Got this in from Ron, which I quite liked:
“1. When laying ballast between ties. It helps if you lightly pre-dampen the area between the ties with a spray mist of water One squirt ought to do it – enough to keep the dry ballast from blowing a way.
Then apply a 50/50 of Elmers glue – usually a single drop in the center of the ties. the water will eventually dry leaving enough stickiness for the ballast to set.
2. Through the years… block, sheet or scrap foam is the material of choice for creating mountains and terrain. Its much easier to handle. I also use Plaster gauze for wrapping broken arms to cover the foam. Cut into strips and they lay and conform to all sorts of shapes and crevices. I later will “paint” on a water plaster solution to add other layers to strengthen and contour the surface.
3. If a difficult access (say in a tunnel or hidden passage) is needed, then just “saw” through the hardened area to create a cap or cover that will retain the original look. Some detailing will have to be done to conceal the cut. Almost mistake free because any error or mistake can be made into something else.
4. There is rarely a “new shiny look” with trains especially a full load. Dust and dirt is all over the place. Engines and rolling stock need to have a dull dirty look, especially along the trucks and wheel areas of the cars, etc. There are many ways to accomplish this.
And this in from Dennis:
“I get branches from an artificial christmas tree to make trees for my layout. I cut them to length and mount them tip down so the branches droop downward.
I take some of my Plasticville buildings for the back wall of my layout and cut them in half. I mount the two halfs with the cut end facing toward the back to double my buildings. You can cut out cardboard and install it behind them or mount them against a bluff.
That’s all for today, folks.
Please keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget the Beginner’s guide