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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon May 9th, 2022 07:47 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2534  
Using Isopropyl Alcohol when Ballasting Pt 2,
By  Wayne Toth,
I do not care for alcohol as a wetting agent for ballast (or ground cover, either) as I usually work on longish sections of track or large scenic areas, and most of it would be evaporated before I got finished.  I also don't care for the smell of it, but have no arguments against the drinking kind of alcohol.
If your tap water is fairly hard, an  alcohol mixture might work better, but you could also use distilled water.  I sometimes use water from the trainroom's dehumidifier - as long as the water-collecting bucket is cleaned beforehand. It is a decent equivalent for distilled water.


FROM TREVOR
Just a heads up that we are within 13 H&T's or so away from the end of the current queue. Anybody in the group can simply PM me if they have something they would like to share but if I have run my race, well, 13 years between mremag and YMR forum is not a bad innings. The first 499 will continue for a while longer of course. If I do come across anything of use I will update it but it has been a few months since I have seen anything that has not been covered by us in one form or another!


Hope you can understand that I am not an eternal fountain of info but hope you have enjoyed what you have read so far. I will be continuing in the hobby and inputting with Rail Modeller Australia of course.



Cheers


Trevor



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 Posted: Thu May 12th, 2022 06:53 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2535  
A different approach to Ballasting,
By  Dave Nelson,
When ballasting, I use a chunk of cork roadbed which happens to be about HO width.  I use it as a sort of bulldozer to push the ballast down to the level of the tops of the ties, and scrape away ballast from the inner edge of the rail where the spike heads (or for Atlas track, the shoe boxes) are.  I then do the same for the outer sides of the rail.  Then I apply the Scenic Cement (or diluted matte medium, or a distilled water/white glue/isopropyl alcohol/india ink mix) in a pipette or drop applicator.  I do NOT touch the ballast then even if I see something wrong until it hardens.  Then I go over it again with that cork bulldozer and generally try to recapture and reuse any ballast that is bulldozed up (it may need to go through a sieve).  Sometimes ballast needs to be reapplied here and there; sometimes the liquid cement application causes a bit of a crater or bulge that needs to be addressed.  After yet one more run with the cork bulldozer, and again trying to capture and save any ballast that is brushed up, only then do I vacuum.  Sometimes I need to do a bit more to get rid of the stray grains of ballast that stick to the sides of rails or the tops of ties.  If there is quite a bit of that, one more vacuuming might be needed.
Ideally when I ballast I like to have enough materials, and enough time, to do several feet of track at a time.


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 Posted: Sun May 15th, 2022 10:33 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2536 
Painting a Chain Link Fence
By Andrew Jamieson
I was tempted to  paint it a model chain link fence with an aluminium colour then weather accordingly.  However a close examination of a relatively new fence found it to be “greying” very quickly with the zinc oxide.  So a change to either a Humbrol No 64 or a Revell Mouse Grey proved closer to the mark for me in my lighting situation.


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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2022 10:57 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2537 
Replacing Brick Paper and Attaching it to Plastic. 
By  Phillip Quinn
I  print the brick detail on to self adhesive labels.  It is a lot less messy than spray adhesive and it also stops the plastic being “warped” by spray adhesive or PVA glues when the glue begins to dry and subsequently  shrink on one side, causing the buckling!


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 Posted: Sat May 21st, 2022 11:21 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2538
Roofing vs Locale
By Nathan Harrison
When building your industrial sites, in relation to the roofing, I suggest you consider the area you are modeling because climate may affect the color of the roof you are modeling.  In areas where high temperatures are common, light grey, and white are popular.  Although other darker colors are found, mostly light browns and tans, very light greys are industrial and residential winners, due to their ability to reflect the sun and lighten the load on air conditioning. For textured roofing, I use 200 grit sand paper and paint it the colour I require,  
  As the roof ages, streaks begin to appear as windborne dust accumulation and loss of stone washed away by heavy rain occurs, revealing weathered tar in streaks, heading for low points and, the nearest down spouts.  
     Fortunately, in the age of the internet, I can use Google Earth to "visit" various rooftops for inspiration in my Texas modeling.  Don't forget the dirt accumulation in the low spots and the fresh(er) tar from repairs.  In the hostile conditions down here, it doesn't take long for the elements to knock the shine off a new roof so, I would never use gloss, or black on a roof.


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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2022 12:50 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2539
Dusting Rolling Stock and Structures 
By Wayne Toth
Using a brush to remove dust from structures and rolling stock only works well if you take those items outdoors to do the cleaning - if done in the layout room, the next time you walk into that room, the disturbed dust will migrate right back to where it had been before.


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 Posted: Sat May 28th, 2022 12:00 pm
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Hints & Tips No. 2540
Dusting Layouts
By Robert Bell
I am not a big fan of sprays for cleaning my railway. I bought some for fake house plants but found out window cleaners with ammonia cheaper and better. Most scenery has to be redone to some extent. First off is to keep scenery as clean as possible from the get go and plan for cleaning and lighting is very important as you do not want fluorescents or incandescents. Rocks can be restained as long as they were not sealed. You can vacuum the ground cover and hairspray on a touchup layer on bushes. All my trees are removable along with most buildings.


