New to the forum.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Hookedtrout, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    Just getting started. Actually spent the last week moving an old shed from down in my pasture up to the fence line along my yard so I can resotore it and turn it into a train station with an HO scale train set up. Still have a lot of work on the shed before I start but I thought I'd join a forum and start learning, the project is a joint adventure between me and my 6 year old son, I just broke into my early 40's so I should have patience enough for the adventure.

    If someone can explain how to put in photos I'll share my progress as I move along. The shed I'm restoring is 10X12 and has a distinct look that resembles an old railroad caboose and I plan on adding the top look out to it so it even enhances the look and feel.

    Can anyone recommend some good books to get me going. The only knowledge I have is similar to another topic running right now in that I used to have a Tyco train set, in fact I still have it boxed up out in the shed so I plan on using some of that as a starting point but I plan on expanding and what I would like is some books giving a good start on layout planning, electrical set up, and how to do the scenery. I have a complete wood shop with all the tools and I have lots of artistic abilities so the talent I think I have covered I just want to have some direction so I don't do everything the hard way.

    Any recommendations on some good books to get me on my way and some direction on photo posting would be great, hope to get to know everyone along the way. I'm also a man with many hobbies so anything I can help anyone else with I'd sure be glad to give it a shot.

    Some of my hobbies include, Custom picture framing and matting, Geocaching, ATV riding, Fly Fishing fanatic, Classic Mustang collecting, Jeep off roading, Camping and old ghost town/mine exploration. Among many others.
    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Hi and welcome to the gauge. We already got ya covered on how to post pictures... You could just read the forum rather than books, that's how I learned more than the basics. Good luck with you new hobby, you will love it. Fred
  3. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    Thanks for the welcome and the information, on the photos does it automatically adjust the size to the limit or do I need to reduce the size in advance. I typically shoot large size for details and I'm a greenhorn at reducing the size.

  4. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    Well I tried to add a photo and they are too large so here is a link to some photos of the shed that I am planning on restoring for the layout among other photos if anyone is interested.

  5. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Yes, you need to reduce them first. The forum regrettably can't do it automatically. Try for a free image software which is the one I use, there are other free ones, it's just what i use so I know it works. Fred
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Welcome aboard Hook, sold my 58 3B last year, and the fly rod has a good 1/4" o fdust on it :D :D :D but I have fond memories :D :D :D Looks like you live in jeep country for sure. Check out http// sometime, I used to live there.

    You found the right place. Books are great, but you really can find all ya need right here!

    On pics, since you have a site, you can right click on an image and "copy image location" or go to properties and copy the image location, then use the image button, paste it in, and it should appear in any size.
  7. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    Not getting much direction or support for some good books so I'll take the advice and ask where do I start on finding some layout plans here. I'd like to start getting some ideas as I plan on modifying a layout plan to be more area specific to my region. The room is 10X12. Instead of having a shipping dock I'll have to opt for a lake by the tracks with some fly fisherman and campers etc. No ocean nearby in Idaho. Lots of farm ground and grain elevators etc. I'll probably do a small rural town section and some farm houses and farms probably in a spring setting, I will also have a mountain section with at least one tunnel and a bridge over a creek coming down.

    Thanks Hook
  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Just trying to save you some money friend. If your heart's set on paper the Woodland Scenics books and videos are pretty good. They are the only ones i ever purchased so they are all I can reccomend. Our libray and bookstores have nothing on modelrailroading. Old magazines such as Model Railroading and Model Railroad Craftsman (if you can find them at a used bookstore) are also a great source of knowhow. But here at the forum between the lot of us we have probally done everything. We like answering questions. So.... Fred
  9. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    For track planning an excellant book is Track Planning for realistic operation by John Armstrong. Published by Kalmbach, I think. If you need to order due to lack of hobby stores in the area, you should be able to find it on, kalmbachs site. Others more into net ordering can chime in with addys.
  10. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Sit yer self down and set a spell

    Well Howdy! :D

    Nice of you to join us. :thumb:

    I think you'll find some like-minded people here. This is a good place to hang around and have some fun, while you learn some stuff too.

