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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Jan 12th, 2021 09:00 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2372
If Particular Locos derail on Point frogs Pt 2
By Trevor Gibbs
Peco points are very well engineered but stubborn derailment problems could be in the movable rail trying to "straighten" itself however microscopically after having been bent and that has been another issue I have had to deal with with extreme conditions in my shed. I think it is due to a very small degree of elastic memory in the rail being bent by machine.  
In short, check the gauge of the track first right the way along the turnout , holding the moving rails with your fingers and very carefully flex that rail outwards but not too far as this is an area where your wheels can be tripped before hitting the frog. This should give you literally


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 Posted: Fri Jan 15th, 2021 10:03 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2373
Using “No Nails” etc for gluing foam layers
By Doug Dickson
If you are considering using 'No-Nails', 'Gripfast', 'Gripfill' et cetera to glue together layers of hard expanded foam sheets for baseboards and scenic landscaping, be very sure that you will not have to cut into the layers through the product after it has gone off.
Today I started cutting into my baseboard to plant my road bridge. Well! I had to use a hacksaw blade and a fine pull-saw to get through the adhesive layer. A Stanley knife would not touch it, and a firmer chisel struggled, it was like trying to cut bone.
Needless to say, I also used what oozed out to coat the bottom of my 'river', I think an abrasive disc will be needed, I am dreading the inevitable mess!


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 Posted: Tue Jan 19th, 2021 04:56 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2374 
Fixing Printed Signs  Pt 1
By Wayne Toth
My brother makes most of my signs, and in most cases, has them printed by the same commercial printer who does his wife's business printing.
They are done on cardstock, which appears to be about 12 mil in thickness (same as .012").
I usually mount the signs on sheet styrene of varying thicknesses, depending on their size and the method that I use to mount them.
For small signs, I use contact cement to mount them on .020" sheet styrene, and usually add a frame, made from suitably-sized strip styene, around them. If they're to be mounted on structures (mostly styrene on my layout) I use liquid solvent-type cement, such as Testors or MEK, to fix them in place.
For larger signs that will be attached directly to structures, the procedure is usually similar, although I might use thicker sheet styrene - I have a good supply of Evergreen sheets, from .005" up to .040" in thickness, but I have a much cheaper and larger supply of .060" material, as I buy it in 4'x8' sheets.
For large signs that will be free-standing, either on a billboard or a roof-mounted, I use the .060" sheet styrene, and also add a frame. I sometimes airbrush the signs using Testors Dulcote, but haven't noticed any yellowing of any of the signs, Dulcoted or not.


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 Posted: Fri Jan 22nd, 2021 06:22 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2375  Pt 2
Fixing Printed Signs
By Kevin Beasley
 
I print my signs on white cardstock which I bought a package of  years ago.  I will never run out.  I do mine on my computer's ink-jet printer.
I usually attach them with a brand of  Tacky Glue.  It is an adhesive and will not soak through the sign or discolor it.  My layout is in an air conditioned upstairs room, and I do not smoke or use smoking steam engines, so the signs stay pretty clean.  Just in case, I keep all the signs on the computer so I could reprint them right away if necessary.
Putting a border around the outside of the sign highlights the sign and defines the edge.  This is also a good idea if you're making decals for walls and you paint a white background on a building to get good balance.  A border on a decal even when it is quite thin gives nice clean edges.


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 Posted: Mon Jan 25th, 2021 10:58 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2376  
Detailing Buildings with Curtains
By Several Modellers Pt 1
3-4' away is too far to spend any time modeling a detailed interior. I have frosted windows with dull cote. However  In my case, I wish that I did not do that so I could have an interior. (Henry Rankin)
If you think darkened windows are appropriate, (and it more than likely is) what about using Xray film with the effect of dim lighting behind it. As far as drapes are concerned, you do not normally see patterns from the outside so you could contemplate using masking tape cut to the drape shape?   (Trevor Gibbs)
The blinds in many of my structures were made by filling text boxes in Microsoft Word with parallel lines.  You can vary the spacing, line weight, and fill color to make different blind effects.  They are cheap and very fast to make.  Even for structures quite a distance from the viewer, having something other than a blank space behind the windows is noticeable.  The building at left above is deep into its scene from some viewing angles, but visitors still comment on the window shades. (Rob Spangler)


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 Posted: Thu Jan 28th, 2021 02:56 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2377  
Detailing Buildings with Curtains
By Several Modellers Pt 2
 
On all my structures the inside walls are painted black to stop the lamp shade effect.
All windows where it is appropriate have curtains or blinds,  these were carefully glued on with PVA making sure they are well stuck and sealed down only bathroom windows are frosted although doctors windows could be as well.
The structures might be three feet away but the lack of window treatment will be noticeable particularly with the lights on and if the foreground windows have been done.
Some of my windows are blacked out hence the need to make sure the window treatment is properly stuck down before blacking the windows out if not done right black will seep under window treatment.
Unless the place is full of teenagers some rooms will have lights off.


