Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

Advice Painting Plastic Model Structures

Steve models N scale and asks:

“I am assembling a Walthers Santa Fe Station for my layout and I do not like the pre-colored molded parts. The building has brick textured walls with indented grout joints. I am thinking I need to paint the walls with a realistic brick color and let dry. Then paint a lighter color on the walls, rubbing off of the brick surface. This should leave the paint in the grout joints. Am I on the right track? Any advise as to type of paint?”

Contribute your comments below.

3 comments  Ask A Question

Mixing Code 80 and Code 55 Track

Justin models N scale and asks:

“I have started my layout using code 80 but thought of using some code 55 on the spurs. Could I encounter issues doing this?”

Post your comments or suggestions under this post… and read what others have to say too!

5 comments  Ask A Question

Engine Fetish

Russell writes:

“I have to admit that I have a bit of a fetish for buying new engines. I already have far more than I realistically need on my N scale layout (I’m too embarrassed to say how many). Am I the only one with this predilection? Please tell me I’m not alone?”

Add you comment under this post.

10 comments  Ask A Question

How To Make This 5-Piece Background Structure Tutorial 1 Step By Step

This background structure is interesting because it has different dimensions to it. It can be made to HO scale, OO, S,, or N scale. To see this and the other 5 buildings in this series go to


Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Insulated Track Use

Dan models O scale and writes:

“Can insulated track be used for accessories using 154c contactors? If so, how do I wire a 2324 Switch Tower Building using insulated track pieces?Thanks.”

Comment below this post.

2 comments  Ask A Question

Track Confusion

Bill asks: “What does the numbers of the turnout mean?”

Add your comments under this post.

1 comment  Ask A Question

How Many Cars Can An Engine Pull

Bill asks:

“Hi there just wondering, I don’t have a big layout so am not in any position to set any records, but I am kinda curious of how many cars can be pulled around a big layout with one or more engines. Has anyone put this to the test or set any records? If so how many cars, scale, how many engines deployed, and what model numbers, any gradient and curves etc? I doubt I would be the only one who finds this stuff fascinating?”

You can contribute your comments under this post.

7 comments  Ask A Question

Running Tsunami-Equipped Locomotives With Digitrax Controller

Geoff asks:

“My tsunami-equipped engines seem to run faster than the others at the same throttle setting. How can I get the faster HO engines to run closer to a scale speed on the same setting? I have a Digitrax throttle and You are correct I don’t generally run it any faster than on half throttle.”

You can add a comment or read the comments and suggestions below.

4 comments  Ask A Question

28 Authentic Wild West & Mining Town Plans To Download and Construct For Your Model Railroad Layout

Download plans at https://www.modelbuildings.org/wildwest-mining/

Click To Add A Comment  Ask A Question

Plastic Safe Lubricants For Model Trains

Ananda writes:

“I have a few older Hornby locomotives and some old Marklin locos and would like to know if there is a plastic safe lubricant that can be used on the motor bearings that will not damage any plastic gears if it gets on them by accident. Thanks for any help.”

You can add your comments under this post

6 comments  Ask A Question

How To Measure Rails For Curve Radius

Jim writes:

“Here is an interesting question to ponder. Where is track measured?? At the outer rail, the outer point of the ties or the center of the two rails? I put together a full circle of 18″ radius track to answer a track planning question. The full circle assembled – I measured the diameter – the outer rail to outer rail was roughly 34 inches. Ergo the question of where track is measured to acquire the radius of a curve.”

Add your comment below.

5 comments  Ask A Question

Atlas MP 15 Switcher

Reader Robert asks:

“I have an HO Atlas MP 15 switcher that stops & starts & jerks a lot (sounds like the rest of the family). I have been told it has aluminum pox and is disintegrating. Has anyone found a cure for this or know where I can get a new frame?”

Comment below.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Long Mainlines

Jeremy writes:

“I have a small N scale setup in my garage which I have outgrown. My brother and I have been considering the possibility of constructing a much larger layout at the back of an auto storage warehouse we jointly own. Space is not an issue so a 60-foot mainline would not be out of the question. We are both keen to operate long coal trains with possibly 100+ cars. Has anyone done it? Any tips before we get started? Thank you in advance.”

Add (and view) comments below.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Run-Down (Maybe Abandoned) Buildings To Make And Position Behind Your Railroad Tracks

One of these models has be ravaged by fire and the others have certainly seen better days. It is the kind of reason that is impossible to replicate in plastic. The background buildings in this series can be made to HO scale, OO, or N scale size and the plans are now available for download at https://www.modelbuildings.org/background-buildings

1 comment  Ask A Question

Athearn Genesis fef-3 Wiring Diagram

Troy models in HO scale and writes:

“Hello, I’m looking for a wiring diagram for a Athearn Genesis fef-3. I’m wanting to use the factory wiring and plug between locomotive and the tender. The board in the tender is really what I need for wiring diagram. The wires are color coded but I just don’t know where they go. Thank you.”

1 comment  Ask A Question

Train Engine Repair

Ralph models O scale and writes:

“I have two engines, a K Line Amtrak and a Lionel Challenger. Both need new electronic boards and my repair shop has had the engines for almost year and can’t get the parts. Any suggestions on how to get the parts?”

3 comments  Ask A Question

TT:120 Scale Size Compared to HO, OO, N Scale

John writes:

“Hornby have recently introduced a new range of model trains in the UK. HO Gauge track is 16.5mm, N Gauge track is 9mm and TT:120 track is 12.0mm. It is an exact true scale. What ratio would I have to set my printer up to so as to print regular OO scale or N scale drawings off to suit TT:120 gauge? Thanks”

7 comments  Ask A Question

Bizarre Running of Train

Mike writes:

“A short while ago I left a turnout open and a locomotive that was running ended up stationary against a parked locomotive. This lasted for only a few seconds before I got to the locomotive and lifted it of the track.

However, it has not run properly since. When you select the locomotive and move the throttle the motor will hum but it does not move until the throttle has been moved to full. Even then the locomotive still does not move for some 5 or 6 seconds when it will very slowly start to move reaching full speed in 6 to 8 seconds. What is the problem please?”

You can add and view comments below.

4 comments  Ask A Question

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Download Your Free Catalog

Model Train DCC HELP


Model Train Help Ebook


FREE Tour Inside Club

Take a FREE tour inside the club.

Scenery Techniques Explained

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.