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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2018 06:02 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No. 2075
Using Glass Jars for Storage
by Several Modellers
It is always a good idea to clean the jar "threads", as well as the threads on the top BEFORE closing. Saves a lot of wear and tear. (Gus Howard)
Another good tip is to store the glass jars upside down. This prevents air from getting in since the paint creates a barrier, and therefore cannot cure the top layer to keep the jar lid tight (Steve Minter)
When my paint jars get stuck, I turn the hot water on in my faucet to a slow stream. then lay the jar on it's side in the sink with the lid to the jar directly under the stream. You want the hot water stream to hit on the lid and not on the jar (it is okay if some splashes on the jar). After a few minutes, the lid comes off rather easily with your hands, or you may need a pair of pliers to help grip the lid. If it does not break loose easily, put back under the water for a few minutes. (Kevin Waterson)
I just clean the threads and apply a light coat of Vaseline. They always open right up, first time - every time. ( Giles Sullivan)


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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2018 02:27 am
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Trevor, I know I don't provide a lot of feedback here, but please keep these coming. There are a good many useful tips and techniques, from those who have experience.

Thank you for the hard work in compiling this topic and finding all these useful items for us.

:cheers  :cheers   :cheers



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Jeff Lynn,
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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2018 02:53 am
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Hello Jeff, 
Thank you for the positive feedback. Ordinarily I would be asking the moderators to remove the excess posts to keep the thread congruent but I guess it is as good a time as ever to say that I have about 40 left or about  4 months worth at current rates. I have far fewer "Prototype for Everything" entries to make although I did add one this  morning and I am not a fountain of all knowledge by anyone's standards.

I was recently in hospital for three weeks with a double knee replacement and am recuperating now but still on crutches but as a precaution, I am grateful that Max took over the file in case of further impairment or worse. I was off track for about 10 days or so while they were trying to get the pain medication having severe hallucinatory effects such as my left foot doing a 360, or rolling about in space fixing a satellite or barrel rolling a fighter plane... and others which were not very nice.

So if you or anyone reading this has something to add, please send it as a PM and I will do my best to accommodate you. To my knowledge, it is possibly the largest H&T column related to our hobby in the world but the aim is not one of self gratification, rather to provide as good and clear a reference as possible for the range of hobby levels we have even in this for modellers we won't get to meet!

Cheers from Australia

Trevor

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 Posted: Tue Jul 17th, 2018 10:49 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2076
A Track Cleaner from an unusual source
by Jacques Villiers,
I like many others use cork for track cleaning but the "raw material" come from a different source: After opening a bottle of wine I cut the cork stopper lengthwise so it has a flat surface. A glued on stick will help you keep control within narrow confines.


A Note from Trevor - I would like to build a whole lot of these track cleaners... what a way to get them!


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 Posted: Fri Jul 20th, 2018 10:27 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2077
Gluing Wood to Styrene
by Wayne Toth
For styrene, it helps to first prepare the gluing surface with lacquer thinner - just brush it on and let it sit while you apply the cement to the wood, then apply the contact cement to the styrene. (The prepping helps to prevent the solvents in the contact cement from being drawn into the styrene, which can otherwise result in a weak bond.) Let the two surfaces sit for the time recommended on your brand of contact cement - usually it is 15 or 20 minutes, and most allow up to an hour-or-so.....joining the pieces too soon will yield a poor bond.
Sometimes, wood will require a second application - usually when too much of the first coat soaks into the pores of the wood - follow the direction for re-coating.
When you bring the two pieces together, the bond will be instant and permanent. If alignment is an issue, place a sheet of waxed paper between the two parts so that they can be aligned, then carefully withdraw the paper and press the two surfaces together. I used the same stuff to veneer my kitchen cupboards over 25 years ago, and the bond is still solid.


