Recent Topics      
YMR logo

You are here:  Your Model Railway Club > Reference Area. > Hints & Tips > Hints and Tips - The first 499 To bottom of page
                 

 Moderated by: Spurno Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  Next Page Last Page  
Start New Topic Reply Printer Friendly

Hints and Tips - The first 499 - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
AuthorPost
 Posted: Mon Feb 28th, 2022 05:24 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 41st post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.77
Wax Paper Behind Windows
By Brian Sheron (MD USA)
A lot of model railroad structure kits come with clear plastic for the windows. If you do not want to model an interior on these buildings, and/or want to put an interior light in them for night time scenes, but do not want people to see the unfinished interior, glue a piece of wax paper behind each window.

The wax paper will still allow an interior light to show through, but will diffuse the light and not allow the unfinished inside to be seen. 


Hints & Tips No.78
Landscaping your village
By Rob Smith (Labrador Queensland) 

Railway Modellers have been using polystyrene for years and it is possibly the best and quickest way to get your basic shapes formed.

If you are using "water" I suggest covering your base board with polystyrene except for the water area. This gives your layout a quick three dimensional effect. The polystyrene may be only 12 or 19mm (1/2 to 3/4") but the effect of rises and falls on your landscape will be rewarding. These undulations can be made with a file, saw or blade dragged over the surface.


Do not be afraid to dig in...you can always re fill the area by gluing more polystyrene back in. To get the mountain effect , just create the height you require by gluing layers or making box sections with the poly. Once the desired shapes are made cover with either newspaper and water/PVA glue mix or use a commercially available plaster material which just requires wetting. Paint and apply ageing effect to the rocks and grasses and trees.



Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Thu Mar 3rd, 2022 06:27 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 42nd post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.79
Concrete Pillars
By Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne, Australia)

I have found some brands of plastic disposable shavers have wonderfully shaped handles for making concrete retaining wall pillars or bridge pylons or similar items on a layout. Simply cut off the shaver head and there you have it.


Some brands of shavers are rather garishly coloured but they can be repainted into a concrete grey colour with simple acrylic paints and applied to that special bridge or retaining wall requiring a pillar. Let you imagination run riot!

Now of course if the shaver manufacturers would cooperate with us and recognise their products true value to us, we might not even have to repaint them in future. They could even mottle the colour to represent the weathering of the concrete!!! :)



Hints & Tips No.80
Making Brass Buffers Look More Realistic.
By Peter Betts, (Sydney, NSW)


If you receive brass buffers with a loco kit or coach kit, plate the buffer heads with solder as this will simulate the “polished” steel surfaces of the two buffers together. This is done by cleaning the surface, applying flux, touching the surface with a hot soldering iron, and then wiping off any surplus solder with a rag.


( A Note from Pat Hammond - Do this before inserting the buffers into plastic stocks and, of course, don't try it on plastic buffers)

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sun Mar 6th, 2022 05:13 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 43rd post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.81
Diode Protection for Sidings.
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne, Australia)

Model Railway and Railroad conventions dictate that a loco will run forward when the right hand running rail is Positive. We can use this to our advantage to protect locos overrunning sidings which are close to the baseboard edge and doing themselves (and our wallets) a fair bit of damage. At a discreet distance from the end of the siding, cut the rail on the LEFT hand side (as you enter the siding) and insulate it, preferably with an insulated joiner. Now bridge the gap with a 1 amp diode (a 1N4004 will do) with the bar of the diode towards the dead end of the siding.
style="font-size: 12pt;"You will be able to drive in but hopefully not too far. However reversing your loco will have it able to be driven out. There is a bit of a voltage loss of about .6 of a volt but because you are starting the loco, I doubt that you might perceive it. If your loco goes the wrong way because you misunderstood these instructions, just reverse your diode and test it.


DCC operators cannot quite do this, but it is quite prototypical that engines had to use a small rake of wagons to get another wagon parked in a siding because of light rail, insufficient clearance over the cylinders etc. Protect your siding with an “Engines must not pass this point” sign and insulate as above. Now have a Normally Open pushbutton switch with wiring bridging the insulated gap. When you are sure that your loco is set to go the correct way push your bridging button and you can drive your engine out. It is not as surefire safe as with DC operations but it will do the trick.


A Note from Trevor - This Hint and Tip generated a few replies these are among them...


