In this video Roger Russell demonstrates how he tweaks his locomotives. To determine if a locomotive has problems, he turns off the lights to see if there are sparks. If there are, he turns it upside down and proceeds to check where the spark was. On a particular loco, Roger used some tape on the weight because the trailing truck was shorting out. More electrical tape or white tape can be placed on the front truck.
There are three different paints for painting. The best is LTM contact insulation paint and he applies this on the inside so the front truck doesn’t short out. The PFM paint is a very thick substance and dries quickly. Another problem is where the break arcs against the wheel, so he pushes the break shoot back. Next is the piping, where he sometimes bends the piping back or adds insulation paint to the inside. The rear step plate is the next to be tweaked. He makes sure it is insulated with tape or paint because it will short out with the tender.
Next he ensures there is plenty of spacing in the break shoes with the tender truck because there could be an arch. The tension on the rear truck must be equal to the tension on the front truck, so sometimes the pilot plate may have to be pushed up for more room for the front truck to swing. Overall, Roger instructs to not be afraid to bend castings to make sure locomotives will run properly.
Roger plans to move houses and tear down his railroads. He will salvage structures on his S scale layout. When he moves he will model in all scales and start with a backwoods in S scale. Another layout based on Denver Rio Grande and the RGS, or just the Denver and Rio Grande or just the RGS are also possibilities. On a new layout he wants to make sure it is user friendly and comfortably in reach. He wants it simpler, more narrow gauge, with much more scenery, and much more forest. Scenery for him makes the whole layout flow and gives all the flavor.