Monthly Archives: April 2014

6 Ways to Use a Digital Craft Cutter for your Layout

“6 Ways to Use a Digital Craft Cutter for your Layout” is the title of an article I wrote for Model Railroader Magazine; it is in the June 2014 issue. It’s a nice little article so check it out.

However, since the nature of magazines means limited space, the printed version of my article is an edited, paraphrased version of the original article I submitted. And as often happens when things are edited, the information becomes distorted a bit. That happened with this article. Consequently,  I wanted to post here are a few minor clarifications I would have made if I had been consulted prior to publication:

1. I own an older model cutter equivalent to a Silhouette Portrait, but a bit different. 2. The description of the picture of the Washingtonia and sabal palm flipped around which tree is which and calls the Washingtonia palm just a Washington without the “ia” at the end. 3. I wouldn’t venture into any complex cuts smaller than a half an inch only when cutting decal trim film; with other materials (like vinyl) smaller than half an inch is no problem. 4. A more detailed description of the title photo is that it is a picture of loaded dry rock phosphate hoppers crossing the Palm River Bridge in Tampa, FL headed to Rockport Yard on a rainy morning.

M-5 Caboose N Scale Now Available

m5 n

The M-5 Caboose is now available in N Scale from Shapeways.

The M-5 Caboose was used by ACL, SCL, Family Lines, and Seaboard System between 1964 into the 1990s. There were 438 total M5’s built.

This kit requires trucks, couplers, etched roof walk, paint, decals, and wire for grab irons (a small jig is included for bending grab irons). The picture above is of a pre-production model I put together (it isn’t quite finished in the above photo, but it’s close enough for now). I improved a few minor things on the model that is now available at Shapeways relative to the model in the above picture. If you want to model the Atlantic Coast Line, you can just use Microscale ACL decals. For SCL and Family Lines, here is a print ready PDF to make your own decals m5decals. I just print my decals with a laser printer on decal paper from MicroMark. After printing, seal the decals with a dull coat and they are ready to go.