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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu May 9th, 2019 07:12 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2170
Preserving Threads in Plastic
By Graeme Nitz
When screwing a metal thread screw into plastic that has already been threaded such as a bogie bolster, turn the screw anti clockwise (ie undo the screw) until you feel the screw drop into the thread and then tighten it up. This stops the metal thread cutting a new thread and ultimately destroying the plastic so there is no thread.


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 Posted: Sun May 12th, 2019 06:27 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2171
A Recycled Gluing Jig for Buildings
By Kevin Rowbotham
Micro-Mark sells a magnetic gluing Jig for assembling kits etc.  I liked it but with the cost of shipping to Canada I couldn't get off the fence about buying one.
Then I read where someone had used the top half of the 'chassis' from an old VCR as a gluing jig...this is what I came up with.  I bought some inexpensive magnets from Princess Auto (Canada's Harbour Freight) for less than $10. Overall it has worked pretty well for me.


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 Posted: Wed May 15th, 2019 11:37 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2172
Gluing Plaster Castings
By Kevin Rowbotham

When I glue plaster parts together, I use a heavy duty  Wood Glue. I like it a lot better than epoxy because it is not as messy and it is thinner in the joints.
For clamping plaster parts together I started using hot glue. It sticks well enough to hold the parts until the wood glue dries. A few hours later, it pops off pretty easily.


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 Posted: Sun May 19th, 2019 12:01 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2173
Using Plastic Containers
By John Whitten

I use plastic yogurt cups as glue pots. Be sure to wash them out before using! Some of the taller ones have a wider base at the bottom which make it more difficult to accidently tip over.


You can get little plastic (tupperware-style) dishes, which normally hold baby food, cheaply from a discount store, which are great for holding small parts, screws, etc. and are easy to label with a bit of tape, and store away when not in-use.


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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2019 05:39 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2174
Replacing Kadee Coupler Springs
By John Whitten
You can use a straight pin to help place the springs on couplers. Push the pin through the middle of the spring and then ease a bit of it out onto the nib of the coupler. Then ease it around to the other nib and gently pull the pin out. It makes placing the springs downright easy. And they almost never fly away. If they do spring, most of the time they spring back onto the pin.


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 Posted: Wed May 29th, 2019 05:00 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2175
Using Super Glue Gel
By Michael Liddicoat
I have often found superglue a little tricky to control in some situations.  Gel types really help me to get the spot of glue exactly where I want it – but be warned, gels are often instant grab.



Hints & Tips No. 2176
Making Covered Steel Coil Loads
By Charlie Lewis
When you open C and D size batteries, save the package (the plastic part) toss the paper. Carefully take the batteries out, cut the plastic in half across the middle, place one half on top of the other and glue together. Take a tissue and paint it, while still damp lay the tissue over the plastic so it conforms to the plastic. When it dries, use the pin striping to hold the tissue in place across the recessed area. Fold the tissue on the ends into something that looks like a triangle. Use a bread tie to simulate a bungee cord. You now have 3 tarped steel coils to be delivered, either by gondola  or flat car.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 1st, 2019 01:23 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2177
Keeping Interior Lighting from coming through Roof Gaps in Model Buildings
By Ken Kristensen
I have added "suspended ceilings" inside some buildings where I wanted to allow for the removal of the roofs. Since many of my building reside in the garden, the ceiling were made from scrap corrugated plastic signs painted black (lots will available after the elections) on one side and white on the other, but for my indoor layout I use painted sheets of plastic or black and white paper or cardboard. The ceilings were suspended on small "L" brackets glued at the top of the walls. This also allowed me to add ceiling lights similar to doll house fixtures.


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 Posted: Tue Jun 4th, 2019 03:13 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2178
Bending Styrene Rod
By Several Modellers
My first choice would be a small propane torch. The heat would be concentrated in a small area but do not let the flame touch the styrene. Clamp the torch and move the styrene rod. (Ian Stoner)
Try very hot water. Wear kitchen mitts. Worked for me.(Dana Taylor)


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 Posted: Fri Jun 7th, 2019 06:33 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2179
Cleaning Track of Paint
By Rob Spangler

To clean dried paint clean off my freshly laid track for the most part and leave the paint on the sides completely intact, I used a utility knife blade and scraped the top of the rail.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well and easy it worked. No worries about paint coming off the sides of the rail, no touching up needed. In a couple of areas, I had to go back over a couple spots a second time.


