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Make Your Own Realistic Retro Model Buildings

What Is The Correct Height For A Station Platform?

Max seeks help:

I am modelling German N gauge and wonder what height platforms should be as in Germany there seem to be varying heights?”

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Plaster Crumbling on Rails Inside Tunnel

Glenn sent in this question:

“My late father built his railroad over about 20 years and it is sill set up in the garage and me and my 2 boys get to use it. I am trying to learn some technical stuff for when something goes wrong. When we visited last weekend we noticed some tiny flakes of plaster inside the tunnel. It is old and I think the problem will get worse. I can get my hand inside the tunnel thru the secret door thingy. What should I do to stop more plaster falling?”

View the comments below, or post your own comments or suggestions to help Glenn.

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Confused Selecting Feeder and Buss Wires and Suitcase Connectors

Anthony needs help from experienced railroaders:

“I’m underway with my new HO setup. I will have a couple of runs of over 50ft. I don’t want to soldier direct to the rails unless I absolutely need too. I read that suitcase connectors are the way to go but I’m unsure what feeder and buss wires to use and the color connectors to use?”

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Make 13 High-Quality, Super-Realistic Old West Town Structures That You Can Be Proud Of Displaying (Even If You Have Never Downloaded, Printed, And Constructed Your Own Model Buildings Before)

The old wild west US frontier conjures up all kinds of fantasies and wonderful memories of viewing cowboy movies starring the likes of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, or watching memorable TV series including: Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Virginian, The High Chaparral, Rawhide, Laramie, Little House on the Prairie, Walker Texas Ranger, The Big Valley, How the West Was Won, Maverick, Daniel Boone, The Lone Ranger, Alias Smith and Jones, F Troop, Hopalong Cassidy, The Roy Rogers Show, and even The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin to mention some of the many popular old western series on television viewed worldwide. Phew! That’s a long list and goes a long way to explaining why tales of gunslingers striding down the middle of a muddy or dusty street, dispatching rival outlaws with a bullet from their holstered side arm, encompasses the old wild western legend most of us “oldies” have come to remember. It is understandably a reason why choosing to model old wild western town structures on a scale model railroad has capivating appeal for baby-boomer model railroading enthusiasts.

Now, thanks to https://www.modelbuildings.org there is a expanding library of downloadable model plans displaying old wild western buildings such as a sheriffs office, saloons, Bank, telegraph office, blacksmiths, church, dry goods store, hotel, general store, gun smith, barbers shop, stage depot, and school house. The old wild west town models in this series nicely complement the interesting range of mining town structures also available as downloadable models.

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Correct Power For Lights & Accessories

Kirk asks:

“I am just beginning to build a small [3′ x 7′] HO layout and I plan on having quite a few lights and accessories that will require a power source. What would be the best power source, and what voltage/ amperage would be required? I know that I may need to use resistors also. Thank you much for any suggestions you can lend.”

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Temperature For Soldering Feeder Wires?

Brian models HO and has this question:

“I always used a large Weller soldering gun. My birthday present was a soldering station with a variable temperature iron. The question is what temperature should I be using for soldering feeder wires to HO code 83 nickel silver track?”

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N Scale Bachmann

Roberto wants to model N scale and asks readers:

“I want to start laying a small track within a space of 24″x48″ I bought Bachmann tracks and wish to form a layout using these tracks. Someone could help me providing with some layout plans showing the tracks identification please?”

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Turnout Confusion

George a newcomer to N scale poses these questions:

“I have a simple oval layout with two turnouts, both Kato #6 ( 1 ea. Left (R718-15^) and 1ea. Right (R718-15^)). The turnouts provide switching to an inside partial oval that parallels portions of straight sections in the middle of the oval, and the arcing section of the oval at only one end.

The problem I have is this:

1) If I throw both turnouts from the straight to switched position in preparation of my train accessing in the ‘inside’ leg, there is no power on my mainline and the train comes to a stop.

2) If I throw the first turnout (the #6 Left) to the switched position by itself to get the train onto the inside leg, I then have to throw it back to the straight position while simultaneously throwing the second turnout (the #6 Right) from the straight position to the switched position to get the train back onto the mainline.

