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May 24, 2008

How To Install An Automatic Block System

Toy Train Revue On-Line has posted an article about how to install an automatic block system.  You can read it here.

February 04, 2008

How To Build A Classy Shelf Mounted Layout

Check out this great web site detailing how to build a very classy enclosed shelf mounted ceiling layout.  The builder goes into great detail on how he pulled it off.  The resulting layout is fantastic. 

January 17, 2008

GUEST BLOGGER: John Seaman - Building A Custom Girder Bridge

Guest blogger and OGaugeWatch reader John Seaman submitted this article about making a scratch built girder bridge.   

For those that buy the Atlas O Double Track Pratt Truss Bridge Kit but don’t use the Atlas decking/track that comes with it like me, you can use the deck/track from the kit to create a custom girder bridge.  I built a 24” girder bridge.  Here’s how:

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "GUEST BLOGGER: John Seaman - Building A Custom Girder Bridge" »

March 28, 2007

Dig out that old Girder & Panel set and add a High Rise to your layout

Tipstricks_1Every play with Girder & Panel building sets when you were young?  Well the high rise buildings you could make with those incredibly fun building sets look right at home on an O Gauge layout.  Check out these pictures as proof. Not all of the buildings in the photos are built with Girder & Panel but if you're familiar with the sets you'll be able to tell which ones were made out of the building sets.   Read the discussion thread on the O Gauge Railroading Magazine forum for more info.  The thread also contains additional shots of how girders from a set were used to model a great looking construction scene.  I loved playing with Girder & Panel when I was young and still have two sets stored in my attic.  I never thought to use them to construct buildings for on an O Gauge layout.  What a great idea!   

January 05, 2007

How To Build a Train Platform

Tipstricks_1There's a nice how-to article posted at www.doityourself.com about building a small train platform.  The article states the platform is for HO scale trains but the basic technique can be used to build a bit larger platform for O Gauge.  Check out the article here.


Related posts:

Building Your First Christmas Layout - Part 1
Building Your First Christmas Layout - Part 2
Removing 0-27 Track Pins
O Gauge Track Plans

View all Tips

December 09, 2006

Building Your First Christmas Layout - Part 2

Tipstricks_1In Part 2 (view Part 1 here) of Building Your First Christmas Layout I offer up some suggestions about starter sets with a few short video clips of some sets I own and touch on layout and scenery design.  When all is said and done you should be ready to take on your first Christmas layout project.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Building Your First Christmas Layout - Part 2" »

November 30, 2006

Building Your First Christmas Layout - Part 1

Tipstricks_1You remember the Lionel trains from your youth and the fun you had playing with them under the Christmas tree.  You're all grown up now and the trains are probably long gone but the memories remain and now you’re ready to build a layout for yourself or your children to rekindle the tradition of a train under the Christmas tree.  Whatever the reason for building a Christmas layout, you’re ready to get started but not quite sure where to begin.  If you're a regular reader of the OGaugeWatch blog and a seasoned enthusiast this post will probably invoke memories of your first Christmas layout building experience.  If your a beginner and came upon this blog post while searching for some free Christmas layout advice on the Internet than this post will help get you started down the path to building a successful layout.  Building Your First Christmas Layout will be a 2 part series.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Building Your First Christmas Layout - Part 1" »

November 15, 2006

ToyTrainRevue.com Layout Building Tips

ToyTrainRevue.com is a "webzine" that is associated with the good folks at TM Books & Video.  TM is most famous for it's "I Love Toy Trains" video series.  The Toy Train Revue site has been a bit stale lately but I noticed recently that it seems to be showing some signs of life thanks to TM's video entitled "Building an O Gauge Layout".   According to a message on the site:

"While producing our new video Building an O Gauge Layout, we decided that there was so much we wanted to talk about we couldn't fit it all into one video. So we decided to use this website to include the extra segments we ran out of time for, plus continue to add new articles on layout building techniques."
 

