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  1. What are the T-Trak "rules"?

    Gavin, it depends some if youa re going to run with a club. Some clubs are a little pickier than others on module base uniformity, but really the basics are the spacing of the track and being able to get it up to the setup's running height. Most all clubs in the us run alternate spacing that's the standard 33mm kato spacing. Length is usually multiples of 310mm but you can do what ever length as long as you do them in pairs so you can even out on two sides of a loop. Depth behind the tracks only depend on the size of corners used and in front by the table width and thus how far out you can get leg supports. the old Ttrak box is the usual and there are a couple of places that sell kits pre cut either laser or CNC. Like todd said you can also so them out of 1x3 stock or even as just a plank of 3/4" ply that has foam on top or not and just tall legs to lift it to the 3-4" running track height. Folks have even made the box style out of foam core and no problems other than not banging them around too much. our club is an odder one that does the old standard spacing of 25mm of track roadbeds right up against each other. This is usually for running streetcars. We make our modules at 1" high and then those can either rest directly on the table or on inset risers made of 1x2 that are spaced with dowels and 4' long so you can level 4 modules at once and can be at more like 4" off the table. The slim front module faces frame the layout scenes and don't detract like the tall 2 3/4" faces of the traditional box modules. Also saves room when stored as the extra box depth is not used for anything but storing the leveling bolts. on the leveling bolts also think of only using three instead of 4, just two in front corners and 1 in the center back. It's a lot easier to level the modules, just do the front two for leveling down the track the the single back one for the individual back to front for each module. Also easier to reach the single center back rather than the corner back pair. Ntrak has pretty much taken over the Ttrak standards and Ttrak site now. Cheers jeff
  2. The 4.9mm are pretty much spot on for most of the regular sized tomytec autos. Jeff
  3. M-497 "Black Beetle" - Jet powered train

    it was actually 1:184 of all the odd scales! here is one. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1954-REVELL-1-184-CONVAIR-B-36-Giant-Bomber-Original-Box-Only-Instructions/391927000826?hash=item5b40ab6efa:g:QPgAAOSwNWxZ8oIi jeff
  4. The blue and white paired wire can be hard to find, usually red and black paired like this. Any 22g stranded wire (or larger) will work. Unless you just want it color coordinated you can just standardize in red to white and blue to black or something like that. Wire has gotten very expensive in the last few years so shop around. Speaker wire is sometimes the cheapest thing you can get for stranded, especially two stranded, wire. But many of those are color coded by the wire with one copper colored and the other silver so a little harder to distinguish quickly unstripped but no problem when wiring things up on the bench, again just standardize. Also the cheap euro terminal strips are handy for doing splits and adding more feeds. You can cut them up into pairs where needed. also if you don't know about heat shrink, then check it out as it's the best way to insulate and protect your splices. Very simple to use. if you want the kato connectors the tamiya rc connectors work with kato. The cheap copies on ebay also work, but can sometimes need a bit of filing on a barrel as their males can be just a tad to big. Using connectors you can just make your whole own wires to suit your needs and use a larger gauge wire as well as the kato is a bit whimpy. jeff
  5. What did you order or the post deliver?

    Doug Coster used those naughty figures in his love hotel on is great Japanese layouts. If you looked close enough thru one of the upper story windows you can guess the scene... jeff
  6. Starting the "Doll Railway"

    But roughly 1/12 scale to the 1/12 scale dolls! 1/144 is the standard doll house doll house scale. jeff
  7. M-497 "Black Beetle" - Jet powered train

    And just think of the noise sitting just behind a jet turbine exhaust! Plus the heat along the roof, nice in winter, but in summer? cousin of the Schienenzeppelin, another very unique and very rare kato n scale model! While no sound it's prop does spin. These pop up once and a while on ebay. It was not a cheap model. There was one on the local ntrak layout at a show a few years back. It is an eye catcher and the sound is nice, one train you can get away with playing really loud (like speed n scale trains sounds usually are way above normal so you can hear over wheel/track noise and ambient noise and at scale 500+' away). somewhere I have the engines for this from an old b36 model I got on ebay that was open and missing a few parts but the engines were there. It was slightly smaller than n scale I think. Is on the would be cool list... jeff
  8. Where to get/how to choose bookshelf cases

    yep the spiral ones let you cut in all directions, I have a set of very fine ones I picked up on ebay. this is more like the size to cut light foam https://www.ebay.com/itm/SPIRAL-JEWELERS-WAX-SAW-BLADES-3-SWISS-MADE/280640589814?hash=item41577b8ff6:g:J8oAAOxyMZ5RnTZX:sc:USPSFirstClass!20817!US!-1 But you need a coping Saw that has flat clamps to hold these. Many deeper coping saws need little end tabs to hold the blade ends. http://smile.amazon.com/ToolUSA-5-Inch-Adjustable-Jewelers-Wooden/dp/B00VUGEXGA/ref=sr_1_7?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1511158555&sr=1-7&keywords=Jeweler's%2Bsaw&th=1 another option is to put a spiral bit into a rotary tool and route out your inserts. Cuts like a hot knife thru butter easy pezie but messy. http://smile.amazon.com/Dremel-561-Multipurpose-Cutting-Bit/dp/B00004UDIB/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1511158076&sr=1-2&keywords=Rotary+tool+spiral cheers jeff
  9. Light shines trough cockpit.