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 Posted: Mon Jul 23rd, 2018 07:10 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2078
Multiple use for recycled Card Stock
by Andrew Furness

Not only do I scratch build with card stock, I also use recycled card from food boxes etc as a protector of the work bench surface when casting or painting and they are disposable.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 26th, 2018 06:56 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2079
“Gluing” Grout
by Mark Evans
I found something that works really well with grout. I use denatured alcohol in a spray bottle. The alcohol acts as a wetting agent. I don't find I need any glue in addition to what's already in the grout. If you do decide to use thinned white glue or matte medium you'll find the alcohol works fine as a wetting agent. Another upside of the alcohol is that it dries a lot faster than the old "wet water" we used in the past.


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 Posted: Sun Jul 29th, 2018 10:53 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2080
“Gluing” Grout and Yard Ballasting
by Jeff White

One night I experimented on some gravel on the sides of the concrete pad on a team track. On one side I put down white glue, spread the grout then applied 70% isopropyl alcohol as a wetting agent then used 50/50 white glue and water applied with an eyedropper. On the other side I used white glue as a base then just alcohol and water to activate the cement in the grout. The next afternoon, both sides looked about the same although there was some clumping on the side I secured with the 50/50 white glue and water mix. I' did not raising any dust by running my finger across either side. The colour was just a little lighter then I want so I mixed in a little darker grey and buff grout and see if I could make it a shade darker.

I found I could use it as ballast in a yard or industrial track where the tracks have sunk into the ground, but there is no definition of stones like you find on other tracks.


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 Posted: Wed Aug 1st, 2018 10:19 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2081
Making Trash … using trash!
by Several Modellers
For more modern trash, I cut tiny pieces of plastic grocery bags of different colours to represent modern urban swill seen in cities. Glue this along with other trash. (Mike Habersack)
I use pencil shavings painted in various metal tones including rust colours to simulate metal offcuts. I spray the shavings with grey primer in a small box or old plastic lid but be aware that light weight items like these shavings will blow out of the container when spraying. Just use caution and most will stay in the container. I then add various coloured powders to give the different metallic and rust tones and shake the container (Rick Wade)


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 Posted: Sat Aug 4th, 2018 03:53 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2082
Installing a backdrop for a sectional layout that may be moved!
by Mike Whiteman

By all means DO NOT cut a printed backdrop to fit before you glue it on. You will be fighting to try and align 3 sides and that 3M spray glue will not allow you to reposition it after contact. It would be better to leave the backdrop long and let it hang over the top and both ends. Keep the top of the photo parallel with the top of the backdrop. If you can lay the backdrop flat, I would lay some poster board on top of it and roll it with a rolling pin. Start in the centre and roll to the outside. Finally use a razor blade and trim all the edges.


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 Posted: Tue Aug 7th, 2018 10:02 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2083
Modelling on the Cheap
by Several Modellers

Scotch tape rolls usually stacked two or three tall as Rain Water Tanks Small Storage Tanks or large oil or chemical storage tanks depending on whether you model in O, OO or N. All you do is cut a small piece of sheet styrene to make a top! (Craig Wooley)
The ground cover I use is a mix of 4 items:
1.Sifted sand from the road out front of my apartment building, the town spreads sand on the sidewalk and road all winter.
2.Sawdust strained with various colours of dollar store acrylic paint. I got the sawdust from off my work room floor and also from the local building supply store.
3.Used and dried coffee grounds, the secret here is to not store them in a closed container. If you do that, you run the risk of mould. as long as they are left in the air to dry. Then when you place them on the layout, make sure they are thoroughly covered in the glue/water mixture.
4.Coal from the water filter we use. After you change the filter, break the old one apart. (Will Annand)


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 Posted: Fri Aug 10th, 2018 07:59 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2084
Weathering ballast
by Derek Stuart
I use very thin paint (or dirty thinners is perhaps a better description), put it into a pipette/ dropper and drop it along the ballast. it will then work into the ballast in the same way that oil from the real thing did over time.

The only problem is that because you need to make it thin so that it runs, it means that you need a good number of coats but I would suggest that dropping it onto the track just like a real loco did with oil is going to give you a good affect.


