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Hints and Tips - The first 499 - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue May 3rd, 2022 06:31 am
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Hints & Tips No.115
Controlling maximum speed on transistor throttles.
By Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)
I use inertia transistor throttles on my layout with a minimum and maximum speed set. The maximum speed has been particularly handy when visitors come to see the layout. It is approximately set to the fastest speed I would want a loco to go and I do not have the grief of kids or adults who are kids at heart trying to run the train at slot car speeds, particularly if the adjustment is out of reach.
The modification would be easy on existing plain transistor throttles. Place a potentiometer between the throttle and the return side connecting the centre leg and the right as you look at it from the top to the right leg and the return "rail" of the throttle. Increasing this resistance decreases your maximum speed but it also means you have better control over more of a speed range for your throttle... and that is a good thing.


Hints & Tips No.116
Running in a Locomotive
By Stephen McCallum (Coquitlam BC, Canada)
I have a section of track that I can just let my loco run on [an oval for instance] then I let it run for half an hour at about a third speed then a half hour at half speed. What this does is 'break in' the motor and gears. I then do the same thing in reverse. Unless there is something truly wrong with the loco I have found I never have a problem with the running ever after doing this.
Of course if you run it on a temporary track set up on the carpet etc it will pick up lint and such, but barring things like that, once broken in it will give you years of fun. That and maybe lube it once every couple of years.
(A Note from Trevor - Check out Stephen's website at http://fsm1000.googlepages.com)

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 Posted: Fri May 6th, 2022 06:33 am
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Hints & Tips No.117
Planning a Layout With Templates
By Bob Heath Barchester (Spain)
When checking my planning on a full size board and being a cheap skate, I cut up varying widths and lengths of corn flake packets to represent track and turnouts and then lay them out on my board as closely as I can to the intended layout design.
Although this is not 100% accurate, it does show me when a thing is definitely a no no. If things such as clearances start looking a bit tight, then I take a lot more care with laying the card out, before committing my self to cutting and laying track.

Hints & Tips No.118
View and Scenic Blocks on Layouts
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)
Rather than have just a hill blocking your view, you may well be in the situation where you can divide your layout into vignette scenes but a straight simply painted sky panel extending over the length of the hill.
If your middle layout backdrop does not have a hill, you can use low relief buildings to disguise your backdrop with the means of your trains transversing between scenes up to you. It could be a simple tunnel opening or buildings placed at such an angle that the transition is not obvious.

It can sure make your layout look bigger than it is if your visitors cannot see it all at once.

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 Posted: Mon May 9th, 2022 07:53 am
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Hints & Tips No.119
Bending Styrene Plastic
by Brian Sheron (MD USA)

Scratch building models may occasionally call for bending styrene plastic strips into unique shapes, such as arcs or compound bends.

An easy way to do this is as follows: trace on a piece of paper the shape or curve into which you want to bend a styrene strip. Place the piece of paper on a piece of wood, preferably something soft into which you can easily drive a nail. You can either trace the curve onto the wood with carbon paper, or just make small indentations along the traced shape on the paper, so the indentation carries through to the wood. Tapping a small finishing nail does this fine.

Remove the paper and then drive small finishing nails along the shape marked on the wood, about one inch apart. Lay the piece of plastic against the nails, drive another nail on the other side of the styrene strip to hold one end in place. If the curve is not too severe, you may be able to bend the styrene into the shape you want using the nails as a guide.

Now, get a hair dryer and hold it near, but not too near, the plastic. Try to heat the strip uniformly. As the styrene strip heats up, it will relax in to the shape into which you have bent it. Be careful not to heat it too much or it could melt and distort. You can test when it has taken the correct shape, because it will no longer be sprung against the nails, and should lift out easily from the mould.

Hints & Tips No.120
Locomotive Safeguards
by Martin Hollebone (TR Models North Hants)


A few basic pointers in maintaining your locomotives smooth running...


Never pick a locomotive up with your finger tips touching the running gear on the sides of the locomotive because it can damage the alignment of the running gear.


Never try to clean the wheels or electrical contacts with 'wire wool' or sand paper. Being made of steel the wire wool is attracted by the magnet and will cause damage. Steel wool also causes electrical shorts within the locomotive.


