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FREE Scale Converter Sizing Tool For Converting Real and Scale Model Sizes

The online calculator is totally free to use and is perfect for converting from model railroad scales to the full real-world size of structures and trains.

Access the free scale model conversion calculator from the Railroad Resources link in the top Navigation Bar at https://www.modelbuildings.org

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Is Rail Pro Worth Considering?

Klaas writes:

“My kids tell me to do what I have been dreaming of for a long time, building a HO model modular railroad. My kids surprised me with a gift of a locomotive. I want to build in modules so I can move the layout out of the house if needed. I have read a lot about Rail Pro by Ring Engineering, and it looks like something I might like to use as on their website information it claims you can also run DCC on their system. What is your opinion, what are the Con’s and Pro’s of both Rail Pro and a DCC system? Do people prefer other systems?”

Add your comments (suggestions/opinions) below.

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Hornby R8072 Point Problem

Bruce asks:

“Hi, when I move my Hornby R8072 point to switch trains to my extension track the train slows and usually stops. Any ideas?”

Add your comments and see the answers below.

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Removing Oxidized Greenish Stuff From Trucks

Jeremy writes:

“I dug out an old Mallard engine that belonged to my late uncle. The front nose if that’s what it’s called looks very sleek a bit like the modern bullet trains. Very different from most engines I think. I don’t have a track to test it on but would like to remove the greenish oxidized stuff on the trucks. I’m hoping it is only surface damage. How do I remove the oxidization without causing damage?”

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Replacing Plastic Wheels and Plastic Couplers

Bendt seeks your help:

“Hi, I got a cheap job lot of old wagons, tank cars etc at a garage sale. The problem is being attached to the trucks they mostly have snap-in plastic wheels and plastic horn couplers. I tried converting one car but it was very fiddly. Am I wasting my time trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Should I just start over with new cars? Thoughts appreciated.”

Write and view COMMENTS below.

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Which DCC System Is Best?

Darryl is hoping for suggestions:

“I am about to embark on my first model railway journey and not sure where it will take me, but I know it will be DCC. What systems do you recommend that are for starting off and expandable for the future? I want something reliable too. Thanks in advance.”

Share your thoughts, experiences, and opinions with Darryl using the COMMENTS link below.

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Another HOW TO Video to Share – Building a Grain Elevator and Hopper Loading Shed

This short sped up 3-minute tutorial demonstrates how to build a Farmers Co-op pool elevator in OO scale. The same model can also be made to HO scale, or N scale although it will be easier using card instead of corflute if you are building to the smaller N scale sizing.

To download the plans for this tall grain elevator and hopper loading facility, simply select from the OO / HO, N scale size options at the checkout. https://www.modelbuildings.org/grain-elevator-farms-structures-train-models/

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Making Your Own Bridges or Viaducts for Model Train Layouts

There are several ways to build bridges and viaducts for model train layouts. This tutorial walks you step by step through the building of a paper model bridge that was constructed from corflute and cardboard. Building bridges using this method has several advantages apart from being able to quickly download the plans to your computer saving on postage. The color paper plans are like photos so the model builder doesn’t need to be skilled at airbrushing to achieve an incredibly realistic effect. The plans even have life-like details like graffiti on the brickwork.

The plans can easily be adapted in many ways so, for example, tunnels can be made as single portals or double portals for two tracks. The tunnels can even be closed off thereby turning a tunnel into a sealed brick archway. The tunnel portals or arches can be constructed in different shapes and textures.

And, most importantly the bridge can easily be lengthened or made wider, to suit the individual layout. Just one set of plans needs to be purchased and if you make a mistake or want to extend the bridge length or width, it is a simple case of printing out another copy. This demonstration constructs the plan to OO scale, however, the bridge plans can be made to HO scale (87% of OO), or built to N scale.

To download these plans, simply select from the OO / HO, N scale size options at the checkout. https://www.modelbuildings.org/bridges-and-tunnels-pack-deal-c/

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Best Way to Increase Size of Layout

William writes:

I currently have a small N scale layout of 2 feet by 3 feet. What would be the easiest way to expand onto another larger board? I was thinking of maybe building a flyway on trestles onto the new board. Might something like this work?”

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Cardiff Model Railway Show January 2020

Byron shared this photo from the Cardiff Model Railway Show in the UK earlier this year.

Cardiff Model Railway Show 2020

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Running Trains With Larger Wheel Flanges

John L posted this question and is hoping for some help:

“I have a layout which accepted the larger flange on the older models but basically will not look at the finer standards. Should all the track be level horizontally, or should there be some superelevation? The wheel profile should ?? get the train around the curves?”

Add your comment below.

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Securing Kato Track in Place

Joseph asks readers:

“I need some help with product screws for securing my N scale Kato track. I don’t want to use glue or nails because somewhere down the line if I want to change the layout screws it will be a lot easier. I tried some but the head interferes with the height of the rail and the bottom of trains hit them. Any thoughts?”

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Can I Leave My Digitrax DCC Controller Switched on 24/7?

Victor asks readers:

I have a Digitrax DCS 52 controller without a power switch, but it does have a track power switch . I’m in the habit of unplugging the power cable from the controller after each session, but I have forgotten a couple of times. I am nervous leaving it on over night. Does anyone leave their controller plugged in all the time? Can I just switch off the power to the track when not in use?

Contribute your opinions and answers below using the COMMENTS link.

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Printable Paper Models Made From Corflute, Cardboard, and/or Foam Board

Watch how to make this industrial backdrop building from foam board and cardboard. You can also use corflute. This demonstration makes the plan to OO scale, but the plans can also be constructed to HO scale (87% the size of OO), or to N scale. The buildings in this series are particularly tall and are designed for positioning against the backdrop on a railroad layout with model trains in the foreground.

If you would like to download these plans, simply select from the OO/HO, N scale options at the checkout. https://www.modelbuildings.org/tall-warehouses-pack-deal

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Construct This Impressively Realistic Scale Model Industrial Railway Background Building From Paper, Card, and Corflute (or Foam Board)

This short tutorial demonstrates the making of a tall background industrial building. The download plans can be built to HO scale, OO scale, or to N scale.

You can download plans to construct this industrial background building for your HO scale, N scale, or OO scale railway here https://www.modelbuildings.org/tall-warehouses-pack-deal

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N-Scale Modular Model Railroading – The Options

N Scale Modular Track for Model RailroadsIf you are interested in working with N scale modules, then I want to refer you to an article you will find informative. It discusses the options starting with N-Trak which dates back to the early 1970s and since then there have been some changes to the original system. It then goes on to talk about One-Trak which is basically an offshoot of N-Trak standards utilizing the same size modules and electrical wiring setups. T-Trak is a simple module system using Kato sectional Unitrak. The difference in Modutrak is also discussed in this article on N-scale modular techniques. The article then explains how Free-MoN is different again. Finally, the article touches on BendTrak which has a somewhat similar physical standard to N-Trak with some differences. Worth a read if you are interested. Here is the link N-Scale Modular Model Railroading

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Tutorial Constructing A Fire Station Scale Model

In this tutorial we see how a fire station scale model is constructed in OO scale. The plans can also be built to HO scale, or N scale.

Download plans for this fire station model https://www.modelbuildings.org/fire-department-ambulance-police-station-models/

There is also a city fire station that can be constructed as a background building https://www.modelbuildings.org/city-series/

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Efficient Use Of Space

Paul from the UK sent in this great photo and writes:

“Thank you for making me aware of the support that is out there! I’m slowly getting there, all this has been built out of scrap wood!”UK loft train layout

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