HOn3 layout construction, part 3 | September 2023 WHATS NEAT Model Railroad Hobbyist

HOn3 layout construction, part 3 | September 2023 WHATS NEAT Model Railroad Hobbyist

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https://mrhmag.com - Model Railroad Hobbyist roving reporter Ken Patterson's September What's Neat this month includes:

- HOn3 layout construction, part 3
- T1 locomotive overview
- N scale F units
- Larry Harrington interview
- And more!

... Plus lots of shots of great runbys

IMPORTANT NOTE: The MRH monthly What's Neat video is posted the ~15th of each month.


► See the full article and follow the discussion: https://forum.mrhmag.com (not available until September 15th)
Get even more how-tos for model railroading on the Model Railroad Hobbyist website. This video is just part of the FREE September 2023 issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine. https://mrhmag.com
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Frequently Asked Questions

Which scale is the most affordable for model trains?

N Scale is the most affordable scale for model trains. The N Scale has a track gauge of 9 mm which makes it smaller than the other popular model railroading scales. It is also cheaper than the larger, more expensive HO scale. This makes the N Scale a great option for budget-conscious hobbyists.

N Scale starter sets are typically priced between $100 to $200. This makes them much more affordable and less expensive than comparable HO scale sets. N Scale, despite its small size, is extremely detailed and reproduces many features on modern locomotives such as illuminated cabs and intricate paint jobs.

N Scale trains feature specialty parts to create realistic cityscapes as well as a variety of special pieces like bridges, viaducts, switch yards, and signal blocks that make building your own railroad something extra-special. Its small size makes it easy to store. Many N scale tracks can be fit into a very small space. There is plenty of space for scenery details after you have finished setting up your layout.

N Scale's smaller footprint and affordability make it a great scale for model railroading beginners. With quality parts available from a variety of vendors around the world, you can recreate landscapes from around the globe just by ordering stock items or looking for individual pieces online

Is model trains a good hobby?

The popularity of model trains has increased in recent years, despite being around for many decades. They make for an enjoyable and fascinating hobby that offers something to suit all ages - children, adults, and seniors alike.

A model train is a miniature version of a railroad system. It incorporates the same complexity in design and engineering as the real thing. Model train enthusiasts are able to create elaborate layouts with realistic scenery that depict historical or mythical scenes. Model railroading requires little time and money, which is unlike many other hobbies.

Model trains offer an opportunity to get creative and build something tangible that you can be proud of. You can learn more about circuitry, mechanics, physics, geography, painting, engineering, and much more while producing stunning visuals that will be admired by fellow modelers on show days. This could lead to new friendships, through clubs or groups focusing on this particular activity via the internet or at special venues.

Another benefit of model trains are their multifaceted nature. You can create intricate layouts that include scenic beauty and sophisticated automation, modify existing engines, work on refurbishing projects, and take part in model challenges and competitions.

A hobby like setting up a model train can provide you with both artistic satisfaction and skilled challenges. This will reward you with many happy memories that will last a lifetime.

Does oil need to be used in model trains?

Model trains require oil or grease to be properly lubricated. Model train wheels, wheels and gears require regular maintenance to ensure they run smoothly. Regular oiling will help keep the mechanical parts performing as expected and will prevent excessive wear and tear on the engine or motor.

These parts will also be protected from rust or corrosion by oiling. The heat generated by model train engines can cause metal parts to expand or contract. It is therefore important to properly lubricate them with oil to allow them to move freely and without resistance.

Different oils may be required depending on your model train. Some diesel engines may need lightweight oils while others will benefit from heavier oils that are more resistant to cracking at high temperatures. Check your engine manual for specific recommendations. Different engines have different specifications and may require different types of oil.

At least once per year, you should inspect your engine thoroughly, checking all moving parts for wear or damage. It is recommended that oiling be done at least once a year depending upon how frequently you use your model train. More often if it is used multiple times in a single day or week. Always ensure that all moving components are properly lubricated after long periods of non-use.

Over-oiling pieces can cause friction between pieces, causing them to roll against one another instead of sliding as freely as they do when properly oiled. Excessive oil buildup can lead to ignition, which can result in the engine chamber being heated for too long.

Which scale of model train is the best?

It all depends on factors like budget, space, and desired level of detail. Ho scale (1:87) is one of the most common scales used and is usually recommended for beginners as it offers great value and performance as well as a wide range of railroads and additional accessories. This scale is the smallest available and can be used to create small layouts or spaces. N scale (1.160) allows you to create larger designs in smaller spaces but has fewer details than other sizes. G scale (1:22.5) can be used by those who want an outdoor model railroad that can be operated all year without worrying about environmental damage. The OO gauge (4mm-1 ft) scale is the largest available. It provides enough detail for experienced hobbyists, but it's still simple to use for beginners. Z Scale (1.2220) is a smaller scale that provides greater realism, but it can be more difficult to handle due to its delicate parts.

