Cheap model projects

What's your favorite project that you have completed under $5? This is $5 for the project, not including extra parts that you had to buy. (Swapping
out plastic wheels for metal ones, for example, is about a $2.50 per car project.)
My favorite thus far, and cheapest, has been a N-scale track inspection car. I cut the base out of a broken CD jewel case, and attached trucks to it using parts left over from swapping out trucks/couplers on the cars I run. My cost: Free.
Puckdropper
--
Yes, this is an attempt to improve SNR.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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On 10 Feb 2007 09:29:25 GMT, I said, "Pick a card, any card" and

Don't even try that you foul mouthed, anti-Christian, Aussie hating train monger! How dare you!
Have a beer. Tell the beertender it's on my tab. -- Ray
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Puckdropper wrote:

1. Coal and ore loads. Cut a piece of 3/4" soft pine to fit the open top of the car. Plane and file the topside down to a reasonable mounded shape. Paint to match the load. Spread white glue liberally on the wood, and cover with scale sized coal or ore. 2. Upgrade low cost rolling stock. Take your typical yard sale train set car. Cut off the molded on grab irons, drill holes and insert wire grabs. Install body mount Kadee couplers. Cut the talgo mount couplers off the trucks. Wash and spray paint car and trucks with red auto primer. Mask the topside and paint the under side with dark gray auto primer. Decal the car for your favorite road. Brush paint the faces of the plastic wheels grimy black or rust. Topcoat with Dullcote to seal in the decals. 3. Auxillary AC power pack. Get a 12 volt AC transformer from Radio Shack. Find a blown out PC power supply. Remove the electronics from the power supply and you have a nice metal case, with switch, line cord, and fuse to hold the transformer. Drill for, and mount a couple of 5 way terminal binding posts to connect accessories to. This works for lamps and twin coil switch machines.
David Starr
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On Sat, 10 Feb 2007 09:08:29 -0500, I said, "Pick a card, any card"

I usually toss a small chunk of charcoal briquette into an electric coffee grinder. The scale determines how long you let it run. Same trick works for balsa chunks dyed with food coloring for other loads. Cheap and easy to glue, as you noted, with white glue. -- Ray
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On Sat, 10 Feb 2007 09:08:29 -0500, David Starr wrote:

Save your foam scenery building scraps. Use in place of the pine.
--
Steve

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Pd:
I scratchbuilt a small bungalow from cereal-box cardboard with homemade grocery-sack shingled walls and roof and a back sun porch with lichen plants for the cost of the paint and glue used...probably no more than $1. This is my favorite modeling technique, learned from an old Raymond F. Yates book called "How to Improve your Model Railroad", and with it I have at various times built:
a water tower (mushroom can with card wrapper, stripwood) a locomotive crane (first rolling-stock project ever) a freelanced centercab diesel (on an ancient and extra- ordinarily heavy Botchmann GP30 drive :) ) a replica of some old stores in my home town a small country church an engine house (this one was made from matboard). Unfortunately, most of these have been lost over the years, but I still have the second one I built (a small, one-room cottage with index-card lap siding), that house, the crane, and that water tank. It's so fun to build stuff.
Other bizarre, cheap projects:
a battery-powered railcar from a slot-car chassis and an old Tyco caboose body from the scrap box
a coal yard with a conveyor built from scraps, a caboose body for the office, piles of crushed-charcoal coal mentioned above
a junk yard on the same spur made of everything and anything I had handy
a city park with a bench, basketball half-court, trash can, swings, and seesaws, as well as vegetation, made from bits of this and that
an extreeeemely ugly custom tank-engine body for a Model Power 2-6-0, made from posterboard over the filed-down plastic shell, now mercifully lost
a rather clunky wood-and-card 2-4-0 body, made to mount on the filed down chassis of an IHC Old Timer 0-4-0, somewhat like an oversized Baldwin engine of the early 1900s
Man, I wish I had kept more of this stuff...
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
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On Feb 10, 11:14 am, snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote:

P.S. I have a small compilation of cheap projects sent in by r.m.r. posters here:
http://www.geocities.com/kezelak/rdm/dmi.htm
Send me more! (the water tower mentioned is there)
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
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Hey! I recognize one of those. I wondered what had happened to your site; I remembered sending you that a long timne ago.
dlm
wrote:>

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Puckdropper skriver:

My generator for wind turbines (or lagrge electrical motor).
http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk/klaus/generator.jpg
http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk/klaus/generatorb.jpg
Everything was "on stock" for the price of zero danish kroners.
The last picture doesn't give the generator the right credit, on 20cm's distance it looks great.
Klaus
--
Modelbane Europas hjemmeside: http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk
Modeltog, internet, gratis spambekmpelse, elektronik og andet:
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Klaus D. Mikkelsen spake thus:

That's my kind of project too.
Hey, you know what you should do? Make a mold of the motor/generator so you can cast lots of them (plaster would probably work fine, or some kind of plastic resin). You could make bunches of them.
--
Don't talk to me, those of you who must need to be slammed in the
forehead with a maul before you'll GET IT that Wikipedia is a
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David Nebenzahl skriver:

I can make bunches of then from wood and plastic, the way i did it here.....
No need for molding :-)
Klaus
--
Modelbane Europas hjemmeside: http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk
Modeltog, internet, gratis spambekmpelse, elektronik og andet:
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Why be a cheapskate? $5 is tip money. $50 is modeling money. I am sure the hobby stores love to see you come in the door with $5 to spend. If you are that cheap don't bother with metal wheels.

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$5.00 is more than you have earned in your lifetime you parasite.
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HA you are so wrong but can't figure it out can you. I could buy and sell you and your entire family. Stop working for Burger King and be a real man.

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

A hobby is something that is done for one's own entertainment.
Model railroading is a hobby.
Therefore, there is no "wrong" way to do it unless it involves doing something that might kill or injure someone or otherwise cause severe damages.
--
-Glennl
The despammed service works OK, but unfortunately
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