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 Posted: Sat Jan 30th, 2021 09:36 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2378  
Detailing Buildings with Curtains Pt 3
By John Busby
Speaking personally, I do not do interior details unless you count the cat sitting on the bar inside window ledge but that is  a close to the edge structure never saw the need for it but having seen how basic the interiors can be I might give it a go on foreground buildings.
If the blacking has been done right you will not notice it until the lights are on and even then it will just look like the light is off in that room.
Is it worth it doing all that work? I think so because the difference between a good model railroad and a great model railroad is very often the attention given to the sometimes tedious smaller things.
Now you have started on the windows you don't have a lot of choice you will spoil the effect if you stop now consistency in basic detail levels throughout is also important.
Ultra detail is something that gets tactically placed where it will have maximum effect, but unfortunately for you window treatment is a basic detail.


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 Posted: Tue Feb 2nd, 2021 08:40 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2379  
Track Laying and Checking
By Jeff Lynn
When laying my own tracks I use the eye-level sighting technique as much as possible. It can go out of alignment in hidden areas after a while, with no chance of getting my eyes down to track level once scenery has been added, or tunnels covered over (on the Underground tracks). 
Periodically I do a "drivers eye" video run around the tracks on both levels, using a flat or well wagon (current camera wagon is a Warwell) and a Panasonic HX-A1 cylindrical video camera Blu-Tacked to the wagon. The camera can be wirelessly controlled and monitored using my mobile phone and fits within the British OO loading gauge.
While the primary reason for doing the videos using different locomotives with sound is for entertainment and to show progress on my layout, it does show me where I need to pay some attention to track alignments and smoothness.


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 Posted: Sat Feb 6th, 2021 12:48 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2380 
Simulating Tar Paper  Pt1
By Several Modellers
I have used masking tape painted black.  According to the 'Net, it is about 50% thicker than copy paper.  It would also be easy to wrap around the edge  (Henry Smithers)
I keep several widths of black masking tape on hand. It doesn't hurt to lightly spray some tacky adhesive on your substrate to insure a good bond. Some brands of masking tape stick better than others.
Black tape helps to insure better color coverage and eliminates a painting step although a coat of Dullcote and some chalk weathering sure helps.  (Ed Phelps)
I have used several methods including tissue paper embedded in paint [your choice of color]. You can work it smooth or add a ripple or two. I added layers to build up the thickness. I have also used a brown paper grocery bag painted black which also worked, along with very fine wet/dry sand paper. I have used them all depending on the effect I am after. (Pete Edwards)


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 Posted: Mon Feb 8th, 2021 11:25 pm
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 Hints & Tips No. 2381
Making Dirt Roads
By Trevor Nithsdale
I use crushed clay cat litter to make my dirt roads which looks a fairly close colour to dirt roads in my part of Australia and from what I have seen in photos fairly close to the tone of many dirt roads and off bitumen shoulders on rural two lane roads and lanes.


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 Posted: Thu Feb 11th, 2021 09:28 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2382 
Simulating Tar Paper  Pt 2
By Several Modellers
A few, possibly more expensive, solutions are...
Black Gaffers Tape. This is a cloth tape used in the entertainment field. We used to use this stuff by the case!  It can be found online in several widths, but it is not cheap compared to other materials.
Others have used strips of wet/dry sandpaper. This has a slight sheen to it but if you are weathering the roof this should take care of it. The fine grit also gives weathering materials something to "bite" into.
Another inexpensive option that I have heard of (but not  used  myself)  is using strips of paper towel glued in place and then painted with a matt black/grey wash to give  the effects of weathering. (John Dansie)
I have used strips cut from manila envelopes and I think they resemble prototypical rolled roofing quite well (Dave Nelson)


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 Posted: Mon Feb 15th, 2021 04:07 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2383 
Making The Transition from Mainline to Yard Ballasting 
By Trevor Gibbs
The link to the following shows the Albury in Australia rail yard entrance where you can see a transition from mainline ballast to a much finer ballast in the track to the right which was throughout the yard by the time it reached the station area.
https://www.nswrail.net/locations/photo.php?name=NSW:Albury:16
Further down that line, the following link shows the appearance of the yard 
http://www.robx1.net/b501_525/b504_30.jpg
The transition would not be so much from one scale ballast to a smaller scale one (unless you are going from O to N scales) but from an HO scale ballast to a grout to represent what was in that yard.  


