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HINTS AND TIPS - THE FOLLOW ON - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jun 2nd, 2010 06:30 pm
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Hints & Tips No.690
Removing Overspray from Glue Joints
By Hank Kraichely, Missouri
Ever notice that solvent based styrene glues will remove paint? Why not turn this undesirable condition into an easy paint removal method!
Many of us paint our structures using various spraying methods. The results are very gratifying but the overspray can make solvent-based gluing of styrene models a real pain. The paint on the joints prevents good adhesion and can be very hard to remove.
Using a small brush, simply paint the glue on the paint covering the joint to be attached. After twenty to thirty seconds, reapply the glue and using an Xacto knife (with a chisel blade) carefully scrape the softened paint from the areas in question. Repeat the method for any remaining paint.




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 Posted: Thu Jun 3rd, 2010 06:13 pm
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Hints & Tips No.691
Vintage Signs
By Don Consolver
When I needed window signs for my corner drugstore and movie theater, I searched the internet for metal reproduction signs and movie posters. There are a number of sites that deal in nostalgic signs and old movie posters. These sites generally feature good, clean photos of their goods. Although the images are small on the web, when downloaded and reduced to N or HO scale, they look great!
It usually helps to print them out using a high-quality color laser printer. For most people, that may mean taking a diskette or CD to the local quick copy place to get the best reproduction. I recommend placing as many images on the sheet as possible, allowing space to trim them out. An 8½x11 sheet will give you dozens of signs, billboards and movie posters. As for paper stock, coated paper (like magazine stock) will keep the image sharper, but may not run through some copiers. Work with the copy centre staff and they may be able to help on that.
To print on actual window glazing, I recommend Highland 904 overhead transparency film for laser printers. This film has a piece of paper attached to the edge that keeps the transparency from fogging as it goes through the machine. Regular transparency film will work, but usually the plastic fogs from the heat. Printing directly on the windows works well for things that are “painted” on the glass, such as a tavern name, but for posters hung in the window, the signs usually look too transparent to be effective. I tried painting the back of the transparency with white paint, but it did not look very realistic.
The advantage to using a color laser copier for these signs, whether printing on paper or plastic, is that the image won’t smear or rub off like it can with an inkjet printer.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 4th, 2010 06:51 pm
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Hints & Tips No.692
Using Websites for Period Layouts
By Don Consolver
Those nostalgia websites have a wealth of information when it comes to painting old Coke machines, gas pumps, and other antique items when you cannot quite remember how they looked. And if you are into building your own scale vehicles, any Google search for that model year of vehicle will bring up dozens of websites with prototype photos of your vehicle. It is an excellent way to see those stock paint jobs from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 5th, 2010 08:55 pm
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Hints & Tips No.693
Using Telephone Cables for base wiring
By Winston Grosse (Ontario)
I was wiring my DC layout in N scale and did not like the looks of all the wires hanging around. I tried stapling them to the underside of my layout but I was fearful that I might pinch one.
I pondered this thought for awhile when all of a sudden it occured to me. Use Telephone line!!!! It has four different coloured wires in it so I could separate one line fron the other and it's all combined into one main lead. Awesome right? Well I took it a step further and divided one lead into a branch - one lead for my mainline and one for my secondary line. Cleaned up the mess of all those wires anyway....So I am happy

