from the streetlights to children playing in the backyard. The bundle includes:

Welcome Home

Combine the Welcome Home bundle with more homes and scenery to create a typical residential street.

  • 6-37978 Deluxe Suburban House
  • 6-24156 Street Lamps 4-Pack
  • 6-62181 Telephone Pole Set
  • 6-14218 Downtown People Pack
  • 6-14147 Old Style Clock

And you get it all for $153.99 through

All Aboard! 6-37140

What layout would be complete without a station and a bridge? Get them both and much more in this bundle which includes:

All Aboard

The All Aboard bundle will work with many other accessories to enhance many scenes.

  • 6-37807 Station Platform
  • 6-37826 Billboard – Classic Travel Signs
  • 6-62716 Short Extension Bridge
  • 6-62180 Railroad Signs
  • 6-24197 City Accessory Pack

Get started on this scene for just $64.99 at

Mix and match these accessory bundles or any of our other fun add-ons to create your own unique scenic modules and layouts. And look for more information and instructions on the modules themselves to come soon on our blog.

Modeling the Railroad Salvage Yard – Step 1: Base, Track, Accessories and Scenery

22 08 2012

This week we’ll get down to business on our next blog modeling project – the railroad bone yard. You can follow along and build one of these for yourself, or just adapt these tips to your own modeling projects.

Building the Base

For our first project, we’ll prepare the base for the yard. Since this is going to be a portable demonstration piece, a panel of 3/4″ plywood was selected for the “platform.” Our yard measures 30 inches x 24 inches but you could make yours any size or shape that fits on your layout.

Foam Base

After testing the fit to locate track and accessories, a scenic base of pink insulation foam was added to raise the ground level.

After playing around a little with the operating accessory and some of the trains that would become part of the yard, I positioned and fastened down the track. This siding consists of two 10″ and one 5″ sections of straight FasTrack. About one inch of the track extends beyond the platform itself which will actually be useful if this should ever become part of a larger project. The connecting pins at the rear of the track were removed to allow it to fit flush against the edge of the platform. The track was secured with 3/4″ No. 6 screws.

After the track was in place, a layer of 1/2″ thick foam insulation was placed over the rest of the platform. This brings the scenery grade closer to the top of the FasTrack ballast. Bevel the edges of the foam where it meets the track for a tighter fit. (Most industrial spurs don’t feature well graded and ballasted track! This extra step will add a lot to the realism of the final scene.

accessory placement

Simply trace accessory bases and cut out the foam for an exact fit.

The Lionel 6-37958 Southern Pacific Scrap Yard accessory was also located and its outline traced on the foam. A hole was cut in the foam to allow this to sit down in the scenery too. And a hole was made in the plywood for the wires from the accessory.

Now the foam sheet can be glued into place around the track and accessory using white or wood glue. Once dry, we’re ready for scenery.

Roads, Sidewalks and Ground Cover

You’re already at the point where you can begin adding the scenery to the yard. Our scene starts at the edge of the yard which is presumed to be along a city street. We won’t model the street itself, but will include the sidewalk and driveway into the yard, including paving over the railroad spur.


sidewalk base

Strips of hardboard form the base for the sidewalks.

Start with a base for the sidewalks. I ripped 1 inch wide strips of 1/4″ hardboard (you could also use plywood our anything else handy) to create a base for the sidewalk. One strip would have been enough for the normal thickness, but to get it above the height of the rails I had to double up. The extra-thick sidewalk will soon be buried in scenery anyway. Leave an opening where the driveway and track will enter the yard.

sidewalk details

After spreading a thin layer of plaster, details can be easily carved into the sidewalk. A steel ruler makes great expansion joints.

The concrete for the sidewalks and the pavement for the road will be made from dry mix drywall compound. For more information on how to do this, look back to our previous scenery blog on making roads.