Never clean the track with wire wool as it will leave strands which will cause a short across the track and trip fuses and/or circuit breakers within the controller.

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 Posted: Thu May 12th, 2022 06:55 am
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Hints & Tips No.121
Transition Curves
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

Transition curves assist in making your engines traverse the curves on your layout much more easily. Start your curve a little further back on the straight than you normally would have and have a much more gradual curve before leading into your main curve.

This can still work If you are using a mixture of Flex track and Set Track Curves as suggested in H&T No.89, use a half curve as well as your full curves and stretch the flex track to take up the slight difference between the straight section and the curve. Your Engines will lead into your curves a lot better and your trains should run smoother because of a smooth transition.

Hints & Tips No.122
Weathering
by Rob Smith (Labrador Queensland)

Applying a diluted mix of Indian Ink and Alcohol to the timber aspects of models will give that a natural aged look that can "Make" a display. Like everything you need to experiment, starting off with a weak mix until you get the required effect. Paints used for ceramics are also a good source of creating that used and weathered look.

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 Posted: Sun May 15th, 2022 10:37 am
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Hints & Tips No.123
Graffiti Decals from your Computer
by Brian Sheron (MD USA)

With the advent of home computers, you can now make your own decals. Obtain some clear decal paper compatible with your printer (i.e. ink jet or laser jet). Your computer will have a variety of fonts. Scroll through the fonts and you will likely see a number of them that resemble graffiti.

I also found a web site that has downloadable Graffiti fonts. Go to http://www.graffitifonts.com

Start typing typical graffiti phrases. When you have all the graffiti you need, hit the print button, spray the decal sheet with decal sealer, let it dry, and then apply graffiti to you rolling stock, retaining walls etc!

Hints & Tips No.124
Use of Different Ballasting and Rail on Sidings
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

Sidings are not so well maintained as main lines and as the main line gets re-ballasted, the source of stone may well be different from when the line was first laid. Sidings do not generally get re-ballasted or relaid at the same time.

Use a darker tone of ballast on your sidings or “muddy it up” a bit to achieve the effect. You could also use slightly different rail types or have the main line slightly visually higher to accentuate the difference with the track. Weeds will also accentuate the difference and look very effective for little cost.


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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2022 11:10 am
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Hints & Tips No.125
Colour coding Wiring
by Martin Hollebone (TR Models North Hants)

When wiring your layout to operate points, lights, power feeds, etc., always use different colour multi-stranded flexible wires. Plan first with a diagram and record the colours used for each function for future reference. You will find this invaluable when checking for faults later.

Hints & Tips No.126
Handling Small Screws
by John Rumming (Western Australia)


Small screws have a habit of moving and dropping off the screwdriver at the worst times. Use a tiny bit of Blu-tack or similar on the end of the screwdriver and this will hold the screw in place. Magnetised screwdrivers are also useful.


(A Note from Trevor – you can also temporarily magnetise a screw driver by stroking it with a magnet along its length for a minute or so... eventually the strength will go but it will be enough to do your pressing job)

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 Posted: Sat May 21st, 2022 11:20 am
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Hints & Tips No.127
Telephone and Power Wires
by Loren Hall (Washington State, USA)
If you string your cables on your layout between telegraph poles, plain thread will droop in a unrealistic manner because there is no wire in it like the real thing. Pull your cables through some bees wax or such. Lay the thread on the wax, cover it with your thumb and pull the thread through. This will help to stiffen the thread. The wax will help to stiffen the thread and mimic the effect of wire.

Hints & Tips No.128
Mixing of Different Ground Foams or Scatters on the layout
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)
Regardless of whether you make your own Ground Foam and Scatter, or buy commercial quantities, you should make, or use, different 'dye lots' with different intensities of green and other colours.
Nature does not generally have absolutely consistently coloured greens and neither should you. A bit of judicious mixture of the different dye lots in localised areas should improve your grass scenery appearance markedly.

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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2022 12:53 pm
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Hints & Tips No.129
Straws as "Household Decorations"
by Ron Lesperance (Windsor ON Canada)
A large red plastic straw from Mcdonalds, cut in 1/4" lengths, makes nice flower planters. Glue some green foam inside for evergreen plants. Cut in 1/2" lengths and you have nice garbage drums for the loading dock. You can put in some white paper to represent garbage. Best of all, you do not have to actually paint them!

