Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Tuesday Tips

Some tips I learned or remembered during the past week's layout work:

  • Be sure the bottom of your backdrop is level or below your subroadbed height (unless you're modeling a mountainous area, I supposed), or else you may have to engage in some "backdropping."
  • Don't forget to install headblocks at your turnouts before painting your track (and definitely before doing scenery or ballast).
  • Make sure the foundations on your structures are tall enough so that the bottom of your freight doors are at the same height as a boxcar floor.
  • Use a respirator and/or open windows and run fans if you're painting track with aerosol spray paint. And be sure you don't spray so much that the pilot light on your furnace ignites the fumes and blows up your house (though you'll have a clean slate for your next layout, you probably won't be in any condition to actually build it).
  • If you get stuck on something while working on the layout (I dunno, for example, obsessing over how to do a particular backdrop), move on to something else. No matter how small your layout, there's always something "else" you can do.
  • Don't be afraid to redo something if you're not happy with it.
I'll probably forget a few of these (again) myself in the future, but hopefully writing them down here will help me remember them.

What are your favorite tips? What's been especially helpful to you lately to remember? Be sure to let us know in the comments!


  1. I learned a new one this morning: if you have special "tip proof" paint and glue holders but decide not to use them, and if instead you mistakenly knock over a cup of black oil paint/mineral spirit wash on your workbench... don't compound it by accidentally setting your digital camera in the spill. Unless, of course, you want to buy a new digital camera.

  2. Reminds me of the time I tipped over a bottle of Tenax on to a Branchline passenger car side I was cutting and filling windows to make the New Haven Orchard Garden. I had to start over. After that I bored a hole in a scrap of 2X4 to hold the bottle.