Raildig.com https://www.raildig.com Model Railroading Digest Sun, 24 May 2020 19:21:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 Adding Color On Our Rokuhan Shorty Board https://www.raildig.com/raildig-build-projects/adding-color-on-our-rokuhan-shorty-board/ Sun, 24 May 2020 19:05:41 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3653 Adding color to our Rokuhan Shorty boardI think this goes to prove the old saying that a train layout is never really finished, even if it’s just a loop of track on a paddle!

Even though this board was only meant to test cheapie DC controllers with the Rokuhan Shorty Z scale chassis, after finishing it (I thought!), the more I looked at it hanging on my wall, I realized I wanted a little more color on it.

Most of this video is a time lapse so you actually don’t have to watch paint dry. It seems more and more I’m having a lot of fun with these little weekend projects while still running trains.

Rokuhan Z Scale Shorty Test Track https://www.raildig.com/raildig-build-projects/rokuhan-z-scale-shorty-test-track/ Tue, 12 May 2020 08:11:54 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3647 Rokuhan Shorty Test Track

I wanted to put together a little (and I do mean little!) Z scale Rokuhan Shorty locomotive test track with some odds and ends I had kicking around the house.

Some track, clear decal sheets, scale palm trees and a craft store paddle, that’ll do! Using the mighty tight Rokuhan 45mm curved track, we’ve got our little test board.

Also we did a quick build using the RSLaser Kits Z scale Speeder Shed. A fun little kit to build and as you can see here, a nice addition to any sized layout. We’ll do a bit more aging and weathering to this board in the future but for now, it’s a fun little piece that hangs on the wall when you’re not using it!

Trainini Magazine https://www.raildig.com/introduction/trainini-magazine/ Sun, 26 Apr 2020 07:06:15 +0000 http://www.raildig.com/?p=60 Trainini magazineLatest Issues: March, 2020 Issue

Beginning in January 2018, Holger Späing, Editor-in-chief of Trainini Magazine, has let us know that Trainini will be released in an English language International Edition as well as still continuing to be produced in German. WOW!

Here at Raildig we are thrilled that Trainini has found the people to do the German to English translation and for the first time, we are very happy to present these English language versions to our readers in the Trainini International Editions. A big thank you to all on the Trainini team for making this happen!


Trainini Magazine 2020


Trainini 2019


Trainini Magazine 2018


Trainini Magazine 2017


Trainini Magazine 2016


Trainini Magazine 2015


Trainini Magazine 2014


Trainini Magazine 2013


Trainini Magazine 2012


Trainini Magazine 2011

USB Powered Vacuum For Model Trains https://www.raildig.com/useful-tools/usb-powered-vacuum-for-model-trains/ Mon, 23 Mar 2020 01:40:07 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3624 USB Powered Vacuum For Model Trains

On one of my late night shopping trips on AliExpress (or it might have been eBay, I do these shopping “trips” way too much!) I picked up an $8.00 USB powered vacuum. I thought it might be a useful little gadget when building my small scenes and layouts. I’ve had it in its box for about a year or so and thought it would make for fun video.

Not overly powerful but I’d say it’s a good deal more powerful than the dedicated vacuum, or track cleaning cars in HO or N scale. Sadly they don’t yet make vacuum cars in Z scale. I can see this vacuum being useful when you want to remove loose debris buildup from the track but don’t want to use a dry brush (that just pushes the debris down the track) or a small shop vac, as they can do damage to your scenery by sucking up too much stuff!

I also picked up a small USB battery bank designed for charging phones on the go, this cost $13.99 (with coupon) over at Amazon. So for around $22.00, I have a little portable manual track cleaning system, plus I have a battery bank for the phone too!

Build A Diorama In Z Scale | Step By Step https://www.raildig.com/raildig-build-projects/build-a-diorama-in-z-scale-step-by-step/ Wed, 12 Feb 2020 02:45:41 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3607 Build A Diorama In Z Scale | Step By Step

Here’s a great project for getting away from the TV for a few nights, build a Z scale model train diorama! All the techniques and materials used here will of course work for any diorama. At the center of this build is our use of OrthoTape plaster cloth.

This is a great alternative to some of the hobby plaster cloths currently on the market. A project like this is perfect for those new to the hobby or for the more experienced modeler looking for a cool way to display some trains and to try some new scenery techniques.

I really like projects like this as it gets your hands dirty and you get to see a finished piece in a relatively short period of time. Plus of course, you then have a nice display piece once you’re finished!

And here’s a brief follow-up video where we do a little dressing up of the fascia and add a background piece to this scene!