From Nick Stanbury


ADDITIONAL PROTECTION WHEN PROPELLING STOCK INTO A SIDING

Imagine if you will a long dead end siding, such as a terminal platform road. If a train is drawn in, the only protection needed is that described in the initial Hint and Tip, using a single diode to bridge a rail break an engine length or so from the buffer stop. But this will not help if a train or rake is PROPELLED into the siding and could hit the buffers before the engine is denied current. So, another diode is needed to bridge a second (outer) break (preferably in the same rail), positioned a little further from the buffer stop than the length of the longest rake you would back in.


You will also require two simple on/off switches. One switch is connected in PARALLEL with the outer diode, so that when 'on', that diode is bypassed and a train being DRAWN in can approach the end of the siding in the normal way. That engine cannot however hit the buffers as the inner diode will deny it forward current. The other switch is connected in SERIES with the inner diode, so that when switched 'off', the train engine remains isolated whilst another engine approaches the rear of the rake and draws it away.

There is still a problem with a DMU or similar train having pickups at each end and I am contemplating a solution using a photoresistor embedded in the track... watch this space...


From Paul Plowman
The idea of protecting terminal buffer stops and siding ends with a diode has been around for many years. Many modellers have used it successfully. However, there is a major shortcoming with the idea; it does not prevent over runs while propelling non-powered rolling stock such as coaches and valuable Pullman cars.


I suggest an alternative arrangement: Place an insulated joint in one rail about six inches from the buffer stops; locate all of the insulated joints in the same side rail throughout the layout; connect all of the protecting sections for each control area to the common terminal of a two-way switch; connect the two terminals of the switch to the track supply. In one position of the switch the protecting sections will have the wrong polarity and any metal wheel crossing an insulated joint will cause a dead short. The circuit breaker will then drop out and stop any further movement of trains. The operator then throws the two-way switch to clear the short circuit and the offending rolling stock can be recovered without the intervention of the hand of God. The switch is then returned to the protecting position.


The switch could be a two-way sprung push-button, which has to be held down while recovery takes place. With DC the circuit breaker would have to be of the type, which only rests after power is cut off, not one that resets automatically immediately the short circuit has been removed. The reason is because the short circuit occurs only momentarily.
style="font-size: 12pt;"I admit to not having tried this idea in practice but it should work with any item of rolling stock fitted with metal wheels and with DCC. It certainly worked with DCC yesterday when I accidentally wired up a pair of droppers the wrong way round.


From Paul Harman


Trevor Gibbs tip for DC is excellent, but DCC users should not be disillusioned as the technology to extend this technique to DCC layouts is already with us.


Users of Lenz Gold and Zimo decoders, that support asymmetric braking, have it easiest where the simple diode can be replaced with a Lenz BM1 module - which is little more than a network of five diodes that can be made easily for a few pence. It is a very simple solution that will make trains stop (with inertia) when being driven into the dead end, but allow them to be reversed out with full control of functions retained, and all the sound and lights still on.


For those DCC users that have other decoders, Brake on DC or brake signal insertion modules can be used, which is a little more complex to install, and will require a push button or similar to enable the train to be reversed out, but a useful safety stop can still be achieved.


From Graham Plowman


Trevor Gibbs raised the topic of diode protection for sidings. I have a much simpler solution: Don't design and build a layout which has track close to the edges of the boards!

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Thu Mar 10th, 2022 12:52 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 44th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.82
Weathering with Chalks.
By Jeffrey Wimberly (LA, USA)

Ever seen a shaving cream brush? It'll come in handy. You will also need powdered chalk or tempera. These are available in the fabrics/art/craft section of stores. Get every colour you think you might use, then throw in a few more. You might want to do combinations.

To weather the model, darken the walls slightly with a sprayer filled fill a solution of leather dye and rubbing alcohol. The proportion is not important, just a little dye to a lot of alcohol. It will not take long to dry. Now, this is how I bring out mortar lines on brick walls. Dab the shaving brush in the tempera a few times, I like to use a light grey, and wipe it across the wall, then up and down. Now wipe it off with a moist finger. Now you have beautiful mortar lines.

If you want to show up the lines a little more in two or three places, like maybe the wall was patched at some point, just dab on some white chalk with your finger. To fix it all in place, just spray with dull-coat or matte-finish. That is all there is to it. I have been using this method for many years.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sun Mar 13th, 2022 02:37 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 45th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.83
Grassed Areas
By Peter Betts, (Sydney, NSW)

Where grassed areas are needed, there are three main techniques used as follows.


