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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 13th, 2019 12:28 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2191
Making a Forest of “Trees” using Expanding Foam
By John de Fraysinnet
Build up an artificial ground layer at just below treetop height for the area of the forest you want to create.
Then get a tube of expanding foam — available from DIY and builders shops — and place lots of little blobs of the stuff across the area you have just made. Expanding foam can be highly toxic. Please read and follow the instructions.
Being expanding foam, these blobs will grow and swell a bit and create a bobbled (frog spawn) surface over the area required. (It can take some time for the foam to finish expanding so give it time, several days if necessary).
Once dry, paint it dark green and apply a coating of SprayMount adhesive spray and then sprinkle short dark green static grass over this.  I recommend Woodland Scenics coarse turn-medium green.
While it  is drying, place two or maybe three rows of normal model trees at the front of the expanding foam forest so tree trunks are visible from the front.
Next, make some small blobs of expanding foam, spraying them with SprayMount, and dipping them into a tub of static grass before letting dry. Once ready tease these into the tops of the real trees and between the expanding foam treetops. You could also apply the grass with a static grass applicator.
Finally, lightly spray the top canopy with different shades of acrylic green paint to simulate the colour variation of natural forests.


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 Posted: Mon Jul 15th, 2019 11:19 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2192
Getting rid of extreme dirt on loco wheels
By Mark Pruitt
Sometimes Isopropyl Alcohol just does not cut it when getting dirt off wheels affecting pickup. Here is what I do
1. Place the loco upside down in a foam cradle or some such
2. Attach power feeders as needed to make the loco run
3. Run the loco at medium or slightly faster speed
4. With a number 5 exacto blade or box cutter blade in a handle, hold the blade perpendicular to the wheel or with the sharp edge slightly lagging the wheel rotation, blade point towards the flange, and slowly drag the blade point across the tread, using just enough pressure to start peeling away any gunk.  Just make sure you do not cut any traction tyres.
5. Do 4 a few times if necessary until the driver is shiny clean.
6. Repeat on all drivers.
Works like a charm on any locos, steam, diesels or electrics.


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 Posted: Fri Jul 19th, 2019 04:18 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2193
Fitting Easements to your curves
By Several Modellers
The late John Armstrong was a firm advocate of the use of Easement lead ins to curves, regardless of the radius. 
Even if you are using set track curves, by using a small length of flex track curved leading on to the curve from a straight section of a larger radius outside the start of the curve will give a smoother curve and better tracking on the curve.  
Using a 180 degree turn using Hornby/Peco Radius 2 curves,  if you are currently use 4 double curves, you would reduce it to 3 double and 1 single curve and place your straights as though the radius would be 19 inches rather than 17.5 inches and use the flex track as a short lead in of a wider radius on both sides to complete the half circle. 
The lead in allows for the wheel flanges to gradually take on the radius rather than “hit the curve” and coupled to “banking the curves” should make your operations more reliable and reduce derailments.


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 Posted: Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 03:59 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2194
Insulating Older Triang/Hornby Frames
By Trevor Gibbs
A few friends have some older Triang locos that we regauged to run on Peco track, particularly points but there was a trouble with some axles short circuiting against the frame.  The insulated bushes usually hold up well on the axles of these locos between the wheels and the axle but the lip around the bush often wears away meaning the insulated wheel is free to come into contact with the frame.
The solution we arrived at was to make a small styrene disc drilled in the centre and cut to behind the wheel discretely, then cutting it so it could be slipped over the axle to take the place of the insulating bush shoulder. We have found margarine container lids good for this purpose and there is no more contact possible, thus operation is improved.


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 Posted: Thu Jul 25th, 2019 05:21 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2195
Shouldering Cork Underlay
By Several Modellers
If you are making your own cork track base, the normal angle to cut is about 45 degrees but shouldering of ballast is about 20-30 degrees.  You have two choices.  
If you are cutting your own you can make the angle that 20-30 degrees at the cost of a little more width being used on your cork sheet.  Or the ballast will in itself flow to a more natural angle but it will use up more to cover the cork. In any case, you could hide the cork by painting it with a cheap black paint that will not show as readily under the ballast.


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 Posted: Sun Jul 28th, 2019 04:15 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2196
Re-Motoring a Loco using Hot Glue
By Several Modellers
I had to replace a motor and tried using hot glue rather  than Silicone. It seemed to work quickly avoiding any alignment problems (Max Litchfield)
I find that hot glue does not hold metal very well in the long term. On the other hand, I see real potential in using it to "tack" the motor on with a limited bond, to test the motor in its position. If all is fine, one could squeeze in silicone in the remaining gaps between the motor and the frame. The silicone would provide that long term bond assurance. When remotoring a steam engine, a temporary bond would be very useful to test a loco (Simon Roy)


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 Posted: Wed Jul 31st, 2019 04:58 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2197
Making an LED Globe look more natural
By Ed Simmons

Because every room and area has a different effect on lighting, you could get a variable resistor and and adjust the resistance until you get the amount of light output you like in the location it is supposed to go to provided you do not exceed the voltage rating of the LED.  Then using a Multimeter, you can check the resistance of the variable resistor and then buy the fixed resistors to match your desired output.


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 Posted: Sat Aug 3rd, 2019 10:42 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2198
Making buildings look the right colour
By Gary Pearce
Because lighting conditions on a layout are different to the great outdoors ( unless your layout actually is an outdoor one) matching paint to that of prototype buildings can make the model look darker when placed indoors.  
Whatever colour you are trying to match, in the smaller scales, I suggest that you go at least one tone and more likely two tones in the same colour band so that when it is presented on your layout, it appears to be a similar tone to the bigger building you have copied.


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 Posted: Tue Aug 6th, 2019 06:46 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2199
Representing Sand
By Sam Burrell
Sand is one of those items hard to scale down and depending on your source, could be slightly metallic in content. I was sanding some plaster castings down with some 80 grit and noticed that the dust was close to what I needed. 
Sands are different shades so you might need to mix in some acrylic paint first before sanding to get the type of sand but some plasters look right as is.


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 Posted: Fri Aug 9th, 2019 07:01 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2200
Finer Ballast in Yards
By Wayne Mahoney
Most modellers use the same ballast for yards as they do for track but that in real life is a safety issue as walkways need to be almost flat so yard workers can go about their tasks without tripping.  In OO, you could use N scale ballast perhaps crushed a little further to make it finer still to suit. Check your nearest railway yard to see how the situation is handled.


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 Posted: Mon Aug 12th, 2019 03:56 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2201
Modelling Winter Skies for Backdrops
By Michael Whiteman
Go outside on a winters day and you will see that the grey sky is pretty mono tone, except if there are clouds present.  Then you will have some variation. Then go get a bunch of grey paint chips at a paint store and look at them under your layout lighting. Look at some grey sky pictures on Google to get some ideas.


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 Posted: Thu Aug 15th, 2019 06:47 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2202
Modelling a Burnt Tree or Area
By Greg Couzner

For a burnt tree trunk, or formerly grassed area, I use a variety of blowtorches from the local smoke shop. They are not that expensive, and they sell everything from a torch with multiple flames, that will set your face on fire, to pencil style torches, where you can use the flame to write with if you wanted.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 18th, 2019 07:06 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2203
Modelling a Greenhouse
By Several Modellers
To model a greenhouse,  you could try using a cut down soft drink bottle and make some clear ends for them (Mark Golding)
I use an Overhead Transparency and print a grid on it to represent the panels. The ends are clear acrylic sheet to give the arch some structural integrity with an O/H transparency sheet  cut to shape also with the panel grid printed on it. (Ray Bannon)


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