What's New & How To
Our ever-changing "What's New & How To" feature will highlight everything you want to know about MRC products and your hobby and market trends. There'll be how-to articles and new product announcements. You'll find FAQs on our products, new videos and fresh modeling concepts. Start exploring and come back often to check out the constantly updated information and current hobby ideas.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Product Review: F/A-18C "VFA-82 Marauders"

Check out this recent review by IPMS/USA

Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/72
Company: Academy
Price: $30.00
Product / Stock #: 12534

Academy has re-issued their 1/72nd F/A-18C this time as a “Special Edition with limited availability” featuring a striking decal set –printed by Cartograph- to show the aircraft “300” from VFA-82 “Marauders” known as “Aflac” for obvious reasons. ...

Read More:  http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/fa-18c-vfa-82-marauders

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What you should know before buying a sound decoder...

Our technology makes them better…

Some decoders offer just 12 functions, MRC decoders deliver 28.  That means access to more functions while running, more choices of bells, whistles or horns. To assure maximum enjoyment and minimum tedium, our decoders allow you make changes on the fly. This avoids the hassle of stopping to reset a CV every time you want to change a horn or bell. These changes can be accomplished by simply using the function buttons. Our advanced decoder technology makes it easy to run your railroad. 

MRC Decoders Give you More...

More memory, more sounds, a difference you can hear… at this writing, our memory chips have four times more capacity than the nearest competitor.  This lets us put up to 34 different horns and 14 different bell sounds on a single chip, plus multiple prime movers, so you can pick the one that’s right for you. Our cutting edge decoder technology means we can do more. More memory means we don’t have to skimp on realism. If it’s in the real world, we’ll capture it for your real-life layout.   

Our Advanced Decoders Are Easy To Enjoy

Tiny drop-in sound decoders with matched speakers…

MRC’s engineers and tech experts are model railroaders. They understand that while building a railroad is a labor of love, it takes enormous time and effort. That’s why every decoder and system we make is designed to make life easier for you. It explains why no one has more convenient, easy to install, drop in sound decoders than MRC. These include our incredibly small, one-piece, dual mode N Scale on-board decoders, complete with mounted speakers.  

Want to change speakers? No need to test your soldering skills on a delicate PC board... because all our HO decoders have plugs for easy speaker change-outs. Just unplug one speaker and plug in another. MRC’s powerful speakers, aren’t just paired with any decoder. We make sure speakers are matched to decoders. The results are crisp, genuine sounds that elevate your model railroading enjoyment. 

Sound Facts About Decoders

Why are our decoder sounds so loud? Because we have nothing to hide… we’re not ashamed of our sounds. Each one was recorded from real locos on a real railroad. And not massaged in a studio. We want you to hear it all… the clanging, moans, groans, hisses and squeaks. We want our decoders to express the symphony of heavy metal that signals a genuine loco is at work… including all the ambient sounds of a real railroad.

On the other hand, decoders using distorted, synthesized sounds don’t want you to hear everything. Look at it this way. You can always lower our sounds if you like. But when decoders have been programmed to maintain low volume you can’t ever raise it enough to  hear the real sounds of a working railroad.

Find out what the competition doesn't want you to know about MRC sound decoders 

Decoder Facts

  • MRC offers by far the widest range of sound decoders
  • Each decoder comes with matched speakers
  • MRC decoders operate with all NMRA compatible DCC systems
  • Our O, G, HO and N scale decoders fit in most popular locomotives
  • For maximum realism, our sounds are recoded trackside from working engines, we don’t use computer generated or studio enhanced sounds

Decoder Differences
Real Digital Sounds from Real Prime Movers… ahhh the tricks of the trade. Some decoder makers record train sounds at idle and then play them back at a faster rate and higher volume. It sounds like the loco is actually notching up and picking up speed… when in reality all they’ve done is modify the same idle sound 

At MRC, our sound engineers go trackside and record each loco at its various speed notches. If the loco has eight notches, which most do, we record the eight notches in sequence as the RPMs are actually increasing. Our decoders allow you to hear a diesel motor actually change pitch relative to engine speed and load. When we say the sound is an actual SD45-2 with turbocharger or a specific GE or Alco loco, you can rest assured it’s for real. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Among the Shades of Green

Among the Shades of Green

If you are new to building scenery or an old hand at the craft, a good place to polish up your skills in adding scenery to a flat, open field.

