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DC Wiring Turntable Roads and Spurs

Ben writes:

“I have the Peco unmotorised turntable on my HO DC layout and am looking for any suggestions on how to wire up the turntable’s spurs/roads so that each track can be turned on as required.

The table itself is connected to the main layout/feeder siding by dropped connecting wires; so one idea I had was doing a similar dropped connection to each spur (almost like a bus wire) with a switch to turn each spur on, however, I figure this would be the best place to get some advice/other ideas. Thanks in advance!”

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Mixing Turnouts

Patrick asks:

“Can I mix turnout brands eg. Walthers with Peco?”

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Why Add Foam Insulation on Top of Plywood?

Roger models in N scale and asks:

“I am going to use cork under my track, but have noticed that foam insulation is commonly added on top of the plywood base. I know it adds some height but why not just place the scenery/landscape directly on top of the plywood? Why not just attach (glue or nails is a whole different topic ) the track and landscape directly to the plywood? What’s the advantage of adding the layer of insulation?”

Share your comments for everyone to see below.

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Young Model Maker Attempts His First Model


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Liliput 4-6-4 Tank Locomotive

Barry asks:

“I have just acquired an HO s/h Liliput 4-6-4 Tank loco and need to replace the bogie and pony wheels and the driving wheels. I am in Australia and so far I have not been able to locate a local source so I am hoping that someone on this blog can help or point me in the right direction.”

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Non-Powered Deisel Locomotive for Display

Gary asks:

“How interchangeable are locomotive shells? I would like to set up a small O gauge train for display only and I really hate to use and pay for, a working locomotive. I would prefer using a nonpowered locomotive. If I get a nonpowered locomotive, can I use a shell from a powered locomotive?”

Contribute your comments below.

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Lighting To Indicate Switching

Henry writes:

“My HO layout is 30 ft long with some turnouts at the far end going to a staging yard. Can I set up some type of lights that can tell me what way the switch is turned? I am using Digitrax DCC My turnouts are controlled with Atlas turnout switches. Or is there some other way that I can tell the direction of the turnout from distance?”

You are welcome to comment (and view answers) below.

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Turnouts and Track Feeder Wires

Juergen models N scale and asks:

“My turnouts when thrown kill the power to tracks past that turnout and when I throw it back power on to tracks feeder wires on both sides of the turnout is strange. What is going on?”

Please add your thoughts below if you are able to help Juergen.

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Displaying Locos With Lights and Sounds

Steve asks:

“I don’t have space for a staging yard, so I thought I will display some locomotives on shelves directly above my layout. Then I had a brainwave to lay some track on each shelf and wire each so that I can demonstrate the working lights and sounds without having the locos move. Is there an easy way to do this? Appreciate your input thank you.”

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Watch How To Make Bus and Trackside Shelters

The plans for these bus/trackside shelters can be purchased separately or as part of a package deal. You can construct as many shelters as you require from just one download… there is no need to buy a separate download for each shelter you build. https://www.modelbuildings.org/more-building-plans-pack-deal

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Conversion To RC

Ben asks readers:

“I want to convert my O scale locos to RC. What am I up against? I have a G scale that loco was just converted.”

You are welcome to submit your thoughts below.

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Loco Stopping and Starting at Slow Speeds

Rex models HO and writes:

“I just put a new Walthers Mainline F7B unit with a Sound Value Diesel Walthers Mainline Decoder on the track. It works fine going forward. In reverse at slow speeds, it will lose power (no sound) and stop but, in most cases, immediately start up again. This can happen 2 or 3 times while moving 12 inches. It does not stop while running at mid-range speeds and higher. Nothing changed after cleaning the track. I tried jiggling the wires but could not find a cause and effect. Usually, I don’t have time to reach the engine. Any ideas?”

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Peter Reveals New Extension To His Old Layout

Regular contributor Peter Field from South Africa shares these photos and writes –

In October/November 2021, I noticed that the original board on my layout was starting to warp due to its age being +-25years old. A decision was made to replace the old board with a new one and duly stripped off all buildings and track work from the original board and stored everything in boxes.

I duly bought a new board (shutter board) which was 244 x 200cm and had it cut to 2.0 x 2.0m which was mounted diagonally to the existing boards and was duly mounted to the steel frame once that was done I was ready to start the rebuild of the board.

First I measured the size of the town on the board and then marked out the roads and then replaced the buildings as I had planned on the board. As each building went up I duly electrified each building.

Last but not least I started to lay down the trackwork and the points. Once everything was completed, I checked the layout for problems concerning the operation of the trains to make sure they ran smoothly. This new layout took me 2 months to build and assemble and electrify.

As previously mentioned this layout represents the South African railways in the early 1960s to the late 2000s when steam diesel and electric all worked in tandem with each other.

These three photographs show the layout under construction and as it is now.

If you have a photo or story to share with readers, you can make contact with the Blog Moderator by sending details using the Ask A Question link below.

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Toxicity of Model Making Paints and Products

Murph writes:

“I am a 70 yr old man who has multiple health issues including COPD, Lupas. I have a real desire to model a portion of the LTV Steel mill in Cleveland, Ohio, where I worked for 40+ years. Two problems. I haven’t modeled anything since I was 15. I bought a small paint booth and plan on other precautions but would like comments from those who have already used model-making products, adhesives, and paints.”

Obviously, Murph will need to make his own decisions based on his personal medical condition and circumstances, but readers might like to add details from their own experiences below.

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Layout Height

Paul asks:

“My HO layout is 44 inches high. People have to bend over to look at buildings etc. I’m currently raising it another 4 inches. I’m wondering what height do most of you use on your layouts?”

Add (or view) answers below.

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6 Axle Locomotives Operating with Long Cars

Michael writes:

“I plan for a 6 x 4 Bachmann EZ track setup and want to operate 6 axle locos with longer cars. Would 22” curves suffice, or would I need 24”? What’s the view?”

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Power Problems With Atlas Crossing

Ian writes:

“I have a bit of a power problem with my Atlas 45 degree crossing. I have soldered the connections also with the addition of a power supply for each rail in the middle of the crossing. Despite this, my engines stall at the crossing. Is there a fix?”

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