(a) Zip texturing. In this method, dry plaster mixed with powder paint of the required colour is sprinkled though a tea strainer or stocking onto areas wetted with water from a spray bottle. This method is popular for mountainous American and Australian scenery where vegetation is not at all lush. However, in my opinion it cannot simulate a Typical British scene. Moreover, zip texturing will not stand up to any sort of abrasion, and, in most cases, will deteriorate quickly.


b) Grass carpet. With this product that can be bought from model shops, a paper-backed sheet of grass can be stuck down over large areas. This is the method that I have used myself extensively. Grass carpet is a very hard wearing and long lasting material, but has the disadvantage of displaying a too-even, bowling-green-type finish. I get over this problem by attacking the carpet with watered down bleach over selected areas, particularly on steep slopes. Where the bleach is applied, the carpet will go browner, or if you use too much, go yellow or white!


(c) Scatter material. A traditional method of simulating grass is to scatter died sawdust over a pre-glued surface. In my mind, this material is far too coarse, and looks awful. Woodlands and other companies produce a granulated dyed foam material to be scattered as vegetation and this is very good but quite expensive. Rather than buying the stuff, which is usually too dull in colour for British scenes, I make my own by breaking up lumps of polyurethane foam, dipping these in thinned-down bright-green paint, and when thoroughly dry, munching up the pieces in a coffee grinder.


In my view, the best grassed scenes are obtained by a mixture of (b) and (c) above.


Hints & Tips No.84
Simulating Industries.
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne, Australia)


Modellers might do well to try to simulate larger industries rather than actually try to model them. Where many larger industries come off the “main line” you can often see a fence and a gate with vehicles at the siding or sidings but the industry itself is nowhere to be seen or way out of sight behind trees or hedges and you are not really seeing very much at all.


So for example, where here in Melbourne we had the Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) sidings coming off the main western line on the Broad Gauge to Adelaide, we could see the lines ( there were quite a few sidings there) into and past the gates but not much else as there was a series of trees and bushes blocking the “view” of the factory buildings etc. Yet such an industry generated the need for many goods wagons (tanks, containers, vans/boxcars and flat cars of different types which added to the operating variety of trains working into the area.


To simulate it, any old siding with a fence and gate with views blocked by trees or walls can generate a lot of varied traffic on your layout... and you hardly have to build a thing!

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Mar 16th, 2022 08:52 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 46th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.85
Glazed Windows.
By Jeffrey Wimberly (LA, USA)

I cut clear plastic from those hard to open plastic containers that shops put everything in. It takes a 20 minute demolition job just to get the thing you bought out.


I cut these to the sizes I need for the windows then spray them with Matte-Finish. Dull-Cote would probably work too. They dry to a nice glaze. They also enhance your structures interior lighting. Put a bunch of these into a building and it only takes a small light to light up every window that has glazing.


(Note from Trevor – this is a very good variation of an earlier hint and I will have repainted many of mine with a dull coat clear by the time you read this)


Hints & Tips No.86
Modelling Stone Buildings.
By Peter Betts, (Sydney, NSW)


The basic structure of any building can be made up using card, styrene or metal, depending what medium you work best in.


My favourite material is double-sided printed-circuit board material (PCB) because it is very strong, can be cut out using a guillotine, can be soldered together, and last but not least off-cuts of the material can be obtained free. To the basic structure is glued a thin veneer of balsa wood, and then the stonework is burnt on with a soldering iron and painted as described above.


Of course, you could make the structure from balsa wood from the start, but in my opinion, such structures are too weak, and vulnerable to damage.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Mar 19th, 2022 05:51 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 47th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.87
Track soldering and DCC tip
By Bob Montgomery (Arkansas)

If you solder your track joints and run DCC , make sure you remove your DCC loco's from the track before soldering new joints. The static etc. generated by soldering can damage decoders. Do not ask how I found this out. Just felt that I should pass it on.

Also it may be a good idea to disconnect your DCC power supply when soldering rails, I have not fried that yet , but why take a chance.



Hints & Tips No.88
"Recycling computer parts Pt 1.
By Jeffrey Wimberly (LA, USA)
Old PC power supplies make very good power supplies for structure lighting and signalling devices. On my previous layout I used one to light over 50 structures. On my current layout the same PC power supply is pulling nearly 50 bulbs (not LEDs) and is not even starting to strain. Try that with an old train power pack.


