Tips-n-Tricks

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TrainClown

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OK Youse guys

Here is one of the best tips I got from my dad (he's one of the best modelers I've ever known) and I hope it opens up a door for you too.

Here's how I found out. One day dad took me to see what he had made while he was on tour (he use to model in the evening to pass the time) and there was an HO water tower. The damn thing looked like a kit. I said "nice kit" then he told me he had scratch built it. I said "Oh cool! Then you just had to get a kit for the water funnel." He said "No I made that too." I looked closer and the darn thing looked accurate to scale and detail. I said "What the hell did you model the spout out of?" and he gave me a wry smile and wouldn't tell me for a while. He loves to get my goat. He eventually told me after gloating for a while.

The secret building material was a tooth paste tube. You know, the old fashioned metal ones. They are made from a thin metal that is easily molded into stuff and is strong enough to hold its shape. Since then I save every metal tube of this sort I come across in daily life. I cut off the tube end and unfold the bottom, cut it up the side, open it up and wash it out. Then flatten it out with the back side of a spoon on a hard surface. It cuts easily with a pair of scissors and glues up with practically everything. I have even soldered it together.

My dad made gutters and drain pipes, signs, blacksmith forge hoods, lamp posts (old fashioned ones), donkey engines, boilers for engines, fancy smoke stacks to replace dull ones on engines, corregated tin roofs and all kinds of stuff. He really got carried away when he switched from HO to O gauge and put in a garden railroad. I too am making use of this secret material. Now you know about it, I hope you use it too. :)
 

CSX6638

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Originally posted by jon-monon
If you live in a state where you can buy syringes, they also work great as a dropper, and are also useful for dispensing paints and stuff that doesn't drop so well. I usually use them without a needle. I get the plastic caps so I can also use them for storage (I keep one with a 50/50 mix of black/brown latex paint for painting the bottom of rolling stock, then I can just squirt some out when I need it rather than mixing it up each time). I use a flat tip (dull/non-imjection type) needle for stuff like oil, glues, etc. If there are kids around, I would skip the needles all together. 3 mL seems to be a nice size. Diabetic size is way too small. Med supply, pharmacy, or know someone at the hospital.

jon
You can also purchase syringes in a pet store in various sizes and capacities, they are used to give dogs, cats, birds and small animals medications.
 

RailRon

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TrainClown:
The secret building material was a tooth paste tube. You know, the old fashioned metal ones. They are made from a thin metal...
The metal is either tin or lead, it's heavy and soft. Lead is poisonous, but since we are not eating our models this won't be of great concern here! :D (However take care with soldering, the fumes arising are not exactly healthy.)

Another source for this metal are the metal caps which conserve the corks on wine bottles. Unfortunately today most of them are made out of plastic or aluminum foil, but if you find some older bottles they still might be made out of lead.

Where to get those bottles? Once I was lucky when I bought some wine in a winery. The owner showed me his cellar, and somewhere in the back I noted a box with two dozen of old, empty bottles. They had those leaden caps - or at least the rest of them around the bottlenecks. The wine dealer allowed me to cut them off, and so I could fill up my stock of lead foil. (I suppose he must have thought I'd gone nuts. :D) Morale of the story: Try to get a look into old, dusty cellars of wine dealers, restaurants etc...
On the other side, at long last you have an excuse to buy that bottle of old Bordeaux wine you were longing for! :rolleyes: Be warned, however: This might turn out to be the most expensive piece of metal you ever bought for modeling! (But when you look at it this way, at least the wine is free! :D :D :D )

Ron
 

CSX6638

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I have been trying to figure a way to add figures to my N scale layout without gluing them down permanently and this morning while cleaning my G scale trains I noted that all of the figures are mounted on a clear plastic base. I took a heavy plastic pack that my two way radios came in and with a hole punch made a bunch of bases and glued my figures to them with rubber cement, it is easy if I want to remove them later, some structures like my McDonalds I don't want to glue anything to. This way if I want to move them around or change structures which I do once in a while.
 

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sapacif

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In N scale, I am using push pins to hold down freight car trucks on a cardboard box. Then I use a spray can to paint them a rust color (or any other color). Faster getting a base coat on the trucks and better than tediously weathering each one individually. (Axles are out of the trucks as I am replacing pizza cutters with RP25s.)
 

shaygetz

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Putting glass in open windows is a pane (nyuk nyuk nyuk). What I did with this little yard office is cut the frame first then glued it to a piece of clear styrene. When dry, I then cut around the outside of the frame. When painted, it looks like the glass is properly cased in wood.
 

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shaygetz

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Thanks Blake. The hose reel is two small brake wheels on a wire axle. The hose is green telephone wire, the perfect color. It does go to a spigot thats not easily seen, even in person. The reel mount is brass ladder stock with the open ends bent to a 90 angle and closed to a point to meet the axle of the reel. I still get a cheese eating grin every time I see that detail and the model's at least ten years old.
 

jim currie

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if you live where syringes & needles are hard to come by try a vet. supply house.

a good coal for modelers is a sand blasting product called black stalion it may go by a differnt name in your local if is a byproduct of copper smelting looks good it is heavy if left loose will not blow around also comes in about 5 grit grades
 

billk

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Cutting foam

This may be well known, but....

My layout has a 2-1/2 foam surface, into which I needed to cut out a "gouge" for a stream. I wanted one bank of the stream to be fairly vertical, and the other side at an angle.

I took my soldering gun (not iron) and removed the tip (held in place with set screws.)

Then I took a piece of uninsulated solid copper wire (14-16 AWG)and bent it into the shape I wanted and so that the ends would slip into the soldering gun where the tip used to be.

It worked great. Only problem I had was that where the foam was painted I had to cut through the paint with a knife before using the soldering gun, since it wouldn't melt through the paint.

This should work for a lot of things by using different shapes for the wire.
 

Joepomp

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Remove super glue

I just super glued some guard rails on my code 83 track. After the glue set for several days I wanterd to reconfigure them. I could use asetone, but I thought the track would melt. Then I remembered something someone told me a long time age. Super glue has no sheer stregnth! So a sharp twist on the rail with a pair of needle noise did the trick. The rail came off, the track was in good shape!
:D
 

Vic

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Getting It Unstuck

Several folks asked me to put this in the "Tips and Tricks" thread although it was a direct reply to someone who had accidently glued a turnout shut with CA glue and had tried everything else with no success.:eek:

Simply but the offended part in the freezer for awhile. CA glue becomes very brittle at temps below freezing. Usually you can just break it apart or chip it away with a sharp knife.
 
Re: Getting It Unstuck

Originally posted by Vic
Simply put the offended part in the freezer for awhile. CA glue becomes very brittle at temps below freezing. Usually you can just break it apart or chip it away with a sharp knife.
If the part is attached to the layout try using the freeze-spray from electronics supply houses before tearing it out of the layout. This aerosol spray is intended to cool electronics parts to about -40 degrees by fast evaporation for flushing out temperature related problems, but should work for freezing and chipping out CA as well.
 
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