Tracks-5-23 -- Model Railroading Newsletter
Articles in This Issue:
Dieter's Trains - G Scale
Building a Z Scale Layout
Installing a Sound Decoder in an HO Steam Engine
Create a Pond for Your Layout
Wiring a Red-Green Signal and Turnout
How to Make HO Scale Tall Timber Trees
What Are "GEEP" Locomotives?
What Kind of Locomotives Does Amtrak Use?
More Great Videos - All Scales
WELCOME to the May 2023 issue of Tracks - a monthly newsletter published by Building Your Model Railroad, devoted to providing breaking news and tips to model railroaders of all ages and all gauges in a quick and easy-to-read format. Resources are always credited where appropriate.
Here is another episode of "Dieter's Trains". Dieter is a great friend, but also an avid G scale model railroader with the biggest G scale layout I have ever seen. His railroad is inside a huge warehouse that he bought for just this purpose. He personally built hundreds of houses for this layout - in fact all of the houses you see here. He included many very interesting scenes, but you have to look carefully or you will miss some of them. There is definitely a German flavor to many of the scenes because of course he grew up there. Looking at this detailed scenery, you really get an idea of the culture of family life there over the past few decades. All I can say is, this is awesome! Keep up the great work, Dieter!
I am currently working on building a new layout, even though I haven't finished my old one yet. This is actually a side project. I was so fascinated by a Z scale layout that I saw at a train show last year, that I decided to make one for myself - inside a Fender guitar case!
The case is about 16" x 40" x 3". My track plan called for 3 boxes of Marklin Z scale track, 6 turnouts, and 3 pieces of Atlas Z scale flex-track. There were also two bridges that had to be installed.
The case came with a fur bed where the guitar would be placed. This had a Styrofoam base. I turned this upside down so the Styrofoam was on top. I then used this as my flat layout surface.
I marked the surface with a solid line using a felt pen where the tracks on top would be laid, and then made a dotted line for tracks that would be below the surface.
I then used a hot foam knife to cut into the surface to create valleys, roads, a river and a pond.
I glued the track down with white glue and started applying scenery for the road, the river, the pond and then the vegetation.
I cut into the front of the layout surface to create a space for the controller to be embedded and smaller spaces for the turnout switches to be embedded. I did this because I wanted the controller and the electronics to all be included in the case, so I would not have to carry them separately with the risk of losing them.
Stay tuned! I will show you the finished product in the next issue.
How to install a sound decoder into an HO scale steam engine:
Installing a sound decoder into an HO scale steam engine can enhance the realism and enjoyment of your model railroad. Here's a general guide to help you with the installation process:
Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for your specific sound decoder model, as they may provide additional guidelines or steps. Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with soldering or electronics, it's recommended to seek assistance from an experienced model railroader or hobby shop.
Creating a pond for your model railroad layout can be a fun and rewarding project. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Remember to exercise caution when working with paints, adhesives, and any other potentially hazardous materials. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and take proper safety precautions. With patience and attention to detail, you'll soon have a beautiful pond as a focal point on your model railroad layout.
How to wire a red-green signal so that it operates properly with a remote turnout:
To wire a red-green signal properly with a remote turnout, you'll need to consider the wiring connections for both the signal and the turnout. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you:
It's important to note that different signal and turnout manufacturers may have specific wiring instructions. Always refer to the product manuals or guidelines provided by the manufacturers to ensure proper wiring and operation.
Creating realistic tall timber trees for an HO scale forest can add depth and authenticity to your model railway or diorama. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you make them:
Materials you will need:
Step 1: Prepare the base: Start by cutting a small piece of green foam or foam insulation board to serve as the base for your tree. Shape it into the desired terrain or landscape for your forest scene. You can also add texture to the base using modeling clay or plaster to create a more realistic ground surface.
Step 2: Create the tree trunk: For the tree trunk, use floral wire or wooden dowels. Cut the wire or dowels to the desired height for your tall timber trees. You can vary the heights to add visual interest to your forest. If using floral wire, twist multiple strands together to create a thicker trunk. Use Walther's Goo to thicken and shape the trunk if necessary.