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 Posted: Sun Jun 6th, 2010 06:13 pm
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Hints & Tips No.694
Using Hot Towels to lift Ballasted Track.
By Don Sali (Sunshine MRC Victoria)
I have removed glued and ballasted track fairly easily by laying a hot towel over the track to be lifted and allowing the steaming effect to break the bond of glue and ballast with the track. It saves some of the saturation which can damage the boards underneath, particularly the caneite/homasote/fibreboard genres.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 7th, 2010 06:16 pm
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Hints & Tips No.695
Rescaling a Scale Plan
By Several Modellers
If you have a plan in a particular scale you may need to re scale it to your own scale
So taking an N scale plan, should you have an other than UK based plan in N scale, then to get it to HO is a 184% (close enough) multiplication. British N Scale being 1:148 would most likely be converted to OO scale at 1:76 is 195%. While there are probably few British plans done in HO, the ratio would be 114% increase in size. An O scale plan at 7mm would be 329% from N or 175% from OO.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 8th, 2010 08:43 pm
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Hints & Tips No.696
Removing the Plastic "Pseudo" Handrails and details on Old Triang, Hornby and Older Models
By Several Modellers
Use a chisel-edged blade in a standard craft knife. Carefully pare the plastic away and finish off with wet and dry if it is needed. It's actually quite easy if you are careful. It is worth perservering if you want to generally improve the model and some old models run really well... or you might have sentimental value attached to a particular loco.
Assume that you will need to repaint the boiler after it is done so have your colours or colour matches ready!.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2010 05:32 pm
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Hints & Tips No.697
Using Foam Core Board for Structures
By Several Modellers
Recently we have been experimenting with using Foam core board and Gator board for structure building. The virtues are that it is extremely strong and light weight, cuts very easily with an Exacto knife or you can purchase the various tools made for working with foam core which is recommended.
This is nothing new as the idea came from watching a Model Railroading videos and seeing it first hand on someone's layout. So far I like it because it is very easy to work with and unlike styrene or wood it does not need much blocking or support. The biggest plus is that you can build very large structures for practically nothing.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 10th, 2010 06:21 pm
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Hints & Tips No.698
Using spreadsheets or software for Rollingstock Inventory
By Several Modellers
a. I use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with a tab for each major category, such as locomotives, vans, flat wagons, container wagons, open wagons, brake vans , passenger coaches and structures. Each tab has column headings appropriate to the category. My spreadsheet is fairly simple but has worked for me for many years. I also record the decoders and their addresses for my DCC fleet in the categories.
b. I use Open Office's Spreadsheet (similar to Excel) for inventory and cost tracking--sometimes even on the same page! If you are really finicky with how your inventory looks there are innumerable ways that you can customize the tables to look and other things---I find one really does not need even more software cluttering up memory when you need the memory for the inventory and Excel is fairly memory hungry as well.

(A Note from Trevor - I use Open Office exclusively and the cost is ideal - free - rather than a trumped up program that I feel has changed its appearance for changes sake and not much else. And I use it for writing web pages as well as small scale publishing... it works for me)

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 Posted: Fri Jun 11th, 2010 08:25 pm
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Hints & Tips No.699
Recycling Printer Ink Refills
By Winston Grosse (Ontario)
I was cleaning out some old boxes yesterday and found a printer ink refill kit. This same Kit clogged all the nozzles on my printer so I never finished it off!

As I was looking at it I figured that I could use it for something for my layout. Well you know all those hard to reach areas where you need a little glue or glue / water mix to set ballast. It worked well but make sure you clean them out well or you may have coloured glue!

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 Posted: Sat Jun 12th, 2010 07:07 pm
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Hints & Tips No.700
Foam Sheep?
By Ross Hurley (Australia)
You can populate your sheep carrying livestock wagons easily and cheaply not ny filling with plastic models of sheep but taking a thin foam block, the size of the floor of the sheep wagon and cutting different sized slots in the foam to represent “bodies”. A coat of acrylic paint to a sheep colour and it would look to the casual onlooker that there is a “sea of wool” inside your vans. You would not see the proper shape of an animal which if you were driving past a sheep truck you would not see anyway because of the bars keeping the sheep in.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 16th, 2010 05:48 am
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Hints & Tips No.701
Lighted Uncoupler Tool
By Ernie Hall (Indiana)
From another hint on uncoupler tools, I started of using a penlight and a small heavy piece of wire to split Kadee couplers for shunting. Older style penlights as I used before had metal bodys that the wire could be soldered to, and the light bulb beam although it lit the target area well was more widespread.
I made a more up to date style penlight with an aluminium body and a super bright direct LED bulb. Since solder does not stick to aluminium ,I had to cut a small section of thin tin from a sheet, curve it to fit the pens end and solder the wire to it. Then at the end of the pen on one side I used 320 sandpaper and roughed up the aluminium finish. I then mounted the bracket with the wire with super glue.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 16th, 2010 06:15 pm
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Hints & Tips No.702
Rejuvenating Relaid and Old Cork Roadbed
By Jim Hanes (Washington)
Old cork roadbed can be re-newed . You lay what you have taken up out flat and spray it with wet-water and let it dry overnight. The next day, it is as good as new. I have had to do it more than once on the same sections when I have relaid a section again.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 17th, 2010 06:17 pm
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Hints & Tips No.703
Economic Alternative to Track Underlay
By Robert Walsh (Ontario)
I am using used black carpet underlay under the track. I t can be cut the desired width & on an angle, just like the cork roadbed. It can be any length. It can be ent as in curve to the desired degree etc. Then, glue, or nail the track on top. Be sure to plan this on paper or the layout first. In the past I have used styrofoam, various colours of carpet. I use a grey kitty litter, to spread on the roadbed, with glue, sparingly, then light vacum when dry.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 18th, 2010 06:29 pm
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Hints & Tips No.704
Economic Flush Glazing
By Trevor Gibbs
Following on from Hint and Tip 657, if you want flush glazing economically, try using masking tape over the window cavity on the outside of your window and using white PVA that dries fairly clearly.
Apply it with a dropper from inside and allow it a few days to dry. It should be flush then on the outside. .

