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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Nov 11th, 2019 03:32 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2231
Making “Rocky” track
By George Paine
To give a Branchline feel, you can make shims out of thin styrene (like .0.010" thick x 1/8" wide) with one stacked set under the outside edge of the ties, then alternating back and forth with the other side. 
Start with a long piece and add one or two more shorter ones, making a ramp. This should give you the rock and roll effect of a branchline. Experiment with how many stacks of shim will do the job while still keeping things on the track.


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 Posted: Thu Nov 14th, 2019 05:24 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2232
Modelling “Bad” track
By Rick Wellings

For "bad track" I would be more tempted to have the "look" by having it have little to no ballast, overgrown with grass and weeds, have skewed or broken sleepers here and there, be heavily weathered, and have a "slow order" in place. Model locomotives are not built to ride over rough track


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 Posted: Sun Nov 17th, 2019 06:35 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2233
Mixing Mixed Coloured Ballast
By Dave Nelson
A close look at ballast any shows many but mainly subtle different  shades and colours. The more you back away from it, the more subtle those differences become.  Get far enough away and it becomes much more uniform looking.
As modellers, we need to avoid a "salt and pepper" look.  Years ago there was an article in Model Railroader about blending ballast.  One way to get there is to use different companies' ballast of the same basic shade since those subtle differences will be inherent in different sources.  For example many firms offer Chicago & North Western "pink lady" ballast but no two are exactly the same. And the color of pink lady changed the deeper the original excavations got into the hillside that was the supply source.


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 Posted: Wed Nov 20th, 2019 03:37 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2234
Harvesting My Own Ballast
By Jeff Jamieson
 
I harvest my own HO ballast from a nearby source.  My particular area is a low lying parking lot adjacent to a hillside. The runoff from the hillside collects in this area. 
The size of the particles run from what could best be described as pea-gravel size to fine sand. I collect this material in 5-gallon buckets, bring it home wash, sift and sort into various sizes.  You can find garden sieves, with progressively finer mesh, on Amazon, ebay and gold panning shops. The final harvested products give a prototypical multi-colored appearance in your photos.
Because of the location of my source, near abandoned gold mines, it is not uncommon to find flakes of gold. Not enough to be profitable but it's exciting to see those little pieces. 
Look for a low lying area adjacent to the tracks you wish to model. Ideally you are looking for any runoff particles from the prototypical ballast. Initially this material might appear to be just dirt.
After collecting the material rinse it well and begin the sifting process. For N scale ballast a common kitchen strainer would probably a size that is close to your needs- -think medium to coarse sand.  


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 Posted: Sat Nov 23rd, 2019 06:30 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2235
Need Cheap Stripwood?
By Lionel Howitt
I cannot get to hobby shops regularly by virtue of distance but if I am wanting some stripwood for a building project, I take long barbecue match sticks and carefully split them with a single edged razor blade or scalpel when I can get the blades. The faces of the matches are quite uniform and usually take staining quite well

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 Posted: Tue Nov 26th, 2019 05:06 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2236
Avoiding Mess with Weathering Chalks 
By Kevin Reade
I have always made a mess of my desk when using my assortment of weathering powders.
Last week I found an easy solution. I simply cut up a cardboard moving box with a big hole to work through, and a top hole for the lamp. Effectively it is like a spray booth and now I do not need to clean up at all. I just take the box off of the workbench, and all of the messy powder is contained inside. 


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 Posted: Fri Nov 29th, 2019 07:04 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2237
Avoiding Mess with AIrbrushed Paint
By Sam Burrell
I do not do much airbrushing of my models so rather that I have been using recycled cardboard crates as temporary spray booths outside.  I use serviettes taped to the back to absorb any overspray although the card should do that anyway and the short bursts of painting go fairly easily.


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 Posted: Mon Dec 2nd, 2019 09:47 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2238
Applying Point Motors after the track is laid
By Henry Boardman
In anticipation of the future, I drilled large holes under my HO turnout throwbars, in case I wanted to use switch machines later.  Of course the one I did not do (because a joist was precisely in the way), is the one I would really like to put a machine on now.
Fellow modellers have used a piece of piano wire attached the the end of the throwbar and run it through a tube (brass, styrene, or RC control sheath) to either a ground throw or a switch machine that is placed some distance to the side of the turnout.  The tube runs only deep enough to be covered by scenicking material.
A note from Trevor ... I wish I had prepared the same as Henry had for two difficult to reach points.  While I still have the holes there, I too use mechanical throwbars!)


