Monday, May 31, 2010

Caring For Your Model Train

By: Victor Epand

If you love your model trains and you enjoy running them or even looking at them in displays then you might notice that over time they get dirty. Just like any other keepsake model trains can require a good deal of cleaning and upkeep to keep them looking rather nice. Dust and debris can cause the trains to run poorly if it is allowed to accumulate. So, how do you go about keeping them nice and clean?

You will need to gather a few cleaning accessories before you begin to clean your model train set. By gathering these beforehand you will save yourself time and aggravation. These cleaning utensils include a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, cans of compressed air, dust rags, contact cleaner, lens cleaner, and some small hobby paint brushes. You will also need to have a few extra batteries on hand in case one of the electrical components that use them need fresh ones.

Once you have all this together you can begin. Start by removing each of the cars one at a time. Take each one and carefully blow them off with compressed air. This will remove a good deal of the dust from each of the cars. Next you will want to use a paint brush to get the rest of the dust from the body. After it has been well dusted you can then clean the windows with the lens cleaner. Do this for each car that needs it.

You will then want to move on to the electrical connections and contacts. These can be cleaned by using the compressed air to blow out all the dust. You then need to use some contact cleaner to finish cleaning them. You can then use the hose attachment on a vacuum to finish cleaning the rest of your display if you have it set into a diorama. Make sure that you do not inadvertently suck up some of the display components.

Your cars will not have to be replaced unless they are just plain worn out. This can take a long time so you should not have to worry about this cost. If they do happen do to tear up then many times they can be repaired rather than being replaced. Look for chips and scratches in the paint jobs on the cars. If you do find some then you can fix them rather easily.

After cleaning them thoroughly just take a bit of fingernail polish in a matching color and brush it lightly onto the scratch. It may take a layer or two depending on the opacity of the polish. If you need to do a full paint job then you will need to very carefully disassemble the car. Make sure that you keep all your screws and parts for that one car in a zip up sandwich bag. That way you will not take a chance on losing any of the parts or getting them mixed up with any other parts from other cars.

Author Resource:-> Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train care, and compact model trucks.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010



How To Find Model Train Information

By: Victor Epand

Maybe your doctor has told you to pick up a hobby to lower your blood pressure, maybe a friend mentioned it and it sounds fun. Either way you have decided to look into building your own model train set. This is a perfect hobby to take your time working on and treat it in a very laid back manner. The question is, how can you get into it? How exactly does one become an engineer of their very own model train? To get this answer you must look for information on the hobby.

There are many different sources of information today that are readily accessible to the general public. When you begin your search the best source of information can be your public library. You can look for books that are specifically about model trains and how to build a railroad you can also find books on the history of modeling. If you are not able to find these type of books then you might consider looking at books about the railroad industry itself. See if you enjoy looking at the different models of trains and the cars that connected to them. These are a very good source of information on how the real thing works as well.

If the library offers you very little in the way of information then you might have to find another source. If this is the case then a bit of cruising may be in order. By cruising the Internet you can find a whole world of information at your literal fingertips. From the history of the locomotive to the world of model trains you can learn all you would like and then some. You will soon find that you can recognize the difference between Z scale and H0 scale. You will also know whether model trains are truly for you or not.

While you are running your Internet scavenger search you might also take the time to find information about clubs that welcome new modelers. These can help you in your quest to learn more about model trains as well. Members are always ready to talk about their passion and some may even invite you over to look at their miniature railway. It may be that joining one of these clubs would help you out greatly once you decide whether or not you want to begin collecting model trains.

If all else fails and the library and the Internet were no help to you then as a last resort you might check out a local book store. Many of these carry books about a wide variety of hobbies. If they do not have a book or magazine about model trains then they should be able to order one for you. The key to your quest for information is to not give up.

Building model train displays can be a lifetime hobby that you can easily share with your family. If this sounds like a hobby you would be interested in then keep searching for information about it. You will find it with just a bit of effort

Author Resource:-> Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train ideas, and model trucks.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Choosing Model Trains As A Hobby

By: Victor Epand

From kings to presidents and from laymen to gentlemen collecting and operating model trains is an age old hobby. There are so many individuals throughout history that have enjoyed this pastime that it would take a long time to list them all. Instead it is much more important to consider why model railroading has become so important and what lessons it has to teach us all.

Since the early 1840's model railways have been capturing the publics attention. From the invention of the carpet railway which was a simple brass steam engine with no track to the appearance of electric trains around the turn of the century these were usually rather crude and did not often resemble true locomotives. Today model trains are by far much more realistic and are a world away from their humble beginnings. Modellers can be found all over the world and are most always ready to show off or talk about their love of model trains.

A complete list of model railway manufacturers reads like a phone book. From Accucraft Trains to Aritec, from Bemo to Busch, and from Weaver to Worsley Works many companies make a fortune off of catering to this much loved pastime. These manufacturers build a world of products including everything from tiny houses to the parts for the trains themselves and more. If everyone were to stop collecting model trains tomorrow there truly is no telling how many people would be out of a job let alone how many businesses would shut down.

