Articles

Table of Content

This is my collection of small articles I have written over the years concerning various topics. All photos are mine, except for most of the prototype photos (a few are from my collection). Up until the summer of 2008 my modeling scale was N-scale, and after that I switched to S-scale. Therefore articles written before mid-2008 will use primary N-scale products, while those after that date use primarily S-scale products. However, I always try to write my articles in such a manner that the topic can potentially be used in any modeling scale with some slight adjustments. Of course, there are going to be a few scale-specific topics, such as my collection of S-scale vehicles.

Use the table on the right to jump right to the article category of interest, or just scroll on down. Any time that you use the small back icon at the upper right corner of the pages, you will be taken back to that article's entry on this page, so that you don't have to keep scrolling down to find where you left off.

The date below the article indicates the last time I substantially updated the article. Even if an article is "old", I go through it from time to time to make sure it is still valid. Links mentioned in articles are verified every week. Some articles, for example track work or tree construction, will show a progression of my experience over time. Even though older articles may no longer be the way I do things, I still keep them here for the benefit of those who might enjoy those articles, or see how my modeling skills have progressed over time. I almost never delete an article; I do, however, sometimes re-arrange content.

About the Hobby

Just some thoughts about the hobby of model railroading.


Changing Modeling Scales
10/07/2009

Clubs
06/16/2012

Model Railroad Thoughts
01/02/2017

Model Railroading Scales
02/21/2016

Automobiles (S-scale)

My current inventory of S-scale vehicles.


1931 Cadillac Cabriolet
11/28/2013

1934 John Deere "B" Tractor
02/04/2015

1935 Fire Engine
11/28/2013

1937 Cord Convertible
11/28/2013

1937 Mack Jr Pick Up
11/28/2013

1938 Ford Pick Up
11/28/2013

1938 Mack BM
11/28/2013

1940 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75
11/28/2013

1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet
11/28/2013

1942 Harley-Davidson
11/28/2013

1946 Dodge DeSoto Truck
04/17/2014

1948 Ford F-1 Pick Up
11/28/2013

1948 Mack Pumper
11/28/2013

1948 Tucker Torpedo
11/28/2013

1949 Mercury
11/28/2013

1950 Chevy Panel Delivery Van
11/28/2013

1950 Ford Crestliner
11/28/2013

1950 Oldsmobile 88
11/28/2013

1951 Studebaker Truck
11/28/2013

2014 Jeep Wrangler
01/06/2016

Couplers

Information about S-scale couplers, which ones I use or have used, and how I install them.


Coupler Height Gauge
11/03/2008

Proto Max Couplers
06/16/2009

Sergent Couplers
10/24/2014

Electronics

Electronic circuits I have built, electronics basics, DCC, and the battery-powered control system called S-CAB.


Digitrax Command Station Battery
02/24/2009

Digitrax Command Station Reset
10/19/2009

Digitrax DS44 Stationary Decoder
11/23/2001

Flickering Lights
09/27/2005

Helix Elevator Lights
11/25/2002

LED Spot Lights
08/31/2014

LED Strip Lighting
08/31/2014

LEDs
04/23/2011

Modifying Tortoises
05/06/2001

S-CAB
08/07/2016

Sound Module
07/05/2002

Tortoise Pushbutton Control
01/27/2013

Tsunami Decoder Programming
03/18/2014

Experiments

Sharing some ideas I have had.


Experimental Doors
08/12/2005

Foam Modules
02/07/2015

Loads

Freight car loads and how I built them.


Coal Load
10/14/2011

Containers
04/21/2012

Dragline Buckets Load
08/27/2013

Load of Crates
06/14/2010

Power Generator Load
07/21/2013

Steel Beam Load
08/22/2010

Vertical Engine Load
03/21/2013

N-scale Cars

How-to articles about how I have modified them. I no longer model in N-scale, but these articles still get quite a few hits, so I am keeping them here.


Bowser Cabin Car
01/10/2005

Bowser Hopper
06/12/2006

Kato Passenger Cars
01/08/2005

Micro-Trains Box Cars
01/28/2006

Micro-Trains Tank Cars
06/08/2002

N-scale Engines

How-to articles about how I have modified them. I no longer model in N-scale, but these articles still get quite a few hits, so I am keeping them here.