(A Note from Trevor... There are a number of web sites which deal with making a power supply from an ATX Power supply but please use safety precautions. If you do not feel comfortable dealing with Mains power which you will have to do if your Power Supply box does not have an off switch, then get an electrician ... within your club... to help. Later feedback suggests that some form of thermal overload protection in case of a derailment is essential as Computer Power supplies are not as robust as our made to purpose ones)

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Mar 23rd, 2022 01:14 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 48th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.89
Retaining walls
by Rob Smith (Labrador Queensland)
Retaining walls and sea walls can be made from the foam used as an expansion joint in building construction. This material has a peel off cover exposing a very adhesive surface, simply apply whatever material you prefer to imitate rocks (aquarium stones are ideal), slate, boulders or brick to this surface.

Fill between the stones with a grout of a similar colour (or contrasting colour) and you have a very quick wall in whatever size you require. This method also works for paths and roads


Hints & Tips No.90
Joining two styrene surfaces using Waxed Paper .
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne Australia)


When joining two pieces of styrene either using ACC (Superglue) or MEK, make your join over waxed paper and allow to dry. This way your styrene does not pick up another surface or paint with the glue or stick to the other surface which may mar the appearance of your model.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Mar 26th, 2022 10:22 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 49th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.91
Recycling computer parts Pt 2
By Thomas Statton, (Tennessee USA)

Old floppy drives and CD Roms are good sources for small motors and screws. The case should have small gauge wires and connectors for the LEDs and such. Gears and misc. parts can be gondola or open wagon junk loads when painted a rust color.


(A note from Trevor – I also used a small motor for an American 0-6-0 from a CD ROM to replace an open frame motor and a small double connector which I could not locate commercially for LEDs in the headlights of a diesel so I could remove the body totally. The motor runs very well)


Hints & Tips No.92
Laying Flex Track around curves .
By Chris Thompson, (Whyalla, South Australia)


Ever notice that the inner rail of flex track makes itself longer as you curve it? Of course you have. By judicious laying you can maximise the length of rail you have left over by keeping this length intact and feeding it into your next section through the chairs and effectively staggering your rail joints.


Your joints will be easier to maintain and straighten, and problem causes more easily found should your trains find cause to derail over the same joint area. You can “straighten” out the joint by using a spike to hold the track in gauge through the plastic sleeper.


(A Note from Trevor ... Staggered joints work well and I use them. However I am a little reluctant to solder joints on curves, as other modellers I know have done, living where I do. The temperature can go from about 0 degrees Celsius to 40+ in my garage as I have had trouble with expansion in the past. Those of you who have a more moderate climate regime or temperature control in your rooms may not be so reluctant to solder as I am.)

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2022 07:21 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 50th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.93
Recycling computer parts Pt 3
By Thomas Statton, (Tennessee USA)

Old computer device ribbon cable looks pretty good as corrugated iron when painted a silver color. Just cut to length and glue it to your fence frame material. A little rust colour will assist the image.


Hints & Tips No.94
Mixing Flex Track with Set Track curves .
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne Australia)


Early in 2008 I saw a 4x8 layout which was a “work in progress” similar to what I have done with my own memorial layout “Newry” at an exhibition. The purpose of this layout like my own was to show what one could start out doing and was on unpainted Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF).
The builder used Flextrack for the “straight sections” and Peco 2nd and 3rd radius curves for the end curves. Points were a mixture of set track and Streamline as the need arose. This allowed for some slight offsets of track to improve the “prototype appearance” and not having dead straight sections of track. It also allowed for more freedom with the geometry not being totally dictated by the lengths of set track that would have been used.


Sidings in particular looked good done this way. You get speed of laying, accurate curves, “prototypical straights” and the overall cost of your trackwork is reduced.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2022 10:47 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 51st post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.95
Recycling computer parts Pt 4
By Kevin Smith, (Saskatchewan, Canada)

You might actually want to keep an older working computer around. You do not need a lot of speed to run things like decoder pro, make inventories of your stock using spreadsheets such as Open Office or Excel or using simple drawing packages for layout changes or simple structures. You can then keep an older computer in the layout room. And a PC with a sound card might also become the basis for a sound system on your layout.


(A Note from Trevor – You might want also to save the H&T files on an old computer just so you can refer to it and wonder why you kept an old computer under your railway - ala this hint! :). Thanks Kevin!)