And by far this is not an all inclusive list. There are many others out there that are happily profiting from the love of the hobby. Model train collecting collecting is a hobby that can build many different qualities in its lovers. It teaches you ingenuity. You have to figure out how to fix problems with little more than tape and string and a bit of hope. You also learn a good deal about mathematics. With having to figure your different scales and sizes and do quite a bit of calculating you will quickly become a firm believer in a high end calculator.

It teaches you people skills. You will have to learn to ask others how to best fix issues you might be having. If you choose to join a club or an association then you will also have to learn to work with others on fixing issues or building group projects. It teaches you monetary skills. You will soon learn how to stretch your money as far as possible so you can so you can get those ultra realistic animal sets you can already imagine in your display. Working with model trains as a hobby can teach you all this and more. It is no wonder that it is the hobby of kings and poor alike. It is a hobby that can last a lifetime. If you are looking for a hobby that you can fall in love with and that you will find challenging then collecting model trains is right up your track.

Author Resource:-> Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, antique model trains, and model trucks.

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Building Your Own Model Train Display

By: Victor Epand

If you are looking for a hobby that you can pick up quick and put down any time then move away slowly. If you are looking for one that you can make last a lifetime then model trains are for you. Building a railroad can take many years if you want it to. It can get really exciting when you finally finish your exact duplicate of an existing railroad.

So how do you get into such a lifelong hobby? Visit a few railroads and museums. Also go and check out some hobby shops and any friends that you might have that are into model trains. If you feel a tugging deep inside you like an urge pushing you to put on that conductor's hat and pull that train whistle then railroading is for you.

You must figure out how much space you are willing to dedicate to your new hobby. Once you know for sure then you can decide what scale train you will be running. This will also help you to know how much you will need to spend on materials. Now that you know where you are going to place your new railroad you can clean out that space. If you are going to build a table that is eight foot by twelve foot then you should allow yourself three or more extra feet on each side so that you have plenty of room to move around while you are building it and when you are running it as well.

Now that you know the where and the size then you are ready to begin sketching out your ideas. Draw out all the features you would like your railroad to have. You do not have to have them drawn perfectly. You just need a rough idea of how you want it to look when it is finished. You can base your layout on real towns or you can make up a fictional one that suits the train you will be using for this display.

Now you are ready to build your platform. Plywood is an excellent choice for this due to its strength and yet it is still easy to cut and drill. Make sure that you properly brace your platform so that it does not sway or collapse. You can then begin to build your features. Mountains and hills are easily created out of balled up or wadded up paper stuffed around wooden supports and then covered with wire mesh. The next step is to apply paper mache or plaster to the mesh in layers until you get a good coating. Take your time and make sure that you get the look you are wanting instead of rushing through and being unhappy with the end product.

Once you have all your features laid out, covered, and have given them time to dry you can begin painting them. Make sure to keep your colors as natural as possible. Painters acrylic paints are usually your best choice for painting this type of project. After the paint has dried you can then begin to assemble your train tracks. Make sure that you secure them in place so they do not come loose over time. Pins or glue can easily achieve this. Now that your features and tracks are in place you can put on your finishing touches.

Make your houses and buildings suit your setting and then begin to place them onto your display. You can build a whole town and complete it with people, cars, and the like. Give your new town a name and a story if you wish. You have now developed a railroad that you can call your own.

Author Resource:-> Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train building tips, and model trucks.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Joining A Model Train Club

By: Victor Epand

Do you love to build model trains and you would like to share your hobby with others? You can join a model train association and do just that. With many different model railroad appreciation clubs and builders clubs available nationally and abroad there is no shortage to your options as to which one you can choose to join. Before you just pick a random one that you would like to be a part of you should know how to make an informed decision when you choose.

If you are looking at simple clubs then you must first decide what sort of member's benefits you would like in the one you eventually join. Some of these clubs offer monthly newsletters and emails as well as access to forums where you can ask questions, get answers, and read others questions as well. They may also offer access to some small functions like club meetings at local parks or members homes so that they can enjoy each others company and discuss their love of model railroads.

If this sounds like it would be right up your alley, or tracks, then the easiest way to find these types of clubs is on the Internet or in model railroading magazines. If you are looking to join a much larger organization then there are also national model railroad associations that are usually receptive to new members. The one thing to keep in mind when you consider joining one of these associations is that you may have to pay membership dues. These dues go to help maintain the organization and plan for big events. They do offer some rather nice benefits however.

Some associations may get you discounts when you go to buy your next model train or accessories. They may also offer select trains or cars that you cannot find for sale through any retail outlets. With nicely done association magazines and planned events associations can keep you as busy as you would like to be with all sorts of different things to do. One of the drawbacks to being a member of a national or foreign model railroading association is that sometimes the little person can get lost in the works.

If you have an issue with your membership you may not always get a prompt response. You also may not get very pleasant answers to your inquiries as well. Associations can tend to be large and impersonal. Yes they can come with perks but they don't always equal out to the drawbacks that come with them. In the end whether or not you choose to join an association will have to be based on exactly how much you wish to do within the association.

