Some Thoughts on Backgrounds

I’m no artist. But, this layout is going to require more than just blue sky-boards for backdrops, and I’ve never really liked the look of using photographs — a photo-realistic background seldom looks realistic to me. Yesterday, however, I stumbled on a neat Photoshop plug-in called Topaz Simplify (it also works with Photoshop Elements or,…

Rust Revisited

  I previously wrote about using craft store paints for inexpensively simulating rusty rails. At usually under a dollar each, these paints are a bargain. However, I recently learned of an even easier way to rust your rails — Floquil makes “Weathering Colors” available in the form of a pen. The Track Pack includes Rail…

Driftwood Stain

Many people are trying to replicate Floquil’s Driftwood stain color. Here’s a recipe that is nearly a dead ringer for the original. Start with 1 qt of Sherwin Williams “Pickled White” Interior Wood Oil Stain Wood Classic.” Have the following tint added: W1-20 B1-16 Y3-11 Y1-2 The only requirement is that the Sherwin Williams outlet…

How to Program a DCC Decoder

I’ve found the best way to program a DCC decoder, and it’s free (depending upon your DCC system)! DecoderPro is a free application that runs on pretty much any WindowsXP, Windows7, MacOS or Linux computer (OS list updated 12/31/12 to include Windows7 and delete Windows98). If you have an NCE Powerhouse Pro system of just…

Enlarging and Reducing Plans

What I’m about to mention here, many modelers already know. However, I figure it’s a useful thing to have in one, handy place, like my web site. We all know that HO is the most popular modeling scale out there. So, many published plans and drawings are in HO (1:87) scale. Here are some simple…

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