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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed May 12th, 2021 11:48 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2412
Modelling foliage on Cliff Faces Pt 2
By Ken McCrae
Take a disposable bowl and put in some ground foam. Then add some diluted white glue say 50-50 with water and blend the two together in the bowl. Then take the glue wetted ground foam and apply it to the vertical surfaces. I use gloves and my fingers but a spoon would also work. It will stick and when it dries it looks like any other ground foam application.


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 Posted: Sun May 16th, 2021 02:15 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2413
Securing Track with No Nails Pt 1
By Several Modellers
 
With Atlas Flex track, there are pilot holes on the bottom of the ties, a simple track nail pushed from the bottom leaves the hole ready from the top. (Melvin Perry)
 For two layouts now, I have just used caulk to hold the track. It was fast, easy, and cheap with no hammer required and therefore no accidental damage from a hammer blow. (Randy Rinker)
I use push pins to hold the track while the caulk dries. When the drying has occurred, I withdraw the pins and because I have my layout in a relatively stable environment, the caulk has held very well!  (Henry Varty)


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 Posted: Wed May 19th, 2021 04:23 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2414
Securing Track with No Nails Pt 2
By Several Modellers
Track nails are coated and work better than ordinary tacks might. I use an acrylic type low strength caulk which works very well instead of nails.  
Water cleanup and it allows removal of track and underlay without damage to either. It sets up in a few hours but takes a few days to cure under foam roadbed.  (Mike Street) 
 
I drill holes in the sleeper outside the rail, and spike the track in place there. When the nails and track are painted, it all looks fine. I do not like the nail head in the center of the tie. If I have a section of sectional track, I fill in the tie-centre hole with a light putty, then paint all the sleepers.  (Kevin Stillwell)


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 Posted: Sat May 22nd, 2021 04:03 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2415
Cleaning Dried Acrylic paint from expensive brushes
By Doug Dickson
Kiwi' suede and leather shoe waterproofer and stain blocker will dissolve even long dried acrylic paint on that brush you 'forgot' to clean out.
Hints & Tips No. 2416
Stiffening Foam or Plywood Sheet in Modular Layouts
By Mike Alyth
To stiffen any panel, foam or plywood, you can add thickness to foam because it does not weigh much or run small L girders made of plywood under the panel, in effect building a bridge. However, that could be overkill for the modest vertical loads of a model railroad.
Instead, you can just run thin strips of plywood, aluminium or any metal angle along the edges of foam  without increasing the thickness at all and very little increase in weight should you need to move the module.. 
Extruded foam is quite rigid but not particularly strong.  Model airplane wings have been moulded from expanded polystyrene and easily handle those modest vertical loads, even when held at an angle.  Modern adhesives can secure the angle or channel edging and provide additional strength.


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 Posted: Tue May 25th, 2021 06:58 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2417
Making Flexi track more realistic
By Kevin Stratton
I paint each of my sleepers/ ties an individual color. It takes forever, but it looks great and to me it is worth it. Any look on a regular railway and there will be variations along a track length so I paint say every fifth or sixth one with a brown/ red tone signifying a relatively newly laid sleeper then add either a white or a grey mix and dab paint around others in a random order so that eventually of them all get done.   I do mixtures of ballast as well. Greying ballast to me looks more realistic than tan tones.
The colours you actually use will be depending on the effects of weather on the area you are modelling, the timber used for sleepers and the operation and maintenance of the line.  You will need to go and if possible have a look.  A couple of sprinkles of talc or ground foam to represent spilled flour/concrete or weeds from wheat seeds will add to that realism. A drop or two of gloss back would represent oil droppings on the sleepers.
However before any of this, make sure that your track and turnouts are working flawlessly before adding paint, ballast and lineside groundcover.


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 Posted: Fri May 28th, 2021 03:09 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2418
Painting Tyres on Vehicles
By Several Modellers
I use flat black acrylic paint, which gives the color and flat surface I want.  Tyres and wheels are tiny, and at my age I have found that I get the best results with a small, fine brush and a magnifying lamp.  I bought the magnifying lamp for electrical wiring, but have found I use it mostly for painting. (Kevin Beasley)
Wargamers use a Darkand a Light Colour Rubber paint so I use a mixture between vehicles. The brand may depend on your location but I use Vallejo brand available near me (Kevin Stratton)
I also use black for tyres as well as the other methods used here but I am not fussy...once the vehicles are on the layout, it's hard to tell which paint was used. (Wayne Toth)


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 Posted: Mon May 31st, 2021 06:52 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2419
Taking The Black From Siderods
By Wayne Toth
If you want to “unblacken” siderods if they're painted, some lacquer thinner or MEK, applied with a brush, should get rid of the paint.
If siderods have been chemically blackened, you may be able to remove it using find steel wool, but it will be best to first remove the rods from the locomotive, as you do not want the steel bits from the wool in the mechanism, or, even worse, in the motor.
Either way, you will learn whether the rods look better or worse, without the darkening.  I generally paint mine, but for some, use a chemical blackener.  The latter is especially good if you have had to fabricate replacement rod or valve gear parts for out-of-production locos, as brass is the easiest material to use, and can be easily blackened, too.


