Coming Up With a Paint Scheme for Your Model Railroad

If you’re the creative type who just has to model a railroad that never existed, rather than adopt a specific prototype, then sooner or later you’re going to need to invent a color scheme for your fictional pike. How do you come up with something that looks plausible yet unique?

While it may seem that you have a blank slate to work with, and can do anything at all, you would do well to restrain yourself based on some research and understanding. Otherwise, you can end up with a fairly outlandish scheme that doesn’t feel right, as much as you might like the colors. As an example, consider metallic copper – sure you can buy a rattle can of spray paint and come up with a striking engine, but where in the real world has such ever been seen?

First off, let us define some terms. The Field Color is the main body color, which comprises at least 50% of the composition. The Accent Color is the secondary color which is applied to less than half. If there is a third color, call that the Trim Color, which would be used in very minor amounts, and usually for things like pinstripes or lettering. Of course, on a locomotive there might be a lot of features painted black, such as the trucks or fuel tank. You might thus have a black accent color that exceeds the raw surface area of field color, breaking the percentage rule, but one would not consider black to be the field color.

Using these terms, let’s look at some famous schemes and dissect them. The Southern Pacific Daylight passenger train is known for its red and orange. Taking the train as a whole, the red is the field color, the orange is the accent, and silver is the trim. In this case, the black portions of the engine and cars are not really considered part of the color scheme, though it is a good idea to pay attention to which parts of the rolling stock are painted black. The Chessie System is a harder case, since it is comprised of relatively equal parts blue, orange, and yellow. Based on color theory, I would rate yellow as the field color, blue as the accent, and orange as the trim. This is because the human eye is more responsive to yellow then the other two colors. One way to test these classifications is to try to imagine the scheme without each color, one at a time. Without the field color, the scheme should be unrecognizable. However, one could easily change or remove a trim color and still recognize the scheme.

This leads to the first proven method to derive a paint scheme – just evolve an existing scheme by replacing one or more of the colors! Since the field color is the strongest component of identity, replacing it should yield instant uniqueness. To use the SP example above, imagine that instead of red, you had yellow as the field color, perhaps for a line that runs in Florida (the Sunshine State). Or, for the Chessie example, trade the yellow for grey and see what happens. This method becomes less effective when you replace only accents, and even less so when swapping only trim colors, since these are progressively less critical to identity. Of course, one can replace more than one color; take the UP’s yellow field, grey accent, and red trim, and swap them all for a maroon field, black accent, and Dulux gold trim, for instance.

As for the color palette that you can choose from, there’s obviously an entire rainbow available, but it is best to stick with certain colors that real lines used. More exotic colors were avoided primarily because they were more expensive, and darker tones were preferred since they didn’t show road grime (weathering) as much. There are always exceptions (Soo Line’s white or Conrail’s bright blue come to mind) but it makes sense to stick with good railroad colors. These include Tuscan Red (more brown than red), Brunswick Green (or other similar dark greens), Royal Blue, true Red, Dulux Gold/Yellow, Grey, and of course Black. Certain colors, like Pink or Taupe, have no real part in railroad history, so if you feel compelled to use them you better have a good reason.

As mentioned before, it was common to paint some portions of an engine or car black, usually because that location was expected to get much dirtier than the rest. Look at real-world examples and learn which parts make sense to be “black-trimmed”, and don’t worry about black being a fourth color to your tripartite scheme. On my own Winchester Paston & Portsmouth, the top third of the engine body is black (using black as my accent), with the field color red below. This was done because the red paint is more expensive than basic black, so it only was applied where it would be visible to the public, plus the top portion is where all the louvers and exhaust vents are located, where the engine will get dirtiest. It is similar to the Milwaukee Road’s orange and black scheme, which was developed for similar reasons.

