More from Dave, and more tips

I’ve watched countless videos of Dangerous Dave’s layout. But each time, I see something different – there seems no end to his talent.

Have a look at his latest vid. I first I thought he’d built a whole new section. Have a look and you’ll see what I mean.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.


Well, the D&W RR has been in mouth balls for quite a while, so I have been absorbing the tips from all the other modeler so,but I think I have one or two.

The D&WRR has had box cars that were always what they call “shake the box”, they were quality cars, I believe they were Athern, just add the trucks,add the sliding doors ,etc. what they lacked was a good weight.

One day in a magazine, they said what an HO box or Hopper should weigh, I got a small light scale, to start weighing my cars, many were not heavy enough, which sometimes caused tipping on curves.

One day at a train show, I bought a couple of 40 ft. Box cars, and noticed how nice and “heavy” they were,opening the doors, I found a fairly large steel nut glued inside, to increase the weight.

I bought those cars, and started to add the nut to my box cars, covered hoppers,and Cabooses. The extra weight rides better and smoother.

Dan, Danville and Western RR”

“Hi Al,

A great tip for making chain link fences; depending on the scale your modeling, get two different sizes of solid wire use the thicker wire for top rail of fence & the smaller wire for your posts, cut to sizes you need, make jig on a piece of wood ( 1 x 4 ) works well, lay out your pattern on wood, cut grooves in wood to form your fence.

Next cut wire into lengths & lay in grooves & solder posts to top rail, set aside, then get some material that a dress shop makes wedding vales, cut vale material into strips to match fence size , hang strips & add a small weight on one end to stretch then use silver spray paint ,paint both sides of strips and let dry.

Next glue to your fence frames this makes a good looking fence.


P.S. I wouldn’t use your wife’s wedding vale unless she lets you.”

“You need to understand what you are modeling. Understand the era. The people, clothing, furniture, tools, locomotives, rolling stock, cars, trucks, buildings.

Take lots of pictures or find pictures to download.

Visit the area and look at the geography and plants. It is hard to model a railroad without Knowing the prototype. Being in love with the railroad and the era also the area it is built in.

Also how it was built and the reason it was built in the first place. Did it haul coal or logs or was it a general merchandise carrier. Was it a branch line or main line.

If you love what you are modeling you spend days or years in the research end of things before you build.

Even after you are up and running you will never tire of researching your railroad and it’s history.

There is always more to learn about your favorite area and railroad. Even if it is a fictional line. It will be based on a real era, area or railroad.


A huge thanks to everyone – some nice tips today. Hope you enjoyed Dave’s video too, he’s a constant reminder of what this hobby should be: fun.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if Dave’s inspired you, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

That’s all this time folks.



25 Responses to More from Dave, and more tips

  1. Ben Hawkins says:

    Sounds and Looks Great Like the Dog Barking also

  2. Bob says:

    just love Daves layout and his videos. I would be interested to know what
    camera he uses in his cam truck. My layout is progressing slowly and when I have something to show I will send an update with photos.

  3. JIm Vejar says:

    Danville Dan
    I appreciate your thoughts on how to solve the car weight problems. What is the weight that you are recommending? Do you glue the additional weight over the trucks or in the center? Thanks, Jim

  4. Colin Smith says:

    HI Al, Tell Dave those hens sound like cockerels to me so he wont get many eggs.

  5. Steve says:

    Well done Dave apart from the hens being louder than the class 47 which perhaps is no bad thing all good fun 😀 Always entertaining

  6. Robert Moore says:

    Is there any pictures of of the fence along with jig?
    I also I found that distributing the weight over the trucks and down the center of the car. Thanks for the TIP’S!! Robert

  7. Carl in Kansas says:

    According to NMRA Recommend Practices, for HO, a car should weigh 1 ounce plus 1/2 ounce per inch of body length.
    In my opinion, it is best to add weights to cars by placing it over the trucks to add to overall stability. You could build a box with the weight (nut) inside, and it would be part of the load.
    Flat pieces of metal would work for weight, especially in open gondolas, cabooses and passenger cars.
    Hobby stores carry lead weights for soap box derby competition – they may even come with double-sided sticky tape.
    Use your imagination, have fun.
    Carl in Kansas

  8. Tim Morlok says:

    Jim, the NMRA has recommended car weights for each scale. Search: NMRA Standards then page search: (your scale) car weight. I would divide the weights over the center of each truck for a more stable car, rather than trying to find the center balance point in the middle of the car. Good luck, Tim

  9. Roly says:

    Watching Dave’s videos are a delight. I nearly always seem to see something new each time……..the result of wearing glasses at long last!!!!