    The universal fixall, duct tape! jeff
  10. Smaller than that, but yes. I'm guessing 16g wire would have the about 4mm diameter for an n scale tire. Go to home depot and you can buy a foot of the right sized wire to match your missing tires. Solid core is easiest to strip. Pull off 1\2" of insulation and slice off a few 1mm or so thick slices. Hardest thing will be getting nice clean perpendicular and parallel slices. The fill in part of the center with a drop of glue or paint. jeff
  11. Cleaning coaches - Soap or solvent?

    The good gentle soap is the plain ivory soap. Pretty ph neutral and little extra stuff in in. You want it very dilute like less than 1%. There are some speciality soaps that conservators use, but those I'm sure ain't cheap. always start by using the cleaning with very soft swab (those lip makeup applications are great as they don't shed a lot like qtips will) in a small more hidden corner at first. Rinse it and let it dry for a day or two to make sure there are no bad reactions. Usually it's the decals that will be the most vulnerable as the paints will be organic solvent based. Do multiple passes of gentle cleaning and not a big rough one. alcohols are good as they can really affect decals and also mildly solvated many paints some. Cheers jeff
  12. Todds got it just put them in posisitions where you can't see the missing wheels! maybe toni will make a set of a small range of 1/150 tires on his shapeways shop. There are 1/160 truck tires on shapeways now. jeff
  13. Planning Aizu

    It's great you are going to vary the module sizes, this will help with the uniformity that always comes with modular setups. It's always tradeoffs... for the height think thin like 1 or 1.5" max for the flat modules. You can always boost them up to the height needed with some little stands thancan just be two pieces of 3/4" stock cut to a width to bring the module up to the right height. Then one or two dowels between them to hold them up. These can be inset some so not out in the edge focal plane. Sort of makes a sushi platter. then when you get to modules with big ravines you can do a more built up module to contain that dip or an incline or decline. The U method is nice, but not sure if it will work well or look good on your sized modules. One of the forum members did a great set of modules based in the design of a link above. It's simple and clean but really for smaller sized modules. http://japanrailmodelers.org/pages/modelingjapan/minimodules.html i preach about shallower module faces as the standard Ttrak module depth was not designed to make the surface scene look good it was for scenery depth and leg screw housing. I do exhibit design as my day job and always dealing with the "framing" of the item you are displaying (in this case it's the thin top scenery surface of the layout). Framing is meant to help draw the eye to the focal piece and also help float it away and isolate it from everything around it. While the standard track 2.75" makes a big buffer, it also makes a very large band front and center that only is on one side or at best two sides of the layout scene. It creates an object that tends to catch the eye instead of push it onto the scene. The scene needs to float away from the table in the viewers visual mind. This is where the thinner module faces help. At one inchnor somits enough to give that visual boarder of the scene stops here, but small enough to not draw the eye to it. Then supporting it with something inset that whole layer then floats. using finished wood face also helps as our minds eye tends to just accept and even enjoy finished wood, where as painted wood or plastics tend to catch it a little. cheers jeff
  14. Room lighting suggestions?

    Uv film is a must for window for long term. As kvp mentioned bulbs can produce varying amounts. Leds produce virtually none and have reached the price point that they will definitely play for themselves in the energy savings as well. Hardest thing in layout room lighting is spreading the light well for the layout. Long tubes (you can now get led tubes to replace fluorescent tubes, you just wire out the ballast to direct ad in most cases) will be better at making a more disperse light, where as spots will concentrate the light and leave light and dark areas. Led spots are even more intense point sources than incandescents. So it takes some fiddling to get the light right regardless of the kind of lights you use, diffusers can also help but they can get bulky, they will suck up some of the light, and you always need to consider ventilation. also leds come in a range of temperatures and even though most will give you a temperature of the light t gauge how warm (red/brown) or cool (bluish) they don't always match up with each other between brands all that well. Also the brightness is variable in how they measure them with brightness (lumens) or by the power (watts). Some outright lie. So it takes trying different leds some to get the right feel for your use and eye. You can now get RGB leds that let you set the color temp you what. These are more expensive and many are ip based so you can control them from a smart phone (and let hackers take over your lighting). lighting is important and it's also something that can be very personal in what feels right. It's worth experimenting on and getting it in before major layout work as it can be hard to work over the layout to install lights later and also nice to have good and final light when working on the layout. jeff
  15. What did you order or the post deliver?

    yep that was my idea, on the very long to do list! longer strip along the spine. jeff