In-Box Review

by: Mike High [ TACFIREGURU ]


A true “must-have” for the modeler that desires a “real” rail system for their diorama. It is a very nice and affordable set of customizable rails. Tru-Scale’s “Real-Rail” is as close as one can get without trying to use the “real-thing.” My sample was purchased through The Hobby Centre out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ( This set was purchased through them via eBay ($35.00 for the kit plus $6.30 for shipping).
What’s included?

Tru-Scale’s “Real-Rail” kit contains enough metal rails, wooden ties, resin tie plates, rail joiners, and (really) metal tie spikes to make about 36 inches (about 91 cm) of 1:35 scale rail road tracks.
The items were shipped in a sturdy “collectable-card” box and (loosely) contained the six metal rails, one zip-lock bag of spikes, tie plates and joiners, a bag of wooden ties, and three pages of instructions.
Tru-Scale recommends that the modeler have a 36 inch by 4 inch base, wood stain (for the ties), wood glue, CA glue (for the resin), a #68 drill bit (for the spikes), a ruler, a pencil, needle-nose pliers (to insert the spikes), and ballast to finish off the project.
First impression:

Wow!! Real wood, real metal? Nicely packaged, CLEAN resin moldings....all of the resin parts are molded on separate “sheets” to allow easy cutting/removal. Easy to follow instructions (plain and simple to understand)...

Tru-Scale recommends the aforementioned wood base that is beveled allong the sides to allow for a “roadbed” appearance.

  • The ties are stained an appropriate color, then glued to the base. Tru-scale recommends a spacing of 18 to 20 mm between the ties (about 27 scale inches or 70 scale centimeters) and suggests that they be offset and/or staggered for authenticity.

  • The resin tie plates are then cut from their sheet, the holes for the spikes drilled using the #68 bit, cleaned up, and painted to match the rails.

  • A straight edge is used to draw a line about 10 mm (3/8 inch) from the edges of the ties, and the plates are loosely laid on the ties.

  • The rail is then laid on the ties and pliers are used to insert the spikes through the plates, into the ties, securing the plates and the rails.

  • The resin rail joiners are removed from their sheet and glued to rail.

  • The last step is adding ballast.


Real metal, real wood, real easy....Real-Rails. Customizable in the sense that, depending on the era and/or location, the ties can be spaced as necessary. I should mention, that if the modeler desires, they can use “Real-Rails” to portray a curved track. Where else can you get that? I’ve had the opportunity to see some of the other rail systems out there; either resin or plastic, and they are limited to either “kit length” or short sections.

Really, this set is a true “must-have” for the modeler that wants to create a “real” rail system for their diorama. Tru-Scale, in my humble opinion, has the best set of customizable (or any other type of) rail system out there. To my knowledge, The Hobby Centre is the only place this set is available.
A new vendor to the site shows us that detail can make the difference. This review is about detailed realizm. A rail system for 1/35 scale dioramas is the focus.
  CLEAN UP:95%
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: Real-Rail
  Suggested Retail: $35.00
  PUBLISHED: Mar 23, 2006

About Mike High (TacFireGuru)

Like most, I started out in my young years; building Monogram armor and aircraft. Joining the Army at 17 in 1981 put a stop to my building for many years, I retired in 2001 and ran across Armorama....I've been re-hooked since. I'm a notoriously slow builder and seem to have more than one buil...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mike High [ TACFIREGURU ]. All rights reserved.


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