This might not qualify as the best modelling tip but it is my personal opinion anyhow:
Model railways are meant to be fun! Do your own thing and do not react to so-called “purists”. The shape of your layout and what you run on it is YOUR choice – for you to enjoy.
I have a layout of approx 5m X 2m and it does not resemble any particular place or time. I have American, German, British and South African locomotives and rolling stock sharing teh layout. Who cares if my South African GMAM Garrat is standing aside a British water tower while the Flying Scotsman with LNER and LMS passenger stock thunders through the station.
My layout is also named BRAMGERSA, an acronym for BRitish, AMerican, GERman and South African.
Enjoy your e mails and regards,
“On HO Scale layouts, I’ve used fallen branches from trees. After the storms of the past few mornings, when you clean up the bigger branches, look at the ends…. Instant Trees…. The branches into smaller scaled small trees, usually 3-4” tall. Add Woodland Scenics. and cover foam and stretch em out and spray with your diluted white glue and detergent mix. I usually cut and make these trees 10-20 at a time and let them dry for a few days before poking the holes in plaster and white gluing them in place. Save A LOT of money and looks very realistic when you need trees n mass, and no two trees are exactly the same.
“In N gauge the stalks from bunches of grapes make good foundations for trees, just need brown paint for bark & green flock for foliage
I’m not sure if you know this but you can use a common wooden dowel, I purchased mine from walmart. But i’m sure some hardware store’s and art’s and crafts stores would have them. They come in different thicknesses and i think the most expensive was about 2 dollars US.
Once you have the dowel thickness you want, you cut one end of it at an angle with your cutting tool of choice and you can either hot glue or crazy glue a flat piece of wood on the angle end you just cut for stability, or just hot glue a pad on the end.
The whole purpouse of this idea is to be able to clean those really hard, far away, to reach rails. This isn’t my idea so i can’t take full credit for it and you may revise it how ever you see fit but i have seen this homemade tool around and in use before so i know it works.
I can however say i do have an idea for a track cleaning car but i haven’t built it, tested it, tried it, or am i even sure if i could patend it since i’ve never seen anything like it on the market. I run N scale and most of those track cleaners run for over 100.00 US dollars. It’s crazy how modern society know’s, that if you need it, we can charge you an arm and a legg and we pay for it. ex diapers. but that’s a whole different conversation lol.
Another little tid bit you may or may not already know is weather you run DCC or DC layout’s just to save a couple buck’s instead of useing an atlas 2/3 way switch to power your isolated rails you can just use a simple toggle switch of your choice and they range anywhere from 20 cents to a few dollars a piece. being it’s a train layout i don’t think you would need something as complex as a lighted toggle switch but to each their own. even if you paid 2 dollars a piece and you needed 50 of them that’s only a 100 dollars compared to atlas or other 2 way switches on the market that run 4 to 8 dollars a piece, that’s in the range of 200 or 400 dollars.
You could always use real rock’s instead of hydracal and painting.
That’s about all i can think of off the top of my head, so i have a question for you i have an over whelming dust problem i’ve even considered buying a box of lint roller’s for my next option to try. my layout whenever i don’t use it for say 3 day’s, it needs dusting and a rial cleaning, i use a hand vac on it but just keep loosing product and that’s all it seem’s to suck up. The 4 or 5 tree’s i do have on my layout need to be torn out and completely redone due to the dust i would call them bunnies but at this point i think there more like full blown rabbit’s. i’ve even put the hand vac right on it and it didn’t even seem to phase it at all…
“Take some pva and mix in a little follage,pour it into a beaker and leave to dry,when you remove it and turn it uside down
it looks like a round pond with weeds in.
And lastly, I cry for help from Joe.
“Dear Mr. Lee: I am a 66 year old single grandfather of 3 beautiful teenage girls…I am a subscriber to your website and I enjoy it quite alot…But I have decided to start a new layout…I have built layouts in the past but never one hopefully of this scope…It has been 30 years since I worked on the last one…where should I start? Thanking you in advance, I am J.R. Gray in Tennessee, USA”
Please post a comment below to help Joe – it’s always daunting when you jump back in after a 30 year gap. And I know the collective wisdom of you all will be a great starting point.
Course I’m biased, Joe, but use the ‘ebay cheat‘ sheet to save those dollars.