The home of The Rip Track podcast, disseminating information about model railroading and worldwide railroad history.

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Modeler's Moment - Turn off the flash

turn off the flash

When you're photographing a model railroad, turn off your camera's flash. The flash will illuminate only a small portion of the scene, giving you a weird half-day/half-night picture that just doesn't look right. Sure, it'll hide the posters on the wall behind the layout, but no amount of adjusting levels in your graphics manipulation software will fix this.

Modeler's Moment - Stacked bridges

stacked bridges

Here's a neat HO scale scene of a pair of railroad bridges crossing a creek at the same location. No real tip today, just a scene that looked interesting.

Comments are moderated!!!

<rant mode=on>I logged in earlier today to review what I had already posted and to check for feedback. When I opened the new comment moderation queue, I see that some *&@#% spewed a pr0n spam as a comment for every post on this site. Your comments will be moderated! Want to avoid moderation? Prove that you're sincere in participating by posting thoughtful and relevant comments or sending me stories, headlines or even whole articles related to model railroading. In other words, be good and your privileges will increase. Spam me, and you will lose them.</rant>

Modeler's Moment - It's the car, not the load

flat car model
The load is not considered part of the car for NMRA model contest judging. This flat car and load was entered in the model contest at the 2006 Midwest Region convention. Although it's a nice model with a unique load (which did match the prototype photos that were also shown there), the flat car is a stock Athearn car and did not earn the modeler enough points for a Merit Award. Adding brake details on the underframe would have helped to earn points.

My model railroad related magazine subscription count is...

one or two
25% (1 vote)
three to ten
75% (3 votes)
ten to fifteen
0% (0 votes)
as many as I can find!
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4

UP's latest heritage scheme is out today

UP has put up a press release today to announce that the latest heritage scheme is in honor of Denver & Rio Grande Western. UP 1989 sports a three-color (black, yellow and grey) scheme featuring a profile of mountains on the cab sides and the Rio Grande logo on the nose. The press release includes a few photos, there are bound to be more at the railfan sites soon.

Modeler's Moment - Rust starts at metal joints

rusty Soo Line car

Rust streaks often start at points on a car where two pieces of metal intersect, such as where the roofwalk supports meet the top of the car or along the weld joints in the side panels on this covered hopper. From the origin point, the rust normally flows downward, pulled by water and gravity.

Modeler's Moment - Hide your seams

coaling tower

When you're assembling a kit structure, spend a little extra time to make sure that all the parts fit snugly, even going so far as to fill, sand and paint over any gaps that result from assembly. A seam like this one will definitely not help you in merit award judging.

Modeler's Moment - Backdrops on small layouts

small layout

Adding a backdrop to even a small layout can make the layout look a great deal larger. This scene under construction is on a 4'x6' HO scale layout. Sure, there's a lot going on here, even without the finished scenery, but in hiding part of the layout, your imagination and sense of reality make you believe that there's quite a bit more on the other side.

Roster shots - Glen Haven, WI, June 3, 2006

Last week I went out to railfan along the Mississippi River with a bunch of friends in a little town called Glen Haven, Wisconsin. We saw about 10 trains in the 6 hours that I was there, but all the photos that I took are mere snapshots. However, they make excellent model reference photos, so here's the rolling stock roster shots that turned out well enough...

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