December 15, 2017
by Gavin Hince
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Holiday reading? We’ve got you covered…

For some great holiday inspiration, the January 2018 edition of NGDU goes into the mail in the next few days.

In this edition we visit an expansive garden-scale layout; take an innovative approach to detailing outdoors; build a useful “utility” wagon; and explore cutting-edge technology for everyday modelling. We also visit the Fyansford 3’6″ cement-hauling operation during its 1960 heyday.

Plus, more inspirational photos from the “90mm challenge”, which features modelling ideas you could achieve in a few sessions over the holidays. And if you need STILL more motivation, there’s a easy-to-build plan by noted designer Phil Shapter.

Copies should be mailed before the holiday break – look out for your copy, arriving soon…


October 2, 2017
by Gavin Hince
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October NGDU out now!

The October edition of Narrow Gauge Downunder hits mailboxes and shelves this week. This edition features “Station Street”, an atmospheric depiction of rural Victorian life on the narrow gauge.

There’s also a wide variety of projects for scratchbuilders: Peter Kendall shows how he ‘cross scaled’ a plastic tugboat into a neat 1:48 scale ferry boat; Dieter Jaeger shows how to build WSLC logging flatcars; and Ken Scales applies power tools to his sawmill project.

We’ll also visit an interesting line “Off the Beaten Track”; cover early US-based logging practices; and even a ‘wrap’ on the Denver narrow gauge convention. Grab your copy for plenty of interest and inspiration…


July 1, 2017
by Gavin Hince
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DSP&P Alpine Tunnel featured in July NGDU

George Sebastian-Coleman’s majestic “Alpine Tunnel” layout features in NGDU’s July edition. The pictorial feature shows how well George has captured the bleak uplands of the Rockies, and the struggle of tiny 3-foot gauge trains up the grades.

Readers queried how George captured the wide expanses of scenery, and he’s kindly provided a sketch plan of the layout to illustrate. This is attached below – thanks George!


July 1, 2017
by Gavin Hince
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Subscription rates and cover price update

Hi all,

A recent 5% hike in postal rates prompted us to look at NGDU’s cost structure, and we were surprised that the subscription and cover price hadn’t been adjusted since 2012. Since then, we’ve absorbed more than 50% growth in postage costs, and increases to printing.

Clearly, this isn’t sustainable. To ensure we keep the quality of NGDU high, from 1 July the cover price must increase to $15.95. Subscription & renewal rates will also be adjusted. We’re reluctant to make the change, but no product is viable without reflecting the realities of the cost to produce it!

We’re committed to keeping NGDU as a premier specialist narrow gauge publication. We hope that you’ll continue along the ride with us…

June 9, 2017
by Gavin Hince
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July edition out soon!

We’ve just received advance copies of the coming July edition of NGDU, out in the last week of June.

This issue is a ripper – last year we visited master modeller George Sebastian-Coleman’s wonderful On3 layout. George has followed the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad for many years, and his modelling captures the vast and arid scenes along the Alpine Tunnel line. Our photographic tour visited some iconic sites in 1:48 scale, including the “Palisades” rock wall, Alpine Station, Sherrod Loop and more. George has captured the ‘feel’ of the DSP&P better than anyone we know.

The new edition includes plenty more also – from simple projects like a large-scale stand-pipe; an On30 stock wagon; building boxcars in styrene and a neat solution to soldering supplies. Watch out in your mailbox or local stockist….

Issue 66 cover

January 28, 2017
by Gavin Hince
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Holiday projects

I hope that most NGDU readers have the chance to tackle some refreshing projects over the holidays. My own project has been another foray into live steam – a 7/8″ Hunslet called “Jack”. This combines parts from Roundhouse engineering and several hobby-based manufacturers, with plenty of brass soldering, tinkering and occasional bad language. I’m delighted that Jack is already steaming, although the cab and detailing is yet to be added. Check out our Facebook page to see some snippets of Jack’s steam tests on my garden railway…


November 30, 2016
by Gavin Hince
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January edition preview

We’re just waiting on supplies for the January edition, which will be out prior to the Xmas break.

What’s in store for your holiday reading? January’s issue features “Tracks to the Trenches” – Ian Shiels’ atmospheric WW1 layout. We also build a dilapidated D&RGW stock car with Hans Hirblinger; make some forest trees using simple methods; adapt factory kits in O and N scales; and cover the history of the iconic Canungra Tramway. And more!

Work is also well advanced for our 2017 editions, with some great features lined up: a scenic VR narrow gauge layout; a massive operation-focussed garden railway; and a visit to famed Alpine Tunnel in On3.

Here on the website, we’ve updated the ‘all articles index’ again – it has a nifty “search” feature, so key in a few words to list all the back-reading you might have missed.

Watch out for the January edition, out soon.


October 25, 2016
by Gavin Hince
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Haskell NQRs now available

A quick cross-post here, and a plug for the newly-arrived “NQR” Victorian Railways open wagon from Haskell Co in On30. Initial impressions are very positive – these injected-styrene RTR wagons have excellent and crisp detailing. We’ll be sure to do an in-depth review for the January edition of NGDU!

See NGDU’s Facebook page for more info, and for sneak-peek photographs.

October 3, 2016
by Gavin Hince
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October edition out now

Issue 63 – October 2016 – is now available; copies will be mailed to subscribers this week.

This edition includes a semi-portable On30 layout by Laurie Green and John Hunter – see how their desire for easy transport influenced the design and construction of this exhibition display. There’s also a step-by-step project to model a VR narrow gauge wagon; a neat kit bash for a UK-outine OO9 engine; an N scale scratch build project and plenty more.

What caught our eye: It’s hard to think of a more interesting prototype for a micro shunting layout than the “Gasworks”, covered in detail by John Dennis in this issue’s “Off the Beaten Track”. We’ve included period photos and a track plan, together with a description of the line’s unusual point operations.

Get your copy of the October edition for some practical projects, great layouts and prototype inspiration…issue-63-cover

September 13, 2016
by Gavin Hince
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Augusta 2016 – US Narrow Gauge Convention

Great to see many of NGDU’s US-based subscribers and authors at the Augusta National Narrow Gauge convention this week. The convention went really smoothly, with some great visits to Maine narrow gauge museums and sites.

We enjoyed catching up with NGDU’s US-based network, and to see some brilliant home layouts. While George Sellios’ F&SM rightfully generates headlines, Stan & Deb Ames’ outdoor railroad was a fantastic visit; and George Sebastian-Coleman’s DSP&P Alpine Tunnel layout captures the stark loneliness of the high country.

There were also some exciting new products – from Bachmann’s latest G scale 2-6-0 engines to diminutive Model-T railcars in HOn30. We’ll feature more of these items in coming editions

Thanks to everyone who hosted and chatted with us during the convention.