If you do not care for associations or clubs, you are just looking for access to trains that are not offered in stores you might consider joining an "of the month" type club. They usually offer select engines or cars that cannot be gotten elsewhere. The drawback is that you may have to sign up to receive their monthly offering. This can mean that you have to purchase ones that you might not care for.

No matter what type of group you decide to join there can be both many benefits and many drawbacks. The secret to deciding which one is to pick the benefits that mean the most to you.

Author Resource:-> Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train associations, and model trucks.

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Repairing Your Model Train Transformers

By: Victor Epand

A common issue with model trains over time is the malfunctioning of a transformer. When trains sit for a long period of time without use they will go bad. So what do you do when this happens? You can either pay someone to fix yours or you can spend your hard earned money to buy another one. If neither of these choices appeal to you then maybe you should consider fixing it for yourself. It will only cost you a little bit of money and use a little patience as well. Soon you will be able to say that you are able to fix them yourself.

You will have to get a few supplies together before you get started. You will most likely need each of these in the course of your model railroading hobby anyway so it is a good idea to go ahead and put them aside just for that purpose. You will need some tweezers, a pair of wire strippers, spare wire of different gauges, some oxidation remover, screwdrivers, solder, and a soldering gun.

Once you have your tools you are ready to determine exactly what your transformer needs in the way of repair. Carefully plug in your transformer and see if you hear any noise coming from either it or your model train. If you can hear noise coming from the transformer and not the train then most likely the contacts on the track will need to be cleaned well.

Once you have done this try running your train once again. If it works then you will know that you have successfully solved your issue. SAFETY ISSUE: Do NOT handle the interior of the transformer unless it has been fully discharged. This can lead to sickness or even injury. The next step involves opening the case of your transformer and examining the interior. If you are an adolescent then get your parent to help you with this step.

If the transformer itself appears dead then you will need to unplug it and get inside the case. Take the appropriate screwdriver and carefully open the case being careful not to touch your screwdriver to any parts inside the transformer itself. While you are doing this you must make sure that you are well grounded just in case of accidental discharge.

Check for burnt, loose, frayed or missing wires. Also make sure there is no oxidation on them as well. Corrosion can be a huge factor in malfunctioning electronics. Any that have gone bad will need to be replaced. If any are just loose then you can use your soldering gun to reattach them.

Any oxidized wires can be removed safely with the soldering iron. You also need to make sure that you remove any extra solder from the wires. Once you have done this then you are ready to remove the oxidation. Dip the ends of the wires into your oxidation remover and let it dissolve the oxidation completely. Make sure that you allow them to air dry and then you can safely reattach them with your soldering gun once more.

Close your transformer back up once you have replaced everything and cleaned it up. You are now ready for another test run. Check your AC/DC output and see if you are getting a proper output. If it is low or nonexistant then you should try replacing the plug itself. If this still does not work then you will have to buy another transformer for your model train.

Author Resource:-> Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train transformers, and model trucks.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Model Train Scales And Their Differences

By: Victor Epand

Have you ever wondered what the different scales of model trains meant and why they are not universal? Much of the issue of scale first came about when modelers began to demand a sort of standard method of producing trains that properly depicted the full size ones that they represented. When the first set of official scales became available they still were not rigidly adhered to and often the wheel size and gauge of the track did not follow scale at all. An example of the is the 0 gauge scale. In the United States it is on a track that is actually too wide for its supposed 1:48 scale. In Britain however it follows a much more rigid standard by following the 7mm/1ft scale which is also much more accurate.

00 standards in Britain are set up on on track that is almost a full seven inches too narrow. This sort of inconsistency with the track differences is still perpetuated by the manufactures who continue to produce model trains whose tracks are bigger than they should be, incorrectly sized wheel treads, and overly deep wheel flanges. It seems that many manufacturers afford gauge and scale the same connotation but this is very inaccurate. Correctly defined, scale is the relative measurement of an object when produced as a properly sized proportion of the original. Gauge, however, just means the overall measurement between the rails on a model railway.

As modelers became more concerned with these inaccurate means of determining the scale of their model trains they developed a finescale set of standards with which they could better determine the true scale of their models. While in use by many hardcore model builders these standards have not been adopted by the mainstream model train industry. Much of the reasons for this lie in the need for manufacturers to be able to produced a cost efficient model that can easily be used by home modelers and expert builders as well. One example of this finescale standard comes from Britain. The P4 standard takes real train track measurements and scales them down to match the model that is to be placed on those scaled tracks. They also make sure that the wing and check rails are scaled just as closely.

The biggest determining factor of the scale of a model train is the size of the engine being used. The largest ridable steam engines can go up to a full twenty eight inches tall which is considered a 1:8 scale. The smallest is 1:220 which is called Z scale and cover matchbox sized locomotives. There are five scales that are the most popular; N scale, TT scale, H0 scale, O scale, Gauge I, and G scale. G scale is the most common for outdoor models at a 1:8 scale and Gauge I may also be used as well. N, 0, and H0 are all very popular indoor scales with 0 being primarily used as children's toys.

