Alps Diorama

Devoted to the creation of a large Alpine Diorama in N-scale.

The theme is a fictitious town located in the central Alps.

The theme is a fictitious town located in the central Alps.
It focuses on modeling scenery: terrain, water, grass, flowers, trees, buildings, streets, lights, vehicles, people and public transportation.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Template and Images for Nscale Back-to-Back Signals

To access the template for the back-to-back signal face file click on link below.
This link takes you to the file located on Google Documents as a word processor document.
On the Google Documents page you can download the file (Go to File in top left corner) to suit several word processors you might have.  The template supplied was upload as-is in nscale, but using a word processor you can alter the image sizes to suit different size scale modeling.

Also included below are images of the wiring diagram for the back-to-back signals.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Alternative to Soldering

This video shows an alternative to soldering small components like the 0603 or 0402 SMD LED.  You see wire glue (a graphite substance) used to make contact between electronic parts.  Wire glue can be used for any low voltage connection, not just LEDs. Wire glue has a place in my tool box because sometimes you need a connection without the heat of a soldering iron.  Try it.  Wire gluing takes extra time because you have to basically tape parts into position, add the glue, and then wait for the glue to dry. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Modeling Railroad Signals

Well, here it is after much ado!  Making railroad signals was not difficult.  The big trouble is having to order all the parts to do the job.  And the prices were not bad.  I had to buy 402 LEDs from china, magnetic wire and wire glue.  All toll, about 20 dollars US.  Now there are plenty of other things that make the job easier, like a pc and printer to design and print out the pattern, paper, paper-clips, plastic, scissors, glue, tweezers, wire cutters, markers, resistors,.... but all these things I had on-hand; and I don't included in actual cost because much of them are used doing other chores.
In any event, I am happy with the results.  That was 8 mast with 16 back-to-back, 2 aspect signal heads,  having 32 red/green 402 LED's.  The look is nice!  I held off on signals till most of the diorama was complete and I'm glad.  The look of them is simple yet they fit the overall mood of the diorama.

Wire Glue Really Works!

The above video is in reponse to reviewers of wire glue that said the stuff does not work.  It does work and my video proves it.

I found myself trying to solder tiny 0402 LEDs in-place on plastic.  The 402's are so small I needed a magnifying glass just to see the nodes.  Problem was the heat from the iron was mis-forming the plastic the LED's were set in.  I needed something without heat... I needed wire glue?!

A quick google search turned up wire glue... a greenish-black graphite based soupy liquid.  I wasn't sure if it really worked.  I read as many reviews on wire glue as I could find.  I few users said they had success with it, but there were also the bellowers... the ones thay cried how they bought it and it just did not work, or that it was not glue at all and their wirng fell apart.  Like anything else, you just have to try it for yourself.  So I bought some "Wire Glue" in a small bottle from on-line and also bought some in a tube from Radio Shack.

Fact is... both brands worked for me.  The Radio Shack brand was a little soupier/watery that the Wire Glue brand; and I like the ability to open the Wire Glue bottle and stir the glue as opposed to the tiny Radio Shack tube.   I followed the directions, used small dots of it to make connections on low voltage electronics and honestly I was overjoyed at how well the stuff worked.  I never had a connection fail.   The big plus was that the product saved my electronic project.  Oh there is a few extra steps like taping wires in-place until the wire glue dries.  But honestly, I was happy I did not have to fight a HOT soldering iron to connect wires to 32 tiny 402 LED's. Oh and FYI, some folks said the wire glue crumbled after it dried, but I found the stuff to be rock hard and difficult to scrape away with a hobby knife.  If I had to remove a wire after the glue dried then the 38 guage wire broke before the glue gave-way.  Plus, if the idiots would just read the makers suggestion of using epoxy over the wire glue joint, then the joint will hold till after they are dead and buried. 

2 Aspect signals in actual use

I put together the above video of simple green/red signals in actual use.  It is in direct response to a smart-assed hardcore rail modeler that was on my case about not using a full single system... red, yellow and green.   I hate those types of SOB's.  The know-it-alls, money-is-no object, shrilling and snubbing people as they strut through life like their shit doesn't stink.  Hell, if he has so much money, why not just hire someone to build his entire layout... And there are some people in the business to  build layouts for the ones who will pay.  You reckon they also pay someone to take a shit for them???  But I digress...........

Complete n-scale signal systems are beyond my budget. I also model in DC (DCC is more complexed than I desire) and finding or making a full operating DC based signal system is overly priced. Complicating the issue is that I am modeling SBB Swiss rail and I have found only one maker of this type.  Laws of supply and demand means they can charge high prices... and they do.  A 2 aspect signal goes for about 30 dollars US.

Like impressionism art, I believe that a simple signal system, a token green/red (2 aspects) will satisfy the viewer.  There are also real uses of 2 aspect signals used in swiss rail, so using them is valid.  You can see 2 aspects in use in the above video.

Some modelers act as if it is a sin if something is NOT complete like a signal system.  Believe me, impressionism has been in use since the dawn of time.  Just take a look at ancient Greek and Roman arts; and if that doesn't convince you of its validity... look at Hollywood movies.  Even the hardcore modelers eventually have to draw a line at how much of their model is real, working, or how complete something is.  That line is different for everyone.  So I choose to keep my signal system simple (and fun).