All scales of model trains have different features that will suit different needs and preferences. Therefore, it is important to evaluate all factors before deciding which scale is right for you.

How does a train model work?

Model trains are scale replicas made from actual railway systems. They are powered with electricity. Model trains are available in different sizes known as gauges. These models can recreate any real-life train system, making them suitable for educational and recreational use.

A motor is an electrical device that powers the train. The motor is attached on the wheels of the train. It turns the wheels and moves them along the track. It will go faster or slower depending on how much electricity is used to power the motor. Some motors allow reverse operation.

Another important aspect of model trains is the track layout. This can include loops, curves or straight sections.

To conduct electricity correctly through model trains' tracks, magnets (or special pieces) should be placed in certain locations. This will ensure that every part receives the same voltage and powers the entire system. This ensures that all parts work together while they're running on the same amount of power supply.

Two components can be used to control speed and movement of model train models. One is the Throttle/Powerpak which acts as an engine regulator, controlling how fast and how much power is sent out from the main source (the electrical outlet) to accelerate and stop a locomotive. And DCC (Digital Command Control), which allows computers and other devices to control multiple functions simultaneously via digital signals that are transmitted through rails and wires. This allows them send commands from a single point - for example, sound effects or directional control switches.

Model trains operate similarly to real railroad systems except these models have smaller versions of engines, railcars cars carrying freight or passengers these may also have lighting systems, signaling systems, electric motors, broadcasters, magnets, brakes, and sometimes controllers that regulate their speed when necessary. Model trains can run on any terrain, so they are great for those who enjoy railways and simulating real-life situations.

But where is the power source for the motor?

The primary source for power for motors is electricity. Electricity is used to power an electromagnet which causes a rotation in the motor by providing a force on the armature. Motors are powered by either direct current or alternating power (AC). DC motors are powered by a battery, while AC motors use transformers, rectifiers, and inverters to convert AC into DC and regulate it to create torque.

Motors are also powered by renewable sources such as solar energy, wind turbines, and hydropower. In some cases, solar cells can generate electricity which can be used to power the motor. Solar panels may heat any liquid in the system to turn it into steam. Wind turbines produce electricity by generating electricity from blades that move with the wind and converting kinetic energy to mechanical energy. Hydroelectric plants use a similar process. Water runs through turbines or waterwheels, generating electricity that powers motors either electrically or mechanically.

Combustion engines are based on the combustion or fuel molecules. These engines produce electrical energy and drive a motor by using an electrical current. The majority of combustion engines are used for heavy machinery, like trucks, ships, and so on.


  • According to a “ Wall Street Journal ” article published just last year, the average age of the National Model Railroad Association's 19,000 or so members is 64, up alarmingly from 39 in the mid-1970s. (collectorsweekly.com)
  • Indeed, the novelty of electric power helped propel model trains into their “classic period,” which, according to Souter, began in 1923 and continued into the first few years of World War II. (collectorsweekly.com)
  • Bachmann BT-00642 HO Scale Thomas Train Set100%agree - Entertaining$118.34 (ebay.com)
  • and they are 100% guaranteed to be in stock in the store or at a local distributor. (euromodeltrains.com)

External Links




How To

How to Set Up Your First Model Train Layout

The basic foundation for any model railroad layout is a train layout. It consists of scenery, buildings, and track that is assembled to create a realistic, miniature landscape. As they work together, all the components create a story.

Getting started on your first model train layout can be both exciting and daunting. As there's so much detail to consider when creating this miniature world, such as the shapes, sizes, and placement of each component, it's highly recommended to plan out your layout before picking up any tools or laying tracks.

The basics: Choose your Track Type and Scale. When selecting what scale your layout will be (the proportion between the real-world size of the equipment and its representation in model form), remember that larger scales tend to take more room, but offer greater details such as lights and accessories. Different types of tracks serve various purposes. For starter sets, you should use snap-track (flex-track) to make it easier for beginners.

Design Your Layout: Start by sketching out a simple diagram drafting lines which represent tracks running throughout your space(s). You should think about where you want trains to enter and exit. Keep in mind reverse loops as well as crossovers and branches, which will help avoid dead-ends and derailments. Once you have the basic idea, don’t rush to purchase anything. Take your time thinking ahead by adding notes to your drawings.

To make your first layout, create an accessory shopping list. It is a great way to gather any accessories you might need. Online reviews can be helpful in finding high quality products quickly and easily. After making a list begin shopping for various station/road signs, trees/shrubs (which can be kneaded into shape if needed), gravel, or sandpaper (to enhance realistic textures across surfaces) in order to bring them back home ready to build their new corner of paradise! Books that teach color theory or explain how certain elements look best together are a great resource. Last but not least, have fun with your creativity! Remembering each exact detail doesn't matter in comparison long-term storytelling journey which will finish a masterpiece and still make a captivating tale truthfully told through thoughtfully constructed railway scenes!