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Learn about running trains outdoors from Family Garden Trains, helping folks get started and stay on the 'right track' since 1996
Click to see articles and resources for O, S, and On30 modelers.
Visit the largest and most complete cardboard Christmas 'Putz' house resource on the Internet. Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site.
Garden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden Railroading
On30 and O Gauge trains to go with indoor display villages and railroads
Free Large Scale  Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs
Big Christmas Trains: Directory of Large Scale and O Scale trains with holiday themes What is a Glitterhouse?  - Click to see an introduction to putz houses and related collectibles.

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About the™ Forum Pages

Our forums contain moderated discussions about using Cricuts, Cameos, and other craftcutters to make details and accessories for hobbies such as model railroading, war games, putz house building, and more.

If you have a question about something on our pages, or if you have a photo, tip, or special memory that you'd like to share, you are invited to sign up and contribute often. A number of knowledgeable craftspeople belong to our forums and often contribute, so it's a great place to hang out. (Plus, we keep it a safe place to hang out as well, which comes with a nominal cost - see below)

When I discussed setting this site up with my hobbyist friends, many explained their reluctance to join online discussions because they have seen too many forums taken over by scammers, spammers, or folks with an ax to grind. So have I. To me, it is critical to keep a family-friendly, "safe place" for well-meaning people, even if we never have more than a dozen participants.

Registration Update for 2021: Since I began starting hobby forums like this, I have spent many hours trying to keep out a flood of scammers, spammers, and would-be trolls. Even the best software doesn't keep out computers that can publish a thousand fake member and password guesses a minute.

Almost as time-consuming are the real people that I go to the trouble of signing up, who never actually join in the conversations or contribute anything.

Consequently, all applications for full membership will be manually approved or denied. However, anyone who is approved as a full member can post without moderation and will have access to additional site featurres.

Provisional Membership You CAN register through the automatic registration feature as a "provisional member" and respond to discussions, but your responses will be monitored before they are published.

In addition, "provisional members" who do not post relevant messages or apply for full membership within three months will be purged. We have to do this because a bunch of robospammers will sign up fake accounts and lie dormant for several months, until their posts are no longer moderated, then start posting spams and links to virus-laden sites as soon as the site moderator gets tired of monitoring them.

Membership Fee for Full Members - Waiver

We have also established a membership fee of $1 a month, payable through PayPal as prescheduled direct deposits. It's not that we need the money per se (though this site does cost us "real money" to keep going). It's that scammers, spammers, and trolls never pay to join the sites they hope to pollute, so it's the only 99.99% reliable way we've found to keep such creeps out of our little club.

The good news is that the fee is being waived for now. That may change at any time however. If you sign up for full membership while the fee is being waived, your membership will be free as long as you are a member in good standing.

Admission is not guaranteed. You can be turned down. If you apply with incomplete or fraudulent information, you will be turned down. If you seriously want to be part of our community, you should have no trouble getting accepted, though.

Note about User Names: Whatever user names you're used to on other forums, please pick one that is appropriate to this list. You may be "sexybaby " or "zombiebait " everywhere else, but here you need to have something that relates to you or to the topics that interest you on this site. In addition, your user name is part of your login, which means you have to type it exactly the same way, capitalizations, punctuation, and spaces included. So "H. R. Puffenstuff " might seem like a fun user name to use, but if you leave out a space or period or spell Puffenstuff "Puffinstuff, " you won't get in, no matter how many times you swear at the computer.

I also reserve the right to delete applications with user names that are sheer gobbledygook I'm sorry if this seems inconvenient, but this describes the vast majority of fake signups. If you're a real person with real interest in the hobbies we represent, pleased don't ignore the tips on our sign-up sheets, or use a user name like asdfljafk or drowningkittens.

If you attempted to sign up as a full member, and you believe that your (legitimate) registration was removed accidentally, please use the contact page on this site to get in touch and we'll get it sorted out. Of course, if you use the contact page to try to sell me fake Canadian pharmaceuticals, that will get deleted, too.

Remember, neither your name nor your e-mail address, nor any other private information will ever be seen by other members (unless you share it yourself). We also promise to permanently ban anyone who signs up with false information or who belittles or bullies other members in any way.

In other words, we just want to know that we are as serious about keeping your information safe as we are about making you feel safe when you join our group; and participate in the discussions.

If you have any questions about this policy or about our forums in general and you haven't applied for membership yet, please contact us, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

To Apply for Membership in the™ forums, please go to our Forum Signup page and follow instructions.

To read the™ forums, click here

Click to see  collectible Christmas villages and trains.

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Note:™, Family Garden Trains™, Garden Train Store™, Big Christmas Trains™, BIG Indoor Trains™, and BIG Train Store™ are trademarks of Breakthrough Communications ( All information, data, text, and illustrations on this web site are Copyright (c) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 by Paul D. Race. Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically forbidden.
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Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains.
Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains

Visit related pages and affiliated sites:
- Trains and Hobbies -
Return to Family Garden Trains Home page
Return to Big Indoor Trains Home page
Garden Railroading Primer Articles: All about getting a Garden Railroad up and running well Big Indoor Trains Primer Articles: All about setting up and displaying indoor display trains and towns. Garden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden RailroadingBig Christmas Trains: Directory of Large Scale and O Scale trains with holiday themes
On30 and O Gauge trains to go with indoor display villages and railroads
Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages. Big Christmas Train Primer: Choosing and using model trains with holiday themes Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Click to sign up for Maria Cudequest's craft and collectibles blog.
Click to visit Fred's Noel-Kat store.
Visit the largest and most complete cardboard Christmas 'Putz' house resource on the Internet.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories. Traditional Home-Made Ornaments
- Music -
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Visit musings about music on our sister site, School of the Rock With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. Acoustic-based, traditional, singer-songwriter, and folk music with a Western focus. Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.