Not only will this exercise quickly change the look of your layout but is also an example of tricking the eye into seeing more than is actually there. 

To get started, seal the area with flat earth colored latex paint. This is available at every paint and home improvement store. Custom mixed quarts and gallons can be mixed to order or for smaller jobs, many stores offer paint samples in smaller sizes for only a few dollars. One can also use acrylic craft paints that are sold at craft stores. This paint will provide a base for additional layers of scenery materials that will be applied in stages. 

With the base coat dry, apply an even layer of full strength scenery cement and sift a thin layer of earth colored fine turf into the glue. A light misting of water with a few drops of liquid detergent over top of this layer will help the glue penetrate the turf to firmly affix this starter course. An alternative for this base coat of turf when covering a flat surface is to cut a piece of earth colored grass mat material to size and glue in place. 

The field will start to come to life when a thinned half glue and half water mixture of scenery cement is applied over the earth turf and a light coat of moss green is sifted over top. Make certain to leave some open spots and vary the depth of the green turf. Mist over this first green layer with the spray bottle with the ‘wet’ water and allow it to dry.

Mist the field with the spray bottle and very lightly sift a thin layer of grass green turf followed by an equally thin application of yellow turf to provide high lights. Work from the front of the project to the rear adding more of the darker green to the foreground and more lighter highlights towards the rear. This will simulate have the eye sees closer objects as being darker and object farther away are usually seen as being lighter.

Mix up a spray bottle with four parts water, one part scenery cement and a couple of drops of liquid detergent. Now lightly spray the glue mix over the entire field. While the field is still wet randomly scatter some dark green coarse turf to simulate those random darkly colored weeds that seem to spring up in almost every field. Over spray this layer with the glue mixture as well. 

At this juncture the field has taken shape. The variety of colors and textures not only adds realism to the scene but also creates the illusion of size and depth. The various shades appear to have added relief to an otherwise completely flat surface. The next step is to add additional detail to the field with the inclusion of larger scrubs and bushes made using foliage clumps and by adding some trees along the edge plus a simple fence constructed of fancy tooth picks and rust colored thread. Tall grasses created by the use of JTT detachable wheat and flower bushes flank the right of way to clearly define open fields from busy main line. The different colors and textures along with a few other details will enhance the realism of an otherwise simple scene. 
Author:George Riley

This article is from "Detailing Scenery with MRC - JTT Landscaping Tips and Techniques.
CLICK HERE to download the entire magazine.

Materials used for this project
  • 95128 Fine Earth Turf or 95411 Golden Straw Grass Mat
  • 95134 Burnt Grass Ground Cover Turf fine
  • 95132 Yellow Straw Ground Cover Turf fine
  • 95138 Dark Green Ground Cover Turf fine
  • 95008 Grass Green Ground Cover Turf Medium
  • 95137 Moss Green Ground Cover Turf Coarse
  • 95139 Dark Green Ground Cover Turf Course
  • 95146 Blossom Flowering Turfs Medium
  • 95057 Light Green Foliage-Fiber Cluster Coarse
  • 95058 Medium Green Foliage-Fiber Cluster Coarse
  • 95581 Detachable flower bushes
  • 95579 Detachable Wheat Bushes
  • Saplings (1 pack ea.)
  • 3 or 4 Assorted JTT Trees

Detailing Your Scenery

The Devil is in the details...

More than any other facet of model building, the construction of scenery provides the vehicle that not only adds an additional dimension to one’s models, but also enhances the realism of each subject. Scenery helps place each miniature creation in its ‘natural’ environment. So whether one is constructing a model railroad layout, building a military diorama, working on a school project or assembling a doll house your efforts can be improved by adding scenery to the project.

Effective scenery is not difficult to create. It requires only simple tools and construction techniques to complete any scene from the simplest to the most complex. While there is some ‘art’ involved in its application, most effective scenery only involves observation of the scene that one is attempting to capture and as is the case of any great model, attention to detail. 

Adding the details could not be simpler when using JTT Scenery products. All of the tedious tasks have already been done when using JTT plants and trees, all one has to do is ‘plant’ each item as it would appear in the natural world. Even large areas can be detailed quickly with the wide array of ground covers and other scenic products available from JTT. 