Now that you know a bit more about the scale system that is used for determining a model trains size now you are ready to start building your own scaled version!

Author Resource:-> Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, scaled model trains, and model trucks.

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How Are Model Trains Powered?

Beginners Tools For Model Trains

How many of us have seen a movie or a television show where someone is wearing a conductor's hat and running a model train? It has never been easier than the present to become one of those people with the lucky conductor's hat. Now you can ever build your own model train set. The first thing you will need is to gather together some tools that will prove themselves to be very handy if not downright necessary. Once you gather these tools it will be beneficial for you to store them in a central location away from your others that way when you get ready to work on your train set you will not be missing one you need.

The most important tool in every modelers arsenal is a good hobby knife. It is best if you have a decent selection of different shaped blades as well. This knife alone will get you through more projects than you are yet to realize. It is definitely worth its weight.

The next tool you will need is a good set of wire cutters. Do not think your hobby knife can do it all. It can be dangerous to attempt to cut wire without the aid of wire cutters.

A hacksaw will come in very handy if you need to cut little wood or metal pieces. You should make sure that the item you are cutting is held tightly in place by the next tool on your list.

A vice is needed for clamping parts into place so that you can solder with a soldering iron. It also keeps you free to cut, sand, or file on them without having to worry about hurting yourself. This tool alone should help you prevent many potential injuries.

Speaking of a soldering iron that is the next tool on your wish list especially if you plan on using much electronics in your train set. While you might sometimes be able to get away without soldering some of your connections this will not always be possible. Any time you need to join wires to metal or wires to wires this will come in very handy.

Another tool that is handy for joining parts together is a glue gun. This will be especially handy when you get ready to layout your display elements like your people, trees, and animals.

A hammer with a small head on it can also be an excellent fastener for some of the harder to join wooden items.

For parts that will be screwed together as well as many that will need to be poked, prodded, or pried into position a small selection of screwdrivers will do the trick. They are also handy for working on your model trains interior workings.

For the many push pins you will be using over the lifetime of this hobby a pair of needle nose pliers is good to have as well.

For building base boards and many different general tasks you need to have a drill on hand. Whether cordless or corded a drill will prove its worth rather quickly.

Other than these basic tools the rest can be gotten rather easily. Don't forget to get your consumable items to go with your tools including solder, tacks, nails, glue, etc. Once again, by having all these tools ahead of time you will save a good deal of time and money in the long term of your model train building hobby.

Author Resource:- Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train tool lists, and model trucks.
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Toy Now Arriving At Platform One Is

A train set is often bought for a little boy by his father, not always because the father genuinely believes his little boy really wanted a train set, but because the father really wanted a train set. However, there are many occasions when children, not just boys, are interested in train sets, and have a great deal of fun with them. Of course, like any other toy, they come in a variety of types, and if you are considering buying a train set, whether for you, for your child, or for your child to start with until they get bored and you 'reluctantly' have to take it over, then there are a few things to consider and bear in mind when looking to choose a suitable set.

For very young children it would clearly be inappropriate to buy a scale model of the Flying Scotsman and half a mile of track. Instead there are a number of fantasy train sets, from Thomas the Tank Engine, who has remained popular through the books, television series and other related toys, to Harry Potter, with the Hogwarts Express featuring amongst various other models and features. These can be an easy to understand and use introduction to train sets, and can foster an interest in model trains.

Should the child grow out of these sets, but remain interested in trains, or if simply your child expresses an interest and is too old for such fantasy sets, then you will need to start looking at the higher quality, 'proper' train sets from manufacturers such as Hornby. However, you need to bear in mind that train sets are very expensive, and develop over time. There is no way of knowing with a child whether their new found interest will last a few days, a few weeks, or a lifetime, and so it is important to keep to the basics, which should be enough to satisfy their initial enthusiasm, but then look to expand the set later if they remain interested.

Having said that, a single loop of track is unlikely to keep their interest for very long, and so buying either a double loop, or at least a few sidings and points, they will be able to vary the movement, direction and loop that the train is on, which will add to their interest. Track is relatively inexpensive compared to the trains themselves, and can be expanded and added to over many years quite easily. It slots together as a temporary construction, but if you're building a more permanent train set, and using a base board, then you can nail the track to the board using small tacks, which help to keep everything firmly in place.

If you're planning on having more than one train on the track, then you might look at a DCC system rather than a DC one. DC systems just used an electric circuit, and any trains on the track would be moved simultaneously by using the controller, unless they were isolated off into a siding. DCC systems using computer technology to identify and control each train individually even if on the same track.

Of course, if the hobby persists, then adding landscapes, buildings, and many other features can create a very realistic and fascinating model town, and become a project that lasts many years.

