Murphy's Laws Of Model Railroading


1) Xacto Knives have a thirst for human blood.

2) The chances of that freshly painted project landing painted side up on the carpet is directly proportionate to the cost of the carpet and the difficulty of the paint job to reproduce.

3) There is nothing more painful on this earth then a rail joiner shoved knuckle deep up under your fingernail, and the chances of you laying any significant amount of rail without this occurring are virtually nil.

4) Hot glue will always seek the shortest path from the point of application to your nearest finger.

5) No matter how carefully you measure your trackplan, when it comes time to build your layout you will find that one crucial measurement is off by at least 3 inches.

6) If you need a LH switch, your LHS will only have RH switches (and vice versa).

7) Everything will work flawlessly UNTIL there is an open house.

8) The smaller the part, the greater the distance it will sproing from betwixt your tweezers - so go to the furthest point from your workbench and crawl your way back.

9) Within minutes of saying "No one will notice that", someone notices it.

10) Super Glue and fingers have a love affair.

11) If you think you have wired the track correctly reverse the wires. It will run correctly now.

12) No matter how well painted your thumbprint will always end up on the model somewhere

13) No matter how well laid the track is. A steam engine, or six axle engine will always find the flaws

14) Any turnout not fully thrown will find the most expensive car/engine to derail. Thus ALWAYS throwing said piece to the nearest piece of concrete.

15) Glue no matter how sparingly applicated you’ll always glue fingers together.

16) Want the manufacturers to produce a specific engine or freight car ??? .... spend countless hours and dollars and scratch build one. Just as the finishing touches are drying up, someone will announce an exact match to what you want coming out next month .... twice the quality and half the price as the one you've just spent the last six months on !!!!

16) No matter how well padded/carpeted the show floor is, any descending piece of equipment will find the barest portions of said floor.

17) Only ten percent of time previously set aside exclusively for layout work will be spent exclusively on the layout.

18) As soon as the budget expands to accommodate the next vital piece of the project, the price will go up.

19) The wood screws are always in the wrong place. They gravitate to future stream beds and gullies.

20) The one piece of rolling stock not tested is the one that hits the edge of the tunnel portal.

21) The highest degree of meticulous planning and preparation stands no chance against one moment of bad luck.

22) The screwdriver you put down just at your side so all you have to do is reach out for it when you want it. Until you want it. Then it not only disappears off the face of the planet in an instant it re-appears on the opposite side of the room. Of course, you have to put down what you're doing just to go get it! Which defeats the whole object of putting it close to hand in the first place.

23) The number of rail joiners you have on hand is always less than you need to finish.

24) The tool you thought you lost will reappear when you return from the hardware store with a new one.

25) The "slightly too long" switch machine mounting screw, driven upward from below, will surface directly under a point hinge.

26) If you model the late steam era, some well-meaning relative will gift you with an articulated container carrier. If, OTOH, your locos all have ditch lights, that same relative will present you with a bright yellow 1920-era Old Dutch Cleanser double-sheathed wood box car.

27) Regardless of the size of your work bench, you will never have more than 18X12 inches of space to work within.

28) Clutter expands to fill all available space.

29) The extension cord you bought will be 6" too short for the job you had in mind, even though you measured it before hand. Twice.

30) At some point during your painting session, you will discover that you've been rinsing the paintbrush in your coffee, rather than the water.

31) No matter the depth of your research, some geeky rivet counter will quickly point out that such-and-such herald wasn't in use until 6 months after the period you are modeling. And then proceed to remind everyone about that fact for rest of your (or his) lifetime.

32) After planning diligently all of the new benchwork, and purchasing all the materials, as soon as you begin construction you will remember that the dimensions in "dimensional lumber" are, in fact, approximate. Apparently so is the concept of "quality control" to the mill.

33) After months of searching, you finally find and purchase that special something on eBay, only to see another pop up and sell for much less the following week. So naturally you buy that one so you feel better about the average cost of both.

34) When you open the paint bottle of the most important color, you find it has gone solid or to jell even though it looks perfect.

· you discover this just in time to not make it to the LHS before it closes

· If you planned to work on the project on a long weekend, ... need I say it...

· LHS has just sold out of that color

· LHS has just put in their order, so you have to wait for their next ordering cycle

· If it is a little used color, it's also back-ordered at Walthers, Horizon, etc...

35) That missing tool is shorting the track, behind a building, in a tunnel, or some other obscure place.

36) You buy a new clamp that says it's designed not to get glued to the workpiece, and quickly discover the way to glue it to everything.

And always remember - Murphy was an optimist.