Hints & Tips No.130
Plastering Basics No. 1 - Preparation & Mixing
by Stephen McCallum (Coquitlam BC, Canada)
Put on a pair of cheap rubber gloves to protect you from the slight caustic affects of hydrocal (which is widely used in North America) or plaster (everywhere else). This will also be handy for when you are painting.

Spray with water the area you are going to add the plaster to, if it is porous - for example, plaster, wood, cardboard, etc.. This prevents the material from sucking the water out of the plaster and leaving it brittle and flaky.

Use containers you do not want to use anymore, such as margarine tubs - plastic containers are best as they is easier to clean up after each batch.



Use about 500 mls of plaster to 250 mls of water. An old rubber spatula is a good stirrer and you should always add the plaster to the water. Add the plaster slowly and mix thoroughly until it is has the consistency of thick cream.

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 Posted: Sat May 28th, 2022 12:05 pm
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Hints & Tips No.131
Painting the Sides of Layouts
by Joe Saliba and Charlie Ramsay (Sunshine MRC, Melbourne Australia)
Exhibition layouts, in particular, need to be presented as being finished and home layouts can do with effective presentation when shown to your family and friends.
You may be very surprised as to how much more presentable your layout becomes with a suitable paint around the fascia of the layout, compared to the nails, screw heads and dirty fascia that comes with working on a layout.
(A Note from Trevor – When Joe painted up an exhibition layout of a club associate and my own 'Newry' layout, the impression was almost unbelievable. Ours were painted in a Royal Blue colour in a gloss enamel... and worth the time and effort to do it!!! Thanks Joe)

Hints & Tips No.132
Plastering Basics No. 2
by Stephen McCallum (Coquitlam BC, Canada)

If you are going to colour the plaster first then understand that doing so may introduce salt to the mixture. Some dyes like clothing dyes have salt in them. This is important to know because it shortens the usage time by about half or even less sometimes.

You only need about one teaspoon to one heaping table spoon per cup of water. Add the dye to the water before adding the plaster. Mix thoroughly.

You can also decrease the setting time by half by simply adding 1/2 a teaspoon of salt to the water before adding the plaster. If you want the plaster to take longer to set because you want to shape it, make a rock. or a cut in the mountain etc. then add about 2 teaspoon of vinegar to one cup of water.


If you are using dyes and want a slower reaction time add 4 teaspoons per cup. Understand though that adding too much vinegar will weaken the plaster.

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 Posted: Tue May 31st, 2022 10:23 am
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Hints & Tips No.133
Details No.1 – Culverts
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)
You can make a simple culvert under an embankment by drilling a small hole and inserting a piece of tube or (better still) a half tube where any water would flow.
Paint it a silver or grey tone to represent concrete or steel piping and perhaps detail it with some sediment, if water is not flowing through it, or use some thin white glue strings to simulate a slowly draining amount of water, perhaps into a slough type pool down the bottom.
Hints & Tips No.134
Plastering Basics No.3
by Stephen McCallum (Coquitlam BC, Canada)
If you are using paper towels or cloth in constructing your scenery, try to make them about the size of your hand, but no more that twice the size. Cut or tear them if you will. Tearing is better because it is more ragged. This makes them easier to place, handle, use and shape.

The best paper towels are the brown rough thick ones used in public washrooms. As for cloth, old cotton is best, unless you want to use cheese cloth.

Always clean the container before reusing it, otherwise the old plaster will cause the new plaster to set super fast because it will be seasoned.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 3rd, 2022 10:42 am
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Hints & Tips No.135
Running on lower voltage
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

If you are still using any sort of Globe as compared to using LEDs, run your power pack at a lesser voltage than the rating quoted by about 70%. If you have 12 volt globes, try running them on say 8 volts, 6 volts should be cut down to 4 etc.

This extends your globe life remarkably and will cut down the heat factor in your train area.

Personally I run all my lights bar a few Headlights with LEDs. At 80,000 hours rated life and I am 67, I don't expect to change too many and the heat is a whole lot less. I can also run from old Mobile Phone charger transformers and get quite a few lights, well LEDs running for virtually no outlay.


