General Model Railroading Advice?


Now T:ANE I can get into
I've occasionally got (non-virtual) modeling questions for the forum, and I imagine that I'm not the only one. Instead of starting thread after thread, why not create a general thread where modelers can ask/answer questions? And if it's a crushing failure, we can just let it slide down the forum.

To get things started...

I would like to include electrical transmission towers/pylons on my N scale layout. While there are several commercially available products, none of them quite look like the prototype I'm trying to model. Has anyone ever scratchbuilt or kitbashed electrical pylons? What kinds of material do you think would be good to work with?

I would say photo-etched metal. Not sure if you can find pylons pre-made though. I bought some N-Scale house TV Antennas that were made from etched metal and a little silver/copper paint and they looked great!
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I built mine with flat toothpicks, glued with white glue (on waxed paper, as it won't stick), and painted them with silver spray paint ... You can also use custom cut balsa wood, using an exacto blade, (and band-aids fer' yer' cut fingers).

Hot glue is messy, and creates strings (requiring burn ointment).

Gorilla glue, Sticky Stuff, and Goop are poopy glues :hehe:

The late great John Allen of the Gorre & Daphetid Model RR never spent more than 50 cents on a scratchbuilt kit-bashed project.

The insulators can be made out of clothing click, zip ties (that I haven't seen used in years).
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If you have access to a 3d printer, you can build the model in a CAD program, even Blender, and output the model as an .STL which can be printed. After that you can simply paint the model high-tension line tower any color you want. Keep in mind they don't necessarily have to be aluminum. While out west storm chasing a few years ago, I some that were a black color and others that were a grey-brown.