Open Stuck Paint Jars
Keep one of those thin rubber jar cap grips on
your workbench for opening stuck food jar caps. This gadget works great for
quickly opening up stuck model paint jars.
Mortar Brick Lines
Here's a money-saving tip to make your brick
structures more accurate. A very inexpensive way to create mortar lines in any
scale model is to apply Apple Barrel Colors 20526 Country Gray Craft
Paint (these 2 ounce bottels say "Plaid" on their labels) On sale
these can be bought for $1 or less at a crafts store. Just apply with a piece
of paper towel and quickly wipe away the paint, leaving paint only in the
mortar lines. Your model will look a great deal better and your wallet will
thank you as the competitive Modelers Mortar & Scenery Base
would have cost your $4 or so.
Great Ott Lamps
Before you buy your next gadget or freight car
kit, buy an Ott-Lite instead. Ott makes great lamps for hobbyists. I learned
about these lamps when I bought one for my office desk. They give off a very
natural light that is indispensable for assembling models. The hobby version
even has a neat handle that allows you to move it around from one work area
to another. If this Ott lamp doesn't improve your modeling I will be a
monkey's uncle. My local hobby shop carries the lamp, but you can check with
your local crafts shop first. Incidentally, I have no financial stake in
Scotch Brand Carpet Tape
Scotch Brand carpet tape is a wide double-sided tape that works wonders
for keeping small parts from flying away when you spray them with paint.
Even if you are not spray painting small parts, this tape can serve from
keeping small parts fly away when you exhale in their vicinity. This tape
can be found at most hardware stores.
Design Special Interest Group
Thinking of starting a model railroad
layout? It all begins with planning; and planning begins with the Layout
Design Special Interest Group. Find their web site on the
internet and read their entire Layout Design Primer. It's a
great place to learn from others' mistakes and successes in layout
planning. Then join the Layout Design Yahoo discussion group and post
your questions there. The answers and suggestions will just flow in. If
you like what you see, join the SIG by sending them a check for your
subscription to their very informative Layout Design Journal.
You will soon be writing them a check for back issues of the Journal, if
my guess is right. Give the Layout Design SIG a shot and it will be one
decision you will never forget.
Model Master Liquid
If you have not assembled a model railroad
related kit in years, don't delay another minute. One of your
best aids to a quick start is Model Master TM Liquid
Cement For Plastic Models. It's the odd shaped glue carded at
your hobby shop or art supply store. Underneath its black cap is
a great needle applicator that prevents the kind of messes you recall of
building models as a kid with a tube of glue. Buy Model Master Liquid
Cement in the 1 fluid ounce black bottle together with a model
railroad kit of any scale and you can get excellent results compared
to the old tube of glue from your childhood.
Address Numbers for Commercial
If you need address numbers for the commercial buildings on your
model railroad, you might have trouble locating them in your local
hobby shop's model railroading section. Instead, look in the
military modeling section of the shop, and you might be in luck. I
found Numbers Item number TC1007 by TechStar
Modeling & Diorama Accessories. Sorry I could not
provide a street address for this firm, but the package gave no hint
of this information. This package contains 3 sizes made of etched
brass. Give it a try. This product is made in the USA and retails
for $8.98 at my hobby shop.
A Fast Start To Operations
If you are ready to start operating your
layout but need a nudge, try the following two lesser known suppliers.
First, contact Bill Pistello at Modular Model Railroad
Equipment Company at 625 South Princeton Avenue, Villa
Park, IL 60181 630 832-9152. Bill sells acrylic car card holders made to
fit 1 1/8" x 3" car cards. The car card holders come in thick
and thin types as well as one, two, or three pocket varieties. As Bill
says, "Don't piut those tackey thick wooden boxes on the side of your
miniature system, do it with style!" I have installed his boxes on my
layout and I can testify that they look great and are just right for
holding car cards. If you dread writing out your car cards, try Ship
It! Car Cards by Albion Software, 39 Stanley Drive,
Glastonbury, CT 06033 email@example.com www.albionsoftware.com
. I can testify that this product works great. Just enter the information
about your cars, industries, and goods shipped, and you are in business.
Of course, you will need a computer, printer, and heavy weight paper.
Incidentally, I have no financial stake in either company.
Great Source for Weights
Inadvertently, I found a great source for
weights to use to hold our modeling projects together while they dry. Try
reject marble bases for small sports trophies. My kids were digging around
one day and found someone had buried a whole bunch of these in a nearby
property. The kids brought these home and I promptly washed them and kept
them. Not too long afterwards, I saw that my local hobby shop had a bunch
of reject marble trophy bases as well -- only difference was that the
hobby shop's bases were cleaner and carried a price tag. Next time you
pass your town's trophy store, pop in and see whether they will give you
the rejects for free or for a nominal price. These bases are great for
assembling structures in any scale. You can even feel good that you are
keeping these items out of a rapidly filling up land fills.