Hints & Tips No.136
Plastering Basics No.4
by Stephen McCallum (Coquitlam BC, Canada)
With pre-dyed plaster lumps, you can use it for talus at the base of hills and cliffs.

You only need a thin layer of plaster to do the job. It is going to hold up ground foam, not hold up you walking on it. ¼ inch is more than sufficient for most. This will support a 5 pound rock
for instance. Notice I said “support”, not thrown at.


Also keeping it thin at the beginning makes it easier to cut later if you need to. If you let the plaster dry for a day or two and then return to add more, remember to spray it with water first.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 6th, 2022 06:03 am
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Hints & Tips No.137
Using Black light or ultraviolet lights
by Rob Smith (Labrador Queensland)
Combined with fluorescent paint applied discreetly to buildings, fences and car headlights etc “Black Light or Ultra Violet lights can make an incredible effect for your village scene. Generally the ultraviolet lights are tube-type available from Electrical and Hardware stores.

There are several sizes depending on the size of display you want it on. Try mounting the light above or at the rear of your display. Or make a hill to conceal your light in your display. Caution...the effects on your display is addictive... paint stars on the backdrop, in the night sky...timed daylight to night scenes...

Hints & Tips No.138
Keeping Nail Packets intact
by Loren Hall (Washington State, USA)
Those little flip open packages of nails or hardware are also the ones you put on the layout and immediately hit with your elbow and scatter the contents all over the place.


Put a reasonably strong flat magnet under the package and the contents will not fall out when tipped over.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 9th, 2022 07:01 am
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Hints & Tips No.139
Use of Wahl Oil
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

For many years, some modellers have been using Wahl clipper oil to help with their locos maintaining good electrical contact with the track. This was dramatically shown when a friend bought an older Rivarossi Cab Forward locomotive to an exhibition which was running very raggedly. A few drops of Wahl Oil on the track and you would not have thought you were viewing the same engine!

There have been a number of spurious claims made about the product ( traction increased for example... physics tells me that oil and traction are not compatible) but the conductivity is improved if only a few drops are applied every 3-4 metres/10-12 feet or so. Like many other areas in this hobby, just do not overdo the oiling.

Hints & Tips No.140
Weathering on Level Crossings
by Fred Scotland (Sydney, Australia)

Level crossings always look far too clean out of the box but many times are "over weathered" by modellers.

Try to apply a small amount of dark wash (a watered down black) only to the hinge and connecting rod areas of the gates. These were the parts that were greased regularly and we would expect them to be greasy always. Over weathering can make the gates look simply "grimy" and "uncared for".

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 Posted: Sun Jun 12th, 2022 07:21 am
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Hints & Tips No.141
Aerials and Plastic Plugs in models
by John Rumming (Western Australia)

You can make excellent Aerials using old plastic sprues from the moulding trees of model kits. Clean any rough edges from your sprue then heat the sprue up with a candle and stretch slowly. At first it will be thin, and as it cools, it gets thicker. This looks like a thick base and thin top. Cut to size and you have an aerial shape .

If you have a hole in a plastic model that needs to be filled say for an unwanted headlight opening, use a similar technique. Fill in your hole and glue with MEK or other type glue and sand to finish.

Hints & Tips No.142
Alternative Catenary
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

You can make catenary or trolley wire for trams by stripping suitable sized copper wire and hardening it. You do this by placing one end in a vice and using a power drill, hold it reasonably tightly and start spinning the drill chuck while holding a tension.

You would think the wire would twist all over the place but it spins on itself and becomes quite rigid. Try to stop spinning before the wire actually snaps, usually just out of the drill chuck or vice. You can then make a jig to create your favourite catenary shape or length, cut the wire to length and shape and solder away.

I have also used wire in this way to make model signs for my own and club layouts, especially small signs like whistle and speed board signs for trackside details. You could use the copper wire from catenary offcuts in this way if you do not use these for the wire hangers!

