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Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #017-- "And The Winner Is...?"
June 15, 2008
June15, 2008

You Picked The Winner
The FREE Sample
Click Kit Card Structure Kit

We all win with a contest like this.

This contest started with 6 strong contenders to become thecard stock N Scale structure chosen as the sample downloadablekit.

Kits are being prepared for all six but we needed one to postas a free sample and you helped select it. For now, please read this post that both announces thewinners and shares a few thoughts...

Top vote getter
Close runner up with 33 votes
Racking up 35 votes makes
this the Free Sample
Close runner up got 33 votes
Weston eeked out third with 30 votes Franklin well liked with 29
Weston eeked out third
with 30 votes
Franklin well liked with29
Town Block Aunt Emma's
Town center takes 5thwith 23 ducets My choice? Of course it was lastwith a dozen votes

I was really pleased to see 162 of you slip into the voting booth ands pull the lever for your favorite paper N Scale structure.

It was also notable that the four top models were structures that evoke a plausible rail switching location, after all that is how you run a railroad. If it doesn't produce income, it is dropped from the line.

This is to introduce quality line of card stock structure model kits you can build, revamp and proudly install on your layout.

Saves Time and Money

What started out as a method of producing 3D background structures for my small N Scale layout has expanded into an unusual time and money saving way to populate a model railroad layout.

This project was born out of necessity. At 69 years of age it gives me a practical way to produce some riveting structure models without wiping out my hobby budget for each building.

Keeping up with this website has been pretty time-consuming and I don't always get everything done when I want, but it is in process: takes more time than I ever would have imagined and I don't dare to do the math to determine my hourly stipend.

So coming up with the card stock models has been a real layout saver for me. I bought the software for less than the price of a craftsman kit and I can produce stunning replicas in a day and at less than a tenth of the cost.

They will be collectively called "Click Kits" because most of them started off as a mouse click. What you do with them from there is called modeling.

Introducing Click-Kits

A Glue You Can Stick With

For the many, many years I have been buying various forms of CA adhesive, I have never found one that didn’t clog up within two weeks and even become totally unusable after three weeks.

That’s right Daryl (Huffman), I never got it.

Not until I read about your homemade tube extension did I realize what was going wrong. I did touch the tip to whatever I was gluing and compounded it by leaving the cap off long enough for the air to get at the gooey substance.

But I was rummaging around amongst the glue sniffers at Michaels the other day and stumbled across the latest rendition of Krazy Glue. First off, they have a new cap, instead of being the old threaded cap (they’re so boring), the Krazy Kats gave it a new twist. This little jug (0.18 oz) sports a stylish twister kap for their advanced formula CA.

The Kap is taller than the bottle and instead of threads, it has two docking lugs. You push down on the cap and as you twist it it locks in under the lugs. Neat.

The jug itself sports a neck longer than the bottle which tends to resist blocking as the glue seems more inclined to run back down into the jug when it is returned to its normal “at rest” position.

Frankly, I like it and I am not a major Elmer’s stockholder (yup, they fostered the Krazy Krew) and I receive no commissions, stipends or other remuneration; it just works.

Here is a link to Daryl’s glue compendium

Modeling Rules...
Make ‘em, Break ‘em

Years ago when I attended my first model railroad show, I was discussing layout scenic techniques with another modeler, he told me...

"Concentrate your primping and detailing on the foreground and the rest will follow".

Here are seven points to remember about scenic element placement.

1.It means model a building, dock scene, rail yard, even awreck in the foreground of your layout that reveals exceptional depth,stunningcolor or revolutionary technique.

2. By default thehuman brain strives to find something to focus on and make senseof… a means toput order to the chaos of the surroundings.

3. Make the mid-rangeobjects of your layout--rock cliffs, riverbanks, a bridge, turntable orothermedium-sized feature a blending of colors and texture.

4.Bring the background to life. Many modelers leave thebackground until last, running trains in front of sheetrock, or barewoodwalls. Others give the background a coat of paint or background flat.Again,think depth, choose a building flat with depth like protruding dormersorcupolas. Think trees on a cliff face or a Z Scale truck on a hilltoproad.

5. Borrow the"Rule of Thirds" from photography to create a well balanced andinteresting view whether you are modeling a layout or a diorama. Therule ofthirds breaks the scene into thirds both horizontally and vertically.

6.As you are setting the scene, preferably a section whereviewers tend to concentrate their praise; pick the best spots wheredetail andpoints of interest should be displayed.

7.The theory is that if you place points of interest in theintersections (orange) or along the yellow lines that your scenebecomes morebalanced and will enable a viewer to interact with it more naturally.Studieshave shown that when viewing images that people’s eyesusually go to one of theintersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot -usingthe rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing a scenerather thanworking against it.

Unteathered RC drag goal:
... 200 miles per hour

Most prototype racers can't hit the 200 mph mark and sustain it and there are very few radio controlled cars that can do it (in actual miles per hour, not scale), but Nic Case and his X2 have it as a goal.

Right now, Nic holds the RC speed record clocked at 134.4 mph.

The X2 is powered by a 29.6 volt direct drive motor and theoretically it should be able to generate up to 274 mph, but that is without drag generated by friction with road and air.

The X2 is equipped with special foam tires capable of withstanding the high rpms cranked when it is running wide open. They keep it on the track and a gyroscope controls rudders to automatically keep the X2 running straight.

Scale Modelers Handbook

Tips for Drag Racing
with Radio Controlled Cars

by Sarah Miller

For most people, the idea of drag racing implies exhilaration and excitement. It also connotes danger. It's a good thing that radio-controlled cars can now enable anyone to experience the thrills and excitement of drag racing without being exposed to too much danger.

Drag racing is all about speed. As compared to ordinary radio-controlled car races, the drag racing with RC cars entails much more attention on setting-up the vehicle than having driving skills. The main deal with car racing is to eliminate the forces (aerodynamic) that prevent the car from attaining and maintaining maximum speed. The following things should be given much importance when racing RC cars at maximum speed:


Getting and maintaining a good chassis for drag race RC cars is very important. The thing to remember is that there are numerous materials that make up modern RC drag cars today such as graphite and carbon fiber. They differ in how they support the cars and how they "flex" during acceleration. The chassis needs to have flexibility when accelerating is a key to attain the car's maximum speed.

Front end design

Dragsters have distinct front-end designs. They are usually pointed to minimize the drag from the air. The front axles should be set up in a simple way to make them easier to adjust during accidents during race day.

Battery packs

Usually, RC car drag races are determined by the kind of battery pack that the cars are equipped with. Nickel-cadmium batteries are very popular nowadays. The batteries used in cars are usually in 6-cell or 7-cell packs. The two main things that one should look for in battery packs are internal impedance and voltage. These are two main indicators of power and speed. The battery packs used in RC drag racing are perhaps the most powerful in the whole RC racing arena.


The usual dragsters employ thin front wheels which are most often referred to as "pizza cutters" because they resemble the kitchen apparatus. When it comes to selecting tires, there are two beliefs: smaller is better and the "big wheels rule." As with any other contradicting beliefs, both have advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, it's personal taste that really counts in choosing the kinds of tires.

Until Next Month...

Make It Your Best Effort!

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