Jim EuDaly

Creating Nighttime Model Railroad Lighting

Jim EuDaly
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Duration:   6  mins

Model railroad lighting is an important element of a layout and can help depict the movement from day to night during operation. In this video, learn some tips for enhancing your scenes with lighting featuring modeler Jim Eudaly. A lamp post is a great addition to nighttime model railroad lighting. To make a lamp post, start with a plastic tube about six inches long which will be 16-feet scale and an actual four inches.

For the base of the post, drill ⅛ inch diameter holes in a thin sheet of styrene and hole punch around the hole. The hole punch base will be a scale 15 inches in diameter. Punch two bases for each post. Slide the post through the hole in the center of the two bases until they are 16 scale feet down the post. Insert the end of the post in a hole in a block of wood for gluing. Eudaly uses fast setting plastic cement to secure the base to the post. After this the lamp post is painted with polyscale engine black.

Eudaly uses Grant Line lamp reflectors for the lampshades which are painted with white enamel on the inside and black on the outside. He then slides a bulb through the lampshade and superglues it in place. The remaining wire is fed through the lamp post and super glued again. The last step is to install the lamp post on the layout and connect the bulb wires to the model railroad lighting power source.

LED bulbs can be more complicated to install, but are longer lasting and use less current. LED lights do not come attached to wires. 28-30 gauge black wire is used for the minus lead and red wire is used for the plus lead. These must be soldered to the base of the bulb. In just a few steps, a modeler can easily add nighttime model railroad lighting.

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