3) There is no way to set the two switches so the train runs continually from the mainline to the inside leg without manipulating these turnouts as I’ve described.

I just started in this hobby a couple of weeks ago, so my ignorance is profound! But you see, I have a grandson ‘on the spectrum’ who is fascinated by trains and who I hoped would enjoy running trains with me, but this switching scheme is a frustration to him when he attempts to run the train.

Is there a remedy?”

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Stoneridge Creek Retirement Facility Display

Eugene sent in this photo to share.

San Francisco and East Bay RR. (SF&EB RR) in the Stoneridge Creek Retirement Facility in Pleasanton California. Four gauges – BART (Bay AreaRapid Transit), HO, Z and Tiny.

Stoneridge Creek Retirement Facility

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Unsure of Train Scale and Model

Umbra asks readers:

“So my grandpa passed away a few years ago and one of the many items I received from his collection was a model train. It had 3 pieces of track, 1 Santa Fe locomotive, 1 Santa Fe Shipping car and 1 Union Pacific Coal car both cars being an almost brownish red. Up until now I’d been using them as display pieces but I’ve gotten more into model trains and would like to get them running. Only problem is I don’t know the scale or name of the train. He’d probably own it for years before I got it so there’s no box or instructions for me to check. At first I thought it was a Santa Fe F7 Warbonnet but the fans atop the train are bunched up at the rear of the train and not alligned in the middle, I’m almost 100% sure it’s O scale but I could be wrong. If someone could help me figure out what the train’s called it would help me a lot.”

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Merry Christmas To Everyone!

Share a photo of your Christmas train display. Simply click on the COMMENTS below and upload your photo.

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Derailment at Point on Curve

Richo who models HO would like suggestions:

“My loco has a habit of coming of the track at a point on the beginning of a curve. It doesn’t derail anywhere else. I ran my eye over the track and it looks okay. What else should I try please?”

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Using Automatic Transmission Fluid on Trains and Track?

Kerry shares this question and is hoping for answers:

“A friend swears by using automatic transmission fluid on his tracks to reduce the need to clean his rails and for better conductivity. He runs long trains and says there is no loss in traction. He only uses a thin coating of ATF. I am still a bit hesitant to use it because I know ATF can dissolve paint. If it gets on my locos or rolling stock, even from fingerprints, I still think it could damage the paintwork. He doesn’t use it to lube his gears, but he does know someone who uses plastic compatible ATF for that purpose. I would be concerned of the effects if a loco sat around unused for long periods. Am I worrying about nothing?”

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TUTORIAL – Making Scale Model Shipping Containers For A Model Railroad

Making scale model shipping containers that actually look like mini versions of real-world giant 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft sea containers has never been easier. These 40 designs are exceptionally realistic (complete with rust from sea spray) and some even have refrigeration motors depicted on the ends. The best thing is; they don’t look like graphic color drawings. The photographic style imaging means these models actually look like real sea containers. These scale model shipping containers are perfect for positioning on flat cars, trucks, near industries, ports, and rail yards on OO gauge, N scale, and HO scale model railroads.

Plans for scale model shipping containers – click here

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Which Sound Decoders Are Best?

Richard S who models HO wants to hear opinions on decoder types:

“I notice that sound decoders seem at least triple the cost of non sound. Are they worth it, and which are the best to buy?”

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Are Track Screws Better Than Nails and/or Glue?

Kris would like to know what others think:

“In another week or so I will be ready to fix down my HO track. I saw several bulk packs of track screws for ho, n, z scale on Amazon and eBay. Prices varied, but around $15 seems average for 1000. Before I buy screws, nails or glue I thought I would see what others who have used screws or nails have to say. I suspect that screws, although very tiny, could be easier to remove than nails and glue? I could be wrong. What do others recommend?”

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NEW DESIGNS! How To Make Realistic Model Houses

New house designs add to the already wide range of downloadable plans.

Scale model house plans – click here

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Will Changing My Track Code Reduce Problems?

Mal asks readers:

“I have code 83 and use transition joiners to match code 100 turnouts. I have a couple of older trains which seem more problematic than my newer ones. The problems happen mainly on the code 83. Is this a common problem? Should I replace the code 83?”

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