Author Resource:- Victor Epand is an expert consultant about kids toys, dolls, and video games. You will find the best marketplace for kids toys, dolls, and used video games at these sites for kids toys, train sets, model trains, dolls, and used video games.
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Reviewing Stress Management Techniques

Since we've all come to realize that stress is a part of our lives, finding techniques to manage and regulate it is very important to stay healthy in both mind and body. There are plenty of ways to minimize and manage stress levels, but the important thing to realize is that there isn't a perfect technique and that stress is unavoidable. Finding the best ways to keep yours at a level you can manage is important.

Your time, budget, lifestyle, personality type, and many other factors will play a part in determining what stress management techniques are best for you. Many physicians recommend exercise as an excellent way to relieve it. The exercise does not have to be intense or grueling to be a good stress relief, as long as you do something physical to burn some energy.

This can be something as simple as going for a walk, although many people enjoy running, weight lifting, and various team sports like softball or basketball. Many people enjoy team sports because of the interaction team sports provide. Aerobics clubs and other workout groups can also be very rewarding.

Not only do you get to be around other people who are trying to be healthy, you get to see people with at least one similar interest. The group aspect of these activities also motivates some people to continue to participate on days they might skip if it were an individual activity.

However, exercise is not the only activity for managing it. Anything you enjoy and find rewarding can be a great stress relief. Again, you will want to find different non-physical stress management techniques depending on your personality, lifestyle, and budget.

Of course, if we were all independently wealthy, it would be much easier to maintain a low stress level, since we would have all the time and money you need to relax properly. However, for us in the real world, we have to find reasonable ways to relax when we get a chance.

It's necessary to give your brain a rest too, so while being physical is a good thing, having a mental distraction will bring you to a balance of combined stress relief techniques. Reading is a popular activity and doesn't need to take up a lot of time or cost much money. Finally trying out that hobby you've always been attracted to, such as painting, learning an instrument, or building model trains is another way to relax.

Many people enjoy crafts or woodworking and some prefer getting outdoors, taking up fishing. Having a companion or a friend with the same interest can be good, as two people tend to relax more together than one person alone.

Finding activities you can do on a regular basis is important and the best way to have a continual outlet for the pressures that build up inside you. What you choose to do for those activities is up to you, but there are tons of things to do that don't cost a lot or that are close to home. Experimentation and trying different things out can also end up being a lot of fun.

Author Resource:- Mike Selvon's portal will expand your knowledge about stress management techniques. Visit us and leave a comment at our stress management training blog where a free gift awaits you.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Comparison of Popular Model Train Types and Brands

Fleischmann trains are made in Germany and are of very high quality. Most of my model trains are British or American. But I do have a few Fleischmann locomotives in both HO and N gauge and they are really superior. They are comparatively expensive in the United States, but well worth the expense.

Kato is superior equipment, but they only manufacture American and Japanese models, not European as far as I know. Roco track I believe is nickel silver. I have only used their N gauge track, not their HO, and that was all nickel silver. Sounds as though you're on the right track.

Remember that even though tracks from different manufacturers may interchange different manufacturers use very different couplers. HO/OO trains need 12vDC that has speed control and a reversing switch. The 16vAC is only for accessories, lights, turnouts switches or points. Never attempt to connect your running tracks and locos to AC power -- it could could burn out the motors.

I do know that the Southern Crescent ran up to the time of Amtrak in the 1970's. I believe it ran on the Southern Railway before this company merged with the Norfolk & Western to become the Norfolk Southern. Probably by the 1950's or 60's it would have diesel locomotives, either E8's, PA1's, or DL109's. I would think there are cars and diesel locomotives in Southern Green and white. The Southern also had steam locomotives, 4-6-2s and 4-8-2s, painted in green, which could be used. Riva Rossi's products have had mixed reviews over the years.

I doubt any would really compare with modern equipment such as Proto 2000 or Ahearn Genesis. They probably would not have motors with 5 pole skewed armatures or flywheels. The detail would be plastic cast on rather than separately applied plastic or metal parts. But detail is a subjective issue. Many modelers are happy with poorer models that meet their prototypical needs. I fall into that category.

I have some early brass engines that don't compare in detail to recently issued plastic bodied locomotives. But the locomotive I like may not be available except as an early brass version. More modern models with finer detailing and better mechanisms will invariably cost more, even if made in China. For a more definitive answer I would contact the Southern Railway Historical Society with respect to whether models of Southern Locomotives and cars are accurate.

I took a look at the Riva Rossi cars in the Walther's listing. These are pretty generic, standard 1930's vintage heavyweight passenger cars, just painted in Southern Crescent colors. I doubt that they are truly prototypical. I would sense they are family reasonable running cars. Depending on the era your modeling they might be out of date, as I would sense that the Southern Crescent, as a premier passenger train, would have employed streamlined lightweight passenger cars early.

Snap track is okay but needs care in laying, as does any track system. Its main problem is a limited amount of different radii. Probably the best, and most expensive, track system of a snap track type is Kato's. It is not compatible with other makes. Atlas is fine however their snap track switches are very limiting. I would use their custom line switches instead. They will mate with snap track. They are not powered which means you'll have to attach an operating lever or point motor to switch tracks.