Hints & Tips No.96
Applying Ground Texture and Ground Foam Pt 1.
By Bruce Leslie, (MA, USA)


I do not like flat, uniform ground surfaces. They look fine in a park or on a golf course, but most of my ground is supposed to be more wild, unkempt terrain.


First, I use Gypsolite which is a locally available plaster material but there are equivalents all around the world, to skim coat the surface. This type of plaster is naturally gritty, so even on a flat area like a foam sheet, the irregularity makes a big difference. The Plaster is naturally a light gray, so I squirt in some dark brown craft paint until the mixture is a light tan. I spread this stuff around and let it dry, usually overnight.


I do not like uniform tan-colored surfaces either, so I make up a thin green wash with craft paint and water. I apply this unevenly, in a camouflage pattern, using the base plaster color. This dries pretty quickly, in a half-hour or less.


Then I paint on thinned white glue, about 1 part white glue to 3 parts water. I use an old 1/2 inch paint brush, and do a few square inches at a time. Finally, I take pinches of turf in my fingers and apply them, generally putting brown turf over the tan plaster, and green turf over the wash areas, but not being too fussy about either. Applying the turf bit-by-bit is a lot slower than just sprinkling it out of a jar, of course, but I get much better control.


Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2022 07:22 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 52nd post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.97
Making Models on Flat Surfaces .
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne Australia)
Depending on the level of kit or scratch building you are doing, the ideal is to work on a flat surface. Many kit manufacturers recommend using plate glass and it is well and good if you have this. However you can get a fair degree of dimensional flatness and stability by using at least 12mm MDF or Particle Board up to about 15 inches square or so.If you are doing metal construction, a piece of MDF like this can work very well as a surface plate for marking. You can probably get an offcut from a cabinet makers work shop for zilch and even under the most prolific of hobbyists using Exacto knives or similar, it should last quite some time before it needs replacing.


Hints & Tips No.98
Extreme Wear and Tear .
By John De-Vries-Kraft, (Kamloops Canada)
Every railway has that extremely decrepit looking vehicle which although it may be "roadworthy" looks as if it had seen much better days usually sitting on a siding out of the way. I did help this guy with his shiny looking gondola... he said it looked too new and a bit toyish. We can all relate to that.

So,in a few moments I took the gondola and removed the wheels and couplers. I then ground it against a small rock, bent the sides of the gondola and scraped the ends so it looked as though it had taken a fair bit of punishment carrying stone etc... which it had by that time... just not carrying stone.


I then removed the "extra" plastic flashing from the scraping...presented it to the guy who was quite impressed. You could go one stage further and paint it a non descript grey and rust combination. Reinstall the wheels, add couplers, and voila, DONE and well used."

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Thu Apr 7th, 2022 08:10 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 53rd post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.99
Applying Ground Texture and Ground Foam Pt 2.
By Thomas Statton, (Tennessee USA)
You can make ground foam yourself by using offcuts and chopping it up finely in an old blender. Craft paint works great for dying home made foam. This should work for sawdust too.

To adhere it to my terrain, I prefer using glue instead of wet paint as has been suggested. Most Latex Paints dry fairly quickly and can leave some ground foam unsecured.


Hints & Tips No.100
Stirrers as Fence Palings.
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne Australia)
As mentioned way back in H&T No.37. The long wooden stirrers you get in McDonalds or Starbucks etc. make excellent plank loads when cut up.

When researching for this, I found a thread in Model Railroaders forums titled “You made that out of what...?” and one of the suggestions was picket fencing made from the same stirrers. You simply put the stirrers as palings on your fence frame, cut to length, paint an appropriate ochre or worn weathered colour and voila... one picket fence.


Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sun Apr 10th, 2022 01:41 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 54th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.101
Applying Ground Texture and Ground Foam Pt 3.By Art Hill, (MN, USA)
My variation is as follows. Rather than straight paint, I mix the paint with premixed drywall seam cement, and sawdust, with a little water and Lysol. I paint that on and put the Woodland Scenics colored ground foam on while wet. Of course you can use your own ground foam or Sawdust if this suits you better.


vary the coarseness of the sawdust to get different textures. For closeup scene, I will put some color variation on between the paint and the ground foam. Several colors of ground foam also helps a lot.

Hints & Tips No.102
N Scale Layouts as a Proportion of OO/HO.
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne Australia)


N scale has proved a real boon for those of us who do not have the space availability for a larger scale layout. The temptation is to try to cram as much in a space or to take an OO/HO track plan and halve it for N.