Pick your field, accent, and trim colors based on some understanding of color theory. If you are unfamiliar with the Color Wheel, there are a number of ways you can learn about it on the internet. The Color Wheel positions opposite (complimentary) colors on opposite sides of the wheel, and similar (analogous) colors adjacent. One side of the wheel has yellows, oranges, and reds, and these are called warm tones (they are the colors of fire). The other side has purples, blues, and greens, which are the cool tones. In the center of the wheel is neutral grey, or white or black (one might think of it as a color sphere really, with white at the north pole and black at the south pole, and rainbow hues around the equator). The more saturated a color is, the closer it is to the rim of the wheel, and unsaturated colors are located more near the center. Notice that the common railroad colors tend to be unsaturated, so stay away from the rim. You can pick colors that balance across the wheel for a complimentary scheme, such as Chessie’s: the yellow and orange are balanced by their mutual opposite, the blue. Or you can pick an analogous color scheme such as SP’s orange and red; in this case the strong warm tones are meant ton convey the sun’s warmth. If one were to add a complimentary blue-green to this analogous scheme, it would undermine the intention. Similarly, the Northern Pacific’s light and dark green combo is meant to evoke the evergreen forests of the northwest, and the complimentary red trim color is used only sparingly so as not to compromise this intention.

One way to situate your fictional railroad into a certain region is to adopt the colors of a similar real railroad, perhaps even one that yours does interchange with. For instance, my WP&P makes use of a dark blue (on passenger equipment) that relates to both the B&O and C&O, nearby neighbors. The real N&W adopted its dark red for passenger trains based on its relationship to the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Give some thought, too, to creating a scheme that can be adapted to all kinds of engines and cars. Don’t design around one specific type of engine, or you may get stuck with something that doesn’t adapt well. For instance, if you base your scheme on a BL-2 with its uniquely bulging physique, your scheme might not look so great on a trim Geep-9. Of course, your scheme can evolve, too, so you might have variations that apply in different eras. A lot of the “bow wave” styles that emerged when F-units were the prominent diesel did not translate well to hood units, and those schemes had to be adapted. Plus, you might want to tell a bit of a story with your schemes. For instance, the N&W adopted blue instead of black when it was considering a merger with C&O, then went back to black after that effort failed. Similarly, my WP&P went from red and black with white lettering to maroon and gold with blue lettering, as N&W ramped up its ownership in the years just prior to merger – the maroon signifying N&W blood. In truth, this has more to do with me playing around with schemes and generating more options. Don’t think that once you’ve come up with one viable scheme, that it is the only option from here on out! Use what you know to come up with another version, then see if you can invent a history to justify it.

Finally, it is a good idea to solicit critical feedback from the modeling community. If you belong to a club, do a mock up and ask for comments. Ask where they might guess this railroad operates, whether it is a Class 1 or short line, or what real line it resembles; you might be surprised at what associations your scheme calls to mind. If you feel handy on the computer, use an image editor to do a mock up and then post images on a forum or two. If you don’t know your way around an image editor, then you can do a mock up in some other way and just use a digital camera to photograph it. Be open to all comments, and recognize that we all have our favorite colors and schemes, and some comments may owe a lot to such bias. In the end, though, you are the ultimate judge! I wish you success in establishing your railroad empire’s corporate identity.

Michael Rountree is an N-scale model railroader who works for one of the best residential architects Cincinnati has to offer, helping to guide client’s dreams through both design and construction phases to be realized on budget.

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When to Hire a Barbecue Grill

It is surprising to many people when they realise just how many items are available to hire these days. In fact, just about anything can be rented, including barbecue equipment. This particular item surprises many people, because they tend to think of a grill as something that is solid and fixed, which you have installed in your garden or on your patio. But there are many occasions when hiring a barbecue grill makes sense. Here are just five ideas for when you might consider hiring one. My Christmas party ideas seems like fun to bring friends together for an evening for fun, games and laughing or to have family over for a festive breakfast.

1. Company party
The season for summer parties is nearly upon us and if you are responsible for organising one, hiring a barbecue grill is one great way of ensuring the catering goes down a treat. Whether you’re partying indoors or out, just about everyone loves a barbecue, which explains why this option is such a popular one with professional party planners.

2. Conference event
For sales or business conferences, catering is often laid on by the organisers and barbecues are still perhaps the most popular option. They are cheap, easy to operate and the majority of people find the thought of a sizzling banger or a nice juicy marinated chop irresistible.