Step 3: Attach the trunk to the base: Insert the bottom end of the wire or dowel into the green foam or foam insulation board. Apply a small amount of glue to secure it in place. Make sure the trunk is straight and vertical. You can use tweezers or pliers to hold the wire or dowel while the glue dries.
Step 4: Add branches: Using smaller pieces of floral wire or wooden dowels, cut them to varying lengths and attach them to the main trunk. Glue the branches at different angles to create a natural appearance. Consider the branching patterns of real trees and aim for a realistic distribution of branches. Use reference photos of the type of trees you are modeling.
Step 5: Create foliage: To add foliage to your trees, you can use a variety of materials such as foam, flocking, static grass, or even preserved lichen. Cut or tear the material into small pieces, and then apply glue to the branches and attach the foliage. Start from the base of the branches and work your way up, gradually thinning out the foliage toward the top.
Step 6: Paint the tree trunk: Once the glue has dried, paint the tree trunk using brown and other natural colors. Apply a base coat and then add highlights and shadows to create texture and depth. Use dry brushing techniques to enhance the details of the trunk.
Step 7: Paint the foliage: Using various shades of green, spray paint the foliage to mimic the natural colors of trees. Start with a base coat and then add highlights and shadows to give depth and realism to the foliage. You can also mix different shades of green to achieve a more natural look.
Step 8: Finishing touches After the paint has dried, you can add additional details to enhance the realism. You can apply a layer of matte or satin varnish to protect the paint and give the trees a more natural appearance. You can also add ground cover materials, such as static grass or flocking, around the base of the trees to simulate the forest floor.
By following these steps, you should be able to create tall timber trees for your HO scale forest that add a sense of height and realism to your model landscape. Use the same technique for other scales, just change the size of the trunk and the amount of foliage depending on your particular scale. Experiment with different techniques and materials to achieve the desired effect. Happy modeling!
GEEP (General Electric Evolution Series Passenger) locomotives are a series of diesel-electric locomotives specifically designed for passenger train service. They are manufactured by General Electric (GE) Transportation, which is now part of Wabtec Corporation.
The Evolution Series locomotives, including the GEEP models, were introduced by GE in the early 2000s. These locomotives are known for their advanced technology, high fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and improved performance compared to older locomotive models. They are designed to meet the increasingly stringent environmental regulations and performance requirements of modern rail operations.
GEEP locomotives typically feature a 6- or 12-cylinder diesel engine that powers an electric generator, which in turn supplies electricity to traction motors connected to the locomotive's wheels. The locomotives use computerized controls to optimize power output and fuel consumption based on operating conditions, resulting in better efficiency and reduced environmental impact.
The GEEP locomotives have been widely used by various railway operators around the world for passenger train services. They offer high horsepower capabilities, enabling them to haul heavy passenger trains at high speeds. The locomotives are equipped with modern amenities and safety features to enhance passenger comfort and provide a smooth, reliable journey.
It's worth noting that "GEEP" is not an official acronym or designation used by GE or Wabtec. The term "GEEP" is often informally used by rail enthusiasts and industry insiders as a shorthand for General Electric Evolution Series Passenger locomotives, distinguishing them from other locomotive models in the Evolution Series, such as those designed for freight service.
What Type of Locomotives Does Amtrak Usually Use?
Amtrak, the national passenger railroad service in the United States, operates a variety of locomotives to power its trains. The specific types of locomotives used by Amtrak can vary based on the route, train service, and availability. However, the following are some of the commonly used locomotives by Amtrak:
It's important to note that Amtrak's locomotive fleet is continually evolving, and they may acquire or retire locomotives over time to meet operational needs, improve efficiency, and incorporate technological advancements. Therefore, the specific locomotives used by Amtrak can change periodically.
Thank you for reading Tracks!
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We hope you enjoyed this issue of Tracks. Feel free to pass it on to your friends, family and other model railroaders. If you have a great tip or article that you would like to publish on the website, please let me know - The more, the better. Any comments or suggestions are always welcome. You can either go to the Comments/Contact Page and enter your suggestions there or contact me directly at [email protected]
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