One of the many problems faced by scale modelers is constantly keeping dust off your models. It doesn’t matter if you paint scale models of cars, vintage fighter jets, or trains. Dust is always going to be your enemy.
However, the dust problem can quickly get out of hand for model railroaders. Cleaning a single train is one thing, but how do you clean an entire layout? Read on to discover our tips and tricks for cleaning your model train layout.
Cleaning Your Wheels
If you’re having trouble with your train not running smoothly, cleaning the wheels is usually one of the first pieces of advice you’ll see online. Model trains need a good connection between the wheels and the track for the locomotive to get enough power.
To clean your wheels, we recommend using a cotton swab with a bit of white vinegar or isopropyl alcohol. Simply run the swab alongside the wheels and into the grooves, and you’re done.
Removing Dust From the Track
The other major problem that can interrupt the power supply is dust on the tracks. Dust will accumulate over time unless you keep your layout inside an airtight case.
To make your train run more efficiently, you’ll need to clean your track the same way you cleaned the wheels. You can also buy specialized tools from model train manufacturers that speed up the process.
Dusting Landscapes and Trees
Many people forget that dust can build up on the rest of your layout, dulling the appearance of trees and rocks. For water-sealed landscape elements (like buildings and rocks), you can wipe them down with a damp paper towel. Be sure not to leave any water residue behind that could damage the paint.
For more delicate surfaces like trees and textured landscapes, we recommend using a gentle brush to remove some dust. You’ll want to be careful not to knock flocking or texturing medium off your layout!
We hope these tips and tricks for cleaning your model train layout prove helpful. Cleaning your layout may not be exciting, but it will keep your trains running smoothly and your landscapes looking beautiful.