Currently on my workbench is a custom project. I will convert a stock ATLAS EMD MP15DC into an MP15 for Union Railroad (URR) #13. MY client had the special request to add the URR typical walkways and raised sand hatches to the model.

I drew a template for the walkways and had it photo etched from nicklesilver by a local specialist. I turned out very good. The sand hatches were 3D desingned and resin printed by myself.

Here is the curent working state, showing the stripped shell with attached walkways and hatches.


Weathering after prototype II

The most recent addition to my proto-weathered collection is done.

This time an old Roundhouse N-Scale “Route Rock” boxcar was the victim. Like to say business as usual – scribbed of the factory lettering for CAPY and COTS, aribrush/acryl fading to a very light blue, removed the fading from the big R and added new and custom printed CAPY, COTS, and reporting marks.

Next was the big rust bleeds and scratches all done with powdered pastels – tendious work but the final result is mind blowing.

A proto photo can be found here :


The comparison to the stock paint shows the heavy fading.


A little engineering

while back I messed around with DCC decoder and their cables. Then I switched over and used drop in decoders.
Now I am on a turning point again, as I want to convert my entire fleet to DCC with sound. There are some drop in decoders on the market that are plug’n play sound decoders.
But what if you want to fit a wired DCC decoder in your engine ?
Ok, you have the decoder, but need some modification on the DC board, you need a place for the LED and speakers. Well, all floating around somewhere ?! … Big mess in little space !

So I sat on the design board and drew some PCB boards.
One kind of adapter which fit into the original split frame notches for power pickup and where you can solder the wire for motor power and front/rear headlight.
And a second board where you can place a SMD LED and resistor of your choice, simply hook up two cables and you have your LED light board.


The PCB sitting on the split frame of a LifeLike GP18



The test-lab on rails. Wired adapter board and both LED boards. I am using a stripped down Digtrax SDN136PS sound decoder for testing purpose. The wire for the rear LED board needs to be longer to get the board down to the frame.



A close-up of the LED board and wired adapter.




Lights on, please !

Scroll to top