Newbe, Hello..

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Tudor, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Tudor

    Tudor New Member

    Hi folks..

    I have been tinkering with N-Scale for several years off and on. But, over the past few months, have actually started taking it alittle more seriosly. I am a "doit yourselfer", and like to try new things, and techniches. I am on a very tight budget (I am disabled), so I like to try and make things for myself over purchasing ready made stuff like WS offers. So, any advice on things like that are always welcome. Any helpfull tips on materials to use for textures, grasses, dirts, rocks, etc is what I need at the moment.

    I plan on doing alot of reading in the forum, so I will be busy for awhile catching up.
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge :wave:
  3. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Welcome Tuder.
    Something I learned a long time ago. I go outside and collect a bunch of dried up leaves.. Then when my wife goes to town or visits one of the neighbord, I shove the leaves in her blender and grind away. It maked a real good ground cover where there is no grass.
    Oh. I make sure I wash the blender and put it away before she comes home
  4. Tudor

    Tudor New Member

    This is the kind of stuff I like to do. One thing I found to use for balast, (and I am always looking for constructive critiques) Kitty litter. I buy a 10lb bag of kitty litter, sift out all the larger pieces of clay, and end up with the small bits. I take that, wash it vigorusly to wash out all the dust. On a sunny day, set it out to dry (be sure the cat doesnt get to it, LOL) or if it isn't sunny, dry it out with a hair dryer. When it's good and dry, I ballast a couple feet of track, get it the way I want it, then take an eye dropper with a watered down solution of carpenders glue, and wet up the new ballast. Over night, the newly balasted track has a very realistic various shades of gray hard ballast. I sweep away the loose stuff, and wahlaa... It looks great, stays in place very well, and hard so it doesn't foul up my rolling stock or locos. If you want an iron colored ballast, it takes color very well too. I take brown and red acrylics mix to the color I want, and delute it, and wash the balast with that before I glue wash it, and it takes on the redish iron color. If you want a darker, just do the same with blacks and grays. Makes cool coal too. You get a BUNCH of ballast out of a 10 pount bag of kitty litter. A fraction of the cost of WS balast. Just sift it down to the size medium ya want.
  5. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Welcome aboard Tudor.
    We have a lot in common, I too am in N Scale, I too do not have a lot of money for Model Railroading.

    As to cheap things to use. I have a friend who owns a coffee shop, every now and then, I give her a large plastic pail and she dumps the coffee grounds in it for me. When full, I have 4 litres of rich top soil for the layout.

    My wife uses those dryer sheets so our clothes are soft, she saves them for my layout. Plaster of Paris is cheap and the sheets are "free". Dip and spread, low cost hard shell.

    The local Dollarama Store has "decorative gravel", in black, sand and silver (which makes great gravel pit gravel). 650g for $1.00 Canadian.

    Those green scrubbing pads that the Dollarama sells 4-6 for $1.00 can be cut for hedgerows or ground up for ground foam or leaf material. A bit of dollar store acrylic craft paint will color them up nice.

    Just a few quick thoughts.
  6. Tudor

    Tudor New Member

    Great ideas...

    Great ideas... How do you grind up the pads? I would think it would foul up the blender. Im gonna try putting some foam in the blender to see how that works, if it does, just dye it... Not sure yet how it will turn out, have't dont it yet. Im waiting for the wife to take off on an extended time like stated above, lol...
  7. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    A pair of scissors and your fingers. :D
    Snip and Pull :D
  8. Tudor

    Tudor New Member

    Ahh Low tech...

    I love it.. hehheh..
  9. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest


    hola desde argentina para todos
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Making ground foam

    a great way to make ground foam from blocks of foam is to attach a circular wire brush tool to a drill or grinder. the wire brush will make short work of a block of foam; work in a big card board box to catch the flying pieces.

    spreading the foam out on a tray you can paint it with an airbruzh or spray paint can. this is the trickiest part of the process.

    Bill Nelson
  11. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Hola de América!
  12. roger439

    roger439 Member

    Hi all,
    Boy am i glad i came across this site and decided to join.I have always been a model train hobbyist. However after getting married a never had enough time to continue it.Now i am playing catchup and attempting my first n scale layout with alot of country terrain. and 3 trains.This has given me a few ideas i never considered before.My wife monitors her blender too well for me 2 get access.Guess i will buy my own.
  13. THE DC

    THE DC Member


    Good to have new blood.

    It's always better than old blood, I hear...
    THE DC

Share This Page