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 Posted: Thu Dec 5th, 2019 10:56 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2239
Making Taller Brick Buildings - Merging Styrene sheets Pt 1
By Mike Binns
 
Brick impression sheet is not usually big enough for very tall buildings. Most sheets have  a mortar joint at the top and bottom of each sheet. The worst thing you might have to do is carefully cut off the mortar joint, on one end or the other. 
Take your time, and align the sheets the way you need them and do a test fit, paying attention to the mortar joints. I would use a sub structure to glue the panels to.  I would probably use cardboard, as I have in the past. (Mike Binns)


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 Posted: Sun Dec 8th, 2019 07:04 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2240
Making Taller Brick Buildings - Merging Styrene sheets Pt 2
By Ben Hallsworth
From my experiences,  a sturdy core will help a lot,  for which I would use wood, foam block or foam core. Going upwards is simple as all the sheets I used were made to match up. You will have more issues with the corners, they will most likely need to be mitred at 45 degrees.
 I suggest, cutting outside the line, and sanding to fit. I use sand paper glued to a sheet of glass to keep edges true. Test fit often, I was surprised as to how much material can be removed with a few passes. (A note from Trevor -  you would be surprised how much material ONE pass on sandpaper can take off)
Don't drive yourself crazy and squeeze the fun out of it, by demanding 100% absolute perfection. Most applications cannot be seen without a magnifier and will not be noticed. I have used caulk, spackling, and putty to fix imperfections along with weathering.


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 Posted: Wed Dec 11th, 2019 06:53 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2241
Suitable Ground Cover for a Saw Mill
By Brett Altmann
Modelling a Sawmill as an industry depends on the era you are modelling. A more modern sawmill has most areas paved with concrete around heavy use areas and is immaculately clean. Anything before say 1970 muck everywhere would be a good choice.
Real sawdust is hard to get fine enough to look good so tile grout does the trick once again. It does not matter what colour you use if you have some left over from projects. It paints really well to whatever colour you desire and with weathering powders finishing the look you will be pleased and so will the camera. 
You don't see much spilled sawdust at a modern mill as it is a really explosive fire hazard. Lots of vacuums on site to take the sawdust to a barge or rail facility well away from the mill. The older mills relied on more conveyor systems and thus there was spilled sawdust everywhere.


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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 06:49 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2242
If You are Modelling Saw Dust around a Saw Mill
By Dave Nelson Pt 1
 
 
Sawdust does not retain the fresh sawdust color for very long once it is exposed to the elements and is driven on and walked on etc.
Indeed the texture of sawdust (versus wood chips) is so fine that even the finest ground foam strikes me as too textured.  From a scale perspective it would look smooth but with a tendency to be in irregular little piles and ruts. In very old photos of sawmills - it looks more or less like the surrounding mud.


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 Posted: Wed Dec 18th, 2019 09:02 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2243
If You are Modelling Saw Dust around a Saw Mill
By Elias Thienpont Pt 2
Sawdust at the mill is much more coarse than in your workshop. Sawdust from your shop might be about right by the time it is scaled down.
A sawmill such as was on my grandfather's property was a portable gas powered thing. Most sawdust was blown into a pile for later sale, but much was around the saw. No vacuums out in the woods.Had to rough cut it in the woods, there would have been no other way to get it out.


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 Posted: Sat Dec 21st, 2019 07:02 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2244
Holding Weights in Freight Cars/ Carriages/ Wagons Pt 1
By Wayne Toth
In the past, to keep the weights in place, I have used various glues, epoxies, caulk, etc. with most giving up, over time, possibly due to the fact that when the cars are not on the layout, they're laying on their side in a box.
Nowadays, I use styrene strip and/or sheet, along with solvent-type cement, to "trap" the weights in place, by boxing the weights in place
For open cars, such as gondolas and flatcars, there is less room to hide weight, but it is still possible.  If the car has drop-type sidesills, like an Athearn flatcar, the underframe can be removed (nobody will notice unless you are in the habit of having regular derailments with roll-overs) and weight secured in its place.


