Recent content by MikeOwnby is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

  1. MikeOwnby

    N scale with Z scale Mixed

    Using N scale buildings on a Z scale layout will look pretty odd depending on the building. N is 1:160 and Z is 1:220, which is quite a difference. You'll end up with things like the front door of a house being as tall as a locomotive. Having said that, if you carefully choose your placement...
  2. MikeOwnby

    replace trucks on Walther well car and other similar questions

    On those Walthers well cars, I have about a dozen of them and simply replaced the entire truck with MTL 1035 short-shank roller bearing trucks. I just kept the plastic wheelsets that came with the trucks, but you can also buy metal wheelsets from MTL to replace those.
  3. MikeOwnby

    Layout Design software/programs

    I personally like and use AnyRail (version 6 is current, I believe). To me it was by far the simplest to use, with pre-made track libraries for pretty much any brand of track you want to use, accurately sized for all individual track pieces and turnouts, crossovers etc. Those "snap" into place...
  4. MikeOwnby

    What gauge wire for SMD LED?

    I use 28AWG, which was mostly a random choice but has worked well. It's tiny enough to fit in and through most anywhere you need it to, and not so tiny as to be difficult to strip, solder, and otherwise work with. At that gauge you're basically looking at decoder wire (at least for the N/Z scale...
  5. MikeOwnby

    BNSF Dieselshop

    That is really and truly impressive. I keep looking for a refueling/sanding facility especially, but it seems like I always miss any new production of it and the few that I might find still available afterward are extremely and ridiculously overpriced. One of these days maybe I'll get lucky.
  6. MikeOwnby

    N-scale Sonic Bonnet #2: NS 1800, SD70ACC

    I'm *really* proud of this one, just because it was such a bear to create and is such a unique frankencritter of a locomotive. Melding an N-scale Athearn SD70 and a Kato SD70ACe was a very interesting and time-consuming project. The complexities of the sonic bonnet paint job actually paled in...
  7. MikeOwnby

    Making your own decals

    I admire your persistence, and I should have also said that when you finally got it to work it looks GREAT. So really, well done, and I do like the decal you designed. Hopefully any future tries will go a bit smoother.
  8. MikeOwnby

    Making your own decals

    Not sure if your hopper was already weathered or what, but two points: First, decals do NOT move on a flat surface. Not without a lot of effort. That won't really changed no matter what you use. You ideally need a glossy surface (even if temporarily), and then spray your flat coat back on top of...
  9. MikeOwnby

    I was wrong about 90% alcohol !

    The train part of this has been covered, but you should never use anything other than plain water (on a cloth, of course, not sprayed) to clean any flat screen. Alcohol, ammonia, pretty much any chemical cleaner has the potential to degrade or discolor the protective surface of a flat screen...
  10. MikeOwnby

    My first NS "Sonic Bonnet" is done...only four more to go.

    Just finished painting this N-scale NS AC44C6M, though as long as these "sonic bonnets" have been running around (a couple years now, I think?), I'm sure I'm nowhere near the first. It's actually a Kato AC4400 that I stripped down, as will be the other C6M's, since as far as I've been able to...
  11. MikeOwnby

    Can Experience Please Tell Me?

    Thank you for the clarification. I knew I over-simplified the whole thing, and that there was a transition period, so thanks for those details. One new detail I had no idea about was that some of the brake wheels weren't moved. It was my previous understanding that in the end they all had to be...
  12. MikeOwnby

    Setting Up ESU System

    I don't think the ESU forum is even being monitored to add new users. Last I checked, the last admin post was YEARS ago, and I really don't think anybody is actually maintaining it.
  13. MikeOwnby

    Bachmann Spectrum 2 10 2 uneven running.

    It's Bachmann, so it being wobbly is just a bit of a given. You can find Bachmann steam that are perfect, but it's far more common to find a wobbler, at least in N scale. The only solution I've ever heard is oiling, which you've done, and sending it in for service. The thing with Bachmann is...
  14. MikeOwnby

    Setting Up ESU System

    And I say this as someone who has a Lokprogrammer and is in the process of putting sound decoders into the majority of my locomotives. And those sound decoders are ESU. But I'm not about to buy or use a single thing from ESU beyond that. They're just a ridiculous company, and if anybody ever...
  15. MikeOwnby

    Setting Up ESU System

    Seriously, man, go back to Digitrax and ebay the ESU stuff. I know Digitrax locks up and gets weird every once in a while, but rebooting that is far less headache than having to deal with ESU.

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