Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

The R's back in the month

...and days are slowly drawing shorter.  This means more time for indoor activities.
I had an area on my home layout that was never operating reliably enough.  The first turnout after the curve was too close to that curve, and caused some derailments sometimes. Also my method of mounting my turnout motors in that location didn't work out too well.

Therefore I took the drastic step of tearing them out. I'm removing the Woodland scenic roadbed here too, which will be substituted with a strip of plywood of similar height. The turnouts are being mounted directly onto it, and the turnout motors to the bottom of that strip.
This means I'll be cutting slots in the foam board that makes up the surface of my layout, and the turnout motors will be recessed into this. Two advantages:
I can make the entire construction at a workbench and test it before install.
There won't be any motors sticking out from beneath the layout.

Below is the start of the work.

Another boxcar in distress

I'm on a roll, here's another boxcar I weathered in the past week.

Before and after pictures below.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

A boxcar in distress

As mentioned in my last post, I received a Soundtraxx Tsunami Soundcar decoder, and have worked on a project to add sound to an older Atlas boxcar.
The other item I wanted to try is to get some practice with weathering, which , truth be told, I still find a little daunting.

Here are some of the results. I've decided against graffiti in this instance, but a later model will probably get that added.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sound in freight and passenger cars

For sometime, sound decoders have been available for locomotives. The quality and variety of these is increasing gradually, and it was only a matter of time that these became available for cars.

While sound in cars is nothing new (Lionel amongst others, has been offering them for their models for a while now), the first commercially available sound (that I know of) for an HO scale model was the mechanical reefer released by Athearn last year.  This decoder is now released as a separate available decoder by Soundtraxx, it is called the Tsunami Soundcar. While I have not found a dealer in the UK that stocks this one yet, I have ordered one from the US to try out, and have received it. I'm in the process of doing an installation of it in a HO scale  53' Atlas boxcar.

The decoder also has lighting outputs, bell and horn sounds , so it is also suitable to be used for a passenger cab car, mechanical reefer sounds etc.  While this means that there's a lot in there that the majority of freight cars don't need, I doubt it would make a huge impact on price if the extra's weren't included.
With a bit of creativity, it might fit in some N scale cars too.

Here are a few video's of what it can do.
In a freight car.

In use in a variety of cars:

Thursday, July 24, 2014


One of my latest modeling projects I finished a few months ago, I had not yet posted here.
It is my SP GP9 commuter locomotive.
Added details are light packages, steamgenerator exhausts, airvents, new roof vents, and several other small items. Of course it was equipped with a Loksound decoder with the new EMD 567 sound file and sounds great.

Here's a few pictures to enjoy.


It's been a while that I've updated this blog.
I simply had nothing to report. I also had my family holiday and work commitments that took away valuable work commitments.

Anyway, this coming August bank holiday weekend, I am part organising a modular railroading meet in my home town.
Fellow NMRA-BR members from the area, aswell as others will join forces and set up a modest modular layout and 'play trains' together.

I've been working on my module ' Wolter Springs' the past weekend, making some repairs, and enhancements.
I've had an electrical issue and also needed to improve the leg height adjustment range. That's now all done.

Further I've been weathering a few of the structures. See included photo. I know on the picture the warehouse looks rather 'stripey', but in real life it is actually not that bad. I will still tone it done with some dust coloured powders to remove some of the starkness (is that a word? ) .

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Peco turnout control system

Here's a youtube introduction video to the new Peco turnout motors and control systems called Smartswitch.
A huge improvement over the old snap type motors.
Smartswitch is a complete set of a control board, screws, mounting brackets and 4 servos.
MFRP is £65,- , but I've seen it advertised at £55,- already, which makes this a very attractive set. Additional servos retail for about £13,95 each at this moment.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Look

I decided to update the look of this blog with one of the new templates provided by Blogger.
I'm sure I could make it look a bit better, but that is something I'll do another day.

The main reason for this update is so that the actual blog column is a bit wider, and is better capable of displaying the newer wide screen and HD Youtube video's, that didn't quite fit in the old design anymore.

I do need to look at the header picture, as it's not wide enough for my liking....

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Adding Posters to a structure wall and more

Here's a nice tutorial of how to add posters to a building wall using just plain printed paper signs.
The usual way of doing this is using decals. This tutorial shows it can be achieved in a simple way.

The product called Mod Podge is available in the UK in Hobbycraft stores, you'd want the matte version which can be purchased in 236ml containers for 4 pounds.

To get you started, here is  a link to some signs, mostly aimed at 50's 60's modelers: Signs

If you let the video play on, there's also a tutorial on building vineyards and scratch building a shed.

Monday, January 20, 2014

scratchbuild supplies

Sometimes it is fun to build something completely from scratch, eventhough 'ready to roll' dominates the market, and not everyone likes (or has the time) to scratchbuild, or kitbash.

Yet from time to time there's something I'd like to try, but it's not always easy to get the parts you need.
Thankfully Model Junction has recognised this too, and they're slowly expanding their range of scratchbuild materials. They've recently added Plastruct, and Evergreen styrene items.

Pay them a visit, order something, and make it worthwhile for them to keep sufficient stock in house, we can all benefit from that, and not having to rely on foreign orders here in the UK.

Model Junction Scratchbuild supplies


I thought I was nearly ready to apply dullcote to the shell and start weathering, but then I discovered something:
 I used the wrong WINGS!

They should be a bit bigger,these are second gen diesel size (low short hood),  looking through my drawers I don't have any in stock, so I've ordered the correct ones.
What confused me is that the illustrations that came with the pack showed these applied to a high hood diesel too... 

I need an eye test...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winter scenery operations

I recently came accross this video. You might be familiar with it. It is filmed on Mike Confalone's Allgash layout.
It shows his very convincing late winter scenery. Looking at it , you can almost feel the near 0 degree temperatures, and makes a nice change from the usual summer grasses and blossoming trees you see so often.
Also nice is the ALCo RS , with a nice engine sound, it made me want a model like that too, beaten up and weathered of course :-)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year

Hello all, I hope you've had a good christmas and wish you a very happy new year.

This new year has started fairly good on the hobby side of things for me.
I've replaced a series of turnouts on my home layout to improve the looks and the performance of the trains.
A mix of Peco and Shinohara was replaced by Code 83 Peco turnouts in US outline, while previously there were European style there too.

Secondly I've been working on one of my locomotive projects , a commuter GP9. I've detailed the shell and have now airbrushed it with a light grey primer. I'm hoping that I can continue painting this weekend.
Here's a picture of it so far:

Another thing I've done is add two more links in the useful links section on the right. One is Clevermodels, which is a site where you can order and download cardstock models and building textures, and the other is a similar website with many freely downloadable textures to print on photo paper etc, also useful for scratchbuilding various buildings. You find this under 'textures for photo modeling'.

Hopefully this is useful for you.

Happy New Year!