Rather than take this approach, by all means cut down the use of space. However if it is at all possible either try to use the same size layout for N as you would the larger scale except alter the double track spacings etc, or split the difference and where you would have had a 8 x4 layout, reduce it to say 6 x 3 feet rather than 4 x 2 as tempting as that may be.


The illusion with such a small layout is lost a little mainly because the detail is within the field of vision of most people. By making it that fraction larger and making peoples heads move to take it in, the illusion of a railway is somewhat restored.


I feel that the same illusion can be lost when steep gradients in larger scales are used on smaller layouts. A gentle grade or curve leads the eye away and looks very effective in its own right.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Apr 13th, 2022 05:06 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 55th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.103
Trees from Grape Stems.
By Peter Daniels (South Devon MRC UK)

Depending on your time of year, Grape stems when they are available make very good tree bases from which to lace with Ground Foam or Teased cotton balls to form typical European trees particularly in N scale . After being allowed to dry a bit, painting the stem in a natural wood colour should preserve it.

You can also enjoy yourself on two fronts, both making the trees and providing the raw material by consuming the fruit! The heights of trees? Basically whatever length you are prepared to eat!!!


Hints & Tips No.104
Using Clay Kitty Litter as Talus.
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne Australia)
You can use small amounts of Kitty Litter of the clay variety to simulate the small rocks at the bottom of rock faces and ledges which have chipped and eroded from cliff fronts. This material is known as Talus and will appear in many areas at the bottom of hills, undulations etc.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2022 07:27 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 56th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.105
Putting Blinds and Curtains in Windows .
By Thomas Statton (Tennessee USA)
I did a Google Images search for "blinds" and "drapes" and just saved the images I wanted. The images were then re-sized to fit using MS Paint.


The curtains were then printed out on an ink jet on copy paper. I sprayed them with some clear coat to seal the ink. and Dull Coat works also. I found a light coat of dull coat on the window glass (inside) made them look better. I used a heavy coat of clear coat on the drape and then placed the glass onto it while it was still wet. Others have told me that they did not have much luck with that method, but it worked on the ones that I did.

I also used some clear water based glue I found to do some other ones. That stuck REALLY well. For plain blindsI just used plain old masking tape stuck to the window.


Hints & Tips No.106
Billboards from Business Cards.
By Trevor Gibbs and others


On a Modern layout, some business cards are so colourful and ornate that they could make very effective Billboards for virtually no cost apart from that accrued by the person handing it to you. Such boards could go in your background and you could actually impress a sales representative to hand you a few for a number of projects if you find a particularly good one ...with a little flattery perhaps?


An older business card could also actually date your layout to a more specific era.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2022 11:04 pm
PMQuoteReply
link to this 57th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.107
Painting Clouds with "Not Much Talent"


by Thomas Statton (Tennessee USA)
I have zero artistic talent, but this method is really easy to use. However, I need to practice blending them together.
I downloaded cloud pictures off the web and printed them out in the appropriate size, just in black and white to save ink. I then printed them on some card stock and cut out the clouds with an Xacto knife to make templates. I used some cheap flat white and grey spray paint, putting a little grey along the bottom of the template to represent the bottom of the clouds and treated the rest with shots of white. Any overspray of the white under the template looks like rising thermals.

You can see examples on http://cs.trains.com/trccs/forums/p/136637/1533209.aspx#1533209


Hints & Tips No.108
Track Laying Safeguards 101
By Martin Hollebone (TR Models North Hants)


When laying Track and Ballast... Check and ensure that all loose track pins have been removed from the track before running trains. The magnets are strong enough to attract the pins into the motors and cause damage.
When laying loose ballast never run the trains until the glue has fully dried and the track has been vacuum cleaned to ensure no loose ballast remain. Especially be careful when laying loose ballast be very careful while distributing around point blades.

(A note from Trevor – A Special thanks to Martin for kindly allowing me to use the hints on his shops web site)

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sun Apr 24th, 2022 12:19 pm
PMQuoteReply
link to this 58th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.109
Short Circuits on Peco Crossings.
By Trevor Gibbs, (Melbourne Australia)

I mainly run North American, specifically Canadian over Peco Streamline track on my home layout. On some of my slightly older engines, the tread is very slightly wider than the gap that Peco allows particularly over their short diamond crossing (of which I have one), and bridge unintentionally between one track and the other. I would have a similar problem with some of my British locos as well!

