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Guest Blackcloud Railways

Using Magnets In Scenery

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Guest Blackcloud Railways

Apart from the very obvious use of magnets in the motors of our trains, and for uncoupling magnetic couplers such as Kadees, it is possible to put them to work for other purposes.

In Chris's "Inspiration" thread I mentioned the use of magnets as a possible way of securing temporary signs to buildings. A small magent built into the wall could be used to hold interchangeable signs.

http://mrl.f1p.co.uk...it/page__st__80

Jack asked if I could elaborate on the suggestion a bit, so here goes.

Some of you may have noticed one of the estate workers hanging around in various places on my Gn15 modules.

Magnets001.jpg

Most of the staff are stuck down with Tacky-Wax or BluTack but this one in particular turns up in a lot of photos. The reason for this is that he's easy to move around, having a magnet in his foot to hold him down on track pins or steel rails.

Magnets002.jpg

OK, I know not many of you model in larger scales than OO but a thin steel pin can be inserted into a pre-drilled hole in the leg of a OO figure and this used to locate the person on magnets buried in various locations. This way the same person does not appear in the same place in multiple photos.

Magnets can also be used to hold removeable buildings in place on a layout. This is handy with portable layouts where a building may get in the way during transport and storage but can also be used to hold buildings on permanent home layouts. If a structure is glued down it will break if accidentally knocked during track cleaning and other maintenance work. However, if it is held down with magnets it won't normally stray off its spot, say when the layout gets knocked, but will move if a heavier direct impact is made upon it. This is also handy for buildings at the edge of a baseboard which are more likely to be bumped.

The accompanying photos show the bridge on my "Foxbaile Light Railway" boxfile layout. The bridge is above the top of the box when in use so needs to be removeable for transport and storage. Two small magnets glued and taped to the underside of the bridge meet with two steel screw heads when the bridge is put in place and stop it sliding about (unless it receives a hard knock)

Magnets003.jpg

Magnets004.jpg

Magnets005.jpg

The gap doesn't matter so much under a hedgerow but could easily be hidden by bringing the greenery a bit lower but the bottom edge of a building should, of course, not hover above the ground!

Magnets006.jpg

Magnets007.jpg

Magnets008.jpg

Small magnets like these are readily available on Ebay.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/items/__neodymium-magnets_W0QQ_dmdZ2?rvr_id=281770235496&clk_rvr_id=281770235496&crlp=6980342363_228459_228459&UA=WXI7&GUID=8332fbbd1330a47a2f42b342ffa3ed05&agid=2071636163&tm_kw=neodymium-magnets&siteid=3&MT_ID=12&tt_encode=raw&keyword=neodymium-magnets&geo_id=21&ff4=228459_228459

For a really secure hold you can use magnet to magnet but I find magnet to pin or screwhead usually does the job.

I have not tried it myself but magnets can also be used to stop road vehicles rolling away but make them positionable in various spots. The pins in the road could be disguised as grids or manholes or just made flush with the road surface and painted to match.

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Bob what a great post! Magnets are something I have never thought about using before but make so much sense! Will deffinately be getting some and putting them in the small detachable buildings and cars/vans on Radclyffe..... when i get round to doing any more on it that is :P

Cheers for that once again,

Danny

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Guest Blackcloud Railways

Not my invention, just a tips picked up over the years and used where appropriate. Also a case of good luck rather than good management where the G scale figure is concerned. He is a toy picked up at a car boot sale and I didn't notice the magnet in his foot at the time.

He was originally used on the black and white version of the Hayfinch Estate (1/2 inch scale) where there were four nails placed in the scenery for him to stand on as required.

When building the Blackcloud Estate (1 inch scale) I bought a pack of small round magnets with a view to using them as Brio style couplers but in the end I opted for chain links instead. The Brio coupler idea is a direct steal from the kids' toy box and may still be used at some time in the future.

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I use very small and cheap, 10 p each, Super Neo ring Magnets inserted into blind holes and securing with tiny countersunk screws.  That way they attract steel strips and hold low relief buildings and walls which sometimes need to be removed for access to tracks etc.   Super Neo rod magnets are great for holding things like loading gauges and water cranes, either to steel plates or end to end.

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