Project model railway #33 - Fighting the dust

in creative •  3 months ago 

If there is one thing that model builders hate, then it's dust...

No matter how tidy your room is, dust will be everyhwere. On your models, on the roads, on the buildings and trees. And the battle is never ending.

This post is to demonstrate what it means to maintain dozens of wagons, buildings and ~50 meter rails.

Let us start with the easy part:

Easy: Getting rid of dust

In the picture above it's quite obvious (and common) that dust is collecting on top of basically everything. The issue here is that, unlike on your TV or wardrobe, you can not just grab a cleaning rag and go over everything.
First, you wold probably break many little pieces on you models and second, you can't wipe through the streets where little people are doing their business, right?

The solution is easy but very time consuming: First: grab a tiny brush. Second: grab a hand vaccuum. IMPORTANT: not too strong, otherwise your people and flowers may be gone ;)

Raise the dust carefully and suck it up

Even more careful between tiny objects. I recommend to use a vacuum without a bag inside (like the ones from Dyson). It makes finding sucked up people easier

Advanced: Cleaining the rails

The difficult part are the rails themself. Allthough they are made from nickel silver (an alloy from copper, nickel and zinc) and therefore (luckily) do not rust, a minimal oxidation layer is building up.
And of course a lot of dust is collecting between the railway sleepers. This causes the most issues because trains take their power directly from the rails. Bad contact means bad current flow means stopping trains.

Hard solution: eraser
Actually only suitable for short pieces or heavy impurity like glue stains

State of the art solution: locomotive set of a vacuum and eraser wagon
Grab a train, lean back and let your models do the work.
While the right wagon is equipped with a eraser underneath that polishes the tracks, the left one comes with a brush and a build in vaccum that sucks up dust, loose stones and gras pieces

Not even after half of the track, there is a serious amount of dust sucked up in the collecting tray.

Hard: Cleaning grass and trees

The worst thing is keeping the vegatation clean. As you can see in my previous posts like there is a lot of trees, bushes and flowers. Their textures makes it impossible to use a vacuum cleaner or a even a brush.
I usually just gently blow over certain areas with a high-pressure spray. Which just moves the issue from one place to different one, but that's life... I guess :(

So, even if I will finish this project at some point, I will always be kept busy with maintaining and cleaning things.
At least as long those little guys don't do it themself :D

I hope this post gave you a little overview about what it means to keep things tidy. In a perfect world, I would have set it up in a cleanroom with air filters and stuff, but I am not rich enough to do so... and my wife would probably kill me if I would rebuild our house :D

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments.
And as always, don't forget to follow for more interesting stuff about this project.

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Awesome post, again. You have a really cool project going on there. But wasnt there a guy cleaning up in your post about the accident? What about him? :D

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  ·  3 months ago (edited)

You're absolutely right! That's Hans. The slowest garbageman ever. It would take him ages. He isn't even done with the scene of accident yet.
I hope I don't have a Hans between my followers... If so, sorry Hans, I am sure you're a cool guy! :D
Which leads me to the idea of adding real garbage collectors to the town. No idea how they looked like in the 60s tho...

Incredible work. It's fascinating to see how you made some trains do the work for you. Really interesting concept! 😎

Woah that is really cool! Makes perfect sense to have the train do the cleaning and vacuuming of the tracks. Ingenious