Arnold S2
09/16/2005

Atlas GP7
06/17/2003

Atlas RS-1
01/01/2003

Atlas Shay
01/15/2005

Bachmann Doodlebug
05/21/2001

Con-Cor 4-8-4
08/07/2002

Kato 2-8-2
05/21/2006

Kato E8
06/01/2006

Kato PA-1
02/19/2001

Life-Like SW9
08/01/2007

Model Power 4-6-2
12/13/2007

Rivarossi 2-8-8-2
04/01/2002

Painting & Weathering

My thoughts and tools I use to paint and weather engines, cars, and structures.


Airbrush
02/03/2011

Paint Caddy
11/22/2005

Paint Drawer
08/27/2009

Painting Wheels
10/02/2005

Paints
09/07/2015

Product Photos

Even though digital cameras have been around for a long time, a lot of times manufacturers don't bother to take a photo of their product, so I have done that here.


(none)
01/10/2010

Archer
02/22/2013

B.T.S.
01/14/2013

Banta
02/22/2013

C-D-S
11/17/2010

Clover House
10/27/2011

Diamond Scale
06/05/2001

GCLaser
08/28/2014

Gold Medal Models
01/20/2007

Grandt Line
01/29/2013

Kaw Valley Designs
09/21/2010

Lehigh Valley Models
10/14/2011

M.T.H.
08/18/2012

MicroScale
08/27/2009

Miller Engineering
02/09/2014

Model Tech Studios
08/26/2013

N.J. International Semaphore
01/02/2014

N.J. International Switch Stand
08/19/2009

North West Short Line
06/11/2010

P-B-L
05/05/2012

Plastruct
05/05/2012

Railmaster
08/19/2012

Railway Engineering
03/10/2001

S Scale America
05/03/2012

Scale Card
08/28/2013

Smoky Mountain Model Works
05/19/2016

Tichy
03/31/2011

Ultimate Scenery System
09/03/2009

Prototype Research

Some basic information about prototype railroading that is of interest to me.


Modernday Railroads
01/30/2015

PRR Equipment Info & Links
03/05/2016

PRR General Info & Links
12/19/2015

PRR Chartiers Branch

These articles contain all the prototype information that I have gathered about the Pennsylvania Railroad's Chartiers branch, which is what I try to model in S-scale.


PRR Chartiers Branch
03/05/2016

PRR Chartiers Branch Towns
03/02/2014

Scenery

How-to articles about various topics related to creating believable scenery.


Boats
05/17/2014

Casting Abutments
07/18/2010

Conifer Trees
06/16/2011

Scenery Base
07/18/2010

Scenic Barrier
09/11/2006

Streets
03/13/2012

Telegraph/Telephone Poles
08/21/2011

Thin Castings
07/19/2006

Trees (method 1: basic)
11/15/2011

Trees (method 2: moderate)
09/20/2012

Trees (method 3: nice)
03/13/2011

Trees (method 4: advanced)
08/22/2014

Wooden Pallets
11/27/2014

Tools

Some handy tools I have built or bought to help me with the model railroading hobby.


Equipment Storage
08/05/2012

Key-chain Video Camera
10/13/2012

Lightbox
02/16/2009

Small Tools
01/09/2015

Strip Storage
05/11/2016

Wheel Cleaning
02/21/2010

Work Bench LED Lighting
07/17/2015

Track

How-to articles about how I build, or have built, certain track work.


Building a Crossing
06/07/2009

Code 40 N-scale Turnout
04/15/2008

Code 55 N-scale Turnout
12/13/2002

Code 83 S-scale Turnout
03/20/2010

Flextrack
12/20/2002

Hand-laying Track
01/18/2015

Helix
01/05/2003

Pivot Table
01/14/2003

Roadbed
01/20/2009

Scratchbuilt Rerailer
11/10/2015

Tortoise Installations
12/19/2009

Track Cleaning
09/22/2012

Track Inspection Car
12/28/2008

Woodworking

Prior to returning to the hobby of model railroading, my main hobby was woodworking. Here I share tools and how-to articles related to woodworking. Although they are not directly related to model railroading, a lot of these tools are useful when building layouts.


Angled Panel Cutting Jig
02/20/2006

Circle Cutting Jig
02/16/2006

Clamp Wall Rack
11/18/2003

Control Panels
10/23/2005

Drillbit Stand
08/09/2014

Dust Collector
09/01/2003

Fence Extension
09/29/2003

Foldable Workbench
02/07/2012

Layout Cabinets
01/11/2016

Panel Cutting Sled
06/22/2003

Panel Support
09/28/2003

Portable Modeling Table
10/20/2005

Roller Stand
04/13/2003

Router Bit Stand
08/13/2006

Router Table
07/13/2005

Table Saw
10/01/2002

Table Saw Overarm
09/28/2003

Work Table
06/26/2003