my tip would have to be line marking on road ways!
I do not have a model railway at the moment but am renovating a room to start one.
I use casting plaster for roads mountins etc its much cheeper than normal plaster and comes in 25kg bags.
when i mold my roads from plaster i use a flat edge like an off cut of wood to get a nice smooth surface then sand away any rough patches with fine grade snad paper.
i then dye the surface with diluted black water based paint (dilute to the consistancy of milk).
this will give a dark grey colour but just reaply to get the desired colour you like.
when dry use a straight edje and a broken hack saw blade and lightly scrape the surface to get white lines or paint yellow over the top depending on where you are modeling.
you dont need special materials and you dont get joints from useing pre made roads.
Happy rail roading
Some good stuff but could you remind your contributors that:
EM is the gauge (18.2mm track width) and the scale is 4mm
OO is the gauge (16.5mm track width) and the scale is 4mm
HO is the gauge (16.5mm track width) and the scale is 3.5mm
Pedantic you might argue but correct if folk are going to use descriptions that are misleading and incorrect!
“Just wanted to share with the group my layout example of how I use a Fleischmann turntable to allow through trains through the yard as well as for normal engine storage. This is real handy for a small layout (8’ x 11’) where the space is limited and allows a train to cut through the yard from multiple directions. A car can be uncoupled on the turntable, turned to another track and picked up by another loco. Rather unorthodox but very entertaining for guests and kids to keep them busy doing something. This layout is an action layout where 6 trains can run simultaneously keeping a group of boy scouts busy at the controls with plenty to do.
I do “N” scale but also work in “HO” scale.
The high price of decent building kits has led me to using alternative building methods.
I scratch build almost everything that I can using local free or very inexpensive materials. some examples are: Those little wooden coffee stir sticks, they are pine and can be trimmed for proper size or glued together to make larger pieces and they make great floors and porches.
I also use a lot of free cardboard from cereal boxes etc.. I make shingle roofs from masking tape cut into proper sized strips and notched while taped on waxed paper, simply pull then off the wax paper and tape to the roof with proper overlayment, color as you wish.
For stone buildings I just get some gravel and screen to appropriate size, cover the object to be rock covered in calking and press it into the stones, for a finer finish I cote the stones with plaster of paris to fill the Vallie’s wiping the surface with a sponge to clean the surface of the stones, makes a great chimney.
As to plans I use any I can find in my era that have some dimensions, scaling to appropriate size. Some kit makers give dimensions and I have actually gone out and measured or looked up drawings in the library.
For my school house I wrote my home town library for a picture of my childhood grade school and modeled it for my “N”scale layout. Siding can be made from strips of paper glued on overlapping or for tin roofing I find thread glued to the roof at proper intervals looks very good. I made a great log cabin from sticks out of my back yard.
I use the same sort of tricks for scenery, lacking the big money to buy decent kits and scenery items I have learned that I can do just as good if not better by scratch building using these methods. Another thing I have done is to purchase used buildings at shows and even off ebay then using bashing techniques to make a nice looking structure.
BTW: “N” scale windows still elude my 70 year old fingers – I do buy them… 🙂
Thanks Ken – don’t forget the cheap houses here – you just print them out and stick them together! Al.
“For “N” scale chain link fence I use straight pins as you do but bridal vial (painted light grey) is almost scale and I bought enough to do more fence than 100 people would use for a few cents at a fabric shop.
“For ballast on my outdoor garden railroad I use turkey grit, known as growers grit. Southern States sell it at a reasonable cost. It’s the perfect size and locks the track in place. In fact I need about 4 bags to do some track work. Each bag can pretty much fill a 5 gallon bucket.
That’s you lot this time. Don’t forget if you are heading over to ebay, save even more with the ‘ebay cheat sheet‘.