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1  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Mail van, how does it come apart? on: January 12, 2012, 08:41:58 PM
Welp, good news, I figured it out, bad news is that there are two screws holding the roof on from the bottom. It's fixable, thankfully, so now I know how to take the other one apart.
2  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Mail van, how does it come apart? on: January 12, 2012, 07:19:37 PM
I bought 2 Bachman mail vans and I want to put an end of train device like tail lamp on one.
I've tried and I think I might be missing something, so any one else have better luck getting these apart? They have open interiors so my other one may receive some details like a post sorting room and mail sacks assuming they aren't too hard to come apart.
3  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Best Place to Buy on: January 03, 2012, 11:22:35 AM
I use

The shipping's a bit high, but the customer service is second to none. Now they have their yardmaster's club, but I am yet to join.
4  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Gordon's coaches on: January 03, 2012, 11:10:03 AM
Before going with Churchill's suggestion, there are things to consider.

The United States EPA has regulations on purchasing automotive grade paints. I'm not sure of your area, but I know that the Great Lakes region, California and a few other regions require certification to purchase paint from a auto-body supplier. (I know this because I work in a body shop and had to get certified a few years ago.

Secondly, A pint of standard, no flake, no metallic, no pearl (Which you want) automotive paint will set you back about 70 to 80 bucks. Is it worth it? I dunno as I can't answer that question for you, but talk to the guys behind the counter and see if you can't get a smaller amount at a reduced price.

This is strictly my two cents, nothing more. Do with it what you wish
5  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Adding DCCto Thomas&Friends Engines on: June 12, 2011, 10:32:04 PM
in theory you can control any decoder with any dcc system. in practice, any system will run any decoder, but you may not be able to program them.

my experience with thomas series engines is limited, but i can tell you there is not alot of room in the cab for a decoder. while a small HO decoder like the dh123 will fit, a better choice would be to use an N or Z scale decoder. digitrax dz125 or any similar size decoder would be perfect for this application. it is about 1/2 the size of the dh123.  if you want a bachmann equivalent, try the 44925 decoder, but understand you may not be able to adjust the top speed of your locomotive.

As long as the decoder is common and the DCC system can access the functions and the locomotive's address, you should be fine
6  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: A problem with Edward on: June 01, 2011, 11:37:36 PM
Have you cleaned your track and wheels? About once a year I clean my locomotive's wheels that are in service or any models that are taking an excursion.

Models could also need oiling.
7  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: HO fergus on: March 17, 2011, 09:10:48 PM
Just be careful about the clearances. The die cast metal may short out your layout.
8  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: attention all users with youtube acounts on: February 19, 2011, 03:32:22 PM
9  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Finally! Pictures of Donald and Douglas! And Douglas smokes! on: February 11, 2011, 10:39:31 PM
Gave me a chuckle after a day. Something we all can use.
10  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Ways to improve Thomas? on: February 06, 2011, 01:09:47 PM
A better motor. He's got an old open frame one. Why not put in a can motor or something like that. Sure is easier to maintain than a open frame.

More weight. We all can agree on this.

A DCC plug in? I for one and honestly thinking about DCC conversion, but I am not going to waste money on an entire DCC system if I cannot convert these engines to DCC. That is going to be my main fleet and all my other engines were my Dad's when he was in the hobby years ago. So those models are out of the question.

some more detail on the shell would be nice, not to mention a front coupling.
11  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Basic Engine/Track Maintenance Tips on: February 06, 2011, 12:55:16 PM
Your using plain steel track. You may want to replace it with nickel silver. Atlas and Peco are good brands, but Peco is extremely expensive.
12  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Basic Engine/Track Maintenance Tips on: February 05, 2011, 10:36:08 PM
Number two is clean wheels. An easy way to clean them is use a piece of paper towel/ old t-shirt (CLEAN I cannot emphasis enough) moistened with 70 rubbing alcohol and run your locomotives with the wheels spinning on the paper towel.
But the main wheels dont spin unless its got electricity running through it Tongue

A bit confused about paper towel and old t-shirts, since both those things can be made out of lots of different types of materials... some of which that leave lots of lint behind... I think I saw some fluff or hair caught in Percy's wheels, so I might try to clean that out and definitely try the track rubber thing and lube on the wheels. Off to the hobby shop! Tongue

Thanks everyone!

I recommend the good paper towels you get at a groccery store or from my favorite store, Lowes. The blue bounty heavy duty shop towels are my favorites. Stay away from the 99 cent rolls. They have no use on the layout except for scenery. For old T-shirts, the old white cotton ones (Hanes, fruit of the loom ect...) are the best.

Oh yeah, for the concern about getting your wheels spinning on the towel, don't have all drive wheels on the paper towel / t-shirt piece. Just hold the engine by the footplate or sides of the shell. For getting the fibers out of Percy's wheels, get a good pair of tweezers. I recommend the Kobalt ones in a hobby knife kit from Lowes.

Yeah, I don't think the track rubber will do the job, but it can't hurt to get one of them as well I guess... but my engine's wheels still seem to have a lot of fluff, so maybe I'll look into a soft brush to attempt to clean them also.
If it's the fumes your worried about, try the rubbing alcohol. Just put some on a clean paper towel and rub it on the tracks. It will evaporate and dry on its own. I've used it on projects like this with great success.
13  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Basic Engine/Track Maintenance Tips on: January 19, 2011, 11:22:36 PM
Alright, bear with me here.

Number one issue is having solid, CLEAN trackwork. If you run your finger on the rails and get alot of black gunk on your finger, time to clean the trackwork. Track rubbers work good, I'll admit, but for heavy duty cleaning, or annual/ out of storage cleaning, use a track cleaning fluid or 70% rubbing alcohol. I cannot emphasis this enough, Keep the track cleaning solvent away from carpet/anything with paint/or certain plastics. Another thing is use clean pieces of an old t-shirt or heavy duty shop towels. The cheap stuff will work, but you have major headaches getting paper towel shreds out of switches.

Number two is clean wheels. An easy way to clean them is use a piece of paper towel/ old t-shirt (CLEAN I cannot emphasis enough) moistened with 70 rubbing alcohol and run your locomotives with the wheels spinning on the paper towel.

I found that a good rule of thumb is if your track moves when you push down, fix it.

Hope this stuff helps.
14  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / A small problem with Bachman Thomas on: December 30, 2010, 11:41:11 PM

I was working on some projects and my Thomas model came up on the to-do list. He wasn't running right to I disassembled the wheels and cleaned them with rubbing alcohol. After I reassembled everything and added some Labelle 108 light oil to the final drive gear, the test had nothing happen. Did I mess something up on the contacts? They are behind the wheels the way the should be. Motor doesn't run, click or anything. I was going to order a new drive for him next week, but I want to make sure this is the problem.
15  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Delivery of James in G Gauge on: November 24, 2010, 11:41:59 PM
Could be the release date from the start
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