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Hints and Tips - The first 499 - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jan 4th, 2023 08:48 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No.220
Operating Barchester Pt. 1
By Bob Heath 

I have 4 Platforms plus both engine shed roads and the first 4 of the fiddle yard roads come under main line operations. Platform 5, storage roads 6 & 7, two goods roads plus the remaining two fiddle yard roads are all for branch line operations. My platform 2 is just a bay and is used solely by an auto-trailer.

Because of the deliberate crowding of locomotives and rolling stock, and the way I have chosen to operate the fiddle yard, Barchester operates to a sequence of movements which HAS to be adhered to. Otherwise there is chaos, with the operator, or operators, not knowing where some of the stock is.

Rolling stock always starts the day in the same position. A sequence of movements has been worked out for each half of the layout so that at the end of the working day all stock finishes up back where it started. The mainline has 65 train movements in this sequence and the branch line 63 train movements.

The two sequences are then married together into a timetable that serves the surrounding communities. We are now in the position where the main or branch lines can be operated entirely independently of each other with either one or two operators or the whole thing with just one operator. It is also possible for one operator, say myself, who just fancies running the branch line, to do so, and the rolling stock will still finish up where it should be for the start of the next days operations.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 7th, 2023 06:08 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No.221
A Simple Improvement for Die-Cast Road Vehicles.
 Nevile Reid 
One disadvantage of using die-cast cars and trucks on a 4mm layout is that the high-gloss paintwork – very pretty on the collector's shelf – detracts from the realism of the models when used trackside. Vehicles from such makes as Classix, Corgi, EFE, Base and Oxford all suffer from this problem. The solution is simple – a coat of satin varnish applied by brush to all the gloss areas gives the vehicle a much more realistic appearance. I find enamel varnish such as Railmatch easier to use than acrylic.
Make sure the model is clean and dust-free before painting, and be careful to keep the varnish off glass, tyres, flatbeds, etc. If required, weather the vehicle after varnishing.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 10th, 2023 08:41 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No.222
Operating Barchester Pt. 2
By Bob Heath 
The first job of the day is to place all the rolling stock I want to use on the various main, branch and fiddle yard roads. The day then starts with a main line arrival to the only vacant platform.
From then on it is a case of moving things around as each road became vacant whilst bearing in mind that eventually there is a timetable so all movements have to make some kind of sense.
In planning, many false starts were made with departures finding that they had nowhere to depart to and arrivals having to wait in line. After hours of operating, loads of scrap paper and innumerable cups of coffee a rough system was worked out. The movements that had been generated were then transferred onto separate filing cards which you can see an example of on my web site.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 14th, 2023 10:52 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No.223
Operating Barchester Pt 3
By Bob Heath
To describe an example card, there are several lines of instructions. I have the first line showing a departure from my platform 5.
The second line shows the train makeup, e.g. a Class 20 with 3 suburban coaches. A quick glance at platform 5 shows us that the correct train is indeed where it should be so we can carry on.

A third line on the card tells us to set the route which is Barchester to South Bridge (F6), the (F6) tells the operator that South Bridge is fiddle yard road 6. The operator then activates the section switch for platform 5 and operates the various points, as per the control panel layout, for the road to F6. On all departures, without exception, route selection MUST ensure that ALL fiddle yard switches are in the OFF position before moving the train.

The next line on my card indicates the regulator (speed) setting as a percentage. This is the MAXIMUM speed for that particular locomotive as all behave differently at the same speed setting. The traffic movement line is when the movement takes place. The following two lines indicate the speed and switch positions as soon as the locomotive comes to rest. This is the same in all cases, speed controller zero and all electrical switches are in the off position

Lastly there are the Information lines where relevant information to the trains movement is recorded. Like every thing else when it is a hobby, it is possible that there may be a slight change to these cards when the final version is printed.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 17th, 2023 11:07 pm
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No.224
Making Propane (LPG) Tanks
By Harvey McRae
I have saved the gelatin capsule from some of my vitamins. Depending on the size, they can be little propane tanks or many other little items such as welding bottles.

Hints & Tips No.225
Making Corrugated Roofing.
By Harvey McRae with thanks to the NMRA

Ever want corrugated metal roofing. Well here is how I have started making mine.

Take an ordinary tin can with a fine corrugated rib in the middle. Cut off both ends of the tin and cut the metal from top to bottom. OK now you have a piece of tin that you have to try to get laying out flat without causing it to buckle. ( It does not have to be perfectly flat just so you can use it for a pattern) NOW, take a piece of aluminium foil (I used a piece from a coffee can) Cut a rectangular piece slightly larger than the size of metal you want in the finished project. Lay this over the ribs in the metal tin and with a thin stick press the foil down into the ridges of the tin can.

With a little practice you can make a nice piece of corrugated metal roofing.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 22nd, 2023 01:06 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No.225
Making Corrugated Roofing.
By Harvey McRae
Ever want corrugated metal roofing. Well here is how I have started making mine.

Take an ordinary tin can with a fine corrugated rib in the middle. Cut off both ends of the tin and cut the metal from top to bottom. OK now you have a piece of tin that you have to try to get laying out flat without causing it to buckle. ( It does not have to be perfectly flat just so you can use it for a pattern) NOW, take a piece of aluminium foil (I used a piece from a coffee can) Cut a rectangular piece slightly larger than the size of metal you want in the finished project. Lay this over the ribs in the metal tin and with a thin stick press the foil down into the ridges of the tin can.

With a little practice you can make a nice piece of corrugated metal roofing.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 25th, 2023 06:57 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No.226
Useful Tools No.1
From Several Sources

Plastic Bags
Work with your hands and loco inside a large clear plastic bag when changing brushes or working on couplings, when those little copper springs go flying off they will be caught in the plastic bag and easy to find. This tip saves hours of crawling on the carpet on all fours!!
Sponge Paint Holder
To avoid spilling small pots of paint (Humbrol) cut a paint-pot-sized hole into a bath sponge, when painting place the pot into the sponge, it's a lot more difficult to knock over the sponge and you can clean your brush on the sponge too.

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