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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Jul 12th, 2021 07:14 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2433
Things to Consider with Backdrops Pt 3
By Several Modellers
 
I struggled with the horizon line on a painted lake on my painted scene and making sure it looked right with the rest of the lay out, and how it looked as you walk up to the lay out. I still second guess a little, but I think we all second guess our work. (Michael Wise)
Remember that the basic purpose of the backdrop is to keep potential distractions like curtains, wall colours, furniture and people standing at the other side of the layout out of the field of vision of the layout viewer.  The height required to accomplish this can be determined by some simple testing.  Stand away from the wall at the specific viewing distance and height you want to plan for, look at a point of interest on the "layout", and have somebody move an object up along the wall until it is out of your field of view.  This is where the top of the backdrop should be.(Carl Johanssen)


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 Posted: Thu Jul 15th, 2021 06:49 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2434
Applying Fascia to a layout
By Several Modellers
My fascia top edge is even with the edge of the scenery, which continually undulates to match the rolling hills. It is anywhere from 3 inches to 14 inches depending on what the scenery is doing where the aisle cuts through. (Mark Robbins)
On my Fascia, the top edge follows the profile of the scenic ground formations. The bottom edge is  "what looks good" but also tall enough to cover and hide the benchwork structure, provide a valance for lighting the lower level (if multi-deck), enough space to provide labelling (station names etc.) and other aids, card boxes if you operate with car cards/waybills, turnout controls (if you use something other than manual ground throws), plug ins for walk-around throttles, etc. (Chris Van Der Heide)


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 Posted: Sun Jul 18th, 2021 07:53 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2435
Manually Removing Dust from Rolling Stock  Pt1
By Crandall Overton
This is only good for two or three tries before one is simply displacing the crud in a non-productive way, but I use my pursed lips and a long-haired soft artist's brush to dislodge dust.  Or, when I'm not feeling particularly lazy, I'll actually remove the item, walk eight steps to the outside of the building, and perform the same operation.
Works well enough for me.


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 Posted: Wed Jul 21st, 2021 08:00 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2436
Manually Removing Dust from Rolling Stock Pt 2
By Mike Farrelly
A Modeller I know uses an airbrush, in one hand, to lift the dust and a vacuum, in the other, to catch it. Also lifted is anything not glued down. So, use an old stocking over the mouth of the vacuum to catch the figurines, etc.


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 Posted: Sat Jul 24th, 2021 06:26 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2437
If Your Rolling Stock is Too Free Rolling... Pt 1
By Several Modellers
I remember when the first model plastic trucks/bogies were causing many modelers to realise the changes in elevations in their layouts that the older - metal - trucks never let them knew they had.
An old piece of advice is to place a small very soft coil-type spring at the axle end as it is being put into the truck, to add a bit of resistance.  Initially I think that advice was for cabooses so that there would be a bit of tension at the end of the train to avoid the "slinky" look of freight cars bunching up and then pulling slightly apart as a train made its way around the layout. (Dave Nelson)
It is easy enough to add a wiper to brush the axle of a caboose/brake van or a vehicle which is likely to be placed on a graded siding (Wayne Toth)


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 Posted: Mon Jul 26th, 2021 11:36 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2438
If Your Rolling Stock is Too Free Rolling... Pt 2
By Thomas Hitchener
If the metal wheels roll too much, try applying grease to the bearings. The starting resistance has increased and the rolling stock will have stopped on a slight slope. On the other hand, when it starts running, the original lubricating action of grease is exhibited. There are two challenges. One is to choose grease of appropriate hardness (cone penetration, kinematic viscosity). The other is that there is no adverse effect on the paint coating or plastic (ABS and styrene).


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 Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2021 01:00 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2439
Cleaning the Point Blades in Turnouts
By Several Modellers
I use pipe clears that I get from the local cigar store.
I have a small airbrush jar with turpenoid (artists paint thinner/cleaner, I use this because it is odorless and a fast cleaner).
Just dip the pipe cleaner into the turpenoid and run it between the points. The pipe cleaner is flexible and will get into the tight spaces.
This also works well for cleaning wheels on engines. I turn the engine over in a foam cradle and put power to the wheels and hold the pipe cleaner soaked with turpenoid over the wheels until they are shiny clean.  (Bill Barnett)
I have been using blender sticks that are made of paper. They can be sharpened to a point with a pencil sharpener. I just soak the tip in alcohol and apply it to the area of contact. (Demis Savas)


