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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Jul 28th, 2017 10:41 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1956

Making Tar Paper look a bit aged

by Gary Jansen

I make my tarpaper by spray painting newsprint with flat black spray paint. The print gives a subtle texturing. Sometimes I put a brush bead of acrylic gloss black paint to look like a seam of tar oozing out. To get the effect of it being a few years old I also use some fine ashes from the wood stove to look like stuff fell on it, maybe from rain or birds, also where water may have temporarily adhered and some dust accumulated. Where two roof surfaces come together, the soot can be rubbed more to soften it.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 01:13 am
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Hints & Tips No.1957

White Glue for Small Windows

by Ted Petrie


Small windows can also be done by stretching a bubble of white glue across the opening. It does not necessarily produce perfectly smooth 'glass' like plate glass and on a humid day, it can turn white again, though that is temporary.

I tend not to do this for buildings but it makes good auto glass. Because it conforms well to the shape of the opening. It makes pretty good curved glass.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 10:24 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1958

Planning for Industries and Spur Lines

by Jeff Corbett

I check footprints of the structures I intend to use when drawing up plans. Fortunately Walthers catalogue and web site lists the dimensions for most structures. I got bit though when I put their Ice House/Loading Platform at the back of the structure. I calculated how much space I would need between the track and the backdrop based on the footprint. I failed to take into account the overhang of the roof. Since the track and quite a bit of scenery was already in place and I did not want to redo it, I simply cut the back edge of the roof overhang off to make it fit.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2017 09:48 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1959

Planning an Attic Layout Pt 1

by Robert Inns

Ensure that the attic access hatch aperture is able to be covered whilst you are in the attic. It is easy to become absorbed by the task in hand and step backwards to find there is no floor! I am assuming the rest of the area has been floored.

Set up good lighting, it will make all the other tasks easier.
You can not beat putting real track in place to see what it actually looks like but do not try to cram too much in.
You can loose lay the track, i.e. don't actually clip it together, while you are doing a look see to get the overall concept.
I would put the major curves in first as they are usually the main limiting factor on how the layout evolves; use the biggest curves you can get away with. You do not need all the track at this stage as you can plan a side at a time.
Mark the track course on sheets of paper laid on the boards, you can replace these if they are wrong. You can download real size templates for track from the Peco web site to avoid buying points you don't need. Incidentally, Hornby and Bachmann track is the same height as Peco Code 100 track.
When you are happy with the layout, connect it up and run a train to see if there are any issues you have not spotted such as run arounds or sidings being long enough, or passing traffic fouling each other. Put paper or card foot prints of large buildings down, do they look right?
Only when you are utterly convinced it is right do you start laying cork

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 Posted: Wed Aug 9th, 2017 09:21 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1960

Planning an Attic Layout Pt 2

by Alan Wickens

My first suggestion is to make up 2 or 4 triangular pieces of board to fill in the right angles at each end say one foot triangles. He will find by in-filling the corners that radius curves can be greatly reduced.

I have used Peco code 75 for many years, in my eyes it does look better than code 100 but I guess this is a personal choice - and then Peco flexi track. This will enable you to put in gentle curves where set track might not fit the bill. It is easy to use, we have laid 129 yards of it in my loft!
Regarding underlay, I have found it is often better to cover a large area of board first and not rely on track-wide strips as plans change! My preferred cork is widely available 1/16th sheet.
Get one circuit running as sure as eggs the layout will develop by itself!
Lastly, remember that your arm can only reach about two feet away from you to put errant vehicles back on the track so maybe track should be laid nearer the front or middle.

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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2017 11:40 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1961

Growing your Layout

by Bill Peace

Trying to get multiple tracks laid and operating could end up meaning that as you do not see any trains running for a while, you become bored and chuck the whole thing in. Do it in stages. This applies to wiring also.

If you lay even a single main line, try to put in all the points and other 'special work' on it whilst you are doing this, so you do not have to rip up bits of track later on to put in a set of
points. This would apply to all tracks that you lay.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 15th, 2017 10:49 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1962

Cardboard Body Holders for painting

by David Rhodes

I was recently repairing some old model aircraft kits that I inherited from my uncle.

I found that one of the cardboard trays that you get from the big chain coffee shops for carrying 4 disposable cups makes a very useful cradle for putting models in while you work on them.
Due to the various undulations in the tray/holder you can position the model so that the various sticky-out-bits (technical term) do not get damaged and the model can be balanced or held quite satisfactorily.

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 Posted: Fri Aug 18th, 2017 11:30 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1963

Using a Dehydrator for preparing Natural material

by Ken Kitchener

After attempting to dry moss, leaves, corn silk, etc. in the oven (often with disastrous results) I decided to try a food dehydrator. It works and with the ability to set the temperature from ambient up to 105ºC (221ºF), I can be fairly sure of killing off any unwanted mould and vermin with a 12 to 24 hour treatment.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 21st, 2017 09:54 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1964

Natural Sand as a cheap scenery item

by Jerry Spalding

Natural sand is a necessity for all modellers and I pick some up in little bags when I go out for a walk. Some people try to sell war gamers sand, gravel, and railway scenic and ballasting supplies in little packs which are ridiculous. I am not going to buy sediment when there are drifts of it lying by the footpath.

I also save the bits of rock and asphalt that get stuck in the tread of my shoes.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 24th, 2017 01:25 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1965

Making a schematic control panel

by Edward Tibbetts

The easiest way I find to make a control panel to do it is with a clear piece of plexiglass/acrylic or "lexan". Use striping tape on the back side of the plexi to replicate the track plan, drill your holes for the switches, then spray paint the back with a contrasting color. White, silver, or gold striping with a black or dark green stands out, and with the paint on the inside it will not get scratched. I used to get the striping tape at a model airplane hobby shop.