3. Camping trip
For true outdoorsmen the thought of taking along a portable barbecue into the woods would be unthinkable. They would be more likely to build a fire from scratch with wood chopped by hand. But for those who don’t mind taking a handy convenience into the wilderness, renting a barbecue grill with a propane gas supply is one way of ensuring the perfect campfire for cooking.

4. Rock concert
If you are planning to host an outdoors gig or festival, large-scale barbecues for commercial events are widely available and can prove a highly profitable source of maximising revenue from your concert goers. The aroma of a barbecue is hard to resist, so hiring a grill is guaranteed to pay off when satisfying the hunger of your punters.

5. Children’s party
How to feed tens or perhaps hundreds of hungry mouths is a test that anyone who has organised a kids’ party knows well. Young and old alike are big barbecue fans, so renting a grill offers an ideal solution. As most children are easily satisfied with a sausage, a chicken wing or indeed a veggie burger for the non-carnivores, hiring a grill is also an affordable option that need not break the bank.

Author details:
Michael D. Hall is a consultant at erento, the world’s largest online rental marketplace. Erento lists over 1 million rental items in 2,200 categories such as Barbecue Grill hire, Wood Chipper hire and many others.

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Easy DIY Ways to Take Dents Out of Your Car

Typical Ugly Car Dent

Types of Car Dents You Can Remove Yourself

Depending on the dent, you can often take it out yourself with a few simple tools for paint protection Adelaide. If it’s just a round dent like the one in the photo above that won’t be too difficult.

If the dent has a crease in it, you’ll probably have to visit an auto body mechanic, unless you’re skilled in this area. With a crease, you’d have to fill what doesn’t come out with some body auto fill and with a crease it’s more than likely that you’re going to lose a little bit of paint. so you’ll have to be prepared to spray some touch up paint in that area as well.

Dents in car doors are awkward things generally. They’ll mean that to get to them you’re going to have to strip the inside interior panel off the door. At that point too, you’ve got a problem because the window and window frame take up a lot of that space. If the dent is close to the window frame that’s probably not something you’ll be able to do through lack of space to work through on the other side. But stay with me here (I cover this further down) you may still be able to pull it out from the exterior side without having to even go near pulling interior panels off. If the dent is say half way down the door and pretty much central, you should be able to tackle that one regardless.

Roof dents can be easily taken care of as long as they have avoided the skeletal structure. What I mean by this is that your roof is built on a rigid platform for rollover safety but it contains a lot of empty spaces. Next time you’re in your car put your hand on the headlining and move it around, you’ll be able to feel the differences in the structure underneath.

Trunk and hood dents should also be able to be repaired fairly easily. Like the roof, though, both the hood and the trunk have a skeletal structure. Open both up and you’ll easily see this framework. If your dent has avoided the cross structure it should be easily be able to be taped out from inside. But like the door, trunk and hood and roof dents may be able to be pulled out. I’ll show you how soon.

Panel dents are the easiest of all to get out, but if they’re on a corner, you’ll have a crease for sure and you’ll end up using body filler. Still not difficult, though, and I explain the ways to do that further down.

How to Repair Common Round Car Dents With Simple DIY Tools

There’s a few ways you can go about this.

  1. The first thing you can try is a common household plumber’s plunger. They come in various widths, so measure the diameter of your dent and match it up to a plunger that will cover that sized dent. Best to use grease around the rubber lip that you’ll be pressing onto the dent, but soapy water may be as good. Apply the greased plunger over the top of the dent and then press the plunger in so that the plunger’s squashed flat and has no air left in it. Then slowly pull it out. If it’s a light enough car dent, you’ll simply vacuum the dent out. You might have to have a few goes at this.
  2. If that doesn’t work, then the next thing to use to try to extract your dent is a large rubber mallet. By super-careful with the mallet, and just tap gently to begin with, as if you put too much force into your blows you’ll end up with the dent protruding in the other direction.
  3. If you don’t have a rubber mallet. the next thing you can try is a piece of timber with the end about the same size as the dent. But wrap the end of the piece of timber with a large piece of cloth. Make sure there’s no sharp edges on the timber before attempting this. You can then quietly tap the end of the piece of timber with a hammer until the dent pops out.

