I specialize in going the extra mile, to do complete customization. For each weathered and detailed locomotives that I do, please know that I will take your model to the next level, by adding bonus features, that are practical. Please expect to pay, anywhere from $500.00 – $1000 for a complete rebuild.  for me, It’s easy to spend 100+ hours for complete customization.

shay with Zimo Decoder .jpg

Basic electronic installs:

Each manufacturer, and often build from the manufacturer have different requirements, making most installations unique to the locomotive and the system that you have chosen to use.  Due to this, I prefer to take some extra time to study the locomotive in question, and then will recommend, a combination of electronics that I feel will achieve your goals, during this evaluation period, I’ll also provide with information regarding the cost of install, which I’ve broken in different levels.

I do require at least 50% deposit

Basic Install: 

Labor per install*
$150.00  – this type of install, is utilizing a drop-in decoder such as the Zimo MX697, and includes installing a speaker, and tunning the decoder to the specific locomotive.

* DCC ready Socket
There is a handful of locomotives incorporate a relatively new standardized socket designed to accept a drop-in decoder or RCC receiver, the decoders are designed to plug into the socket. some such locomotive models include the Bachmann 2-6-6-2, the K27, the new Climax, some of the Aristocraft models. and some of the newest LGB models.  however many of these models also require speakers to be installed. which requires more disassembly.

Intermediate Install: 

Labor per install**
$200.00 – this type of install, covers things like an Airwire receiver & sound card or decoder, along with a basic battery pack.  ***

** Bachmann Two Truck Shays & Other DC only models. 
Bachmann hasn’t made the two truck shay for quite some time, there are 3 different generations, and in most cases, they need the trucks replaced, along with some minor modifications to the mounting PC-board along with separate wires run for the motors and power pickups, this is a requirement for DCC/RCC installs. they also will often require most if not all of the original electronics removed.
the removal of the original DC PC-boards, along with the isolation of motors from the power pickups becomes a requirement for nearly all originally DC only models. when, I have to fabricate battery packs, new PC boards, or re-wire the entire locomotive, the intermediate install quickly jumps to an advanced install.  The Bachmann two truck Shay typically doesn’t need anything fabricated, this generally falls under the intermediate install.

*** Airwire
Airwire has become a household name for an RCC system made by CVP products. they additionally make what they call a converter, which works with their transmitter and converts direct current from a battery into a standard digital command control signal for a DCC decoder, this is known as a DCC dead rail install a DCC Dead-rail install it is really not any more expensive or complicated than a conventional airwire install, which typically requires a separate sound card, which cost as much if not more than a decoder.

Advanced install:

labor per install – $350.00, you could say this is the golden Cadillac or museum quality of installs, it takes the most time, it can include everything from completely rewiring the locomotive, ensuring that wires are completely hidden, making custom boards and battery packs to fit. basically, this is for custom fabrication of boards and batteries  (Most installs are within the basic to intermediate level)

Misilanious electronics, such as connectors, speakers etc. 

Decoders/sound cards & batteries 
This is dependent on the electronics used, you may purchase the electronics and supply them. I’ll recommend what I think will best serve your requirements and if you would prefer to have me obtain the electronics, I’ll create a document with a few different options, along with the price of electronics I’ll need the money upfront to order the products.

extra parts, If I can not use the electronics or parts you supplied they will be returned

I also try to save you money by working with the various electronics that may already be installed in a locomotive.  This means that if I can work with a board that in the locomotive I will, I can also take cards out one locomotive and install them in another.

I prefer to take time and study the model, doing research on electronics, that are best suited for the application. – at that time I document everything, and take pictures, this, information will be provided.  You may also follow the blog on this page, however, the information is then generalized, excluding detailed info the owner of the locomotives in question, this is done principally as a reference about locomotives I may be working on.
allowing you to follow the progress.

I tend to use high-end electronics, the cost adds up very quickly, Again you are welcome to provide me with the electronics or purchase any of the recommended electronics from the proposal sheet that will be provided to you with 36 hours of receiving the model.

I do not work on the locomotive until I have approval, based on the proposal sheet.

Please note, that if I’m required to obtain the electronics, I require advance payment for them, and will provide an itemized list of their retail cost.

Servicing and basic cleaning:
This is done, with the installation as part of the service, often times locomotives need to be taken apart if done Stand-alone basic service and cleaning are included with hourly wages when onsite.

DCC system installs and consultation:

Please note, that I live in Northern, Nevada please allow for travel times, if you are requesting me to travel out of State or more than a couple of hour drive from my residence, there is a peridium charge for a hotel. or if available please provide room and board, at which point, there is no peridium.

$45.00 hr

This is not limited to installing electronics, I can also install low voltage wiring for building lighting, and/or doing detail work while on site.  However, I will not have any electronics or detail items on hand unless I’ve been provided with an advance warning.

Please note: I prefer to review the system and your requirements prior to working on the system. if this information is provided in advance, it saves time and your money. There are too many variables for me remember every detail.

Service & repairs:
I can repair most aspects of the models, This includes fabricating parts, through 3d and limited metal parts, generally I will attempt to source a replacement part before fabrication. ( note fabrication often takes extra time, and is generally not cost effective, for this it also drops in hourly rate, see weathering and detail work) 

$45.00 hr  + parts (1 hour minimum) 


Weathering and detail work:

I’ve developed my skills and eye throughout most of my life, and in many cases, I can be considered as a master level builder, this means that I can often easily repair, replace or reproduce damaged parts. Specific customization to the model is based upon request. such a wood cab, etc.

$40.00 hr
actual work time, this includes brush in hand or CNC mill/laser design and mill/cutting times and Detail work such as rebuilding wheelsets or re-wiring.

I use a verity of different weathering techniques, the majority of my models are not designed to withstand the elements, by the time I’m done you own a one of kind piece of art. Each piece will be signed and will include at least one bonus feature along unique detail item hiding somewhere as part of my signature


I prefer to work on installs and details within my own space, with that being said there are occasions wherein I can visit and pick-up and return items, I will require an original box or safe container for shipping & travel and if I’m required to obtain electronics I’ll require a deposit.

I suggest shipping using FedEx  or US mail again in an original box or safe container, please provide a prepaid return label or $$ for return shipping.

Please note, I will provide a basic quote, with a couple of different options and associated costs to the different options prior to commencing work.


Paypal preferred, however, I can accept most types of payments.
please use Friends and Family with Paypal.

Finally with the realization of today’s world
I document and photograph everything that I do to protect both you and myself