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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 01:47 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2440
Safety With Drop Down Access Bridges
By Melvin Perry
I have made two lift up sections in my 69 years of model railroading.  The first was an HO 34” x 8” lift up for my first layout, an around the room shelf layout.  The second was a G gauge Howe Truss Bridge 60” x 8” between our patio and fence with a 45° curve at each end of the bridge.
I made a latch to hold the lift ups in the up position.  I used ¼-20 bolts for alignment pins on both lift ups.  For some reason I never felt warm and fuzzy with a drop down.    
I made an electrical interlock to kill power to the approach track to prevent anything from taking the big drop to concrete, very important!!  On a drop down you have to protect both tracks, whereas you would only need only one interlock with a lift up bridge.  I kill the power to 35’ of approach track when the bridge is up, the track is attached to a shelf on the fence leading to our garden. DO NOT TRUST YOUR MEMORY to protect your trains from the big drop!!


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 Posted: Thu Aug 5th, 2021 02:18 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2441
Removing Cork from Plywood 
By Several Modellers
When I have removed cork (albeit not as thick) from baseboards, I have dampened it with water, then found it lifted nicely by sliding a steel rule under it. In some cases it actually came up in pieces that were reusable. (Martyn Pearson)
I would never reuse a cork trackbed, particularly if the track had been glued down and ballasted. Cork is not particularly expensive and the key to good running is always a perfectly flat set of rails. Any compromise from sanding and removing material is always going to reduce the rail height in a localised area and without refilling or packing it back to the correct height you are just introducing a problem where there is no need. Taking extra care when laying track will always reduce the chances of problems later, so why cut corners to save a few bob. (Gordon Stephenson)


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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2021 04:55 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2442
Modelling a Vegetable Patch 
By Several Modellers
I modelled a garden with a vegetable  patch some years ago, I used some leftover very fine black ballast and painted it a dark brown.  My favourite part was modelling the vegetables which you could model crop that is in season!  Cabbage can be made with scrunched up green tissue paper, I made bean "teepees" substituting bamboo with paint brush bristles dusted with green flock and- a prize winning marrow  out of a grain of rice painted green! (Ray Vondriel)
Dried tea leaves work well. Dry the tea bag out obviously if you intend to make a brew with it first. I scattered the leaves over corrugated card painted brown to make a ploughed field. (Chris Ryleigh)


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 Posted: Wed Aug 11th, 2021 02:48 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2443
Modelling and Weathering a Kit Building 
By Ivan Coulter
Weathering is almost always desirable, and some of the effects of aging or damage are best done before assembly.  But most of the final washes, dirt, etc. are perhaps best applied to the structure as a whole, even if it is a bit more awkward to manipulate it for detail painting in that state.  
Take a lesson from recent hard experience and, if you dull-cote part of the model,  apply it before installing any windows or glazing!


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 Posted: Sat Aug 14th, 2021 03:49 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2444
If You are Painting Rock work...
By Crandell Overton
When you are painting Rock work, whether it be in plaster or foam or other material, give your paint an undercoat paint of  and off white or very light grey, then some ochre maybe, but quite diluted and sprayed on or dry-brushed.  Darker grey, maybe some very pale blue.  Then, to get the carved dimples and grooves to pop, spray with either diluted India Ink or 'black' acrylic, or even white. The colours will start to appear as rock type colours.  However you must be methodical about this or you will be floundering around wondering why you do not get consistent results.  KEEP RECORDS, even on a temporary post-it stuck up on a wall near the work with the colours you use because you are unlikely to get the exact tones for your lighting that appeal.  If you make a mistake , throw away the post it, but AFTER you have tried something different from the recorded applications of paints.


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 Posted: Tue Aug 17th, 2021 03:22 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2445
Carbon Black ... a Warning
By Lawrence Crooks
I tried using Carbon Black to represent fine ballast in an industrial yard... my recommendation is ... DON’T!!!  The stuff goes literally everywhere, sticks to and blackens anything  and is hard to clean out of everything when it is slightly loose from loco bodies to skin pores... It does NOT come off easily!
Better to stick to darkening fine ballast with black washes  with acrylic paint but definitely not mixed with Carbon Black regardless of how dilute you make it!


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 Posted: Fri Aug 20th, 2021 12:59 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2446
Fitting a Layout to a Room
By Trevor Gibbs
If you are undecided about what shape you can fit in your available space, I suggest that you get a couple of broadsheet newspapers and stick them together and lay them on the floor in the patterns you want to try.  
Kneel down with the patterns on the floor and check where you are likely to lay track and check your reach.  Use a marker pen and perhaps mark out your anticipated plan for that shape and again check your reach for areas... 
Seeing it like this may help you visualise what you might like to play around with.  You could try the operating pattern on Auran Trainz to help you with the design.. 