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 Posted: Wed Jun 15th, 2022 10:24 am
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Hints & Tips No.143
Water Effects
by Rob Smith (Labrador Queensland)
Clear silicone like those used to seal bathroom basins and showers etc can also be used to imitate the ocean waves and ponds. This can be applied directly onto your village base board. Simply apply the colour for your water scene to your base board (use two or three colours to get the effect of different depths) and place beads of silicone clear caulking in rows to represent waves.
Experiment with the distance apart to get the effect you are after. You can shape the waves using a flat stick...it pays to experiment with the effects. On the shore line place some PVA glue and sprinkle sand and you will have instant beach....don't forget the driftwood washed up on shore.

If it is a pond, slough or river scene, get some aquarium stones which are available in a good range of colours and use these on the edge of the silicone and up the river bank.


Hints & Tips No.144 - Making a Turntable
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)
You can make a simple turntable from a length of timber (preferably plywood for dimensional stability), a reversing switch and a stereo jack, preferably one of the thicker ones at 4.8mm.

The stereo jack is wired so that the plug is on the turntable bridge side, while the socket is on (or in) your baseboard. Get it exactly in the middle of your bridge. The socket goes in your baseboard and is wired by a reversing switch to your track. The reversing switch is to get the polarity right, when your locos are rotated.
You can then sink your turntable into your baseboard or sit it on top and raise the track to it. You will need to make some sides for the turntable bridge - either a girder made from styrene or card above the rail, or a girder to cover the wooden bridge. You will also need to construct a model fence at rail height. 


You should now have a basic turntable to give you years of enjoyment and trouble free service.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 18th, 2022 10:16 am
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Hints & Tips No.145

Help With The Small Things Pt 1
by Bob Heath - Barchester (Spain)

Bluetac : Very good for holding things temporarily in place, or even permanently in some cases. I use a tiny little spot under the feet of my figures so that they can easily be moved to new locations without marking the original spot.
Buttons : Good for many kinds of wheels, pulley's etc.
Chalk : In various colours can be ground up and used for weathering.
Coffee grounds : Keep these and dry them out and the result makes a very good scatter material.
Containers : You will need containers of all shapes, sizes and materials for all the bits and pieces that you will inevitably collect. You can't have too many, believe me.
Craft knives : You don't have to lash out here with the big bucks to get you started. Try the plastic ones with the snap-off blades that are sold in all the tool places.
Cutting mats : Again not essential but they are kind to your craft knives.


Hints & Tips No.146

Fences No.1 - Making a Simple Wire Fence
by John Rumming (Western Australia)
Panel pins driven into the baseboard at regular intervals can start this one.
Get some beading wire on a roll and wrap it around the first pole. Then go to the second and wrap once around that. Continue until your fence is done. You can space them so you can get 3-4 lines down, making a great looking fence.
Thin cotton will also do the trick if the wire is not going to be stressed.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 21st, 2022 09:54 am
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Hints & Tips No.147
Ballast Removal
By Vicky Makin (Qld, Australia)
This instruction will work for those that have ballasted using PVA (polyvinylacetate) glue. Selleys Aquadhere (AUS) or Elmers (US)(correct me if I am wrong).

Your first step is to wet the ballast with water, between the rails and on either side. I could not find my eyedropper so I dunked my finger in water. Allow to sit for about 15 – 20 minutes. Then dig out the ballast on either side of ties that have a nail into the tabletop and pull out nails.

Using something suitable, utility knife or putty knife (I used a 1/2 inch wood chisel upside down because I could not find my utility blades) gently push the blade under the ballast and pry the track up. Once one piece of track has been lifted the rest will follow. What you have left is ballast ready to be scraped up. I used my chisel for this and it did a very neat job. Then clean up the area ready for relaying track.

You can recycle the ballast if you wish and the track can be cleaned up by washing with water.



Hints & Tips No.148
Fences No.2 - Making a Chain Link Fence
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne, Australia)
Referring back to a similar sounding H&T (No.142), you can make fence poles using slight thicker wire by stripping suitable sized copper wire and hardening it. You do this by placing one end in a vice and using a power drill, hold it reasonably tightly and start spinning the drill chuck while holding a tension.
Plant these in your base board at regular intervals and go to your local craft shop and buy from bridal veil material known as Tulle. If the craft shop is a good one they should even have silver or light grey. Get the tension and angle where you want it, remember that in 00, 40mm is a 10ft fence. Glue the strip of Tulle to your fence poles - and you have one modern chain link fence. A simple hole or tear will add to the detail of the fence.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 24th, 2022 11:04 am
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Hints & Tips No.149
Recycling Materials for Railway Use
by Martin Hollebone (TR Models North Hants)

Long time readers of this column would be aware that modellers are encouraged to recycle all sorts of material.

