On30 Narrow Gauge Model Railroading

Thursday, April 19, 2018

On30 Modeling Books & Magazines

As one explores the world of On30 narrow gauge model railroading, a common question I hear is "What resources are available?". Like much of the model railroading hobby, many of the books and articles can be applied to On30 modeling. But generally the questioner is looking for more specific information on On30 -- what is it, where can I find information about track planning, track designs, product availability, layouts by other modelers, etc.

Without a doubt, if you are seriously interested in On30 modeling, you should seek out and read these two resources:

  • On30 Annual, Chris Lane, editor - published previously by Highlands Station, then Carstens Publications and now by White River Productions
  • Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette, Robert W. Brown, editor - published previously by Benchmark Publications, Ltd. and now by White River Productions

The first of these two publications, On30 Annual is a yearly publication dedicated to On30 modeling. It was first published in 2006 and has been published every year since then. Thanks to the focus of the editor, Chris Lane, each annual issue is chock full of building projects typically with a large number of photographs to enable the reader to accomplish a similar project. This publication is highly recommended to On30 modelers and would-be modelers. The current issue (On30 Annual 2018) can often be found at your local hobby shop (LHS), and is also available from the White River Productions Bookstore. Your LHS may also have prior years issues for sale -- if not again many previous issues will be found in the White River Productions Bookstore as well as other sources such as eBay, Amazon, Walthers, BookFinder.com, etc.

Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette is the premier magazine for narrow gauge modelers. NG&SLG has featured numerous articles over the years on On30 modeling, as well as articles on the narrow gauge prototypes and modeling the narrow gauge in other scales, many of which are applicable to On30 as well. The editor, Bob Brown, has consistently delivered one of the best model railroad publications in the hobby. You can find NG&SLG at your LHS, or subscribe or purchase recent back issues via the White River Productions Bookstore. In addition there is a DVD available with a 50 year collection of back issues of NG&SLG from 1964 through 2014. It can be found at your LHS as well as here. And for those modelers who prefer paper, there is a thriving trade in back issues of NG&SLG on venues like eBay and local model railroad shows.

Other Books of Interest

The following books may hold particular interest to those modeling in On30:

Finding other On30 articles

The Magazine Index hosted on Trains.com is an excellent resource for finding On30 related articles in other publications. In early 2018, the Magazine Index had entries for over 360 articles related to On30.

On30 Annual

Because the On30 Annual issues are so valuable to On30 modelers, below under each issue's cover, you will find the table of contents for that issue. We hope you find it useful.



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An active modeler in 1:64 scale (S scale) since 1998 and a relatively new On30 modeler, Michael's primary interests are in model railroading, structure modeling and control systems for model railroading. Michael is a life member of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), a member of the National Association of S Gaugers (NASG) and the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders.

Michael and his wife Deane Louise co-own Pine Canyon Scale Models, a manufacturer of S Scale and O scale structures.

Michael is a past chair of the NMRA's Digital Command Control (DCC) Working Group and was a contributor to the NMRA's DCC Standards activities. Michael continues to play an active role in the use of NMRA DCC in S Scale model railroading.

Michael previously served as the NASG National Secretary and Librarian for the NASG's Russell M. Mobley Memorial Library.


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