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  1. Don't dilute, it shall only reduce its effectiveness. I have found soda blasting to be the best solution, gives the surface some tooth also, and can be done on any material. Matthew
  2. The answer to this is dependent upon how much you want to do and what your ability is. Also the finish you wish to achieve dictates the best solution. I always remotor and sort the drive first to reduce the chances of damage to the paint. You need to be satisfied with the operation of the loco first. Shells in good condition or previously painted I strip in thinners and if the brass comes up clean and not needing any soldering I etch prime. Ones with corrosion and or paint that won't all strip are soda blasted to remove the problem. Any repairs will be made now, it is much easier to solder clean metal. Any changes are made now too like drilling holes for wiring, lighting etc. Usually I spray the smoke box, fire box etc silver or graphite first as appropriate then mask for the black. When I paint multiple colours I work from lightest to darkest. I spray the previous colour over the masking before the colour to prevent/minimise colour bleed. Small items like the bell, whistle etc that are brass I brush. For the drive my preference is to disassemble and spray separately. Do not put your wheels in the the thinners or you risk destroying the insulation. This provides the best job but is the most work. When painting my own locomotives I choose to do this. However I have been known to power drives and carefully airbrush while it is slowly moving when doing free repaints for friends and then removing the paint from the driver treads. These are always models that are weathered too, not ones that are intended to represent shop fresh locos. Once the paint is finished I decal and seal with dullcote. Most are weathered to some extent, the minimum is dust low on the loco and tender and smoke on the smoke box and boiler top. I prefer to use photos to create a more accurate finish but this is dependent on personal preference. You might want shop fresh locos. Matthew
  3. A few brands are confident enough to have the make and sometimes the model on the chip. If you remove the shells you may be able to identify them that way. I have also used image search to identify by checking against the common brands when they don't read properly. A common reset is cv8 to 8, or try cv30 to 2, or perhaps cv8 to 33 for Lenz. However if they won't program it is probably time to replace. Matthew https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201489365-Master-list-of-Decoder-Resets-by-Manufacturer-?mobile_site=true
  4. Tamiya white is very good. Or automotive spot putty is another choice for bulk if you want a lifetime supply, just thin with automotive thinners as required. Matthew
  5. The best solution is to upgrade to dcc control, like NCE. Matthew
  6. Since the data is available perhaps it could used under the Rivarossi brand then to create another market. Many Australians and Americans would purchase one. Matthew
  7. Are these the standard UK OO narrow gauge offerings or genuine HO in standard gauge? I believe that there is a world market for the Flying Scotsman in HO. Matthew
  8. Does this loco have the worm gear on the motor shaft? If so, the best solution may be to replace the existing magnet with a few rare earth magnets. The original motor shaft is most likely to be 3/32" diameter and can motors are usually 2mm, or even 1.5. Another thing is can motors do not like being subjected to the end float load which occurs when the worm is on the motor shaft. If your loco has a gearbox then you can use the largest motor that fits as it can be isolated from the end load, but I don't think that is the case. If you could post a picture that would help. I have fitted many decoders to locos with open frame motors, even on those with the original magnet, just ensure the chip has a suitable amperage rate and isolate both brushes. Rare earth magnets help reduce the current draw as well as the work needed to replace the motor. Matthew
  9. I agree, NCE control for the track (locos, rolling stock lighting function and turntable) point control separate. The NCE powercab is very user friendly and there are many options for procab, boosters, wireless, wifi throttles, jmri etc that you can't go wrong. Plus I have found that it is reliable, Digitrax, Bachmann Dynamis, Hornby, MRC etc not so much. Matthew
  10. I would start with cleaning the wheels and the pickups and a drop of lube at each point of movement. A couple of Fleischmann locos I rebuilt recently had oil cooled armatures so minimal lube is the idea. Then run it to check, if the noise is still there it is something that is still a touch dry. Matthew
  11. I have learnt that removing the factory wiring and starting afresh is quicker and easier. Removes all the unknowns. Matthew
  12. Suppressors, capacitors etc need to be removed, they only upset the decoder back emf. Having hard wired dozens of Hornby locos I am not sure what your problem is as they are so simple. Perhaps a photo or two to show your issue? Have a look at tcsdcc.com where there are a few Hornby installations. There are most likely other ones on the net too. Matthew
  13. After having used a few of the brands mentioned, NCE is the most reliable and very user friendly. Easily connected to a computer with the ability to set up and use jmri Decoderpro and wifi loco control. Matthew
  14. Running on Digitrax it is beneficial to set the chips to dcc only, this way the locos don't become confused with intermittent signals and think the track is dc powered. In fact it is a good thing to do for all systems but Digitrax in particular with its ability to run a dc loco on 0. There is no guarantee of locos of the same make with the same chip brand being speed matched on the same cv settings, which may not be the case anyway with second hand locos. Decoderpro by jmri is quite good for speed matching and setting up loco speed tables. Matthew
  15. I have had Loksound V3.5 that look like this. If the speaker is 100 ohm that makes it definite as that is the only brand to do so. I have found google image search useful in the past for resoldering wires to chips once they are identified, more so than the generic wiring diagram. Matthew
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