post your model RR tips........

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This is definitely not model railroad specific!
At Halloween, I went with my wife to a "dollar" store for some eye shadow. I noticed one kit with grays and black colors. Another kit was tan and brown colors. I bought both kits for less than a dollar each. They mix well with my other chalks.
 
In a past life, several years ago, I repaired and customized golf club. I used several products that I think would be of interest to model railroaders. The first is powered lead. I would mix this with epoxy glue and add it to the club to increase club head weight. I think this would be a useful tool to those wishing to increase a piece of rolling stock to NMRA standards. Mix the epoxy and add an amount of powered lead to the mix and it can be placed in unobtrusive locations to bring the weight up to spec. I also used a product called high density lead tape to increase the club head weight. Comes in rolls, has an adhesive back, and can be added where needed. Both are available at golf club repair/custom shops. A one pound bottle of powered lead runs about $10, a roll of lead tape 1/2"x75" can be had for about $8.
 

Beady

Active Member
In a past life, several years ago, I repaired and customized golf club. I used several products that I think would be of interest to model railroaders. The first is powered lead. I would mix this with epoxy glue and add it to the club to increase club head weight. I think this would be a useful tool to those wishing to increase a piece of rolling stock to NMRA standards. Mix the epoxy and add an amount of powered lead to the mix and it can be placed in unobtrusive locations to bring the weight up to spec. I also used a product called high density lead tape to increase the club head weight. Comes in rolls, has an adhesive back, and can be added where needed. Both are available at golf club repair/custom shops. A one pound bottle of powered lead runs about $10, a roll of lead tape 1/2"x75" can be had for about $8.
Stupid question, here, but I reload lead bullets and and am moderately cautious about working with the stuff: are you talking about *real* powdered lead? If so, I wouldn't go anywhere near it.
 
Stupid question, here, but I reload lead bullets and and am moderately cautious about working with the stuff: are you talking about *real* powdered lead? If so, I wouldn't go anywhere near it.
Powdered lead is not actually a powder (like, say, powdered sugar), but very fine beads, typically 100 mesh (think cornmeal). That said, with proper precautions: dust mask and wash your hands, even a truly powdered lead would be no more hazardous than many of the other hobby use chemicals.

(PS: I, too, am a reloader.)
 
I have been using double sided carpet tape to place turnouts and track on the cork roadbed.
I use 2 to 3"pieces every 8 to 12' apart which allows me to "unstick" the turnout and re-position it for the best joiner connections.
 
The lead trucks on my steam locos are the most susceptible to derail...which then leads to a short or worse derailment within seconds. Adding weight was not an option due to limited space. Instead I cut pieces of aluminum sheeting to match the profile of the lead truck and drilled a hole to match where the truck can be screwed on or off the chassis. From a side view, I would bend the aluminum to put downward pressure over the front wheel set once the truck was screwed on the chassis, with the aluminum between the bottom of the chassis and the top of the truck. After several trials of bending the aluminum to get the pressure just right (too much bend and down force would raise up the drive wheels) my steamers would run perfectly with the lead wheels always staying on the rails through curves, turnouts, etc.

You can't see the aluminum unless you remove the loco from the track and turn it over. I cut and shaped them so that the edges would butt up against the plastic framework of the trucks, or not be able to reach and touch the metal wheels at all and cause a short. Wrapping the aluminum in packing tape would also work, but I found that I didn't need to keep that feature. Once I realized the difference my solution made, I wondered if manufacturers should build a spring into their blueprints to accomplish the same thing, or if I should start making a business out my craftwork (just kidding).
 
1) Make your commercial switches, such as Atlas, more real looking.. Buy a small bottle of 'chrome' enamel paint. Paint the 4 brown plastic insulators surrounding the frog.
2) If you employ Atlas sectional track, get rid of the toyish look of 1st and 2nd ties, the way they form that box-look. Slice away the 1st tie in, along with the material which connects it to the second tie .. Replace them with separate ties under the now tie-less opposing rail ends...M., Los Angeles
 
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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Use water soluble (not waterproof) black Indian ink, ( A recommended brand is Winsor&Newton non-waterproof) thinned with an isopropyl alcohol/water mix (70,or 90%) as a base weathering coat on light colored locos or rolling stock. Can be brushed or sprayed. Seal with Dull cote. Experiment with strength on scraps to determine strength required as usually only needs a couple of drops of ink in the mix. Can be used on natural wood to age gray. An example on an Intermountain laser cut wood deck flat car by speent.http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?media/ottx-flat-car-custom-weathered.1627/ I'm going to try this on my painted (light yellowish) MTH decks to see how it looks compared to what I am now doing with acrylics.