When your or your neighbours are unpacking that new washing machine, or TV do not throw the foam packing away. It is ideal for railway scenery such as hills, cliffs, etc when given a light coat of plaster and it is FREE.

Many other household items that normally go in the bin can be used on your layout so next time you throw something out; think again. For example, tea leaves, saw dust make good scenery textures and cardboard tubes and containers make all sorts of shapes.

Hints & Tips No.150
Help With The Small Things Pt 2
by Bob Heath - Barchester (Spain)

Double sided tape : If you get a short length of this material and stick one side onto a flat surface, thick card, wood or similar, then the exposed sticky surface is ideal for standing your small people and animals on whilst painting them. When the paint is dry the figures are easily plucked off the sticky surface. The piece of tape can be used time and again. You could of course use any sticky tape and just apply a little glue to the tape backing to attach it to your holder with the sticky side up.


Florists wire : Brilliant for making tree trunks in any scale also for hand rails, signal operation, fencing wire etc. Comes in varying thicknesses.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2022 11:36 am
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Hints & Tips No.151
Ground Goop
By Andy McMahon and Sheila Perry ( Beccles, Suffolk)
The basis of all the groundwork on Newton Halt was a mixture called ground goop which we read about in an American model railroading book that Sheila bought at an exhibition. Like most things we adapted the recipe and experimented with it. Virtually everything, other than structures and the road was covered with a thick coat of ground goop consisting of sieved soil from the garden, PVA, water and a touch of raw umber acrylic paint.
This dries to a hard realistic finish and looks fine when exposed by thin undergrowth. We even coated the internal surfaces of the dykes before applying the 'water'.

Hints & Tips No.152
LEDs for Headlights
by Trevor Gibbs (Melbourne Australia)

I am still on DC because I like my throttles and like playing with controlling braking. Headlights are another issue as the old globes varied with the track voltage and were non directional. I have now fitted Golden White LEDs as Headlights to most of my locos. They are fairly constant with their intensity and look good.

Because you have to put a regular diode in line with the LED as well as the load resistor, if your motors are the sensitive type make a block with diodes in reverse parallel, that is Cathode to Anode at both ends and put this in series with your motor. Because Diodes drop 0.6 of a volt, your motor will need a higher starting voltage and you will hopefully be lucky enough that the loco will start just after the headlight goes on. If your Diode is sensitive, you may need two diodes in Series. But the headlight effect is worth it and they do not shine constantly in reverse!

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 Posted: Thu Jun 30th, 2022 09:53 am
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xdford
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Hints & Tips No.153
Auto Uncoupling MU Hoses and Power Cables
by John Rumming (Western Australia)

Use the insulation from wire to imitate Multiple Unit Hoses and Air Hoses for the trains. Remove the wire and they will drop naturally. If you keep the wire in them, you can bend then to the shape you require, providing that they are solid core wires
In larger scales in particular, if you would like moving and auto coupling Multiple Unit hoses and power cables, then do as above but add a magnet to the hose. On another loco or carriage, glue a small metal piece to the body which will act as a “receptacle” for the hose or cable.
These will hold together and create the look of true hoses. You cannot use a magnet on each item as well as the hose as they may repel each other. To uncouple, just release the coupler and drive away. The hoses will detach by themselves most of the time!

Hints & Tips No.154
Help With The Small Things Pt 3
by Bob Heath - Barchester (Spain)

Keep it clean : This doesn't just apply to the track and rolling stock wheels but to the whole layout. Don't let bits of rubbish and dust accumulate as it's the first thing that viewers see, either of the layout itself or in any photographs you take.
Knife blades : Try and get into the habit of putting the blade cover back on when you have finished using it, or sliding the blade back into it's holder. These blades are deadly when they come into contact with the users flesh 

Matchsticks : Same as kebab sticks, again depending on scale, wagon loads of cut timber, timber stacks in yards, it's imagination time. Matches come in a wide range of thickness.
Masking tape : 
Has a textured surface that takes paint well, good for wagon and truck covers.

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