I'm not a fan of DCC because I have too many older locomotives that would be tough to change to DCC and too expensive. For someone just starting out DCC provides the advantage of running more than one locomotive on common parts of your layout, without having to sectionalize the layout electronically.

It saves wiring, switches etc. Make sure your locomotives are DCC equipped or convertible. Couplers are a big question. Cheaper makes still use the horrible "standard" hook/horn model. Better ones use a magnetic coupler compatible with the brand named "Kadee".

You can fit "Kadee" types to most modern made cars and locomotives. They uncouple with a magnet inset in the tracks. The original "Kadee" couplers are better, but more expensive, than those that are copies. "Kadee" are metal most of the copies are largely of plastic. All need careful adjustment. Kadee makes a cool gauge for this.

Author Resource:- Victor Epand is an expert consultant at Sell Model Trains is a community of various independent model train sellers from around the world. Each model train seller represents a unique style of products all their own. If you have a model train to sell, click here to create a Model Train Account.
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Options To Earn Extra Income Online

If you want to earn extra income online, think clearly about the opportunities you have to choose from. You can start an online business while still keeping your old job and once your new venture begins to pay off, you can turn it into a full time occupation. One method people are beginning to see as profitable is with affiliate marketing on their own blog. Blogging is becoming a way of life for many people.

They will keep their personal diary online for the world to view and others will be topic specific writing daily or weekly musings about politics, religion and other timely subjects. Once a following exists, affiliate ads can be placed on your blog in order to cash in on the trend. Even Google offers programs where you can place ads on your site and the ads that magically appear are geared towards the subject matter of your blog.

Placing your own affiliate ads on your blog makes it more of a personal choice and allows you to bypass the ads from sites that you do not agree with. For example, if your blog is about raising children, then you probably do not want ads that are geared towards adults. Affiliations with sites selling childrens clothing, furniture or educational materials will probably be a better fit. If you have a successful blog, there are some companies willing to pay you to add your thoughts to their company blogs.

Paid blogging is beginning to offer big paydays to those who can add significant, thoughtful and provoking information, while remaining true to the company that pays you. If you choose the affiliate road, keep in mind that while larger retailers may make your site look more credible, those looking to buy from those sites typically just sign into them, bypassing your site completely.

It is better to find sites that offer niche products, filling a specific needs, as many of your visitors may have never heard of them before as they find them on your site. You can start a newsletter in order to earn extra income online. It can be about things happening in your neighborhood, your community or even about your favorite hobby. If you have a blog about model trains, for example, you may end up with a model train newsletter, signing people up to have it emailed to them on a regular basis.

Once it is established, paid advertising or affiliate advertising can help pay the bills and help you earn extra cash. Regardless of the direction your earning endeavor takes you, it should be something that you enjoy doing. If it something of a passing interest, as time goes on you will find your dedication and product quality will also diminish.

Author Resource:- Obinna Heche. Los Angeles - California Delivering the best home based business ideas and opportunities so you can work at home successfully..
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Encourage Your Children's Imaginations With Models

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Children love to build (it's the basic reason as to why Legos are so popular). To expend your child's creativity and imagination, try to encourage them to build models! Between all the different ways to build, it is easy to find at least one toy, which will spark interest in virtually any child. A few different types of model-building toys are erector sets, coolblox, Gears! Gears! Gears!, and K'NEX.

Erector sets first hit the market made with mostly small metal beams with holes. These holes were on the beams with the intent for you to insert bolts, screws, nuts, and other connectors supplied with the set. With these sets, you could create gears and pulleys and other great creations. Nowadays, however, there is an even wider variety of options! For example: model trains, experimentation kits, microscopes, and chemistry sets, to name a few. Beyond that, you can get sets capable of building various models (such as a motorcycle or an ATV).

Coolbloxs are soft, colorful, interlocking blocks. They are fun building toys for kids of all ages. Easy to pieces together, these blocks can be used to make a plethora of interesting shapes and designs. Pictures and instructions are included with the kit, but you imagination can get you just as far, if not further!

With another type of toy, Gears! Gears! Gears!, your child can create three-dimensional fun, as the connectors can be configured in many ways. This fun toy includes interlocking bases with a variety of plastic gears. It also comes with a guide and a giant storage tub in a basic set. You may also purchase add-ons to keep the fun rolling.

K'NEX was invented by a person who was bored at a wedding reception. Sitting at the table, an interesting and unique model was soon created from straws. This product comes with a booklet which is sectioned into difficulty levels, so that it appeals to many different age groups. It is also compatible with a variety of add-ons. For instance, you can purchase a racing set, safari set, or even a flying set! Some sets are intended for basic design others have seemingly limitless options. The K'NEX 50 Model Building set, which can create 50 different models, is an example of a set with seemingly limitless options. The models, which can be created range from creatures to moving machines! Although, of course, your imagination can make limitless creations under a good set of K'NEX.

Models help your child expend their mind and reach endless limits of creativity. Building models teaches hand-eye coordination, and helps your child learn how to follow instructions, plan ahead, and think critically. All while having fun!

Author Resource:- Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Toy and Hobby Shop at
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How Are Model Trains Powered?