One thing you can never use is a hammer directly on the dent. You’ll just end up with a whole lots of little dents within the dent. Believe me, that looks a lot uglier than the original dent.

Auto body mechanics use a variety of tools to get dents out. Some are rounded to take the curves. For the cost of about $30 you could buy a set and then you’ll have a much better chance of doing it properly. This is especially useful if you’ve got quite a few to tackle and they’re not just straightforward round dents.

Repairing a Car Dent With a Hair Dryer and Dry Ice

Repairing a car dent with a hair dryer and ice is remarkably effective. For this method you’ll need a hair dryer, a pair of solid rubber gloves, some dry ice, and tinfoil.

  • Have ready with you a piece of tinfoil larger, than the dent, that you can put over the dent as soon as you’ve stopped heating it. This will make sure that the heat you apply remains on the dent.
  • Then use the dryer, on high heat, about seven inches or so back from the dent for about three minutes. Be careful with the heat as you can blister your paint.
  • Apply the tinfoil.
  • Next put your pair of rubber gloves on and pick up a handful of dry ice cubes and start rubbing them on the tinfoil.

After a few minutes the dent should pop out. The reason for this is that you’ve slightly expanded the metal with the heat and then the coldness of the ice reverses this process and contracts the metal.

You may have to repeat this process two to three times before the dent pops out.

You can also buy dry ice in a can with compressed air. This is quicker and more effective than ice cubes.

Repairing Dents in Plastic and Rubber Bumpers

Depending on how severe these dents are, they can be usually popped out with ease by pouring boiling water over them. Simply boil a jug of water and then very slowly pour the water above the dent. It might take two to three jugs’ worth, but the dent should just easily pop out.

Repairing Deeper Dents and Creases

Repairing deeper dents and creases can be done with a hammer and a dolly. You can buy sets of these off Amazon for about $30.

First, though, if it’s a bumper you’re best to remove it. They’re all bolted on. Just find the bolts, unbolt it and take it to a workbench where you can repair it. Much easier than lying on your back on the ground underneath your car trying to do this.

Hammer out the dent as best you can. If you’ve got a crease you’d be doing a great job to pull that out perfectly. You’re more than likely going to have to put some body filler on it, sand it down, spray some primer on it, and then some top coat same as your car color.

Paint Protection Film With 3M

Automobile paints can now be safeguarded with finishings making use of nanotechnology. Scratches and damages on cars are any automobile owner’s headache. Nanotechnology is ending up being significantly popular in Melbourne. This service is ideal for paint protection finishes and automobile paints. In truth, when it comes to paint protection is ahead of numerous other cities.

Kinds of paint protection:

Nanotechnology based automobile paint protection can be divided into 2 categories, i.e., technology incorporated within the automobile paint formula and that which is utilized as a covering on conventional vehicle paint. The second variety is more flexible. It is also a true blessing for secondhand automobile purchasers. Such finishes further vary in their compositions. Examples of nanotechnology based finishings include ceramic polymer finishings and some nanoparticles including coverings. The composition of the coatings ultimately determines the efficiency of the covering.

What nanotechnology based car paints and paint coatings provide:

For starters, these paints and coatings firmly attach the vehicle’s existing paint to the body of the car. Therefore, scratches and swirl marks do not establish on the paint as quickly as they would without such innovation. Chipping of paints is also not likely with this innovation in the paints or thanks to the finish over the paint.

The nanotechnology based paints and coverings are also weatherproof. For that reason, water, heat, ultraviolet light, contaminants and some strong chemicals are not likely to damage the existing paint on the vehicle.

The vehicle’s paint typically begins looking faded after a duration of time. With this covering, the car looks as glossy as a new vehicle.

Cleaning the car becomes very simple, and less time consuming too. Bird droppings can also be cleaned really quickly and will not damage the underlying paint. Likewise, some of these paints and coverings safeguard the vehicle from scratches.

White paint on vehicles has the tendency to turn yellowish in time. Some of these finishings are specially developed to avoid this.

