If you would like to contribute an article, review or quick tip to Shortline Modelers, below are our criteria for submitting your content. Before you submit your article, you will need to create an account here.
Guidelines for Writing
Content submitted to Shortline Modelers must be railroad-related. This can include operations, scenery, line-side industries and modeling techniques that is used on a model railroad.
Articles can be submitted in Microsoft Word, Notepad or Rich-Text-File (RTF) format. Do not embed images in the document as they cannot be extracted in good enough quality to be used.
Writing must be in simple English that is easy for the reader(editor) to understand.
Prototype Information Articles
Articles containing information and history regarding prototype (real) short line railroads should include a map, brief history of the railroad, and information on industries the line serves. If possible, a car and locomotive roster should be added.
How-to articles are information on a modeling technique, a scratch building project, a kit build or layout and diorama construction. How-to articles are intended to teach and inform the reader about how you did your project. Your article should include a bill of materials, simple illustrations, and images for each step.
Layout Tour Articles
If you have a layout featuring a freelance or prototype railroad you would like to share, please note the following. Your article should give a little history of the railroad you are modeling, information on how the layout was constructed and any materials used. A Layout plan should be included with dimensions of the layout.
Quick tips are short, to-the-point articles used to quickly inform our readers on how to use a product, tool or demonstrate a technique. These articles are a visual guide and therefore must be accompanied by photos and illustrations.
Product reviews are usually done by our regular contributors however our readers are encouraged to test and tell other modelers of products that might of interest to the model railroad community. Your review should only focus on the product or service and must be relevant to the model railroad community. Images of the product should accompany the review and be well lit and on a clean white background if possible.
Images and Illustrations
Each article must include a title image at a minimum. Multiple images, multiple angles of a subject is encouraged.
Images must be submitted at a minimum of 1600 pixels wide at 72dpi in the Jpg format.
For articles that contain more than one image, please mark in the article where the author would like the image placed, with the file name of the image that is being submitted. Example: (Image: stairway.jpg should appear here). Please right descriptions (cut-lines) for each image. This is especially needed when submitting how-to articles which show step-by-step action.
Photos for how-to articles should show the subject well lit and on a clean, neutral background, white preferably. If photographing on a layout, make sure the area is not cluttered.
Scale plans are welcome and encouraged to accompany your article. Scale plans should be submitted in a JPG, PNG or EPS format in an 8.5” x 11” digital document. The scale can be any scale you choose making sure it fits within the document format guidelines.
Illustrations are welcome, however if you need an illustration done, please contact us and we can make arrangements for those to be done with your accepted submission.
If you have any illustrations which will be used in article, quick tip or layout tour, your illustrations should clean pencil or computer drawings. If you have dimensions, make sure they are clearly marked on your illustration. All files must be sent electronically which will be redrawn by our staff for publication. We can accept AI, EPS, PDF and JPG documents for your illustrations.
If you have graphics such as arrows, measurements or graphs in your images, please provide two copies of that image; one with the graphic and one without.
Submission Terms and Conditions
Shortline Modelers reserves the right to refuse any submission that does not follow the submission guidelines.
If a submission is accepted for use on Shortline Modelers, the editor(s) reserve the right to ask for revisions, corrections and even a rewrite. Shortline Modelers staff will work with accepted authors to help with the process, should help be needed. We don’t bite.
We do not accept all articles. However if we like the subject matter and would like to have it on Shortline Modelers, we may ask you to rewrite it.
Submitting Your Files
Once all of your content is gathered, create a zipped folder which you can submit it here. Please note, the folder (compressed) should not exceed 10mb. If you cannot fit your content in the stated sized folder, please contact us to make arrangements to get information to us.