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 Posted: Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 03:14 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2420
Using Blackening Solutions - A Caution
By Simon Roy
There are a number of  rail weathering  and metal blackening solutions. Many of these can be pretty aggressive with the oxidisation effect. I would use an airbrush for a steel framed bridge for example to paint it a rust color first, then paint with a warm black, leaving some rust showing through. 


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 Posted: Sun Jun 6th, 2021 04:17 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2421
Positioning of Signals 
By John Paulden
You may not WANT to put a signal on the opposite side of the track to which side of a double track you would normally run your trains - depending on the prototype you are trying to emulate.  There are many exceptions to be found around the world for space or visibility reasons such as Canadian Pacific along the North of Lake Superior where signals are placed on the "wrong side" left so they are visible earlier to train crews. Not that many years ago, that section of track was double and atypically CP ran a long section of “Southpaw” running.


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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2021 02:59 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2422 Pt 1
Placing a Point/Turnout near a grade change
By Mario Sposito
You basically cannot place a pre-manufactured turnout on a grade change. On a grade is fine, just don't change the grade under the turnout. Model grade changes are severe because of the scale compression.  
The problem is one of distortion. The distortion of a turnout just leads to endless running problems. The turnout needs to be laid on a flat surface.  The surface can be sloped but the slope must be constant.
In practice the approaches to each track connected to the turnout should also be flat for as far as you can manage. My personal rule of thumb is the approaches to each leg of any turnout should be on exactiy the same slope as that of the turnout for as long as the wheelbase of the longest piece of equipment I expect to traverse that turnout. Conservative, yes, but also reliable.  Flat but not necessarily horizontally level.


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 Posted: Sat Jun 12th, 2021 06:52 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2423
Placing a Point/Turnout near a grade change Pt 2
By Mel Perry
 I learned the hard way putting a turnout/points near a grade transition. I tried all kinds of fixes for years to make it work and ended up moving the turnout 18” to prevent derailing.   My layout is HO scale and the turnout is a code 100 Atlas Custom Line #6L, it was originally placed at the bottom of a 3½% grade leading into my yard.  I tried several code 100 turnouts both Atlas and Peco, no difference.
To make things worse the track was hidden making it harder to access.  After moving the turnout and adjusting the scenery around the turnout everything now works well with not a single derail since the move.


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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2021 04:58 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2424
Styrene Cutting
By Wayne Toth
I use a lot of styrene sheets for my buildings, mainly factories and lineside warehouses.   I prefer a utility knife for cutting styrene, especially when cutting 4'x8' sheets of .060" styrene. The blades for those are not only cheaper, but also more durable than X-Acto blades.  The shape of the utility knife's handle is also more suitable for keeping the blade at 90º to the work, and with less chance of it wandering.
I cannot imagine too many situations where it will matter whether the cut is angled or bevelled, but where it does, a file or sandpaper will easily correct it.  For longer pieces where the bevelled edge might be a concern, I place sandpaper, rough-side-up, on a level work surface, then move the edge of the styrene over it, in one direction, rather than back-and-forth.


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 Posted: Thu Jun 17th, 2021 11:13 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2425
Making Dirt Roads
By Dave Nelson
To be able to create a visual difference between my "gravel" roads and alleys, and true "dirt" roads, for dirt roads I use finely sifted fireplace ash (free if you have a fireplace!).  The sifting is a multi sifting process as each sifting stage gets rid of pieces which, while small, would still look unacceptably big if being held in, say, an HO scale figure's hand.  (that is how I select my size of ballast too - what would it look like if held in an HO scale figure's hand?).
The fireplace ash is spread and tamped and held in place using methods familiar from ballasting track: "wet" water (with alcohol or detergent to address the surface tension of pure water, which by the way I always use distilled water for), followed by in my case Woodland Scenic's Scenic Cement in a pipette or other applicator. 
I also use finely sifted fireplace ash for cinder ballast in my depot areas


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 Posted: Mon Jun 21st, 2021 02:26 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2426
Making Ruts in Roads?
By Melvin Perry
 
I use a Hot Wheels vehicle to make ruts in my dirt roads, I wait until the mud is close to dry before I make the ruts.  Don’t plan on using the rut making vehicle on your layout as the mud is not easily removed.
I also use the white glue 8:1 mix to seal the road when it’s finished.  By making repairs to the Asphalt roads they look more realistic.  After the road has fully dried and finished I use 1/16” yellow Automotive Striping tape for the centre line, which I find much easier than painting.


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 Posted: Thu Jun 24th, 2021 03:21 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2427
Ruts in Dirt Roads?
By Dave Nelson
Do not overdo it with ruts and such.  While photographs of dirt roads in the early days of the automobile can be hilarious with muck and deep ruts, and some roads were truly awful, there is a reason they took those photographs - it was unusual enough to take a picture of.  In fact some of the worst of those deep rut photographs and the ones that tend to get reproduced were taken by the predecessor of the American Automobile Association as part of their lobbying effort for more paved roads.


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