On-line resources are an amazingly rich source of useful information for modellers. Many tools and techniques can be explored, including carpentry, electronics, moulding & casting, photo-etching, painting, various methods of weathering models, 3D printing, decalling, card or styrene modelling... the list is extensive. They also can enlighten you on what is available to start, progress or sharpen your modelling skills and railway knowledge.
Google is a powerful resource, providing not only one of the best known and most powerful search engines, but Google Maps and Google Earth, which are invaluable when investigating where an old defunct railway line was located, plotting a route to likely photo-shoot locations or reviewing roads, industries, houses or existing railway facilities without having to leave your railway room.
Wikipedia, together with national, state and civic libraries, rail sites, business sites (railway infrastructure and other) and specialist blogs can provide helpful resources when you wish to find information on techniques, prototypes old and new, photographs, ideas for modelling, etc, etc. For example, check out the following:
The CFCLA website Services & Products menu for data sheets, images & basic plans of modern Australian rolling stock (and more images can be found by chosing the "Images" option on any Google Search results page), and;
davidneat | a maker, a teacher of making for useful information on some of the basics of modelling materials and methods.
Youtube and Vimeo offer a plethora of videos from many and varied modellers. You will find that there is more than one way to achieve many a modelling task. You can experiment with them and decide which gives the best, or most suitable solution for you, and learn a few alternatives as well.
The following examples may serve to whet your appetite!
The Mount Barker Model Railway Club is a member of AMRE. The above link to Vimeo features Grant Willis's video record of the 2010 exhibition. Each year many excellent layouts are displayed, and many fine trade stands, plus the second-hand stall ensure an availability of many fine models, and some great bargains, too.
This example is just one of the many weathering videos to be found on both Youtube and Vimeo. Techniques for weathering locomotives, carriages, goods/freight wagons, buildings, trucks and cars, and track are to be found. Techniques include air-brushing, weathering powders, dry-brushing and paint washes.
Luke's videos encompass many facets of modelling including planning, benchwork, super-realistic ground-up scenery (water, various tree types, fences, signs, lighting) also etching, basic 3D printing, laser cutting, tools and materials and the odd review. His channel side bars point you to other worthwhile sources
Links to Youtube (click button below) and Vimeo (click image above) are great sources of information about Australian railways. Such information is a key resource for today's South Australian modellers as privatisation in the 1990s has led to the virtual "nationalisation" of Australian railways.
Youtube, Vimeo and Google are sources of much thought provoking and inspirational information about modelling railways and their environment. For example, channels such as "Budget Model Railways" and "marklinofsweden" et al present some thought-provoking ideas on stretching your modelling dollars.