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 Posted: Sat Aug 26th, 2017 10:49 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1966

Bracing Buildings

by Harry Porter



On paper buildings I use basswood (not balsawood) shapes to strengthen it and square it up. I have dozens of paper shipping containers that have basswood bracing inside to make sure they do not wilt or collapse.

On plastic buildings I use Evergreen or Plastruct tubes or shapes to stiffen up and square the walls at the same time. For a metal building I would use K&S (and I do have some metal Suydam buildings) if bracing was required. When using K&S with plastic or other resins, you should use super glue or epoxies to make sure the parts stay glued. My hobby shop carries K&S as well as full displays of Plastruct and Evergreen shapes.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 29th, 2017 09:22 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1967

Sealing Extruded Foam

by Graham Schapel



An even coat of cheap interior latex paint will seal extruded foam and protect it from just about any scenic materials you might use. I always start any construction on foam with dirt coloured latex paint. This also protects foam core board from warping when used for construction of buildings. This material it is foam covered by paper so anything that is water based could cause it to warp so painting ONE side may cause the material to warp.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 2nd, 2017 02:04 am
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Hints & Tips No.1968

Organising Tools Pt 1

by Jack Hartley

I use Peg board along the full length of my work bench which is 4 feet (1200 mm) long . I picked up all sorts of peg board holders at a garage sale and a few others at a home improvement store. I looked at what I had and experimented with what I could hang on it. I use the top or bottom halves of Athearn and MDC freight car boxes to hold knives and another box for my smaller files. A plastic fishing tackle box holds a lot of my miscellaneous stuff.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 4th, 2017 10:02 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1969

Organising Tools Pt 2

by Rene Gourley

I organise myself by frequency of use and then by facet. I have three levels of storage
  1. Immediate - a drawer in my workbench holds the tools I use every day - the knife, the favourite needle nose pliers, square, pin vise, scale rule, tweezers.
  2. Nearby - drawers under my layout are organised by facet, and contain tools and materials that I use less often. For example, I have a scenery drawer that contains all the scatter materials plus the squirt bottles, sieves, brushes and spoons. Another drawer contains boxes for electrical, trackwork, car modelling, painting and so on.
  3. Far - some tools go into a box in my attic. For example, I have a rolling road for when I'm building a locomotive. During such a project, it would move into the immediate or nearby drawer, but most of the time I'm not building locomotives.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 7th, 2017 11:17 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1970

MV Lenses

by Jim Abbott and Tony Santana

MV Lenses are a Resin product with a foil backing that resemble scale light lenses. Excellent for class and marker lights as well as Headlights and Ditch Lights if you do not want them to be lit. They come in Quite a few sizes and colours including Clear, Red, Green, Amber & Blue. However I installed clear MV lenses on a locomotive and over a period of 4 years the lenses gradually yellowed. However, I realise that if I had properly stored the unit on its shelf AWAY from the sunlight coming into my hobby room, they would not have yellowed so severely.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 11th, 2017 09:30 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1971

If you use Matte Medium for holding Ballast

by Mike Lehmann




Use 91% alcohol when misting to wet things. It is much more powerful than the lower % stuff. Woodland Scenics ballasting needs ALL the help it can get and this works well.

ALWAYS clean your spray head immediately after applying the matte medium with it. Alcohol can cut and clean it if it gets clogged, but better yet is a thorough rinsing by spraying clean water through it until you are certain the matte medium is flushed out. You can then screw it back onto the matte medium bottle, just do not spray through it until you are ready to do the next batch. It will be ready to go when prepared like this.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 10:14 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1972

Recycling Plastic Bottles for Ballasting and other tasks

by Brett Bateman

I have large ketchup/Tomato Sauce and mustard bottles that have those twist tops on them. You can really adjust the flow of the wetting agent and white glue by just twisting the top ever so slightly. I get a lot of miles out of filling those babies once. I think they are about 1 Litre in size. When I am done I just run the top of the glue one under hot water to make sure it does not glue shut.
Having such large containers really speeds things up. It would take a lot of squirts with an eyedropper to empty one of those containers and cover as much track.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 18th, 2017 02:38 am
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Hints & Tips No.1973

Modelling Uniformed staff

by Norm Champion




I had a problem with a detailed interior that is well lit in a HO scale Migros supermarket. Migros staff wear orange, at least tops or sometimes full dress. So I took some standard Preiser figures in appropriate poses and painted orange outfits on them. Easy to do.
 
Mc Donald's and KFC staff wear coloured uniforms so I suggest getting some similar colour paint and modifying suitable figures.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 20th, 2017 09:25 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1974
Using a Barbed Wire Fence as a “Safety Barrier”
by Graeme Nitz

I built a “barbed wire” fence from inch-and-a-half wire brads and some fine wire. I drove the brads in so that there was about a half-inch poking out. Cut off the heads with a Dremel motor tool, and grind them round so no one gets cut.
Then string three strands of the wire and solder each joint. This has caught quite a few pieces of rolling stock from falling into oblivion. It was two or three inches from the edge.




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 Posted: Sat Sep 23rd, 2017 09:24 pm
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Hints & Tips No.1975
Creating “Safety Barriers” for Layout Edges
by Several Modellers
If you want to be totally safe, then your fence should be at least as high as the height of the roadbed plus the height your highest piece of rolling stock. This means that for anything to hit the floor it would have to “pole vault” over the fence. (John Garaty)
If it is possible for you, use trees, telegraph poles or otherwise strategically placed scenery to prevent your equipment falling off your layout, instead of a “visible” barrier (Geoffrey Pepper)


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