    Here's some reference material for yer caboosy buildin' job :rolleyes:


    Yeah, I don't even hardly go by my LHS any more. As a result they have fallen on hard times. :eek:


    Fer yer track plannin' thingy, check out the thread here called "Track Planning For The Future" You don't need to become a member of that thread, as yer already a member of the Gauge, so come on 'round an' have a gander. :cool:

    Here's a quick link fer ya. :thumb:

    Have fun here, and welcome. ;) :thumb:

    TrainClown :wave:
  11. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    I guess my biggest concern is getting some kind of an actual scale layout to give me a starting point, I can take it and modify it to my own needs and second would be the electrical. I would like to have some type of reference while I'm out in the "Train Station" out back to be able to work along at an even pace. Not knowing anything about the electrical set up and needs it will all be new to me. I anticipate I won't know what questions to even ask without having any knowledge and I thought reading at least on these two subjects would get me started and believe me when I say from that point on I'll have plenty of questions. Good groups are invaluable but most generally you have to have enough know how to know what questions to ask and when it comes to the actual layout and electrical I don't think I do.

    Thanks so far I'm learning every day. The shed is coming along and I have decided to restore it completely original as far as the siding (it looks to be in about the same shape as the caboose picture above) so I will be cutting my own overlap siding from rough lumber as I don't know of any suppliers. Should be fun, the actual train stages won't come for a little bit as I want the shed done right so it is both easy to get air in and out, insulated well, and sealed well so I don't fight a lot of dust and dirt.

  12. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    Thanks Gary, I have pulled up Barnes and Noble and there is a lot of stuff out there I just don't want to get into anything useless so I appreciate any comment in this direction. John's book is now at the top of the list.

  13. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    Wow, now that is a great web site with some neat looking stuff. Thanks Fred, saving that one to the favorites. Looks like a good source of supplies for scenery, I will however run lots of questions through you guys prior to spending on the kits as I'm sure you guys can answer lots of questions and offer a lot of short cuts in this arena and I think this part of the game I can come up with plenty of questions without much background. My first is how do you make the water look so real? Amazing.

  14. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I did this with paint, sands, woodlandscenics ballasts and the water is a product called Envirotex which is a two part watery epoxy. Pratice in a small area first to get the hang of it. And don't be afraid to experiment. Fred

  15. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    That is awesome Fred, do you hand build your bridges or do you buy a kit for them. I plan on doing a lot of photography in my immediate area and small scenes like this I would like to do based on actual local places. We have lots of rivers around where the train tracks cross the river so getting some good actual shots should be doable. You have the look I'm after and you did a fantastic job.:thumb:

  16. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Those bridges are 4 Atlas snap track bridges cut and rejoined as doubles. The walkway covers the joint and was made from basswood strips painted with Walmart flatblack spraypaint. I hardly ever buy a kit anymore, this forum turned me into a scratch builder and a tightwad. And thanks for your kind words. :oops: :oops: That scene is noplace in particular, just a generic scene from my head. :oops: I owe that scene to this forum as it was here i learned most of the skills I used in it, a few I made up. Don't be afraid to experiment. The rock walls are made from old 2X4 paper ceiling tiles. The mountain is expanded spray foam over a wire and masking tape frame. Fred
  17. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    This is the part of the project I will love as I love doing the creative artistic kinds of things. And I will attempt most of it from scratch if I can. Money isn't a big issue however we all like to save it where we can for bigger and better things that don't offer the options. I have a good sized wood shop with all the tools from air compressors, table saws, chop saws, routers etc etc. I spent 2 days in my wood shop making my son his own Lincoln Logs because I think they are way over priced. I just bought the simplest smallest set I could find so I would have measurements and away I went. I even built chimneys with brick designs cut in the wood so it looked as real as possible. I cut enough to fill a 3 foot long by 1.5 foot wide by 10" deep box. He can build big log cabins if he wants.

    I love this part can't wait till I get there and from looking at your set up I'm in for some great advice and tips on how to do it right. I can't quit looking at that picture it almost looks like someplace I've been before short of the castle type structures.
  18. One more book:

    since you are worried about the electrical, theres a book from Atlas (On their system) and a book from Kalmbach that's a bit more generic on Model railroad wiring.
  19. Hookedtrout

    Hookedtrout Member

    I'm half afraid to bring up the brand names but I'm curious to see if there are specific brands that are to be avoided based on poor quality etc when it comes to trains, track, transformers etc.

    Thanks for the tip on the books.

  20. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    LOL, that castle is a Walmart Christmas Clock Tower. My grandkids got it for me for Christmas and were all brite eyed and insistant that I use it on the layout. How can you say no? It's something I and they will always remember and cherish. If you look closely all but 1 of those buildings in the village are craft buildings. :) One is scratch built. Can you guess? :D Fred

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