New to the hobby - 2 Questions

Hi there~
I am a long time modeler, but am new to the hobby of model railroading. I have two questions I am hoping for help on...
I want to scratch build my buildings (in HO scale) instead of buying kits. I am hoping to find building plans some where online of some basic structures. I am a bit too lazy to work out all the math for myself, so I was hoping to find premade blue prints. Also, I am cheap so I hope to find such schematics online for free. :-)
Secondly, right now my layout is pretty much a simple figure eight design. I want to get more complicated with my tracks, but don't know much about the electronics of the hobby. (Is that even the right term? I don't even know the proper wordage to use, I'm still so new to this!) Again, I am looking for a good online resource about how things need to be wired, how to run two trains at once, how to do switches, all that sort of stuff. Basically, I am looking for something geared for the beginner that has pretty idiot-proof instructions. And, if no one knows of such an online resource, any recomeded printed recources for the beginner?
Well, I thank you all for your help. I hope I am not too much of a bother and that I don't come across like the cheapskate that I am!
Thank you~ ~Tim
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Tim:
I don't know where you live, but I would recommend that you find a model railroad club in your area and hook up with them. They will be able to help you much more effectively than any on-line discussion group or any book or magazine. Trust me, I've been there!
Peter Gross

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I think I would try http://www.toptrainlinks.com/ for some good links to info and http://thortrains.hypermart.net for some answers to your specific questions. This is an all gauge page, with info, track plans, free stuff, etc.
Good luck -lehigh_guy-

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Welcome, as far as being lazy -- that isn't too impressive as most of us are lazy. Also, if you can find stuff for free -- please share! :)
J. Bright
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Tim,
I don't know how cheap you wish to be, but a reasonable purchase ($5-10)would be a scale rule. These are available at hobby shops and undoubtedly also on-line. They read in scale feet and inches for a variety of scales (you know there are several). Armed with this tool, you can use plans, or even photos of real structures, and produce the parts you need to build a model.
regards,
Andy Miller

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thanks! I didnt know about the scale ruler, this sounds like it will come in handy. I'll take a look for one! ~Tim

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highgate spake thus:

That scale rule will be one of your essential tools for scratchbuilding. Most of us end up with the standard stainless steel one made by General, with HO, O, S and N scales. (Available at most hobby shops or through Walthers, assuming you're in North America.)
You'll discover soon enough what else you need depending on what materials you use. For either plastic (styrene) or paper (cardboard, cover stock, illustration board) you'll need the canonical No. 11 hobby knife, small files, sandpaper, a good cutting board (homemade will do), possibly a magnifier depending on your eyesight, and about 55,000 other tools. (Just kidding.) Just to say that you can never have enough tools.

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Thanks for the note - the modeling I am good with; I've built plenty of "stuff" over the years, I've got the tools and the skills, I just want to keep it all in the proper scale. The ruler sounds like it will be a big help.
Now, the wireing and switches and such, THAT I need to learn a lot more about!
~Tim

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Tim,
These are a bit heavy duty but may be of help to you:
<http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/abeng/plans/
"Paul - The CB&Q Guy" (Modeling 1960's In HO.)
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Thanks Paul! Great link! Now, I just need to shrink them down to HO Scale! I have a feeling this is going to be a fun project!
~Tim

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On Fri, 23 Dec 2005 00:56:43 GMT, Bruce Favinger wrote:

Looks like a great resource, except that most of the ones past 2004 have no graphics available.
--
Steve

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said...

Hi Tim,
The Historic American Buildings Survey site has a searchable database. Not all of the entries have schematics, but many do, along with photos and notes.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer /
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highgate wrote:

Cheapskate? Shoot, I built almost the entire frame of my layout and all the foam top of it out of reclaimed material. I've made my own foam, use weeds for trees, and just got lucky (maybe) in finding 16 sheets of .010" X 28 X 38 styrene. I figure I can laminate them up to .040" and see what happens.
Cheap? What's wrong with that? I'd rather recycle it than see it in a landfill for the next 3000 years.
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