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 Posted: Sat Jun 19th, 2010 07:09 pm
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Hints & Tips No.705
Modelling Cables
By Several Modellers
  1. For a non working model crane, I got some black thread I had laying around, weighted a long strand of it and hit it with some spray starch. It has more fuzzy areas on it than I like, but you cannot see them unless your 3" away. Wipe the lines with some weathering chalk and your crane looks the part (Tom Statton, Tennessee)
  2. On my operating clam shell bucket (scratch built in HO) I found some braided fly fishing line of braided construction that takes acrylic paint and was limp enough for operation and more importantly did not twist. The fly fishing line is quite expensive for the minimum amount. (Jim Skewes, Washington)
  3. Try using thin copper wire which you get a reasonable length of and put one end in a vice and putting the other end in a power drill and spin it until the wire is nearly at break point. This will work harden it. You will find that the wire can be kept straight and looked at closely could represent the twisted lines of cable strands and bent around small wheels ( for the pulleys) should help you and yet keep fairly straight... sorry you will not be able to operate it this way but many cranes are static in models anyway. (Trevor Gibbs)

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 Posted: Sun Jun 20th, 2010 09:09 pm
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Hints & Tips No.706
Doing Painting Touch Up Work
By Trevor Gibbs
Doing minor touch up paint work can be really tedious when you have to mix your paint and then clean up your brush, even for the tiniest of touch ups. You have to then get out the thinners and cleaners and spend many times more than the job itself required. For touchups such as handrails, try using a toothpick dipped in your paint. You can brush it against your handrails, building down pipes, or the faces of model people for that matter, then if necessary dispose of the toothpick after you have used it and the time you have saved makes it worth your while to do the touchups more often.
Of course in this day and age of recycling, the toothpick could also become the stem of a shrub or bush on your layout for some scale gardener. Need to paint it a nice tree/wood bark colour? You can always use another toothpick!

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 Posted: Mon Jun 21st, 2010 04:37 pm
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Hints & Tips No.707
Sectional Track Laying
By Several Modellers
  1. Years back in the early 60s when I used sectional track I used to put a track nail in the centre of each section which keeps all sections laying flat. Use a pin vice hand drill and a wire bit a slight smaller than the track nail and pre-drill a hole through the holes in the ties and mounting board longer than the nail. Then put the nail in being carefull not to drive down to far as not to drive the tie into a upsweep shape. If using foam use jewler needle nosed pliers and push the nail place. (Ernie Hall – Indiana
  2. 2. I had a problem with track warping. I just tacked the track down as I went along. I guess the track is not made perfectly flat. (Gary Ford – Texas)
  3. 3. I have had a problem with code 80 sectional track where the middle was a bit depressed so the ends tended to stick upwards a bit. If it is not to severe then simply pinning the ends down works well , if it is really bad then I put the track on a flat board and slip a suitable shim under the middle and gently clamp the ends down flat on the board, this almost always gets the track nice and flat. (Bob Montgomery - Arkansas)

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 Posted: Tue Jun 22nd, 2010 11:23 pm
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Hints & Tips No.708
Rust Spots and light Weathering Pt 1
By Andrew Dunn (West Sussex)
I am new to doing proper weathering, so I am still finding new ways of doing things like rust spots, but after I came across this way, pretty much by accident when I put some powders in the wrong place

What you will need

2 or 3 shades or rust colour, I use acrylics, Railmatch light and dark rust, and Humbrol rust
Isopropyl alcohol (from some chemists but getting harder to buy due it being used for bomb making, but is much cheaper than thinners) if not normal acrylic thinners

Weathering powders, I used Tamiya orange rust, have not used anything alse, so let me know if you find something alse that works just as well, or even better with cocktail sticks or small paint brush.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 05:20 pm
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Hints & Tips No.709
Rust Spots and light Weathering Pt 2
By Andrew Dunn (West Sussex)
How to do it

First, work out where you want your rust spots, follow pictures for reference, or just put them where you think they will look good.

Next, get your rust shades of paint, and have a little play around with the colour, see what you think looks good, then add a little thinner or isopropyl alcohol (only want a drop or two) then get your cocktail stick ready, if you want a larger spot, blunt the end, and use more paint, if you want a smaller spot, dont blunt and use littler paint, the dab your paint loaded stick onto your model, leave for 30mins to dry.

Now get your powder, for the Tamiya ones. I wet the brush with saliva (and the powders taste quite nice too... only kidding) then charge the brush with just a little of the now damp powder and but on a small amont over your rust spot, with maybe just a little below it. Wait a few seconds then with a clean dry finger, pull the powders down once, and you should have a good looking rust spot, with a rust streak.

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