Archive for February, 2016

Prototype Data Files – pt 1

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
One of many prototypes for the new Accurail models.

One of many prototypes for the new Accurail models.

As announced here a couple of months ago, Accurail is working on an HO scale 36-foot box car model. They are planning four variations and have announced the initial paint and lettering schemes. Ray Breyer has pulled together prototype photos and details for each of the introductory models that will have fishbelly center sills and steel ends. He has created a very nice resource that can help modelers understand the similarities between the model and prototype. The initial PDF data sheet is posted on a special blog page, Accurail Prototype Data.

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Beyond the Box

Friday, February 19th, 2016
We wish it were as easy as opening a box to add a new freight car on the layout. Here are a few processes to transform a kit to a completed freight car ready for service.

We wish it were as easy as opening a box to add a new freight car on the layout. Here are a few processes to transform a kit to a completed freight car ready for service.

Readers may have noticed most of my freight cars go through a few phases as they progress from parts in a kit box to layout use with a weathered patina. These construction phases are common for many prototype modelers as we customize basic freight car kits, or ready-to-run models (RTR), in order to reflect a specific prototype or era. Let’s take a look at these phases.

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Rev-up for RPM meets!

Friday, February 12th, 2016
Dave Ramos (at left) demonstrates building turnouts with Fast Tracks tools at the 2014 RPM Valley Forge meet.

Dave Ramos (at left) demonstrates building turnouts with Fast Tracks tools at the 2014 RPM Valley Forge meet.

The calendar swings around and several Railroad Prototype Modeler meets are on the horizon. Regular readers know I bang the drum for these events. Each meet offers a winning combination of prototype information, modeling techniques, and networking among other prototype modelers. I look forward to attending an RPM meet each year.

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Decal techniques

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Some of the tools used to apply decals.

I see quite a few questions about applying decals on discussion lists and in private emails that arrive. There is a fear of failure for many modelers in the decal application process. I know this anxiety. It had a hold of me for awhile as I believed I would mess up the job. Let’s review techniques that helped me work towards a solid final appearance.

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