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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Sep 12th, 2019 07:21 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No. 2211
If you use Grout to represent Dirt and/or Ballast...  Pt 1
By Several Modellers

If you are using Grout as your main “earth’ source, be sure to saturate the mix with PVA glue or it will put off dust forever. Also, if you use a lighter shade you can simply rub on a dirt road. It is almost chalk like.  I mix a little grout with dirt so the color varies a bit. (Barry Laird)
Just test it first.  I used grout all over a layout I was helping build and it worked like a charm. The same exact materials in my basement and the glue dried white. I've seen other people have a similar problem, and I think it is related to the atmosphere and the grout.
Trust me, test it first. Thoroughly. It took me 6 months to fix the mess I made!  (Randy Hamill)


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 Posted: Sun Sep 15th, 2019 05:37 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2212
If you use Grout to represent Dirt and/or Ballast...  Pt 2
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 find I do not need any glue in addition to what is 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. 
My theory is that the Denatured has less water content that the Isopropyl does. This should make drying time faster and lessen warping of any wood on the layout. I buy my denatured alcohol at Home Depot in a gallon can. I use a lot of it!. Make sure your ventilation is good and watch for open flames. Too much of a good thing might cause an explosion.


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 Posted: Wed Sep 18th, 2019 07:50 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2213
PVA Used for Windows
By Trevor Gibbs

In the process of rebuilding my layout after a move, I made a few buildings from kits that I had either been given or bought for a “one day” project.  However I did not like the clear styrene windows provided so I carefully laid cellotape on the inside of the buildings walls. Over a couple of nights I painted in PVA glue which was to dry clear in the frames. When the glue dried, it  gave a fairly good representation of a window flush with the frame after which the cellotape was peeled away.  
The “glass” dried clear but was opaque enough to actually suggest the presence of a window from a regular viewing distance.


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 Posted: Sat Sep 21st, 2019 06:31 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2214
Using N Scale Cork for OO or HO secondary tracks Pt 1
By Rob Spangler


I used quite a bit of N scale cork on my HO layout for secondary tracks, making it three strips wide.  The centre strip was installed upside down so the bevel was hidden, while the two outer strips were installed normally with the bevel toward the ballast slope.  After using acrylic latex caulk to glue down the track, there were no major gaps to fill.
To align the roadbed against the centre line, I simply marked an additional line for the edge of the center strip.  marking it as a dashed line prevented any confusion as to which was the actual center and which represented the edge of the cork strip when I glued it down.  If you use something like a compass or dividers to mark the extra line it can go pretty fast, so there's not too much more work involved.


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 Posted: Tue Sep 24th, 2019 08:41 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2215
Using N Scale Cork for OO or HO secondary tracks Pt 2
By Tom Haag

I use N-scale cork on my Ho scale railroad to represent yard or secondary track.  I separate the N-scale cork road bed but I keep the beveled sides towards the center line with both bevels facing each other making a "V".  This way it is easy to lay it against the centre line and then the width is just a little wider then HO ties. I glue the track down so this gap just fills up with glue.


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 Posted: Fri Sep 27th, 2019 10:17 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2216
Making Mesh impregnated windows for factories
By Several Modellers
To Make a Window with mesh reinforcement - 
If it is very subtle window screen you want, you can get it by sanding plastic window material in a crosshatch pattern then washing it with ink or thin paint, the wash will get into the sanding marks and look like screen from a distance. (Darren Barnard)
You could print small Diagonal patterns using Paint or similar on OH Transparency sheet or scratch a diagonal pattern using the blade of a razor saw dragged across the material using a steel rule as  guide. A bit of India Ink to fill in the cracks and there should be enough diffusing of light to suggest the presence of mesh. (Bryan Kunoth)


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 Posted: Mon Sep 30th, 2019 05:13 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2217
Backdrop Height
By Keith Walton
Over the years, I have seen a lot of back drops that seemed to me to be way too low. 
In my train room, I painted the walls to get a light sky blue to the ceiling, although the ceiling itself will be white).
Where I will have a back-drop scenic divider for a peninsula area, I still  want it to be fairly high and if possible above eye level. If my track is at 1200mm, for example, I am thinking that 600mm (about 24 inches) would be high enough to take in the tallest of our local modellers 


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 Posted: Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 07:51 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2218
To Justify a Backdrop on your layout
By Kevin Berryman
Any backdrop that you can put on your layout is effective. ANY backdrop is so much better than not having one and increases the scene at which you are looking. The only time that the height of the backscene really becomes a concern is in photography. If you want pictures of big sweeping trains, you will need a taller backdrop, and more scenery in front of the train but Photoshop or Gimp fixes both of these problems.
For normal viewing, any backdrop is good, even if it just a plain blue sky. 