Use Krylon or Testors "Frosted Glass" rattle can spray on dark painted surfaces to give a sun faded or dusty appearance.
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Has since had more of the spray added to increase the effect.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
An interesting little development. I thought I'd see if I could remove the laser cut wooden decks from an Intermountain 60' flat car and fit it to an MTH one, The MTH plastic decks can be removed with a little bit of effort. They do have 3 spots of glue securing them and 3 pegs locating. The IM's are only held down by being stuck to the underframe's paint (at least the one deck strip I tried was) and released quite easily. Trying them for fit on a de-decked MTH, revealed they are a fraction narrower (mere fraction) and about 1.5-6mm overall shorter. Would not be noticeable. IM have there cars listed as confirmed for production. I have written to them to see if the deck sets of them can be ordered as parts. They would indeed put the finishing touch to the premium detailing on the MTH cars.
Also in this latest line from IM are cars maked with the new red lettered TTX logo. I have asked if they are a decal (probably printed on) and if they would also be available, if so.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
Toot, I have achieved the same results using black acrylic paint thinned down with water. I thin to a consistency that is mostly water in a acrylic paint bottle and add 10-20 drops of black paint. The only thing better about my way is I might be using products already on-hand to make it with, although I do have 70% Isopropyl Alcohol on hand, I don't need to buy India Ink. I also do the same with this water/Acrylic mix to age wood, similar to the Ink/Alcohol mixture. However, I would think that many modelers already have the Ink/Alcohol mixture on hand for aging wood. However, if you don't, my way is another option.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Toot, I have achieved the same results using black acrylic paint thinned down with water. I thin to a consistency that is mostly water in a acrylic paint bottle and add 10-20 drops of black paint. The only thing better about my way is I might be using products already on-hand to make it with, although I do have 70% Isopropyl Alcohol on hand, I don't need to buy India Ink. I also do the same with this water/Acrylic mix to age wood, similar to the Ink/Alcohol mixture. However, I would think that many modelers already have the Ink/Alcohol mixture on hand for aging wood. However, if you don't, my way is another option.
Thanks Mark, I do have some black acrylic art paint, which is a very intense black. Was a bit concerned of just how the actual wood veneer (which is what they really are) decks would react to the possibility of water expanding it and warping if applied to just one side. I could have tried it out on a couple of the stirrer sticks I use, I suppose, but didn't think of it, truth be told. I will have to experiment with both and then kick myself, if your method works as well, or better, for having indulged the price of the ink. It is expensive for sure.
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
Thanks Mark, I do have some black acrylic art paint, which is a very intense black. Was a bit concerned of just how the actual wood veneer (which is what they really are) decks would react to the possibility of water expanding it and warping if applied to just one side. I could have tried it out on a couple of the stirrer sticks I use, I suppose, but didn't think of it, truth be told. I will have to experiment with both and then kick myself, if your method works as well, or better, for having indulged the price of the ink. It is expensive for sure.
TOOT -- I have stained many a piece of wood with no side effects by using a mixture of leather dye and denatured alcohol. Mix to the depth of color you want - start light and add dye until you get the color you want. In the alcohol solution it will keep forever. I guess that plain alcohol will work, but I just used the denatured kind. I used to stain thousands of ties for the O club - black, brown, grey - dump em out on newspaper; they would not stick to the paper or to each other.
This is the brand I used:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fiebings-L...:waYAAOSw5WVbf35r:sc:USPSPriority!92592!US!-1
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
TOOT -- I have stained many a piece of wood with no side effects by using a mixture of leather dye and denatured alcohol. Mix to the depth of color you want - start light and add dye until you get the color you want. In the alcohol solution it will keep forever. I guess that plain alcohol will work, but I just used the denatured kind. I used to stain thousands of ties for the O club - black, brown, grey - dump em out on newspaper; they would not stick to the paper or to each other.
This is the brand I used:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fiebings-L...:waYAAOSw5WVbf35r:sc:USPSPriority!92592!US!-1
That's an interesting one Sherrel, especially the range of colors that would be available.
 
Toot's comment about using an alcohol/india ink wash to weather models and spraying with Dull Cote to set the finish brought a couple thoughts to mind.
If you try to weather your alcohol wash over the Dull Cote, the coating turns a milky color and may destroy your weathering efforts.
Conversely, a lightly applied (almost like dry brushing) coat of alcohol will cause a light surface haze to appear, looking like dust. More alcohol wash, more haze.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
I wasn't talking about an application of Acrylic paint thinned with water to thin veneer, yes, I would be concerned about warping, too. In fact, I was talking about weathering plastic freight cars as in your post #170. It looks like there are many ways to skin this cat!
 
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