If a train is sitting on the other track, it can sometimes jolt into movement when the tracks are bridged or the crossing loco stalls entirely if it bridges the common rail which I use. To cure this, get some clear nail polish and paint it on the rails by the joint.


Hints & Tips No.110
Using Cartons for carrying rollingstock
By Brian Macdermott

Here in the UK, I have used some cardboard boxes from the supermarket which were initially used for the delivery of large baguettes for carrying rollingstock. These boxes are about 30" long, about 12" wide, and about 15" deep (about 750 x 300 x 375mm).

I store my boxes vertically with the end labels all facing the same way up. I also try to keep different the locos from different manufacturers in separate cartons.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2022 04:18 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 59th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.111
Details No.1 - Modelling Security Cameras
By John Rumming (Western Australia)

I made security cameras for my buildings in the black domes by using a half round craft stone. I went to the local craft store and bought a packet of acrylic jewels. I got a piece of wire and bent a 90 degree angle in it about 1cm from the end.
For my layout I used a 7mm Black Cabachon stone (as the jewels are made of plastic), I heated up the end of the wire and pushed it into the jewel. Cut the other side a good distance from the side of the building and attach this the building. Your “security camera” is now installed.


Hints & Tips No.112
Railways in Pavement No.1
By Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)
There are many situations where railways run in road areas usually in dockland and industrial areas. These areas can be modelled by a (very) careful application of plaster making sure your flanges do not get caught and ride high.
I have made a number of my own crossings and other areas over the years by cutting styrene sheet and stressing the material e.g. expansion lines to represent concrete, sanding to represent bitumen surface or dragging a razor saw to represent wood grain. And it is easy to modify and fit and your track will not be distressed by the setting plaster

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Sat Apr 30th, 2022 04:11 am
PMQuoteReply
link to this 60th post
xdford
Member
 

Joined: Tue Aug 11th, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3561
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hints & Tips No.113
Railways in Pavement No.2
By Bruce Leslie (MA, USA)
When it comes to building Railways in pavement, I use the same technique for street running and level grade crossings. My crossings are made using Water Putty for the roads on either side of the track, and then styrene between the rails. Styrene sheet is pretty thin, so I use a second, narrower strip underneath it, sitting on the ties. That brings the top piece up enough that the spike plates do not interfere with it.

Use grey acrylic paint for both the road and the strip between the rails. That provides a good colour match, and by using a common, unmixed colour, I can easily touch it up if it gets nicked or scratched.


Hints & Tips No.114
Smaller Scale Buildings as Background
By Brian Sheron (MD USA)

If you have an HO or OO scale layout, and have an urban scene with HO scale building fronts against the layout wall, you can create the illusion of depth by gluing N-scale building fronts along the roof edge of the larger scale building.

It will appear that these smaller scale buildings are in the distance. If you have an O scale layout, try using HO or OO scale building fronts.


Back To Top PMQuoteReply

This is topic ID = 16890     Current time is 04:03 pm Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  Next Page Last Page    
You are here:  Your Model Railway Club > Reference Area. > Hints & Tips > Hints and Tips - The first 499
You can type a quick reply to this topic here. Click in the box below to begin.

Or to reply to an individual post, or to include images, attachments and formatted text,
click the Quote or Reply buttons on each post above.

To start a new topic in this forum, click the Start New Topic button below.
To start a new topic in a different forum, click the Forum Jump drop-down list below.
Start New Topic

Back to top of page

           
15 Most Recent Topic

Problems with this web site? Please contact the Webmaster.

All material submitted to this web site is the responsibility of the respective contributor. By submitting material to this web site you acknowledge that you accept full responsibility for the material submitted.
Unless stated otherwise, all the material displayed on this web site, including all text, photographs, drawings and other images, is copyright and the property of the respective contributor. Registered members are welcome to use it for their own personal non-commercial modelmaking purposes. It must not be reproduced or re-published elsewhere in any form, or used commercially, without first obtaining the owner's express permission.
The owner of this web site may edit, modify or remove any content at any time without giving notice or reason.    © 2008

                 

Recent Topics Back to top of page

Powered by UltraBB 1.15 Copyright © 2007-2011 by Jim Hale and Data 1 Systems. Page design copyright © 2008-2013 Martin Wynne. Photo gallery copyright © 2009 David Williams.