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 Posted: Mon Jun 10th, 2019 07:34 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2180
Holding Cards
By Dave Husman
I use cards for my freight car forwarding/waybills etc. I bought 1 inch "combs", the plastic binding spines, from an office supply store (obviously Office Depot), punched 3 holes in the plastic spine and used #6 x 1/2 pan head screws to screw it to the fascia.  It can be used to hold car cards up where they can be seen or manipulated. I earlier used a "J" strip where the cards just sat in a slot, but I like the combs better, they actually clamp and hold the car cards so they will not fall over or get knocked off, plus the combs are soft and will give if somebody brushes up against them.  


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 Posted: Thu Jun 13th, 2019 06:39 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2181
An Alternative to a Vacuum for the Track
By Several Modellers
One of the biggest issues we have found is spikes and magnetic stuff on the tracks fouling mechanisms.  We built a carriage underframe from an old boxcar kit (Athearn Blue Box) and stuck rare earth magnets underneath the frame. We were surprised how much junk the magnets picked up that would have wound up in undesirable places.
The earth magnets were small and easily concealed and run as a work train with a track cleaning car. Covering them with a small amount of cling wrap would make that residue easier to remove.


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 Posted: Sun Jun 16th, 2019 07:17 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2182
An Alternative to a using LED’s in N scale Searchlight Signals
By Mel Perry
Rather than use LED’s, you could use fiber optics and pipe the light from an LED under the layout. 1.5mm should be pretty close to the right diameter for a light for N scale.  A bi-color LED should put out enough light to make a good looking signal. Drill a small hole in the cone of the LED and place a clean end of the fibre optic in the hole in the LED under the layout. Saves unsightly wires being overscale.


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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 09:20 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2183 Pt 2
Modelling on the Cheap Ideas
By Dave Nelson
The Bucyrus-Erie factory in South Milwaukee, WI. is both rail served and has its own railroad, and my upcoming model will need a large supply of its open loads.  
I recall seeing the enormous B-E draglines or strip mining shovels be shipped out, the inter-plant rail movements of the inner “guts” of such machines, and the bone-yard of rusting spare parts for older models. I am less concerned with exactly replicating a particular piece or part than with conveying the impression of the massive steel fabrications that make up every aspect of these huge machines.
Dental floss containers have the crisp lines of steel fabrications. Inside, a structural-looking arched piece has an axle that holds the short tubing on which the floss is rolled. You swear to your dentist that you floss after each meal, so surely you can accumulate a nice supply of the containers for your own projects in no time.
The bodies and caps of motel shampoo bottles - admit it, you take them home, too -- also have a fabricated look. Solid deodorants provide an industrial-looking threaded shaft; the toothed wheel becomes a large gear. The other parts of the packaging are cast to look like welded, rolled, or cast steel.


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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2019 05:41 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2184
Modelling on the Cheap  Pt 3
By Guy Davison
Spent or broken matchsticks = scale lumber or "close enough" ties in HO and OO
Craft Matchsticks from Reject shops can make a whole string of wooden objects from fences to retaining walls to trestles.
All kinds of products are packaged in various densities of foam that can be carved into rocks, shaped into bridge abutments or walls, or broken up into some kind of gondola load or scenery material.


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 Posted: Tue Jun 25th, 2019 04:42 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2185 
Modelling on the Cheap  Pt 4
By Jim Cottle
 
A scrapbooking aisle in the bigger market or craft shops can be a great source of items for the layout. Here you can find papers suitable for flooring and wallpaper and even window curtains. Generally you can find checkerboard patterns and mable looking papers for floors.
There are many other uses too- There are some more offbeat papers. I ran across one that looked about the same size and pattern of brick in HO. It would not work for foreground but I just needed it on the side of a foam core sided building (in my case with a Magnuson flat as a front but any commercial front will do) that almost butted up against another building. There was another one that would work for roofing- corrugations a little large in HO but would work for O or standing seam in HO. I used some corrugated matboard with some scribing to simulate a Spanish tile roof.
Don't overlook the sticker section in scrapbooking- sometimes you can find advertising materials suitable for billboards even. I have seen a 3D Coke bottle sticker that would work for that for example.