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 Posted: Sun Oct 6th, 2019 06:43 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2219
Identifying Reverse Loops on complex layouts
By Henry Jansen
 
I have an acquaintance  who has built quite a complex layout but could not get it to work. I have painted one side of a boxcar white the other black to help with his wiring.  If on the same piece of track I saw the white side one time and black the other, that was an indication of a reversing loop. 
Colours and type of rolling stock is optional so if you do not have a spare box car body, use a piece of blue painters tape stuck to one side.You could also use a specific order of coaches such as an SR and GWR coach or wagons such as a tank, flat and cattle wagon from left to right with a reversing of the order  indicating the presence of the loop.


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 Posted: Wed Oct 9th, 2019 10:52 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2220
Safe Disposal of Sharp Blades
By Nigel Phillips
For disposal of spent blades and scalpels, I use an Empty large medicine pill container. Glue a small magnet on the bottom. Cheaper than a medical sharps container.


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 Posted: Sat Oct 12th, 2019 08:18 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2221
Painting Sleepers
By Colin Wilshire
I read a Hint and Tip about ballasting using a cut back paint brush which was really useful to me. I extended this concept by cutting back a small kiddies paint brush to about 3mm of bristles which I used for painting my sleepers. 

I had much better control at speed than with a regular brush. I do not have an airbrush and given my layout location cannot use one safely so this was a far better alternative.


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 Posted: Tue Oct 15th, 2019 10:32 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2222
Never have a blocked Glue Tube Again!!! 
By Colin Wilshire
This is something I find very handy - A PVA Glue dispenser that does not block.
This brings together a couple of items from the Health care area:
    An empty 10 Ml bottle of the sort used to dispense eye drops; lubricants, antibiotics and the like, suitably cleaned out. Important point is it must have a removable spout with single central outlet


    A set of used Dental root canal files. Dentists use these to remove debris from dead root canals and good practitioners make do with a single use, then dispose to avoid risk of breaking one off in the canal! Ask your dentist nicely and he (his assistant) will autoclave a set for you, I have 3 sets.  These are tiny conical flexible files and go down to very fine points. Handy for all sorts of modelling jobs. The #45 size is perfect for this job.
Use a syringe to fill your dropper bottle right to the top with 100% PVA glue. Insert the #45 file with it's rubber washer attached into the spout. If a poor fit, find the correct size.
Store upside down as shown. The fine file edges scour the nozzle each time you use it so it never blocks, the rubber washer gives a perfect seal for as long as you want. 
A new set of the files is shown by the side in the photo. Having gone thru 2 root canal jobs in 3 years after a lifetime of good dental health, I felt I was getting a little something back with this


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 Posted: Fri Oct 18th, 2019 02:11 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2223
Making Frosted Windows Pt 1
By Several Modellers
I use 500 to 1000 grit sandpaper to frost up my window glass, sanding one side leaves a frosted gloss on the other.  It works well on both clear Styrene and Acrylic.  I use a lot of fiber optical cable and roughing up the sides works good for gaining light transfer from the sides too. (Mel Perry)
I have used Testors Dull cote for dampening window glazing.  You may want to break off a window corner or two. If you have lots of windows replace a couple with wood to simulate a missing window replaced with plywood. (Kevin Beasley)


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 Posted: Mon Oct 21st, 2019 02:51 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2224
Making Frosted Windows Pt 2
By Several Modellers
I use a “rogue”brand of PVA which dries an Off white colour painted on the inside face of the acrylic or transparent sheet (Trevor Gibbs)
An option, not appropriate  for all structures, is to tint the windows.  Brick curtain-wall factories had lots of large windows, but many ended-up being tinted to either cut down on the light or, more likely, the heat from the sun. 
I used a Floquil green - not sure of the particular shade, but it's not really important.  I thinned it about 90% with lacquer thinner, and then airbrushed it on the inside of the styrene windows.  This leaves the exterior of the "glass" shiny, which is a good choice for a well-maintained factory.  
For one that's been neglected, a better choice might be grey or brown, or greyish brownish to represent dirt and grime, and applied to the exterior - thin it well to make the windows look dirty, rather than painted-over.
Sanding works well, too, but is a little more labour intensive.  Make sure to use a fairly fine grit, as coarser ones will make distinctive scratches which won't look too realistic, especially on multi-pane windows if they carry-over, uninterrupted, onto adjoining panes. (WayneToth)


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