Education Services

Rail Tales will teach customers how to do what we do.

Some aspects of plastic model building and model railroading do require some innate craftsmanship or artistic talent but one can enjoy either hobby without being particularly talented at either.

Most model building and model railroading skills can be learned to an enjoyable level of proficiency by nearly anyone who wants to learn. What most people need is some one on one instruction or some personal demonstrations in order to understand how a task can be performed. The rest is practice and enthusiasm.

Rail Tales teaches by demonstration. Sometimes a customer can watch while we work at the store on some project or other and occasionally we know in advance what day we will be doing what task. Occasionally we have time to actually demonstrate a particular task when asked about it. Most of the time, however, we have to work projects as we have slack times in store attendance and these are unpredictable. Therefore, to ensure you get the instruction you need, it is best to arrange a class.


Rail Tales classes are generally conducted at your house on your project. We therefore do NOT do classes that pertain to any sort of graded work like a school project (we inadvertently did so once and got in hot water for it). What we do is work on a portion of your layout or diorama or model in order to demonstrate the principles you are interested in learning. Most subjects can be covered in 2-3 hours and the cost for the class is 50$ plus materials plus travel time if you are located outside the immediate Charlottesville area.

For arranging a paid class, you do get a 20% discount on all materials purchased for a project that the class covers (even if it takes you years to use it all up).

You do get to keep what I do in the class, so in effect you are hiring me to do a bit of your layout and you get to watch while I explain how to do it and you get a discount on the materials. How good a deal is that?!

For liability reasons, Rail Tales does not teach classes in electrical subjects of any kind. We apologize for any inconvenience.

At this time, Rail Tales does not do figure painting classes.

Our most popular classes:

Weathering, Mountain Building, Sculptamold Scenery, Water, Trees, and Airbrushing

Generally speaking, allow 3-4 weeks in advance for scheduling.


Sample Demonstrations

Weathering using Vallejo Products (Demonstration given to the NMRA James River Division on 11-11-2017)




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