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 Posted: Tue May 31st, 2022 10:20 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2541
A different Technique for getting an “Aged Concrete” Look in the absence of Polly S paints Pt 1
By Dave Nelson
Since Polly S “Aged Concrete” paint is not longer available, I have used Tamiya rattle can paints where I spray two colours at the same time, creating a varied and blended look that I think is convincing.  The two colours that work best for concrete for me are TS-68 Wooden Deck Tan or AS-15Tan (USAF) PLUS  AS-16 Light Gray (USAF).   It takes some practice.


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 Posted: Fri Jun 3rd, 2022 10:35 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2542
A different Technique for getting an “Aged Concrete” Look in the absence of Polly S paints Pt 2
By Mark Redding
I've built a lot of concrete structures - from coal towers to bridge abutments - and needed a lot of base concrete color. My solution was to take my favorite base color (Floquil Aged Concrete) to the local paint store and had them mix me a quart of flat latex paint to match it. 
Flat latex paint works surprisingly well on everything from styrene to plaster. I've even had success in thinning it and airbrushing it. The quart of paint cost about a much as two bottles of Floquil !


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 Posted: Mon Jun 6th, 2022 06:00 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2543
Glues for 3D Printing
By Peter Wheeler
Depending on what type of material your 3D printed parts are made from many glues are suited to 3D casting and moulded.  CA (Superglue) will work on pretty much all 3D printed parts. Just make sure you clean parts first. A lot of commercially printed parts have a residue on them that paint and glue do not like to stick to. 


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 Posted: Thu Jun 9th, 2022 06:57 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2544
Cleaning “reluctant” Spray Can nozzles
By Joseph Medina
 
What I found that works in salvaging rattle can nozzles, especially Rustoleum with the fat nozzles, is CRC Electronic cleaner although any electronic cleaner should do. Just remove the nozzle after using, and give the outside/inside a quick spray. It removes the paint and dries very quickly.  It comes with a small spray hose which can be aimed up the nozzle.


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 Posted: Sun Jun 12th, 2022 07:17 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2545
Capping Stone Walls
By Paul Grant
I have capped stone and brick walls simply by cutting one line off a styrene sheet of a stone or brick pattern and gluing it to the top of the "wall". A bit of sandpaper and paint finish it off.


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 Posted: Wed Jun 15th, 2022 10:21 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2546
Painting Stock Pens
By Several Modellers
Unless you're modeling a recently-built stock pen, if the fences are wood they should be a weathered light grey.  Add some soil color (whatever your local color is) along the lower sections, and some brown here and there to represent that stuff found on the ground all in stock pens. - Scott Chatfield
 
It depends on the location you're modeling.  As mentioned by others, pens can vary depending on local custom and regional types of wood. Here in Colorado, stock pens are a rather brown with subtle gray tones depending on the whether a particular side faces the sun or not.  There's probably a lot of photos on-line. Just put on your cowboy hat and search "stock pens". (Paul Kessler)


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 Posted: Sat Jun 18th, 2022 10:11 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2547
Protecting Backdrops when applying scenery
By Several Modellers
To protect my backdrop from 3D plastering added to the front, I I used thin plastic styrene sheeting between the backdrop and the work I was doing and removed it before the scenery work dried, worked very well. (Richard Bell)
I cover my photo backdrops with wax paper to protect it from the 3D scenery. (Mark Pruitt)


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 Posted: Tue Jun 21st, 2022 09:51 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2548
Metal Sand Pipes  Pt 1
By Mike Griffin
I use brass wire of about .6mm for my sanding tubes so I avoid accidentally stabbing my fingers when picking up my locos, rather than  hard metals such as stainless steel.  It's better to damage the sand pipe than stab your finger. 


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 Posted: Fri Jun 24th, 2022 11:00 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2549
Metal Sand Pipes  Pt 2
By Martin Kernow
I've done lots of sandpipes on various locos, both detailed RTR and etched chassis kits and I almost always use a soft fuse wire, 10 amp, I think - the sort you get with two other types of fuse wire, wound round a little card from hardware stores.
 
I abrade it gently with some wet and dry, holding one end in a pair of pliers or vice and then cut and shape to fit. Having abraded it, perhaps so that the silvery coating is removed or partially removed, revealing the soft copper underneath, I find that it takes paint well.


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 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2022 11:33 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2550
Hidden Staging Yards Pt 1
By Dave  Husman
My hidden staging yard was under the layout main level but there was a gap in the fascia that would let you see the switches or if it was hidden behind scenery the switches and staging tracks to the clearance point were visible.
The train was hidden, not the switch.
As far as fitting, the train would hold X number of cars and the normal set of power.  The track would handle X + 3 cars.  As long as you obeyed the train size constraints the train would fit.
On the stub end tracks there was a styrofoam bumper on the end of the track.  You could run into it but not off the end of the track.  On stub end tracks that were semi-visible I would put 1/2 a boxcar with the knuckle removed from the coupler on the end of the track.  If you did lean over and look down the track, you would see a boxcar.  The train or cars shoved into it would bump couplers but could not actually couple up.


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 Posted: Thu Jun 30th, 2022 09:50 am
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Hints & Tips No. 2551
Hidden Staging Yards Pt 2
By Several Modellers
I used a mirror on a previous layout and it worked fine for checking that the trains were not fouling the turnouts. (Nevin Wilson)
 
I have a video camera although it's an older analog one which hooks to an old analog TV. The picture isn't great. I might upgrade to digital although I haven't priced them recently. I use car cards and have a card for each loco which is the top card for any train. When a train goes into staging, I have pockets on the fascia for each staging track and I put the train's car cards in those pockets which tell me which loco is on each track. (John Newridge)


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