See more at www.toytrainrevue.com

August 24, 2006

DIY Lighting Control Board

Controlboard The current article in the "Gadget Freak" section of www.designnews.com highlights an interesting lighting control board project for you DIY'ers out there.  The board, which measures 2 by 2 inches, will control lighting for towers, running and crossing lights, storefront lights or any other accent lights on a model train layout.  According to the article:

"The microcontroller-based application enables the selection of four display formats using five outputs, including combinations of sequenced, bouncing, and dual beacon displays."

The article includes down-loadable instructions and a parts list.  I priced out all the parts on the Allied Electronics website (the sponsor of the Designnews.com article) for a grand total $31.20 plus shipping.

August 20, 2006

Tips & Tricks: Removing Track Pins From 027 Track

Tipstricks_1 Lionel's FasTrack and MTH's RealTrax are  becoming more and more popular with O Gauge enthusiasts but nothing beats good ol' 027 tubular track if you're building a small layout.   027 track is very inexpensive and is perfect for small spaces.  Besides price, the one big advantage 027 has over FasTrack and RealTrax is that it can be cut relatively easily.  When I built my first 027 layout I found myself making many custom cuts and removing lots of the track pins used to join pieces of track together.  Removing the pins is a real pain but I discovered two techniques that made the job a bit easier and will share them with you now.  Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Tips & Tricks: Removing Track Pins From 027 Track" »

July 25, 2006

O Gauge Track Plans

Tipstricks_1

So you're thinking about building an O Gauge layout and you need some ideas about how to design the track plan.  You can always come up with something yourself, but it's much easier to start with existing plans to help get the creative juices flowing.  Not many web sites offer and extensive collection of plans for free but there are a few resources that offer free plans you can use directly or as a base for creating your own layout plan.  Click on the link below to read on.

Continue reading "O Gauge Track Plans" »

July 15, 2006

Train Collection Inventory Software

After reading an article about a train collector's house that caught fire and destroyed, among other things, an extensive train collection, one of my thoughts was "I hope the collection was insured".  Insuring a collection requires placing a value on all the items in the collection.  Accurately estimating the value of your collection is easier if you have detailed, up to date records and values of each item in the collection.  Maintaining such lists can be cumbersome and time consuming unless you use a software program specifically designed for the task.  In today's post, I list several train inventory programs and a quick overview of each designed to help you track and value every item in your collection.

Continue reading "Train Collection Inventory Software" »

Train Collection Inventory Software

After reading an article about a train collector's house that caught fire and destroyed, among other things, an extensive train collection, one of my thoughts was "I hope the collection was insured".  Insuring a collection requires placing a value on all the items in the collection.  Accurately estimating the value of your collection is easier if you have detailed, up to date records and values of each item in the collection.  Maintaining such lists can be cumbersome and time consuming unless you use a software program specifically designed for the task.  In today's post, I list several train inventory programs and a quick overview of each designed to help you track and value every item in your collection.

Continue reading "Train Collection Inventory Software" »

June 06, 2006

Card Stock Buildings

On the O Gauge Railroading on-line forum, L. Larson put together a nice post about making card stock buildings for your O Gauge layout.  Card stock buildings are an inexpensive way to to add life to your O Gauge layout. 

Card Modeling FAQ is another great resource for card modeling.

   

Related Posts
Cheap O Gauge Ballast

What Foam To Use For Layout Construction

March 08, 2006

Cheap O Gauge Ballast

BobbyDing on The Gauge forum posted about his idea to use "ground English walnuts", purchased at a pet store, as ballast for his O Gauge layout.  The walnut shells are tan in color so he experimenting using RIT clothing dye to color the shells.  He has a photo in the post.

January 21, 2006

What Foam to Use for Layout Construction

Many enthusiasts use foam board to construct a layout because it's lightweight and easily cut and shaped.  It can be used as the base of a layout and stacked, cut, shaped and scraped to form hills, mountains, stream beds, etc.  Folks new to layout building may not know what foam to use.  Heather47960's question "What type of foam board is OK to use?" on the Google model railroad group received some good responses that are worth reading if you are a considering the use of foam board to construct your layout.  A link in one of the replies concerning Foam board Safety was interesting.

Read the entire thread on Google groups.

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