More model railroad pics and tips

Starting with Don today – he’s added the print out barn to his layout.

Course, I’m biased, but I think it looks great:

“Pic of your barn, home to my small herd of Texas Longhorns.

The rancher’s “bunk house” is behind it.

Hope you enjoy it and thanks for all of your work and time for the emails.


HO scale wooden barn

“Hello Al,

Sending some pix of a project I’ve been working on the past few weeks I want to recreate my youthful town main strip known as Ridge Avenue in the Roxborough area of Philadelphia.

I have purchased quite an inventory of HO scale buildings, and started in on one that was the mainstay of the area previously mentioned. That of course was the Roxy Theater. I bought a Walthers Rivoli Theater and went to work.

The kit was not lighting capable, so my first task was developing a scheme whereby said lighting could be accomplished. I finally got that worked out and implemented!

Pictures (attached) will show the movie house pretty near what I experienced as a kid!. 32 micro leds illuminate the marquee and the movie posters in the entryway, as well as ultra violet leds for top marquee illumination.

The weathering was accomplished by texture spray paint and cigarette ashes (poor mans pastel chalk). Hope pix will meet with your approval and considered worthy of your web site!

Cincinnati, Ohio (USA)”

“Hi Al, I have an HO layout and love trains. I’ve got a problem and wonder if you would share it with your list.

For a Christmas Bazaar, our church was given a Lionel, North Pole, G gauge train set in the original box. All parts are there and the engine runs.

However the coupler from the engine to the coal car is broken off. There are no parts manual with the set. I have gone to the Lionel website and can’t find a service manual for it. I have searched YouTube and Ebay to no avail.

I seem to have one option. The the little shaft in the coupler post seems to be imbedded and broken off from the body of the train. Therefore, I am considering a plastic epoxy such as is used to seal PVC plumbing pipe, or Superglue on the base, and then a bead around the 4 edges.

I hesitate drilling with a Dremel Tool as the small plastic might crack. I also thought of using a soldering iron with a fine point to melt and join the edges. Still another is to lay small piece of gauze around base and w fiberglass.

Anybody have any Ideas?




Please do leave a comment at the bottom of the page if you can help Bill.

A big thanks to Tim and Don.

I do love it when I see some of the print-out-scenery on a layout. You can browse the prints here, and here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if today is the day you start on your layout.




Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

24 Responses to More model railroad pics and tips

  1. I actually have a bag of G gauge couplings and odd bits so if Bill wants them I can help but I live in the UK so postage would have to be paid for.
    And if it’s for a Charity event no charge for the bits.

  2. Kevin Ching says:

    Hi Bill
    What I have done in the past is to heat a small piece of brass wire with the soldering iron as you insert it in the plastic once cooled the brass wire should stay as foxed then put the rest of the wire in the hole in the coupler shaft and then bend the wire at the end to keep the shaft in place then add a piece of plastic glued to the bottom of the coupler box. I am not sure if the coupler box has a lid or not

  3. jacques976 says:

    i see that you have two screws if you have enough room I would hake up a small plate to match the screw holes and mount the pin on that so you have plenty of room to work and then screw into place.

  4. Chris eirich says:

    I have used JB weld on a bunch of trains including a axle and wheel on an engine
    It will work

  5. Tim Ehnes says:

    who ever tried to fix this used the wrong type of glue . I know how to fix this I had the same problem I reinforced the post by using a screw that I taped in from the back side you have to take the loco apart to get to the area that the mount is located. I used the mount as a guide drilled a hole and then I made the hole a little bigger then the screw I used and used a tap to cut threads in the post I like using faller glue. glue the piece in and then screw them together.

  6. Lenny Fries says:

    Use JB Weld!!! I have used this stuff to fix copiers and the stuff is stronger than plastic!!! Follow the instructions and use a lot around the edges to build up a mound so to speak. It works, Lenny

  7. Red says:

    I would use a soda straw to protect access to those screws! Put a filter of some sort to fill that lower area and then use epoxy to fill and support that shaft and that would be a permanent fix to the weak design!