  10. Ken Goldenberg says:

    Fantastic Dave! I could imagine sitting by the tracks and watching the trains go by.

  11. Ian Mc Donald says:

    Cant wait to see eggs in the hen house. great tips I use bits of lead to weight my cars. I use fly wire for some industry fencing.

  12. Joseph Stately says:

    You can also use the adhesive wheel weights to weigh the cars that they use to balance the fancier alloy wheels on today’s vehicles. They usually increment from 1/8 ounce to 1 ounce.

  13. Mike says:

    G’day Dave,
    your dog sounded so real that my dog went outside thinking there was another dog on his patch.
    Keep up the great work mate.

    Mike in OZ

  14. Chris Daws says:

    For the weights to put in your rolling stock…go to your nearest tyre centre, they have lead weights with sticky backing. When they balance the wheels after chabing tyres they strip off these weights, ask nicely they will give you a gew scrap ones, they have the weight marked in grams and can easily be glued into the rolling stock. For open trucks use gravel , sand or rocks.

  15. Lindsay McIsaac says:

    Hi all, another method of weighting your wagons/cars. just wrap some solder around the axle, be careful not to let the ends touch the wheels, try just one axle on each truck/bogie and then the other one if necessary, this way you don’t have to bother finding the center(re) of the whole wagon. this was mentioned in a book called 964(I think) handy hints for model railways I bought around 1958.
    Lindsay in NZ

  16. Too Cool,should be criminal having that much fun modeling!!

  17. William McCourt says:

    Garry’s comment about loving your prototype and doing research on it even after you’ve built your layout is the kind of thing that keeps you engaged and excited about your railroad. Your research will also provide you with endless ideas for updating and detailing your line so that it’s always fresh in your mind.

  18. Kelvin Bland says:

    The best way to add weight to your rolling stock is to use course (fresh water) fishing weights as these come in all shapes and sizes so you can get the exact weight you need in small increments.
    Railway modelling, video production and now Dave plays the organ! Is there no end to this man’s talents?

  19. Jim Kennedy says:

    If you want eggs get a rooster. LOL!!!

  20. Will in NM says:

    Dave, Another delightful video. Your layout looks like a neat place to live. The bucolic farm scene with the chickens and barking dog looks so enticing, except for the fact that the farm is planted smack dab between two railway main lines only a few meters from the front door. No wonder the hens aren’t laying any eggs with all those noisy trains zooming by at all hours. 🙂

    Gary, Your advice about researching the area and railroad you plan to model is good advice. My problem is that every time I move I find a new railroad to model and never get to the actual construction of the layout. All I seem to do is accumulate models and books for all kind of different railroads. My interest never seems to stay focused on one area long enough to make any progress.

    It was a lot simpler when I had no interest in modern diesel locomotives and all my engines and cars were from the steam era. Then about two years ago I watched a video on YouTube all about how to identify the different kinds of diesel engines and now I’ve got 40 of them and had to update my rolling stock roster with modern railroad cars. Since I live just a half mile from a Union Pacific mainline, I watch the modern diesels with their unit trains of covered hoppers and double-stack intermodals roll by night and day and can’t help but admire them too. How do you limit your interest to one area and one railroad?

  21. Erick says:

    Very good. Would like to see more.

  22. John says:

    Thank you Dave,
    I always enjoy your videos, and always gain inspiration. I am particularly drawn to your track work. The “settled” look of the ballast treatments, and the perfect rusty steel colors, and carefully modeled vegetation. Too often, ballast does not look like it has been exposed to vibration, dirt, weather, etc. but your work nails it at every turn. And to Al, again, thank you for maintaining this valuable daily resource. Truly wonderful to see everyone’s efforts from around the globe!
    John, Philadelphia USA
    PS: Al, when possible, could you provide a quick tutorial on exactly how to submit photos, narrative and/or videos? (formats etc.) I had sent a video but haven’t seen it, so maybe it was not useable?

  23. Charles J Eyster says:

    A great source of weights is the local tire store. Here in New Jersey, I frequent the local tire store and while waiting for my car to be serviced, I hunt discarded small tire weights in the lot! I have been luck enough to find several pounds of flat rectangular weights. They seem to have some form of adhesive paper on them, which was easily peeled off.
    Prior to economizing with the free weight finds, I purchased curtain weights online. PreCovid, they were extremely inexpensive.

  24. Mr. Ron from South Mississippi says:

    Excellent layout. The music makes it come alive.

  25. Håkan Lundberg says:

    A very very nice railroad. I am very jealous when i look at the video.

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