Traditionally, waxes and sealants were utilized for keeping water off from the car’s body. But these disappear within a year or two, and they need to be used again a number of times throughout the life-span of the car. Unlike such waxes and sealants, nanotechnology based vehicle paints and paint coverings last for a very long time, virtually for the lifetime of the automobile. Water, contaminants and some extreme chemicals are responsible for the corrosion on the metallic frame once the paint wears away. Grime likewise makes the automobile look unclean and cleaning it is not that easy either. However with nanotechnology based car paints and paint coatings, cleaning grime and dirt is considerably simpler.

Paint Protection in Melbourne

In Melbourne one of the most popular nanotechnology based paint finish is the Ceramic Pro. The maker of this paint finish, makings the vehicle’s exteriors gleam like a new vehicle, offers a lifetime service warranty as well. As the name suggests this paint coating includes a ceramic polymer.

Conclusion:

Nanotechnology is relatively in the market of vehicle paints. It will quickly discover its way into other paints and minimize the have to regularly paint automobiles. New techniques are still being studied to make the technology a lot more efficient and individuals from Melbourne will be ahead of others in embracing such technologies.

Helpful Hints About The Hobby Of Arts And Crafts

The entire family can enjoy participating in arts and crafts hobby together. You just need some materials and knowledge to get enjoyment out of it. This article gives you to get started. All you have to do is figure out what to create. Our concept board frames artist Sydney ideas are unique to other artists I knew from the past, they can expand their ideas into reality.

Do you need a good place for locating materials? There are a lot of sites that have major savings on your craft supplies. A quick search is all it takes to find great deals. Some of the better stores offer free shipping to save even more.

If you are doing arts and crafts that have the potential to create a mess, use newspaper on your surfaces to make sure you have no damage. When you are finished with your project, throw the paper away and be done with it.

Washable adhesives and markers are another option.

If you can’t seem to find reasonably priced art supplies, shop at different thrift stores. Goodwill and consignment stores have ample supplies for a lot of goodies to entice the savvy artist. Check often to see what they have as these items come in every day.

You should not show an example at all or show off different examples so kids can use their imaginations.

Etsy is a great place to get supplies for arts and crafts projects. This site offers items from individuals. You can also be able to actually sell your creations on Etsy. The site is ideal when you need vintage media on your projects.

Keep your craft supplies for arts and crafts projects well organized. There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to organization, but find a way that works for you. It will also make it where you know exactly what supplies you have.

Etsy gives crafters a great website for crafters. You can find inspiration or purchase there.You can also make money when you list your crafts for extra moeny to support the craft.

Use a spirograph to show kids how patterns in drawings work.

Do not toss product packaging of the products you buy. You can reuse and crafts supplies. Store these items in a bin and go to it when you’re struggling for any upcoming projects you may have.

You could be shocked at the discoveries you discover! Many people dispose of the supplies you need, so you might get them for free or cheap.

Your pet gets a one-of-a-kind dish!

If you’re interested in carrying out a project with your child, make sure to buy a model that’s meant for their age group.

Many local retailers offer free manuals that detail craft projects. Look for them when you walk around the store. These are on a hook in the crafting department. The supplies you require are usually in the same vicinity as the pamphlet.

Soak stiff paint brushes in baby oil before washing them. This makes the paint come off easier.

Choose the fabric you are attracted to and create a simple project out of it. Look at pattern books for ideas and heed each instruction.

Organize craft supplies by the type of project which you typically make. You want to be organized because that is going to save time with your organization.

Your pantry can supply many inexpensive arts and crafts materials for your kids. Some paper plates, paint, paints and glue can make a great set of projects.

Making a beautiful cake is a great idea to show your talent off.

You can turn a treasured clock in a wonderful keepsake by personalizing it with baby pictures of different members of your family. Create a mosaic pattern from the pictures and leave holes for the hour markings. Glue the pictures.Cover with glass to even the surface of the mosaic, then add the hands and a motor. You just made a clock now that kid will always treasure!