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 Posted: Tue Dec 24th, 2019 09:22 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2245
Holding Weights in Freight Cars/ Carriages/ Wagons Pt 2
By Dave Nelson
There are some cars which just seem to defy any attempt to add meaningful weight.  One old trick is to wrap solder around the axles of the trucks or wheel frames. It may not be much but you can't get a lower center of gravity than that!
When using raw lead, I do paint it with acrylic paints or take other steps so that I am not casually touching the lead by mistake.


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 Posted: Fri Dec 27th, 2019 09:10 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2246
Holding Weights in Freight Cars/ Carriages/ Wagons Pt 3
By George Paine
I bought a container of BB lead shot and use that for tank cars, covered hoppers and the like. I have a digital scale and start by putting a small container on the scale and zeroing it out. I put the car on the scale then add shot to the container to get the correct total weight. If the car has a hatch or other opening, I pour the shot inside followed by Elmers white glue. I shake it a bit to get the shot covered in glue and let it sit overnight before closing it up.
With a home made load, it is easy to make the load with a hollow center, and hide weight inside. Some commercial loads also have spaces to hide weight as well.


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 Posted: Mon Dec 30th, 2019 09:25 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2247
Holding Weights in Freight Cars/ Carriages/ Wagons and Side Benefits
By Peter Alford
Self adhesive automotive wheel weights are handy for adding heft to some types of rolling stock.
After experimenting with the overweighting suggested by various hobbyists I'm sold on the operation of cars in the 8 to 10oz range upon my North American switching layout.  The heavy cars track smoothly without the jerkiness, they resist running away when coupling up, not to mention the noticeable slack take up at starting. It all somehow imparts a fun feeling of moving real tonnage.


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 Posted: Fri Jan 3rd, 2020 04:19 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2248
A Modified Tab on Freight Car System
By Bob Harrison
For relaying my freight cars between industries, I use a Modified pin system (tab-on-car) on my layout. 
Tabs on Freight Cars is the most forgiving in terms of new operators learning. If they make mistakes no one knows or they can be easily corrected (misplaced cars) as the next train can pick up the misplaced cars and move them. No losing cards, no dropped cards and adding new cars to the layout is easy, just pin them. No need to make a new card. This works out great when visiting operators want to see their equipment run on the layout. 
For my modified pins, I use plastic covered colored tacks with the centre pin removed. I then fill in the centre with poster putty. This is what holds the tack on the car and does not affect the finish of the paint job on the car. A centre color dot indicates the industry and the base colour is the town. 
I also make a list of the cars (boxcars, gondolas, flats) and it lists all of the industries that each car can go. It also lists the pin colors so you do not get a stock car at a refinery. This is my pin board and I use it to go around and repin the cars. 


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 Posted: Mon Jan 6th, 2020 06:35 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2249
Economical Waybills for Traffic Generation
By David Murray



Our club uses carcards and eight sided waybills.  Four waybill on each side of the paper, and fold in the middle.  Getting to step five requires reversing the fold.
We use a " push" system where a car sits at an industry until a new car arrives, "pushing"  a spotted car out, at which time the operator advances the waybill for that car to the next location.  Having a system like this means that no two operating sessions are ever the same and that cars are sent to their appropriate destinations.


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 Posted: Thu Jan 9th, 2020 06:29 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2250
Using Brush Bristles as a “Handbrake” for Vehicles on slopes
By Dean Bodman
To retain a freight car on a siding on a slope, I used a soft bristle from a brush. I shoved the bristle into a predrilled hole in a tie on a siding on my old-time (1895 era) HO model railroad to keep light boxcars from wandering away from depot loading door.  
The track was hand laid Code 70 rail on individual wood ties and I had to work with the bristle a bit to get it just the right height to snag the axle without making the car jump. It actually derailed the first time, so it was much too long to begin with.  When I got it right, I put a tiny dab of cement on the bottom and made it a permanent feature.  


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