  8. Mark Swart says:

    I agree with Lenny and Chris. JB Weld works wonders! Just make sure that ALL the parts to be glued are grease/oil free and cleaned of any dirt/residue. I use JB Weld all the time; it comes in quite handy with attaching grab irons and such. Also, there are many different versions (as far as set times). I have 1-Minute, 5-Minute, and 30-Minute blends. All are excellent. Hope this helps!

  9. Scott J says:

    It looks like the previous repair used the clear epoxy you can get just about anywhere, as it didn’t stick to the plastic, but is still well-bonded to the surrounding metal housing. I’ve had good luck with plastic-specific epoxy in these situations, as it also adheres well to metal as long as you rough it up a bit. But if the plastic part isn’t involved with the actual coupler shaft, then that wouldn’t matter. I’ve also used Fallers plastic cement with good luck on the plastic parts of my N scale wagons and carriages. Fallers is nice, as the bottle comes equipped with a needle applicator, which would be ideal in your situation.

  10. Robert Brady says:

    Grrrreat scenery I need a movie theater in my town and I have the stryene to do it and the micro scale letters. Thanks for the idea! Thanks Tim.

  11. Bruce hutchings (hutcon1) says:

    Try Bondic. Its a liquid that cures using led light . Takes 3-5 sec. Better and stronger than any glue or epoxy. Can fill holes, then tap and drill for threaded parts, etc. magic. Dentists are using for cavities.

  12. Butch says:

    All of you need to take a look at some glue called BONDIC. It is the same (or close) epoxy that dentists use to glue a crown or do a tooth filling with.
    The epoxy is applied and cured with a UV light. The $20 (+/-) kit comes with an epoxy applicator and refill and the UV light.

  13. Great post as usual…
    I love to see what people do with Alastair’s print out kits..
    Alastair’s kits have improved my modeling tremendously and have added considerably to my skills.
    The movie theater is just amazing in detail.
    As to the coupler problem… I am of the pin drill and hot wire school. Drill, pin and glue. Just my two cents on that issue.

  14. Robert Rolfe says:

    Bill, before any repair is started those parts must be cleaned up. I would use Tim’s method with the screw, however JB Weld will work but the part will have to be supported in the proper location until it is fully set up because when set up it is not going to move. Good luck.

  15. Lowell Fritsche says:

    Well I read all of the comments. Three things to do.
    !. Clean off the old glue residue very carefully.
    2. Get a screw or bolt to go through the whole thing to help hold the fix
    3. Use JB Weld to hold it with the screw or bolt.
    You got it fixed……..Lowell

  16. Thomas Monaghan says:

    When I repair plastic shafts I drill both sides then break the spiral part of drill from the smooth part i then epoxy the broken drill into the plastic parts as a support. The flutes on the drill helps grip the epoxy.

  17. richard sappelli says:

    Email me a better picture of the broken stuff.
    Also email me a picture of the Lionel loco number on the cab side under the window and the pix of the lionel box. I my have the parts for you as I have a wealth of parts for Lionel Large scale as well as LGB parts.
    will look in my many Lionel service pages as I was once an authorized service station. rjs.

  18. Bill says:

    I want to thank all who responded to my request for help. I used a combo of ideas. Being limited in small tools, I pre-cut gauze to create a web base and wrapping it around the spindle. I then soaked the gauze with something similar to JB Weld and. Then rewrapped. After setting for day I added another coat. Then painted it black. Your responses have helped me create a little inventory of repair ideas.

  19. Randy says:

    I’ve never had a JB Weld repair break, even under stress.

  20. Recommend trying BONDIC as folks above suggest. I used it to repair a tiny pin on a refrigerator shelf door. EVEN in cold conditions it not only held, but the UV-LED light that came with kit ACTUALLY works EVEN in cold temps. Worth the money, however it came with dead batteries on the LED applicator!! ($9.00 to replace batteries found at CVS!)`

  21. Don,
    Where did you get the longhorns from

  22. Tony, Kitty Hawk NC says:

    Tim- I grew up in Roxborough- love your model of the Roxy!

  23. Always makes a layout more lifelike with lights added …Dave

  24. If you want a new part I suggest trying Olsens Trains here in the USA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *