The Modeling Way

I’m doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t do.

Turning my layout into a workspace and using it for storage.


Enough shaming.

I spent some time with a soldering iron yesterday and discovered that I’m a natural at soldering itsy bits. I restored the Minitrix U-28C to the same sorry lighting state it had before I started to mess with it, which was the least I could do…

I has a sad little light, anyway.

Then I moved on to……………..


One thing about the model railroad world is the remarkable lack of do-and-tell when it comes to basics (compared to the plastic kit world). Most model railroaders are not compulsive explainers, I guess. But a few sites do contain SCADS (AKA “butt loads” if you’re a truckstop waitress) of information.

One such site is

This fellow displays a weird amount of hostility toward a good old American model train maker, Bachmann. The hate reminds me of the feelings many plastic kit makers have for Airfix. It’s a crazy kind of hate.

So, of course, I’ve been buying second-hate Bachmann locos on eBay.

I have found that, over all, they do not suck nearly enough to justify all that hostility. But it’s a bit like comparing Airfix to Hasegawa. You compare Bachmann to Kato and you get right into hate country before you can pull your horse up.

I bought an “undecorated” set of old Bachmann locos and paid a bit more than I should have (but not a bad deal, really) and got an education in why some people hate.

This Bachmann F7 had four sets of wheels with FOUR broken gears. Not one, but all four. So I ordered the parts from Bachmann and had a pleasant experience.

True, you can’t just send them a message (like Airfix) and get free parts but where on earth can you? That free part thing is nuts.

I also scored an old Bachmann dash 8, which featured the worst lighting installation in history.

Really bad. Awful.

I spent a lot of time re-building the lighting setup to get this–

Believe me, it was awful. This isn’t too bad. It will do, pig. It will do.

3 Replies to “The Modeling Way”

  1. I really like the look of your layout Dan. I’m working in Z scale, which is another level of modeling insanity.

  2. The Maine Two Footers.

    For those who might like giant scale – there were three real Railroad lines in Maine that were two foot gauge. They carried freight and passengers and were not in amusement parks. Seems the desire to do Railroading as inexpensively as possible was the motivation, not terrain or need to be temporary.

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