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 Posted: Fri Jun 28th, 2019 06:30 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2186
Modelling on the Cheap  Pt 5
By Trevor Gibbs
I have made a number of buildings using printouts stuck to foam core which I get for free. I printed the sides of buildings on a single A4 sticker sheet, and cut accordingly, many of the buildings from Auran Trainz as screen dumps.
To get these Screen Dumps I...
1. Open up PAINT and then Trainz. Go to Surveyor mode.
2. You may like to texture the ground with some green grass on a single Trainz baseboard.
3, Select your building from Trainz and place it so that the face that you want is facing south in your case being in the Northern hemisphere/North in mine. Rotate either yourself or the building as you zoom in on it to fill most of the screen. Strangely enough there seems to be a difficulty in getting exactly square.
4. Press your "Print Screen" button and Alt Tab and toggle your way into Paint. 
5. In Paint press Control V keys together and your printed screen will appear in paint. Select the area you want and move it to the top left hand corner of paint. Save as "face 1" or whatever
6. Because there is a "sun" in Trainz rotate your building and get all faces in "sunlight" Repeat steps 4 and 5
7, Scale the individual drawings on Publisher, Word, Open Office or whatever you have making sure your corners align size wise. With the boxes I did the angular ends in foam core first then cut the front and rear pieces to as exact a size as you can using your drawing as gauge and glue the pieces together to act as a base. 
I just used card or thin styrene for the roofing also glued using offcut pieces from the foam core as reinforcement on the inside... very little is wasted!


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 Posted: Mon Jul 1st, 2019 03:40 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2187
Using Beauty Products for modelling purposes
By Several Modellers
I use Beauty supply brushes to spread ballast more smoothly or for applying weathering powders (Leon Cassar)
I use fine mist spray bottles for wetting ballast prior to gluing. Some one tipped me off on that 20 years ago.  The spray is gentle enough that you do not displace the ballast. Of course soak it well enough to get more than a crust at the top. (Liam Nield)


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 Posted: Thu Jul 4th, 2019 06:43 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2188
When Painting your Track ... to get/keep the top clean
By Several Modellers
Instead of wiping track straight after painting,  I put a little Vaseline on my finger and wipe just the top of the rail carefully BEFORE painting.  When all DONE painting a simple wipe with a rag and the rail is ready to go. (Russell Quinn)
For removing the paint, a block of wood seems to work really well to remove the paint from just the right spots while it is still wet.  (Bill Brillinger)


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 Posted: Sun Jul 7th, 2019 06:27 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2189
When Painting your Track in situ ... to protect your backdrop
By Scott Thornton

On a previous layout I used a large piece of cardboard to protect my backdrop from overspray and it worked great. I just held the cardboard in one hand between the track and backdrop and used my other hand to spray. To be honest, there wasn’t that much overspray because I applied in short, light bursts fairly close to the track. I know there wasn’t much because there was minimal paint on the cardboard. A good 1.5 x 3 foot piece did the trick.


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 Posted: Wed Jul 10th, 2019 03:50 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2190
Making your own Grass. to protect your backdrop
By Stephen Fay
 
Teddy bear fur is available in many lengths and base colours,  I sourced mine through eBay.
To dye the fur I use a mixture of poster paints both green and yellow.  It’s best to test the green first to see how it dries on a piece of paper as you might want to darken it first.
The easiest way to apply the paint is with your hands wearing an old pair of washing up gloves. Really work it into the fur,  do the largest area you can for consistency.
If there is any clumping of the paint once dry, this can be brushed out with a scrubbing brush.
I bought my teddy bear fur at the length I wanted it but it’s easily cut using men’s hair clippers. Once you’re happy with the colour it’s a good idea to singe the fur using a blow torch – this should be done very quickly and with supervision if needed.
To finish off, add various other scenics depending on the ground cover you wish to represent.”


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