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 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2018 08:45 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2085
Achieving “Buckled” Track for backwoods track
by Chris Palomarez
Many sidings and some branchlines have a “crowning” effect of the rails. I have achieved this effect on a module. The effect is awesome and you do not need to do much to achieve the effect. A lot of the prototype photos are actually exaggerated due to the lens and everything getting visually compressed. Just a little goes a long way.

On a piece of Micro Engineering flex, I like to take a razor saw notching the top of the rail. Use a screw driver, place it in the notch and with only slight pressure, no more then your body weight, push down on the "joint". Looking at it every which way, down, from the side it will not look like much. When you you sight down the track... Eureka! You will have the "crowning" rail effect. Weather it up … Done! Your friends will trip when they see high cubes swaying slowly back and forth as you pull a cut from the yard. It is really a cool effect.


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 Posted: Thu Aug 16th, 2018 09:03 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2086
Preserving Home Printed Signs
by Mike Lehmann
When making home made signs I try hitting them with either Dullcote or Tamiya as you finish the rest of weathering and things up on the structure. Might be worth a test shot on some printed, but not applied copies, whatever you choose to use. That way you can see if things are compatible, will not cause runs or colour shifts etc.


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 Posted: Sun Aug 19th, 2018 08:52 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2087
Saving Home Printed Signs
by Mel Perry
When I make I normally print several “spares” and store them in individual labelled envelopes, it does not help my storage drawer space but I rarely have to go back and print them again and with Murphy’s law, the sign without a backup is the sign I would lose!


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 Posted: Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 11:19 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2088
Mixing Small amounts of Paint
by Trevor Gibbs
I model Canadian National which uses a Red/Orange or Orange/Red depending on the era for its “Red” nosed Diesels. To get the right proportion, I use an eye dropper with the two Tamiya paints and mix the contents into a small plastic lid or a soft drink bottle top with a 1:2 or 2:1 ratio.
The bottle top is glued to a card pad so it does not easily spill and the paint will not dry out as quickly as it would on a flat piece of plastic, thus allowing a little more working time.
If there are differences between batches ( and there will be, however slight), it can be explained with the different painting dates of the locos!


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 Posted: Sat Aug 25th, 2018 08:03 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2089
Butterfly Closures as Wiring Tags
by Karl Reutling

As I am in the process of wiring my layout , I was discussing the need to label the wire pairs, so that the layout can be moved if/when necessary. My wife, always one for a good idea, came up with a dandy:


Use first aid BUTTERFLY CLOSURES to label the wire pairs. Available cheap in any drug store/ pharmacy etc, all you do is mark what you want on it with a pen, and stick them to themselves around the wire(s). They make a neat purposeful looking little flag type label, and because they are fibre/fabric, they are pretty tough little things too.


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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2018 11:48 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2090
Ballasting Points
by Dave Nelson
When installing some of the Peco turnouts on my layout, I put a piece of black duct tape underneath the ties starting to the throwbar to the end of the points. The duct tape thus has its sticky side facing up. I trim the edges to be even with the ends of the ties. I put just enough ballast on the sticky part of the tape to hold (perhaps tamping it in with a Q tip) so the tape is completely covered. The ballast is lower than the ballast on the rest of the turnout (and rest of the track) but the turnout is ballasted and looks ballasted and the ballast does not interfere


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 Posted: Fri Aug 31st, 2018 09:13 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2091
Protecting Points when Ballasting
by Wayne Toth
I apply plastic-compatible oil to the tops of the ties over which the points move, and then parking the points at mid-throw before misting with wet water and applying the diluted white glue.


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 Posted: Mon Sep 3rd, 2018 09:05 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2092
Modelling Broken Window Panes
by Ed Sutorik
Many buildings around rail sites have broken windows replaced by wooden panels. If individual panes are replaced with wood, the wood is usually cut to fit and placed where the glass was. If there is a window with many panes, some of which are broken, sometimes a sheet of plywood is placed covering the whole thing. I would think inside or outside would "depend".

If you have got tilt-open windows, that might be best to use a "very thin piece of styrene" and print the wood filler with an ink jet printer. Cut out and install and if necessary glue it onto thin styrene.


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