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 Posted: Mon Aug 23rd, 2021 02:50 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2447
Mounting Figurines on a Layout
By Several Modellers
 I find that if small model people or animals are being placed on foam or a soft surface then one trick is to drill (with a very small drill) a hole up into one or both feet and glue a piece of thin wire into the hole, leaving about 7 or 8 mm showing. Push these into foam and people/animals will stay upright. If you move them the tiny hole left in the foam does not even show, unlike glue.  (Robert Collins)
I have found that a fairly generous spot of superglue on each foot is all that is needed and then hold firmly in place. Mine have stayed upright without problem. (John Birch)
Hi this is what I do and it works real well, I use small amount of finger wax, the stuff cashiers use to count paper bills etc, you can place the figures a new here and are easy to move when needed.  (Dennis Paquette)


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 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2021 12:55 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2448
Should I Paint the Insides of My Buildings Black
By Several Modellers
Even if you are not concerned with light leaks, paint the interior of a plastic building  - almost any very solid color, even silver, does not have to be necessarily black in my experience - tones down a certain waxy semi-translucent look. (Dave Nelson)
Painting the inside of your structures black will help with light leakage.  You can then paint over the black any color you want for variety. (Tom Stage)
I scratchbuild all my N Scale structures now.  Before I glue walls and roof, I either put a couple coats of paint on the inside, or I cover them with foil.
Since I put tiny LEDs in them, I use regular shiny aluminium foil, which directs more light out the windows.  I leave the roof unglued to the structures, and I can always carefully put more paint on the interior walls after construction if I notice any leaks. (Bruce York)


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 Posted: Sun Aug 29th, 2021 05:40 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2449
What to do with left over Kit bits
By Several Modellers
With most building kit left overs, you will need a few styrene or foam core scraps, but if you go to a hardware store and buy a few For Sale signs, that problem is solved.  For flat roofing, I use white poster board from an art supply or office store, cut to shape and painted with Rust-oleum specked textured black paint.
You will still have scraps, so find a convenient cardboard box and start a scrap parts collection.  You never know what will come in handy. (Kevin Beasley)
A lesson I learned from the late Art Curren's book on kitbashing: do not toss spare parts (structures or rolling stock).  Save them.  By the way this goes for wood laser cut kits as much as for plastic kits.  Among the uses would be future kitbashing or semi scratchbuilding.  Repairing unexpected disasters is another.  
Based on experience I will say that just tossing spare parts into a box (although that is still better than throwing in the trash) might be something to regret.  It pays to keep track of just what source those parts came from.  Don't expect a post-it note to stick to styrene forever either.   (Dave Nelson)
 I store unused bits and parts in ziplock bags sort of by category. Small parts easily go AWOL so bag 'em if you think you might use them. Big bits can be stored out of bags although they make some pretty large zip locks. As for finding a use, just remember what you have saved and it'll come to you. (Harvey Pearcedale)


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 Posted: Tue Aug 31st, 2021 10:29 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2450
“Free” Parts and Work Boxes
By Several Modellers
 
The usual size of Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes make great drawers for sorting out your store of components and spares. The large flat presentation boxes are ideal for dismantling a loco in order to avoid losing tiny springs, screws and washers. This also helps if you need to clear the work bench quickly for another task.   (Mike Woodward)
Those boxes are also exactly the right size for Humbrol tinned paint  (Harold Brooks)
If you get the 16 choc boxes they are just the right size for a pair of pannier tank engines (Jan Engelsma)


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 Posted: Fri Sep 3rd, 2021 10:24 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2451
Double Sided Tape as a Modelling Tool
By Alan Fenton
Double sided tape is great for initial track laying, it allows for repositioning until you are absolutely sure that you are sure...
It is also great for precision spray painting of small model components - just apply a strip to a piece of scrap cardboard, then gently press your model parts (window frames, lamp posts etc) onto the tape - it does not even have to all be in contact, in fact applying it off-centre can aid removal - and then you can spray freely without things blowing away!  Also, with it being on a piece of card, you can manoeuvre and paint quite freely from almost all sides (if you do not mind getting a painted thumb!) 


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 Posted: Tue Sep 7th, 2021 08:35 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2452
Recycling Wallpaper
By Phil Sutters
Off-cuts of textured wallpaper can be a cheap material for roofing. I have found some which can be used for corrugated sheet roofing and another that gives a fair impression of pantiles, for buildings to the back of scenes.


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