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  1. MikeOwnby

    Show us your kit-bashed structures

    A bit of kit-bashing, but mostly just a lot of kits. Six different structure kits went into this energy depot. The roads aren't quite so crappy looking these days, but I'm too lazy to walk out there and take another picture. N-scale.
  2. MikeOwnby

    Opinions on scale

    You're thinking in linear terms. Yes, N is half the size, but it's half the size in all directions. You get 4x the space for N as you do HO, because it's not all linear. You save space on the sides as well as to the front.
  3. MikeOwnby

    Ballasting/weathering track....what about re-railers

    I'm with Chet in that I don't use them at all. And I have a LOT of track. If your trackwork is good you shouldn't need them.
  4. MikeOwnby

    Tried N, got frustrated, went back to HO, happy again

    Reading your list of complaints about N-scale, I have to say that I've never had a single one of the problems you have had. Never a single burnt decoder (that wasn't my own fault) or shed wheel set. Definitely not anything falling on the floor. I don't know if the hobby has just advanced that...
  5. MikeOwnby

    Start small or a bit bigger?

    Just two bits of my two cents worth: First, I would definitely go with a command station rather than the Zephyr. For anything but a tiny tabletop layout the Zephyr really is a pain in the butt to use comparatively. I speak from experience when I say that. Second, I highly recommend AnyRail for...
  6. MikeOwnby

    New ScaleTrains N-scale Tier 4 GEVOs

    A halfway decent video of the two units I received last week. Dang these things are niiiiiice.
  7. MikeOwnby

    Rivet Counter N scale locos

    Got a video of the Tier 4 GEVO(s) uploaded to YouTube:
  8. MikeOwnby

    Coupler problems - need advice

    Yeah, Kato don't like to couple with Atlas or Micro-Trains. They don't like to uncouple period. Which is fine if you have a passenger train that never needs to uncouple, but otherwise... In any case, a 2004 coupler will fix you up on that NW2. Other than a couple of aforementioned passenger...
  9. MikeOwnby

    Rivet Counter N scale locos

    These are, quite simply, the best running and most detailed N-scale locomotives I've ever owned. I have the GTEL Turbine and now I have two of the ET44AC's that arrived Monday. Plan on (maybe) putting up a video. BTW, the NS model actually has ditch lights that flash alternately just like the...
  10. MikeOwnby

    N scale Con Cor Aerotrain???

    Add some weight to the rear of the train and it will run pretty well as long as your track work is good. It's still touchy and will derail on the end trucks if there are any bumps or irregularities, and has to be backed up slowly and carefully. Con-Cor messed up on not weighting it properly, but...
  11. MikeOwnby

    N scale code 55 vs code 80

    The one caveat is that older locomotives with taller wheel flanges won't negotiate code 55 turnouts and crossovers. As long as you have fairly recent equipment (I want to guess at 10 years or so), though, the code 55 is a better option. I've stuck with code 80 precisely because I do actually...
  12. MikeOwnby

    Kato GS-4 - What were they thinking?

    Yeah, that's just a thing where this company does the DCC installs & charges a premium for it, with Kato's blessing, and calling it a "Kobo Shops Exclusive". There's nothing "exclusive" about it; it's just a company doing DCC installs with readily available decoders and marketing themselves in...
  13. MikeOwnby

    How Much Time Do You Spend On Maintaining Your Layout?

    I have a fairly well-sealed room, and thus haven't had to perform a lot of maintenance so far, at least where cleaning is concerned. That's just going to depend on your environment. I also used No-Ox on my tracks, and thus don't really ever need to clean them. Humidifier for the winter and...
  14. MikeOwnby

    Kato GS-4 - What were they thinking?

    You're probably right. You would think they would make more of an effort with the DCC, but oh well. And no, I'm not just dying to have one, but that's kinda the whole point. I've already got a Daylight passenger set pulled by an E7, and it would have been cool to change it out with the GS-4 now...
  15. MikeOwnby

    Trip to NYC and Washington, november 2017. Need some tips

    As said, the tracks aren't announced until the train is actually pulling in. It isn't against the law to take photos (at all), so honestly feel free to snap a few. As also said, though, if you look like you're trying to take photos of EVERYTHING, then people may indeed get suspicious that you...
  16. MikeOwnby

    Kato GS-4 - What were they thinking?

    I was all set to buy one of the new Daylight GS-4's in N scale, but then found out that Kato really made a pretty (in my opinion) bone-headed mistake in the way they designed the thing. Turns out, you can only put one of their motor-function-only decoders in it, and there's no way to control the...
  17. MikeOwnby

    Trucks VS. European single wheel set per end freight cars?

    A fixed axle is also cheaper and has fewer moving parts. If you'll look back at the beginnings of US railroads, those cars also just had single axles. With the more condensed distances in Europe, I doubt there was ever any real need to make the change, for the most part. You also won't see...
  18. MikeOwnby

    Unwanted Caboose Uncoupling

    If all else fails, you can actually remove the trip pin from Accumate couplers. They're not a structurally necessary part of the coupler. That would mean you couldn't automatically uncouple the caboose, but it also wouldn't keep uncoupling as you run the train. BTW, you cannot remove the trip...
  19. MikeOwnby

    Basement Dwellers Beware......! Humidty is Back.

    I don't have to deal with basement issues, but the swings in humidity in Oklahoma are pretty insane. I have to run a humidifier all winter to prevent it getting down to the 20% or less it would go to on its own, and then a dehumidifier once the weather warms up to defeat the 80%. But in the end...
  20. MikeOwnby

    Midland Valley RY layout

    There is a passenger station as part of the railroad museum and turntable area. Not really a "big" one, but fairly substantial. But of course it also just has one track and handles one train, since the "museum" and its excursion line is only set up to run one train at a time. In some distant... is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to