Stack Talk – Vol1. Issue 6


 Gift Ideas

  • RC: Cars, trucks, planes!  Pit mats, cleaner, car bodies, batteries & chargers.
  • Trains: Engines…we have some beauties with the legacy paint schemes.  Pre-built kits.   A new selection of vehicles, figures, and rolling stock.
  •  Plastics: Airbrush, paint kits, accessories.  New kits – cars, planes, Sci-Fi and more!
  • Don’t forget our gift cards!!
Mels Diner
NEW ARRIVAL!! Mel’s diner from MTH

From our Super Professional Staff: We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We’ve had a blast taking on the Smoke Stack Hobby Shop this year and meeting new and old customers alike.  We have lots of ideas for 2014, so stay tuned!!


Christmas is only a few days away and we have been busy stocking our shelves to offer you all the latest products from around the hobby industry.  If you are still looking for that special gift for someone, come in and check us out.  We have some terrific values in train sets.  Many start at $69 and are great as starter sets for the young engineer in the family.  We also have all the accessories (buildings, railroad cars, scenery, and locomotives) to expand that starter set into a small empire.

And remember, the train set doesn’t have to come down with the tree.  Trains are great fun year ‘round!

We still have a nice selection of O scale sets that would look great running around a Christmas tree or on that layout in the basement.  And we have just expanded our selection of MTH brand structures.  There are some very unique buildings (come and see the 1950’s style diner complete with cars that pull in and park and car hops that serve up the milkshakes).

For the flyers we have some very cool quadcopters, including the tiny Proto X (it’s the size of a quarter!) and a nice choice of quads that include cameras.  We also have the LaTrax Alias (a staff favorite) in 4 different colors.  This little beauty lights up the night and is capable of doing barrel rolls at the push of a button.

We also have all the paints and modeling tools to help that modeler in your home turn out beautiful projects.  Brushes, paints, glue, magnifiers, desk mats and decals.  Plus a full lineup of cars, planes, armor, and ship kits to choose from.


Hobbyzone Duet $69.99

Teach yourself to fly with the Duet RTF trainer! This small RC aircraft turns your dreams of flight into a reality. Even if you’ve never flown an RC airplane before, you could be flying in no time with Virtual Instructor™ technology. This HobbyZone®-exclusive technology makes minor corrections and adjustments to help you stay confidently in control while you learn the basics. No other RC model can offer this experience at such an incredible price.  Even the “AA” batteries for the transmitter are included!

Traxxas Telluride – $299.99

Telluride: A great town in the Rocky Mountains that symbolizes rugged adventure, extreme terrain, and outdoor fun. The Traxxas Telluride 4X4 captures that spirit in a new off-road adventure vehicle that is engineered to go to places in the farthest reaches of your imagination. Pack it in your RV, load it in your Jeep®, take it on the trails. 4-wheel drive traction, specially tuned differentials, and long-arm suspension give it sure-footed rock crawling prowess. Off the rocks, the XL-5 ESC and Titan 550 motor dish out high-speed driving excitement. It’s all waterproof, so the fun keeps going through water crossings, mud, and even new mountain snow. The Telluride 4X4 is fully assembled, painted, and Ready-to-Drive with included 7-cell 8.4V NiMH battery pack and charger.

High Ball by Don Riordan

In this final installment regarding track, we will discuss the options you have when building your layout.  If you have started with a train set, you will already have some track in hand.  Most likely this will be some form of EZ track.  This is track with the roadbed already molded in.  It is easy to assemble and does well on carpet (for ex., around the Christmas Tree).  It is easily expanded into a larger layout with additional track pieces.  It does present some challenges if you want to “freelance” your layout, as the track comes in pre-determined lengths and curves.  This pertains to all scales (N, HO, O and G).

 The serious layout builder in N and HO will gravitate to sectional and flex track.  Sectional track is similar to EZ track in that it comes in pre-defined lengths and curves, but it lacks the molded in roadbed.  Flex track is similar to sectional  track in that it does not have a roadbed, but as the name suggests, it can be flexed into a variety of curves.  This gives the layout builder endless options when it comes to designing your track plan.  Sectional and flex track come in sizes called “code”.  In N scale the most common code is 55.  In HO scale, the most common codes are 83 and 100. Code indicates the height of the steel rail.  Code 83 is .083” high and code 100 is .100” high.  Code 83 represents track that weighs 132 lbs./yard. And code 100 is 155 lbs./yd.  If you choose sectional and flex track, you will most likely want to add your own roadbed, which usually, but not always, will consist of cork.  The cork is laid down first over your track plan, then the track is attached to the cork.  Finally, ballast is laid over the track and set in place with glue.  You now have a very realistic model of track.

 O scalers have different options. They too will have the choice of EZ track, which in Lionel  is called Fastrack, and in Railking is called RealTrax.  Both of these feature molded roadbed and come in fixed lengths and curves.  Traditional Lionel track (the three rail steel track) comes in two flavors.  There is O-27 and O.  O-27 was developed by Lionel years ago for their ready-to-run train sets and is still in use today.  O and O-27 use the same width straight track so O-27 trains can run on O Gauge track and in some cases O Gauge trains can run on O-27 track. The primary difference between the track from an appearance standpoint is the height of O Gauge track compared to that of O-27. The O Gauge rails are taller than the O-27 rails causing the train to sit higher off of the layout surface. Generally, this difference will have no impact on the operation of any O Gauge train. A more important difference between the two track systems is the sharpness or diameter of the O-27 curve when compared to that of O Gauge. The sharpest O-27 curve measures 27″ in diameter compared to the sharpest O Gauge curve which is 31″ in diameter. Each track system also has wider curves though a greater variety of the wider curve sizes lies in the O Gauge systems. O-27 features 42″ and 54″ diameter curves while O Gauge includes those sizes as well as 72″, 82″, 96″ and in some systems even wider curves.

Locomotives designed to operate on a 42″ curve cannot operate on 31″ or 27″. The minimum curve size is just that, the minimum sharpness of curve the train can negotiate without derailing. Trains can always operate on curves wider than their minimum recommendation.

 Railroad Slang:
“Varnish” – Passenger train.

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