For the sidewalks, only a very thin, but even layer of the drywall mud is needed to give the look of concrete and provide a surface for carving and painting later. You’ll probably spread the mud for both the sidewalks and the road at the same time, but I’ll separate the two projects here for clarity.

sidewalk paint

Apply thin washes of acrylic paint to build up the concrete color gradually. A thin black wash will bring out the details.

Once the plaster has dried, you can carve curbs, expansion joints and even other cracks, patches and details into the plaster with a hobby or utility knife. A one inch wide steel ruler or straightedge makes the perfect tool to create even expansion joints in the sidewalk.

To add color, begin with a light wash of thinned gray acrylic paint. It’s always better to start with a very light color and build up more in layers.

After the initial concrete color has dried, highlight all of your details with another thin wash of black paint or dye. Again, I think adding a little gray to the black paint helps soften the color and prevents darkening everything too quickly. Wipe any excess off of the tops of the sidewalk, allowing the wash to collect in all the crevices.


For the road, apply a heavier layer of the plaster over everything – including the track.

road plaster

For the driveway, spread a heavy coat of plaster over all the paved areas, keeping it even with the top of the rails and tapering it toward the shoulders.

Start with the pavement over the track itself and then feather it out from there. Simply scraping your putty knife across the top of the rails will create a smooth road profile even with the rail heads.

Next, taper the shoulders of the road down from the outside of the track to the foam scenery base. This will provide a realistic drainage contour.


Use an old set of wheels or trucks to add flangeways in the wet plaster.

To create flangeways in the road, drag an old wheelset or truck back and forth through the plaster before it sets. The drywall mud will give you plenty of working time. Remaining details can be carved in after it has dried.

Color the pavement with successive washes of gray or black paint. Most asphalt grays as it ages, so a mix of both colors applied in thin washes will build up to a nice finish while highlighting details.

While you’ve got the plaster out, spread a little around any gaps between the accessory, track and foam base to close up the holes.

Ground Cover

To quickly finish the rest of the scene, we’ll add a coat of dirt and stone. To read more on how to apply and even make your own groundcover, again you can refer back to our previous scenery blog.


Apply a liberal amount of white glue to the base and smooth it out prior to adding ground cover. The tubular track seen here will provide the base for our caboose “office.”

Our ground in the yard will be a mix of gravel, ballast and dirt. To achieve the desired look, a mix of store-bought and natural (gathered from the backyard) products were sprinkled all around the lot and glued into place.

Spread the cover very carefully around all of the moving parts of the operating accessory to be certain not to interfere with the mechanism.  You can also add a little real ballast and dirt to further blend in the FasTrack.


After applying the ground cover, wet with alcohol and add plenty of diluted white glue. Don’t worry, all those puddles will dry clear.

Spray the lot with 70% isopropyl alcohol and then apply a liberal coat of white glue, thinned to 50% strength with water.

I applied glue very carefully around the accessory with a pipette to keep it out of moving parts. Then just to be sure, the accessory was turned on and allowed to run until the glue completely dried. The result: you can’t tell where the accessory base ends and the rest of the scenery begins.

That’s enough to cover for this week. We’ll finish detailing the scenery once all of the other big details are in place. Next week we’ll need to start scrapping some trains. Get your old shells (and maybe a box of tissues) ready.

Command Control Accessories

11 07 2012

We’re charging ahead with our updates to our layout wiring series. Again, all of these articles can be found on our permanent modeling projects pages which you can access through the menu bar above.

Check out the links for detailed and illustrated wiring instructions.

This week we take a look at three common ways to equip your accessories with command control. For the wide variety of trackside accessories, we return to the SC-2 and the ASC which we introduced last week with switch controls.

Also this week, we show how to wire the OTC, the Operating Track Controller, to operate uncoupling and operating tracks. The operating tracks do require some minor modification go get peak performance, but we’ll show you how to do this quickly and easily.

In the coming weeks, we’ll add in a few more controllers and then complete our look with an overview of a “typical” layout and what it would need for power and command control. Stay tuned!