By: Victor Epand

Model trains have been around for some time. During this time the means of powering the locomotives have changed quite a bit. Many of the first trains were clockwork which required winding and had lever to make them stop and go or put them into reverse as well. While not the best way to control them their size helped to make it rather convenient. Eventually model train makers began to produce special tracks that would slow or stop the trains by throwing the levers on the locomotive. This would allow the modeler to set up a station at these points on the tracks. Some of the larger models that were produced could actually run on steam. Either or these types are highly collectible now and much sought after.

Before electric trains became readily accessible to the public due to the lack of public utilities many of the model trains were battery powered. Now that the cost of public utilities are on the rise this method of powering the models is making a grand comeback. Large scale outdoor model trains especially benefit from the use of batteries due to the amount of power they draw and safety concerns that can arise when using power outside. Many model builders still feel like the use of batteries qualifies the trains as a toy but this may eventually change for them as well.

Many of the first model trains to use a powered track ran on a three rail system. This allowed their wheels to sit on the metal track which also had metal sleepers that conducted power. The third rail was a center one that powered a sled that was under the engine. The set up for these first electric model trains was somewhat strange but due to the conductive nature of the metal engines and cars it was meant to be a safer setup for the modeler. Once plastics were to become readily available this adaptation would no longer be necessary. The models also lacked anything resembling true scale standards so some freedom of the imagination was allowed in designing these models.

Eventually model builders became more concerned with accuracy over convenience and soon the model trains were reduced down to a two rail system. One rail was the positive side of the circuit and the other was the negative or ground. Those that decided to stay with the three rail system instead changed the center rail into a series of studs. This allowed for a look that was much closer to the real thing.

Now that scale and accuracy are demanded by modelers the manufacturers have almost perfected the electric train. With a true two rail system they have been able to accurately reproduce scaled down versions of the real thing. Some large scale outdoor use live steam as well as some smaller models that have been modified for this purpose. Gasoline-electric hybrid engines exist as well but tend to be much more expensive than those powered by more standard means.

Author Resource:-> Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, powered model trains, and model trucks.

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Owning A Sports Car As A Hobby

There are those who decry sports car ownership as poor decision-making. They maintain the limitations in functionality, high maintenance and insurance costs, and other factors make owning a sports car a poor move. They don't understand the value of purchasing a sports car and will espouse the numerous virtues of more "reasonable" choices.

Even if one were to concede their arguments, however, it would not degasify sports car ownership. What those who critique the logic underlying sports car purchases fail to recognize is the residual value of hobby entertainment. They perceive automobile value as being found in quantifiable terms such as cost, fuel efficiency, available space and average maintenance costs. They fail to value beauty, character and fun into their decision-making calculus.

Although a more expensive than crossword puzzles or knitting, sports car ownership is a hobby. It is not just an automobile decision. Instead, sports car ownership is part of a hobbyist lifestyle. One can find great satisfaction in a hobby. Grown men spend countless hours with model trains and planes. Others spend their spare hours in workshops building chairs and tables. Some opt for a comfortable chair and a well-read library of classics. Hobbies are attractive to all of us, and the sports car hobby offers unique appeal.

Sports car ownership creates the chance to spend your spare time doing something you enjoy. As an alternative to watching television or spending spare time aimlessly, a sports car is hard to beat. One can spend their time caring for the vehicle, learning more about it and its history and, of course, driving it.

Driving the sports car is really the core of the hobby. There is nothing that compares to sailing down winding roads in a precision machine that responds perfectly to your every whim. Sports car driving can be said to represent the perfect merger between man and machine and can create a thrilling experience unlike any other. The entertainment value of driving a great sports car cannot be quantified, yet it still must be considered when one analyzes the decision to purchase a high-performance automobile.

Sports car ownership also creates an opportunity to develop and enjoy an extended social network of likeminded enthusiasts. Sports car fans band together in clubs, attend fun functions, and socialize in a variety of other fashions. One doesn't just buy an automobile when they invest in a sports car. They also come into possession of a developed social network filled with people who certainly share some of their interests and may share much of their outlook on life. Sports car ownership isn't just about the driving. It is about forging relationships with others as well as growing acquainted with the car itself.

There are, of course, more practical automotive choices than a sports car. You can find more reliable vehicles. You can invest in a more spacious and comfortable car. Fuel efficient and functional alternative abound. None of these options, however, create a hobby. It is that intangible hobby value that separates sports cars from the pack. No other vehicle offers quite the same collection of benefits and joys.

Cars merely provide transportation. Sports cars, on the other hand, provide thrills, fun and unique opportunities. When one assesses these intangible benefits, it's not hard to see why so many drivers eschew generic sedans and practical station wagons and instead opt to slide behind the wheel of high-performance sports cars.

Author Resource:- Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. For innovative car care products go to
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tips To Make Your Own Train Table

Indeed, you can build and make your own train table. Even if it is your first time in woodworking, for as long as you have the interest to finish a train table project for your model trains or for your kids to play their toy trains, you can indeed manage to make one.