In order to help the novice get started as well as give some inspiration to those with more experience, this book is designed to provide a series of easy to complete projects using basic materials along with JTT Scenery products. Each project not only includes a complete list of materials used in its construction but also includes a number of easy to follow techniques for creating realistic scenery for any type of model building. – George Riley

This article is from "Detailing Scenery with MRC - JTT Landscaping Tips and Techniques.  CLICK HERE to download the entire magazine.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Creating a Realistic WWII Vignette with JTT Scenery Products

The following is an  article by Big Bill Schwarz, president NJIPMS

Creating a Realistic WWII Vignette with JTT Scenery Products 

My club, NJIPMS here in New Jersey does group builds about once a year. This year’s theme (2012) was 1/48th scale OTAKI models. The theme was to see what could be built out of these great old kits. The model pictured here is an OTAKI KI-44 TOJO. I usually put my models on a base to show perspective and natural surroundings. I wanted to show a remote pacific island in WWII. With the help of JTT Scenery, mission accomplished.

My base was made from a round wooden clock mounting base. After prepping and sanding the base for tooth to put the scenery on, I used carpenters glue and laid down the plank base on which the airplane sits. The planks are coffee stirrers from the dollar store which I stained for visual effect. Now comes the fun part. The initial ground work was laid down using Celluclay, tinted with tan latex house paint and mixed with white glue. I spread it on the base with an old knife, stippled it with an old paint brush and wiped off the edges. This gives a natural, uneven look to the ground. At this time, I also added the various JTT palm trees and hedges.  

Next up was a layer of diluted white glue on the ground to lay the turf on. I used a mixture of fine tan ballast, some shades of green turf, and around the trees and shrubbery I blended textures of foliage to simulate dead leaves and plants. When that was dry, I added the various flowering plants and some different brown turf textures to blend everything together. When that was all dry, I shot a clear flat coat tinted with a bit of khaki paint to tone down and blend in the colors. I was happy with the result. I mounted my TOJO and the base was complete as was the WWII pacific island theme. The pilot adds the final touch and he even has his Samurai sword.  

All of the products used on the base with the exception of one palm tree came directly from JTT Scenery Products. The palms, the hedges, the flowering plants, the sand colored ballast are all in the catalog. JTT has a broad line of trees, plants, hedges and scenic accessories. They are extremely easy to use and with a little work they’ll help you create the scenic environment you want to achieve. I recommend the use of JTT Scenery Products. I have been modeling for 30 some odd years and have used a lot of products for my vignettes and I would rank JTT Scenery Products right up there with the best. Look into their line of products and have fun. I certainly did.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Flowering Meadows and Grassland Landscaping

The following is an  article by Tom Staley, owner of Tom’s Train Station, Raleigh, NC.

Among the JTT scenery products introduced this year are two great items, flowering meadows and grassland landscaping, both of which are part of the Landscaping Detail Series.




The flowering meadows come in red (0595604), yellow (0595605), and purple (0595606). The grassland landscaping comes in green (0595601), wild (0595602), and golden (0595603). Now, you might not get excited until you open the packages and put it in your hand and start to use it. Versatile, they can be used in hundreds of places.

Both the flowering meadows and grassland landscaping come on 5” x 7” sheets. This allows you to glue the sheets directly to your layout. And being no two sheets are exactly alike, you can place the sheets next to each other and still attain realism and create maximum interest.  They also work in a random pattern.  I like cutting several flowering meadows bushes out of a sheet and gluing them randomly around my layout.  The three colors will make your layout landscaping pop out and look great. Because the bushes are different heights, they not only add beauty, they also give your layout a depth dimension.




My favorite one was the green grassland landscaping (0595601).  All I had to do was to add a fence to it and add some cows and I had great fenced cattle pen.

The two products are easy to use and give your layout a neat look.  The hint of colors on the bushes is just another one the details that gives you that professional look.  You will get attention, I promise.

JTT has kept the cost affordable.  So don’t miss out on this new product…another must have!!

My tip of the month is an easy one for planting JTT fruit trees.  Place some of the available loose apple, orange, and lemon fruits on the ground under the trees, this will give a more authentic look to your orchard