MRA Editors

Great Model Railroading Tools from Beauty Supply Stores

MRA Editors
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Duration:   5  mins

It doesn’t always take specialized and expensive tools to get the job done on a model railroad. Often, if you look in the right places, you can find thrifty ways to build, personalize and clean your model layouts. This is especially important because model railroading can quickly become a costly hobby if you don’t cut a few corners here and there.

That’s why we like to search for cheap alternatives to the equipment we need for our railroads, and one of our favorite places to go for inexpensive but useful model railroading tools is the beauty supply store. You can tackle a wide range of jobs with some simple little products. In this lesson, we introduce a number of great model railroading accessories you can find at the local beauty shop or drug store, and tell you how you can best use them on your next layout.

Finding model railroading tools in every aisle

There are a lot of jobs that need to be completed when model railroading, from the design and construction to detailing and maintenance. And we like to use as many inexpensive tools as possible to get those jobs done, which is why we turn to the beauty shop. NMRA Master Modeler Gerry Leone is a big proponent of thriftiness when it comes to model railroading, so he’s here to teach you about some of the great improv options he’s discovered for building and cleaning model layouts.

One of the most important aspects of model railroading is cleaning, so you’re going to want to look for cheap brushes and swabs. With that in mind, Gerry discusses a few excellent beauty care products that are perfect for dusting and getting into the nooks and crannies of airbrushes, structures and locomotive gears.

Similarly, you’ll discover ideal alternatives for sanding and weathering with emery boards and cosmetic sponges, as well as makeshift clamps from hairclips. With these and other of Gerry’s expert model railroading tips, you can save yourself a good deal of money while creating and caring for your next model layout!

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2 Responses to “Great Model Railroading Tools from Beauty Supply Stores”

  1. RANDY

    Good stuff.

  2. Frank M.

    Take a look in the nail supplies sections of local stores or at the online stores such as CN Direct (, and similar stores that are online. They have brushes, nail striping in various colours at 0.5 mm, and various tools, such as a small very small needle for pimples, brushes in very fine sizes,

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