While scratch building and kit and RTR bashing, I often look for things like we all do. Recently I've used bicycle parts. A couple of years ago while scratch building wagons I hit a problem where a strand from a bicycle cable saved the day in the form of a spring. Such parts also come in useful as electrical wheel wipers etc.
Another time a bicycle cable end acted as a digit to hold a bogie to a bracket for a 4-6-2T loco.
I've used the top end of a bicycle spoke for a steam pipe.
More recently I've come to appreciate more of the old ways where even cheap was quality. Take a look at Triang chassis. While they may not have scale wheels, take a look at the impressive build quality. And in their day they were considered cheap! While plastic bodies may be budget, their chassis were impressively built. The main thing is with those old chassis is that they don't run brilliantly unless they have many hours of running under their wheels. Higher milage Triang or Triang/Hornby locomotives ran smooth and quiet with high milage use, but before high milage use they tended to be jerky things that often needed a bump start! They do improve somewhat with modern stronger magnets. The build quality was never lacking though. The motors were made to last, and last they have!
Have you stumbled upon something really cool and new in model railway. Share it with us.
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