Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Removing acrylic paint

Not long ago I had a paint disaster, which meant I needed to strip a loco shell of paint. I found after experimenting with a few items from the house hold cupboard, that oven cleaner is very effective.
As soon as I sprayed it on, I saw paint begin to run. I then used an old electric toothbrush , of course wearing protective gloves gently brushing the ovencleaner all over the shell to loosen the paint. After letting it soak for a few more minutes I washed it under running water and kept on brushing and with little effort the shell is almost completely clean after a first go. I would not recommend leaving the oven cleaner on too long as it may damage the plastic, I didn't exceed 5 minutes. My oven cleaner was Tesco Oven cleaner (fume free). See picture of the result after a first attempt. I am not sure if it will work with other paints, but this certainly worked to remove Tamiya Acrylic paints.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tsunami decoder

Today I received my Tsunami sound decoder that is going to be used in my C44-9W locomotive.
I ordered it from Bromsgrove models in the UK, and they shipped very quickly, so check out their website (link in the side bar on right).
The construction of this locomotive is slowly moving forward, all steps have been replaced, and now I'm starting on the airhoses etc.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

NMRA unveils new logo.

During it's 2010 convention, the NMRA has unveiled it's new logo. The old wheel logo is no more.
In it's place came a modern stylised wheel with new type fonts etc. Perhaps this is signalling the beginning of more changes and modernisations within this organisation. Also it's own magazine was re-named from Scale Rails, to NMRA Magazine. (it used to be NMRA bulletin several years ago) I personally have to get used to it, and it isn't love at first sight for me, but it may be the beginning of something great!
Visit the NMRA at

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Picture of the Week

Santa Fe mixed freight on the Gila River Canyon Bridge, build by dutch Fremo-USA members. Photo taken at their convention in Rodgau Germany in 2009. Photo by Gino Damen.

Friday, July 16, 2010


For all of you who like WiThrottle, there is competition. :-) A small Danish company called Touchcab has an iPhone/iPod Touch application called Touch cab. This is a wireless throttle to control your model railroad. However, it does more than that, it also controls accesories like signals / turnouts etc, which is something WiThrottle cannot do. It works directly with Lenz or ESU commandstations, provided they are attached to a Wifi router via their ETHERNET port. I have asked Touchcab if they also support, (or are going to support) JMRI, and hopefully receive an answer from them.
Also Touchcab is available as a free lite version. You can get it on the Apple app store.

UPDATE: I received a reply from Touchcab, which stated they did not expect support for JMRI any time soon, and are focussing on support for more Xpress net systems (Roco/Fleischmann/Lenz). Today TouchCab supports the ECoS and ECoS2 from ESU and the Central Station 1 from Märklin (which is basically an ECoS inside).
Next up will be Lenz through the announced XpressNet Interface ( which will be available at the end of the year.If you can't wait and are willing to get a computer involved, (which Touchcab does not need), use the WiThrottle solution through JMRI software for now.

C44-9W progress

I've reported that I was starting my next project, which was going to be detailing and converting to DCC of an Athearn C44-9W. That is now well underway. One thing I am doing is changing the molded on steps to brass photo etched see through steps from A-line. These two pictures give you an idea of the before and after effect of this. I've also purchased a DCC sound decoder to go into this loco, this time it's a Soundtraxx Tsunami which I bought at Bromsgrove Models in the UK. (see links list on the right). It gives me the opportunity to compare a QSI (in the CF7) to a Soundtraxx, both in terms of sound, and in running performance. (I have to be honest that the CF7 was re-motored with a Mashima, while for now the C44-9W will retain it's original Athearn motor, but that's also because it is not expected to do a lot of switching.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Here's Model - Railroading in the broadest sense of the word. :-) Photo by my friend Leon Honings, from the Netherlands. A talented model railroader and photographer. Visit his website at: Depending on your choice, there's two types of model railroading to be found. I've warned you!

Layouts don't have to be big

A nice example of a small layout with nice scenery, is Eagle Pass RR by Dave Arday. It's a small 4x6ft layout, based on the UP and Santa Fe somewhere in the 1960's. It isn't following the prototypes exactly, but it has captured the feel, which for most people (including myself) is sufficient. Have a look at his site so read more about it. Here's a taster picture :-)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Picture of the week.

I will be trying to make this a re-curring item on my blog. I find that a nice model railroad picture can work inspiring at times. I will be browsing the web for picture sources, and feel free to send me yours for posting here.So here is the first one for your enjoyment.  Picture by Brian Moore, showing Rio Grande SD45 5507 leading a freight on the Western Union club layout.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Next project

While my CF 7 is not yet finished (I had a paint job accident meaning I'm in the process of stripping off the paint, and start again) I wanted something to do while I'm traveling (I travel a lot for work as you may have read in a previous post). So the next thing to do is to start super detailing a C44-9W. The model I am using is an Athearn Bluebox model. It still had the old style metal handrails etc, but Athearn offers a complete set of plastic new handrails, that are finer and better detailed, so I am going to replace them with those. The steps are being replaced with brass see through steps, the usual airhoses and snow plows will be fitted, the ditchlights made operational, new laser cut windows, and of course conversion to DCC , most probably with sound. Here is the real thing (photo copyright archive& Keith B).