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 Posted: Thu Feb 18th, 2021 03:28 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2384 
Simulating Telephone and Power Lines Pt 1
By Melvin Perry

I use .010” or .015” piano or music wire.  Drill #78 holes in the pole insulators to drop the wire into.  Wire works better than thread or nylon. All of these attract dust and webs but wire is easier to clean. 
I manually put the sag in the lines.  The main reason I went to the piano wire is for ease of removal for maintenance around the area.  I am a bit clumsy and it is easier to remove and replace the wire (and poles) than having to make new ones.


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 Posted: Sat Feb 20th, 2021 10:47 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2385 
Simulating Telephone and Power Lines Pt 2
By Several Modellers

There was a product I used years ago which was effectively an elastic string that came in several colors and diameters. It looked good and was almost indestructible. Several club members used it on their portable modules for train shows. Check your local haberdashery or similar store.  (Pete Spanner)
It was suggested to me to try using Rayon thread, which is available at craft stores. However I do not plan on getting it in place until I am done with the layout scenery to avoid destroying the telephone lines. (Leor Kass) 

PS  A Note from Tony (AMDaley)
Do a search for EZ Line for telephone wires.

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 Posted: Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 10:00 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2386
Catching Small Flying Parts
By Craig Russell


While not specifically a remedy for catching small parts that go sproing off the end of tweezers, I have a "dribble bib" on my workbench.  It's a white Tall Trash Bag that I tape the long edge to the front edge of the workbench, and when I sit down, I pull it up to cover my lap.  It does an excellent job of catching parts that roll off the edge, or pop out of my fingers, or fall off when I turn something upside down.
If I am cutting small parts off a sprue, I may hold it down in my lap over the bib, so that when it does go flying, it usually shoots down and ends up in the bib where I can retrieve it easily.


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 Posted: Sat Feb 27th, 2021 09:56 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2387
How I modelled outflow from pipes, culverts etc
By Several Modellers

For representing water flowing from a higher pipe or culvert area into a slough or stream, I have had good results producing a curved stream using clear 2 litre bottles.  I just cut a piece from the area between the neck and side of the bottle, glue in place and brush on clear gel to get the  effect of water "flow" - even if it will never flow! (Bruce Constable). 
I have one drainage pipe that feeds into a river on my layout. In preparation for modeling the drainage, I glued a piece of craft jewellery cord from the pipe to the river to form a realistic looking arch. I then  built up and sculpted the flow using multiple layers of Soft Gel Gloss. Future layers will fill the pipe halfway and be wide at the opening then taper down to the river. The agitated water will also be built up via layers. ( Scott Thornton)


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 Posted: Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 11:00 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2388
Using Magnets to locate Structures
By Mel Perry

Because I needed my buildings to be removable,  I have gone to using tiny Neodymium magnets to attach those structures to the base scenery. I also use magnets for removable roofs to my structures.


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 Posted: Thu Mar 4th, 2021 10:49 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2389
Old Signs for Diorama Bases
By Marlon Medina
I use "For Sale" signs from Walmart made from CoreFlute. They are easily cut and liquid cement works great for attaching styrene kits or magnets for structures, otherwise, I use Walther's Goo. For buildings that need interior access, I either leave the roofs unglued, or a small cube of foam glued to the base inside the walls of the building. If you cut it very carefully, it creates a friction fit that allows you to lift the building from the layout.


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 Posted: Mon Mar 8th, 2021 05:21 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2390
Causes of Dead Spots in Track Pt 1
By Several Modellers
Dead Spots can be caused by many things including dirty track, gunk on the loco wheels, insufficient feeders, loose rail joiners, the presence of an uncoupling ramp or rerailer, engine wheels being microscopically dirty, dirty wipers on the wheels, dirty bearings that transmit power to the chassis, etc..
Sometimes you have to look a little deeper than what you can see particularly with the smaller scales. 


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