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9 Impressive Scale Model Houses To Download and Build

Replacing E 7 Trucks

Rick B asks:

“I am at a LOSS as to how to replace (swap out) new trucks for my HO Like Like, Proto 2000 locomotive. I bought it on the web, and the trucks were totally dissembled. The gent at Walthers sent me some replacements, but the instructions he gave me, ….well clear as mud. Help wanted.”

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DCC – Using a Circuit Breaker for the Program Track

Geoff writes:

“My scale is 009 – UK version of HO narrow gauge and my question, for those of you using DCC, do you have a circuit breaker or other sort of overload protection for the program track?

I’m thinking it would be a good idea because the command station is putting out full power until you select program mode, and I understand you are supposed to have the engine on the track when you switch the power on. Also, I’m planning on converting some DC chassis and it’s possible I could wire something up wrong!”

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Bowser C-626 Locomotive

John writes:

“I have HO, DC only and I just added a new Alco C-628 from Bowser. Beautiful engine, ran perfect for 2 days, but then all of a sudden I lost forward mode, lights function in front only when in reverse, no lights in front. Still ran perfect in reverse. Next day, reverse worked again, but now, only the back lights work, and no front lights at all. I noticed that the motor felt warm, and possible slight odor. Could this be an out of the box lubrication issue? Operation is still smooth in forward and reverse, not warm, no odor, but no lights in front. Appreciate any insight.”

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Atlas # 6 Turnouts and Intermittent Stalling at Different Points

Dave B asks:

“I do have stall problems on my Atlas # 6 turnouts. I do understand that shot wheelbase shifters have issues sometimes but my 2 truck GP’s have issues with them also. I RUN DCC, DIGITRAX.

Additionally, I started to have intermittent stalling at different points on my layout with my GP’s and not all at the same place. Sometimes it happens after they stalled at the turnouts. I’ll take on any suggestions!”

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DCC With Existing Block Wiring

Grantley asks:

“I’m old school and my layout is already wired in a block system so I’m curious about changing to DCC with regards power and running buss wires under the tracks etc. Advice please before I take the plunge?”

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NCE Power Cab

Alvin models in N scale and asks readers:

“I followed some complicated DCC programming instructions for a loco that worked perfectly. Now it doesn’t work at all. Q. How do I get it back to the factory settings?”

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Track Switch Problems

Graham asks readers:

“Some of my cars and 2 locos have occasional problems on my newest track switches. Is this a common problem?”

Add your feedback below.

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First Build For HO Switching Layout

More photos kindly supplied by John Reitz. Says John “These buildings are the first build of your products for my HO switching layout. And I am very pleased with how they look. Much more detail needs to be added for interest. I really like the weathered look the structures have. Saves time and money for painting.”

John has cleverly added his own personal touches to some of these buildings such as leaving a couple of roller doors open and adding the numbers above them on plan 494. I’m sure you’ll agree that John has done a great job and has made a good start on his switching layout. Well done John!

handmade scale models ho switching layout

More photos below.

These plans can be downloaded at https://www.modelbuildings.org/background-buildings

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Making A Curved Backdrop

Darren asks:

“My space allows for a curved backdrop which I will paint with the sky, clouds, and some foliage. I will also put some greenery directly in front to hide the vertical to horizontal join. I thought of using a heavy-duty bendable cardstock to avoid having joins showing, and it would need to be about 3ft high. Does anyone know where I can get a big roll of suitable cardstock, or would it be better to use a different material?”

Add your thoughts below.

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John Shows How He Achieved A Bigger Industrial Footprint On His N Scale Inglenook Shunting Layout

John Reitz kindly sent in this photo of some Rail Freight industrial buildings he adapted for his N Scale Inglenook Shunting Layout. Says John, “The white buildings were printed out to make a four-sided structure to go along with the regular construction plan. I wanted to have a bigger industrial footprint. Very enjoyable building these.”

rail freight scale models

The white buildings John refers to are made from plan 546 available at https://www.modelbuildings.org/rail-yard-warehouses-pack-deal The plan comprises several buildings that can be arranged in various configurations (see video below) to suit individual layout designs. John cleverly printed out some extra texture to convert the tall white building (right of center in the photo) from a backdrop low relief structure to a four-sided model.

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Kadee Couplers for PRR EMD E7 Diesel Engine 5772

Jim models HO scale and asks:

“I am hoping that someone either knows how to change from the old horn/hook couplers to Kadees on a Model Power HO Scale Pennsylvania PRR EMD E7 Diesel Engine # 5772.”

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Size Resistor for 3V LED Lamps

David asks:

“I have 10 lamps, each is a 3V LED lamp. My transformer measures 15V AC output on the accessory terminals. I don’t know the output current, but I assume it’s plenty to run these lamps. What size resistors do I need and how do I hook them up with the lamps?”

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Engine Won’t Move and Light just Flickers

Roger posted his O gauge model 8644 question:

“I was pulling 11 cars yesterday and today the engine just sits there and the light flickers on and off, pulsating trying to move. I’m thinking I shorted it out. I ran other engines on the track to be sure the track is good. Thanks.”

Add your suggestions and read the comments below.

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DCC Sound Volume Controls

Geoff asks readers:

“When you buy a loco with DCC and Sound equipped is the sound volume adjustable to set the level to increase when the engine’s speed increases. I don’t want loud noise at the same time from multiple engines on the track.”

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My Railroad Without Scenery

Phil models HO and writes:

“My main interest is in the technical aspect of the hobby and I built my own control panel. The problem, a perceived problem, is my layout still doesn’t have ballast let alone a tree. I know I should make a start on the scenery, but it really doesn’t interest me. I’m almost too embarrassed to let non-railway people see my layout because their eyes gloss over when I start talking about Arduino, switching, and tech stuff. Their first question is always along the lines of, when are you going to add some trees and animals? I know it’s my layout, but I feel I should make the effort. Can someone reassure me I am not the only total geek in the hobby?”

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Mixing HO and N scale To Add Distance?

Gerry asks readers:

“I have a small 30inch wide x 16inch deep space quite a bit behind my HO track that I want to bring into use independently of my main layout. It could be used for staging or some yard ops… very limited. I can access it easily from the side. Your thoughts on using N scale trains and structures to give the sense of that area being further away. I presume others have done this type of thing?”

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8 Pin or 21 Pin DCC Equipped?

Reg asks:

“Can someone tell me the difference in functions of 8 pin and 21 pin sockets? I’m trying to get my head around DCC and am not sure if all locos should operate with the same accessories? Would 21 pin be better?”

Have your suggestions published below.

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Identify The Engine in Murder on the Orient Express Movie

Andrew posts:

“I heard there were some USA built steam engines operating in France after WW2, which made me curious as to the type of loco used in the 2017 movie version of Murder on the Orient Express. It looks unusual. Does anyone know more what type it is?”

Murder on the Orient Express steam engine

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