First things first, you have to know what you need in building your train table. Most often, materials are readily available for this project. You just have to grab a good guide and a great design for your train table project and then you can start with it as soon as you have acquired the necessary materials.

You can actually find your table legs, braces, boards and miniature people and landscape from your local hobby store. In choosing the lumber for your do it yourself table for your kid's train toys, choose something that does not warp. You have to sand your table as well to get rid of splinters especially if you intend to make your children play with it.

Choose also the correct size of screws to make your own table. Choosing the correct size helps you avoid cracks in your project.

One difficulty of the train tables is access to the inside of it. You can also make trap doors for you to have access to the landscape you put into it. It is also important to choose sturdy table legs to make your project durable as well. If you are planning to transport your table, then you have to build a table not larger than 4 x 8 so it will be easy to transport too.

It is also wise to make your own train table that that is just right for your height so you won't be bending the whole time you are working on it. If you have kids you want to play around the train table, make sure to smoothen the edges of your table with sandpaper to avoid splinters that may hurt them.

You can also paint you train tables and ask your kids about their suggestions to make it more appealing to them. Another important consideration you have to keep in mind is to make sure that you are placing your train table away from windows and doorways to avoid obstructions later on. Make your table near electrical outlets for ease of access. If you can't do away with doorways and windows, you may want to divide the top portion of your train table into sections or you may want to have an opening in the center to make your design more accessible.

To make this do-it-yourself project easier to start and finish even for beginners who haven't tried woodworking before, you can find some great train table plans and how-to guides to help you start with your do it yourself project. It can be more fun too if you can make your kids participate with this project. The more they are involved in the project, the more they would want to play with it afterwards.

Author Resource:- Carolyn Anderson enjoys a lot of hobbies. If you love woodworking, check out Build A Play Activity Table. Also check out Build Your Own Tiki Bar, where you can find tips and techniques to build your own tiki bar.Distributed by
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Building Model Toy Trains May Be the Perfect Hobby for You

Everyone who is looking for a fun and fascinating hobby, just look at model trains. This popular hobby has been around for decades with the earliest model trains dating from about 1840. As the hobby has progressed, model toy trains have gotten not only more realistic, but also more detailed in landscaping and scale. Today, there are several popular options for the new hobbyist.

The first thing to understand when it comes to model trains is how the scale is measured. All model trains are in proportion to their life sized counterparts, but the scale varies depending on the desired use and display. For indoor displays, the most common scale is H0, featuring a scale of 1:87. These trains are around 2" tall and between 4 to 12" long. If you want to place model toy trains in your backyard, you will likely be looking at G or garden scale, which has a proportion of 1:24. There are many other sizes as well, ranging from the matchbox size Z scale all the way to a train that can be rode with scales of 1:4 and 1:8. These quaint trains are often seen in amusement parks, but can be purchased by a private owner as well. Wherever your interest lies, you can find the perfect scale for your needs.

Once you have decided on the scale that is right for your personal collection, you can start to decide on how to display your model toy trains. Some collectors like to focus specifically on the trains and collect them for a freestanding display. However, much of the fun of model trains is creating an entire landscape to scale. In the business, this is known as creating a layout or scenery building. Many collectors recreate a specific historical place or scene. Fantasy scenes are also a popular choice. The scene is created in the same scale as the train, down to the rocks, trees and bystanders. For the hobbyist, this is often the most enjoyable part of collecting model trains.

As a model train enthusiast, there are many resources available to you. If you live in a fairly populated area, it's likely that you will be able to join a model railroad club. Joining a club gives you access to the knowledge base of other enthusiasts who enjoy model toy trains. These people can give you advice and sources for trains and supplies. Also, many clubs feature shows in which members can have the opportunity to set up their model trains for public display. In addition, many urban areas feature trade shows that can also increase the availability of materials and information.

To power your model trains, you have several options. The most common power source for model toy trains is a DC current that is delivered through the track system. Some trains do run on batteries, but it is uncommon for a small gauge train. Small gauge trains that use battery power are considered childrens' toys by most enthusiasts. However, large outdoor gauges often employ batteries because it can be difficult to get a consistent power source out of doors. In addition, for these large models, a full steam engine is regularly used as the power source. Working steam engines are also becoming a bit more common in smaller gauge model trains. Obviously, these can be quite intricate in such a small size.

People who build model trains for a hobby get a great deal of satisfaction from the endeavor. Model toy trains are just plain fun. However, they also speak to a lost age, create nostalgia and appeal to people who enjoy old fashioned engineering and design. Whatever the reason, the craft is easy to break into. Setting up a basic display can be quite affordable and it is easy to build on as you learn more. These are just a few of reasons that you may find model trains to be the right hobby for you.

Author Resource:- A true enthusiast of model toy trains; Tony Austin shows how a love of model trains can bring joy and happiness to every model train hobbyist. Be it expert or newbie, this form of transportation brings fascination and wonder as well as a sense of wanting to know and learn more once you begin model toy trains or model trains as a hobby. You can see more model trains at
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