Proxxon Thermocut Hot Wire Cutter Unboxing And Setup https://www.raildig.com/useful-tools/proxxon-thermocut-hot-wire-cutter-unboxing-and-setup/ Tue, 28 Jan 2020 23:09:19 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3596 Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter Setup

I recently went shopping for new utility knife to cut foam with and ended up with a Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter… and the utility knife too! I was watching a video here on YouTube on a channel called Black Magic Craft (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Rlv-ug-mtnXuMwlpcqFgg) where the owner, Jeremy, writes “I build terrain and models for Tabletop RPG’s and wargames”.

He does some terrific (and fun!) work and he also recommends the OLFA utility knife and the Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter. Yep, I bought both. I know there are DIY videos and articles out there on making your own but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Proxxon for years and was intrigued enough to take the plunge.

It’s a little pricey compared to a DIY solution but it’s still pretty reasonable at around $125 delivered. Overall it’s a heck of a piece with just a couple of caveats I talk about in the video. I can see picking up some accessories to really make this an even more valuable tool in the future.

Stripping And Repainting | Rokuhan Shorty Locomotive https://www.raildig.com/raildig-build-projects/stripping-repainting-rokuhan-shorty/ Sun, 12 Jan 2020 01:57:43 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3587 5:28 6:30 / 7:54 Stripping And Repainting A Z Scale Rokuhan Shorty Locomotive Shell

I had a little free time last weekend and a couple of Z scale Rokuhan Shorty locomotive shells kicking around, what else was I going to do but try my hand at stripping and repainting them? This is both a sad (well, not too sad really) and happy tale about my first attempt at this kind of repainting work.

At around $9.00 per shell, this is actually a pretty good and cost effective gamble with the upside being I come out of it with a cool new Rokuhan Shorty shell in a color not available from the manufacturer. Also, I get to learn what not to use to strip loco shells in the future!

I also got to do a little shell modification on this Shorty that was inspired by another YouTuber, this and other related links are in the video description over on our YouTube channel.

If you’re into Z scale, this is a cool project to play with for a small investment. Have fun!

Using A Purple Coin Cell Holder For A Model Train LED https://www.raildig.com/raildig-build-projects/purple-coin-cell-holder/ Thu, 02 Jan 2020 20:37:57 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3579 Purple Coin Cell Holders

In our last video project we used several of the purple, LilyPad style 3V battery holders with a built in on/off switch. I like these so much for small projects I thought I’d make a video talking about them a bit more. These really are idea for spots when you don’t want to get involved with more complex wiring but you still want some LED flavor.

These holders were originally designed to be used in textile projects where the holder can be sewn right into the fabric using conductive thread. Even the mounting holes are actually called “sew tabs”, though with a little hunting we found metric screws that are an ideal substitute when mounting these holders on solid material.

As most hobby white LEDs are 3V 20mA, a typical 3V 220mAh coin cell can be used without a resistor and last for up to 11 hours. Your mileage may vary of course depending on the battery brand, but we’ve found this to be a pretty accurate estimate.

Rokuhan Shorty Christmas | Z Scale Model Train Christmas Layout https://www.raildig.com/raildig-build-projects/rokuhan-shorty-christmas-z-scale-model-train-christmas-layout/ Wed, 18 Dec 2019 08:44:22 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3571 Rokuhan Shorty Christmas LayoutThis is one of those projects I’ve wanted to build for a while now. A tiny little battery powered layout on a basswood round I’ve seen in craft stores. I finally got to it this year and couldn’t be happier. This really does remind me of the old Marklin Z scale Fun Sets, a tiny oval of track and a loco.

Those little Fun Sets were the launching point for lots of model railroaders, we all have to start somewhere after all, why not have fun on the first step? As a nice bonus, pieces like this can be tucked away with the Christmas ornaments in January and brought out again and remembered and rediscovered each and every Christmastime in the future.

Looking for a first layout for your children or a fun weekend project for yourself? Why not build one of these micro-layouts now!

Bad Bayou Halloween 2019 Video https://www.raildig.com/raildig-build-projects/bad-bayou-halloween-2019-video/ Tue, 08 Oct 2019 07:12:25 +0000 https://www.raildig.com/?p=3546 Happy Halloween 2019 everyone! Just a short follow-up piece on the Bad Bayou shadowbox (or is it a diorama?) we’ve featured over the past 2 years here on Raildig. No real changes to the piece this year but I have shot a short video with the LG G6 and a motorized dolly.

I’m probably one of the last adults on the planet to get a smartphone, as I wrote in a previous article, and I thought I’d show off the flashing lights of the Bad Bayou this year. I still have miles and miles to go until I produce “good” video, but we all have to start somewhere.

Most of this video was shot using just the LED lights in the box. I got a little carried away with sound effects layers, but it IS Halloween after all.

Enjoy, and have a very Happy Halloween (and spooky of course, always spooky!).