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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Jan 11th, 2020 09:18 pm
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No. 2251
What to do with Excess Wires on a DCC chip Pt 1
By Thomas Stage
If you will never use unneeded AUX wires from a chip, you can just clip them off near the decoder.  Or...merely clip off any exposed or bare wire then pull on the insulation so that it slides past the clipped wire.  This will insulate it and keep it from shorting to anything.
However if you think that you might use the AUX wires in the future, leave them as is and insulate the ends with a small piece of heat shrink - e.g. 3/64" or 1/32" OD.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 05:29 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No. 2252
What to do with Excess Wires on a DCC chip Pt 2
By David Anderson
If you are going to apply the heat shrink tubing over a spare wire, bend the end of the wire back on itself for 1/4" or more. Then put your heat shrink tubing over the end of the wire. The doubled wire will give the heat shrink tubing more to grab on to and it will be far less likely to slip out of place. Some will accuse me of overkill, but I am a firm believer in Murphy's Law.


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 Posted: Sat Jan 18th, 2020 10:30 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2253
Another Way of Making Roads 
By Sam Deveson
I prefer to make all of my roads using a combination of .040" sheet styrene and a thin sheet foam product called "Fun Foam" available at craft stores.  The styrene sheet forms smooth road grade and elevation changes while the Fun Foam creates the "asphalt" road surface. I first lay out complicated intersections and/or curves using pieces of cardstock.  I cut out each side of the intersection or curve from cardstock, then tape the various pieces together to create a tracing template. I then trace the shape onto the styrene and cut out the road section. The styrene road section can in turn be used as a cutting template for the Fun Foam and spray adhesive is used to cement the Fun Foam to the styrene base.  Joints in the Fun Foam can be filled with Woodland Scenics Foam Putty or disguised as cracks by cutting crooked joints. It is also easy to add additional cracks in the Fun Foam surface.
A Note from Trevor
I do not know if it is quite the same stuff as "Fun Foam" but Foam Core sheet is sent to picture framers with a thin foam sheet for packing that I have used to emulate Asphalt surface as Hornblower describes. 
The Picture framers here at least cannot recycle it so in my part of the world anyway, they are glad to get rid of it for nothing! There is also sufficient bend that the surface need not be billiard table flat, although the framers stuff can be a bit brittle when cutting it etc 
 

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 Posted: Tue Jan 21st, 2020 07:53 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2254
If you are planning a layout for the first time Pt 1
By Randy Rinker
 
 The first thing you should do is pick up some books on track planning and layout design. The first thing you will find in these books is not how to draw your layout, but how to choose a scale, gauge (not the same thing), era, local, etc. And that space may not be the true space you have. Only once you have figured out what it is you actually want to model can you even begin to actually design something - or have someone else design it for you.
 Artistic ability is not needed at all for layout design. I have zero art ability. Stick figures is about the best I can do. But drawing a layout is more mechanical drawing, regardless if you use pencil and paper or a CAD program. Forget those artistically rendered images you see in the magazines, you do not really build from those. You need to locate the track so it does not go off the edge, use appropriate radius curves, and not make the turnouts too sharp - those are absolute measurements, not artistic interpretations.


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 Posted: Fri Jan 24th, 2020 08:09 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No. 2255
If you are planning a layout for the first time Pt 2
By Several Modellers
You have a layout size in mind.  Do read track planning books before building anything.  As mentioned, artistic ability is not needed for track planning.  A ruler and a compass if using a pencil and paper, or a track planning piece of software if you like computers.   Paper is cheap, plywood is not. (David Murray)
Anyone can get a version of Trainz and "build" and "operate" a virtual layout in the proportions of the shape of the ultimate schemes that you envisage. 

Even though it will not exactly translate, it is a good way to work out if the layout would work in the way you intend or has any inherent problems and save a bit of time in the design phase ultimately. The drawing from that point is fairly easy but maybe that is because as an older person, I understand the geometry a little better and it is easy for me to say! (Brian Stafford)


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 Posted: Mon Jan 27th, 2020 04:53 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2256
Weathering Wood in General and a Coaling Station in particular
By Jeremy Bolt
I have found several methods for aging paint. My most successful one was the use of a fiberglass scratch brush. I had success in making paint look faded, which is certainly a part of aging. Just the result I wanted. The scratching action not only makes the uniform flat black look slightly gray, but if used more vigorously in a random way, removes more paint, just as rain and sun do. So here and there I scratched nearly down to the bare wood. The effect looks very realistic.  


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