Building your Model Railroad
New or updated pages, additions, pictures, comments, article reviews and new techniques relating to building model railroads.
Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago
Tracks is a newsletter published monthly by Building Your Model Railroad containing tips, techniques, news, photos and videos of interest to model railroaders.
Small projects - Sometimes working on a big layout can be overwhelming. You begin to think that you'll never get it looking decent. It starts becoming a chore rather than fun. If this happens to you, try breaking up the big project into little ones. Just work on one thing or one scene at a time. If you get that one scene done so that everything works well and looks good in that area, then you will feel like you've accomplished something, and you will be more encouraged to go on with the next scene. Or break away from the big layout altogether for a while and do a much smaller project like a simple coffee table layout or a seasonal diorama. You may want to try your hand at a micro-mini layout. Or go an a rail-fanning trip and take a bunch of pictures. This will stimulate you to get back to your layout and perhaps try to emulate what you've seen using your new pictures as reference photos. There are so many things to do as part of this hobby, it's mind-boggling. (Re-posted from BYMRR Newsletter, Feb. 2011.)
This is our online general hobby store owned by BYMRR - starting with trains and expanding to other hobbies over time.
Incandescent bulbs can take either AC or DC power. If you use less voltage to power the bulb than what the bulb is rated for, you will have a much more natural light and it will last a lot longer (i.e., Use a 6-10 volt power supply for a 12V bulb) LEDs (Light-emitting diodes), on the other hand, require DC only. They have to be connected in the right direction with the longer LED being attached to the + terminal of the power supply and the short lead (flat side of the LED) connected to the – terminal. An LED must have a resistor attached in series with one of the leads or it won't last very long. Most LEDs operate at a max of 2V and 20mA. If you’re using a 12V power supply, then you will need a 560ohm ¼ watt resistor. If your LED has a different rating, the math is as follows: (Power voltage minus LED voltage) divided by (LED current in Amps) = Resistor value in Ohms. Resistors often don't come in the exact size that you need so choose the resistor that has the next highest value. For example, if you need a 500ohm ¼ watt resistor, choose the next highest which is 560. ("Very Basic Electronics", by Bob Kendall, N-Scale, March-April, 2011, p45)
Despite these difficult times, we need to maintain our sense of humor and add some comic relief to our lives. Add some fun to your layout. There are lots of ways to do this. If your layout is freelanced, you can make up a funny story about how your railroad got started, frame it and post it in your train room. There are a number of humorous train signs that can be purchased and hung in your room as well. Create funny labels for your buildings and industries. Make hilarious billboards, or scenes of people being people, like arguing with police for getting a ticket, or farm crops full of cotton swabs, or add a few dinosaurs peeking out from behind buildings. Add sounds of a train wreck occurring just as a locomotive goes around a hidden bend. Add a car wreck scene. Consider a scene with a bunch of city workers standing around looking at a manhole cover. Take pictures of a lady tied to the tracks with a villain standing by. Use your imagination. Get your family to give you some ideas. They will enjoy watching your scene develop.
Extra scale modeling tips and techniques to help with building your own railroad!
The following links are two of my latest projects. I have a fire station with a burning building, moving fire trucks and guys coming down the fire pole.
All the newest information about model railroading in the Building Your Model Railroad Twitter Feed
How to lay model railroad track
How to make a model railroad backdrop.
Tracks #7 - The BYMRR newsletter for model railroaders - news, tips, techniques, pics and vids, and more
Looking for someone to make a special product or structure for your layout that you can't find anywhere else? Send your picture or drawing to John and he'll make it for you at a great price...
This new woodburning-soldering multipurpose tool by Chandler would be a great addition to your model railroading tool collection
We've recently completed modeling the Monon Depot in Lafayette, Indiana. Someone mentioned to me that the main part of it looked like a bank, so I lopped
This issue of Tracks-006 contains a ton of new tips, pics and videos all about model railroading.
Another great Lionel product, used but in very good condition. O Scale hopper obtained from Mike Basto's antique train collection. Not sure when this
This is a used O scale railcar made by Lionel. It is in very good condition. Would like to get $15 for it which includes shipping. Send me an email if
This is a product review of the Chandler Heat Gun.