Arts and crafts projects do not always involve making things from scratch. You can use everyday supplies to embellish any object. For example, pre-constructed boxes can be decorated, or modify and personalize any other object that has been cast aside. Check out thrift stores and tag sales for items that can be personalized in this way.

Take time to enjoy your hobby. Crafts allow you express yourself and relax.You should be doing the things you want.

Do you wish to learn how to paint? There are often classes open at community colleges that teach beginner techniques. Many crafting stores offer free classes. Join in on one of these classes to learn how to do the latest freehand painting technique.

Get the supplies together before beginning a project.

Be careful about the way that you display your crafts. Some of the materials don’t last well. This also applies to crafts that are in the sun. Think about what you’ve made before placing them around your home.

Now that you have read the information above, you just need to figure out what your next project will be. You can make anything your heart desires. Make it a family affair, and let everyone have a say in what you’re going to accomplish. You’ll love the end result.

Heli Skiing Is The Ultimate Ski Experience

Heli skiing Canada, also referred to as helicopter skiing, can essentially be considered downhill skiing on mountains. Unlike conventional skiing where a ski lift is used to get to your highest elevation before descent, heli skiers use a helicopter. Heli skiing is not for the faint hearted or amateur to the sport. Heli skiing is for those who find regular skiing too tame and are seeking the thrill that no conventional ski resort can match. Heli skiing has its origins in the Bugaboo Mountains in Canada, where ski legend Hans Gsomer first tried this novel idea in the early 1960’s experimenting in the Rockies Mountains. Since then the popularity of heli skiing has grown in leaps and bounds and has recently been well document by Warren Miller and his infamous video series.

Heli skiing offers skiers an experience that is quite different from that offered by the terrain of ski resorts. Only in the untouched mountains does skiing or snowboarding involve powder snow, longer descents, steep slopes, natural terrain and smooth corn snow. Heli skiing in Canada is popular because of its long and harsh winters that offer skiers the full rush of winter and optimal snow conditions. Heliskiers thrive on the prospect of charting new path that no one has used, harnessing nothing more than the force of gravity to carve through deep powder without distraction. Few places on Earth can offer better heli skiing opportunities than the rugged and sloping terrain of western Canada, home to the birthplace of heli skiing.

Heli skiing requires proper preparation as this extreme sport is carried out in a very hostile environment. As a skier you need to equip yourself with specialized gear that is meant to safeguard in a variety of systems. Among your collect of devices is the avalanche transceiver, one of the most important devices any heliskier should have. Skiing in pairs is also a reliable safety method, also called a buddy system, this approach is used for communication in case you fall victim to an avalanche. This device sends signals that can be used to locate you in case of an accident. Always ensure that you have this device with you at all times. It should be checked to ensure that it is in good working condition well in advance. Avalanches are very common in the Canadian mountains as the skiing surface can be unpredictable, and is not as rigid as that of resort skiing.

Skiers who are also looking for an extraordinary sight seeing opportunity get to experience the breath taking terrain of the inaccessible parts of the Canadian mountains. For those who enjoy hiking and the outdoors, helicopter skiing can be quite an adventurous and enjoyable experience. If you do not mind the thrill of danger then heli skiing offers a unique and relaxing atmosphere to get away from your hectic life. Since it is carried out in inhabited and inaccessible sections of the mountains, you can relax and enjoy the ride uninterrupted. Descending down mountains is a good form of exercising, as it involves maneuvering rugged terrains and is quite demanding physically as there are no rest spots or ski patrol.

While this sport can offer breath taking views and once in a life time opportunities, it is important to realize that heli skiing can be dangerous. It is therefore recommended that you are accompanied by a person who is familiar with the local terrain and has the requisite skiing skills. Helicopter skiing should only be attempted by those who are above average in their skiing skills and in physical shape to be able to accomplish the journey safely. With the right preparation and skills you need not worry too much as heli skiing is an exhilarating and enjoyable activity. Not every run has to involve twenty foot tall vertical drops, and the mountain has something to offer for everyone.

Super Tips To Make Auto Repair Easier

Do you often wish you could deal with auto issues better?Have you ever considered trying to make your own repairs on yourself? Maybe you want to learn a little more about what you can do to find a good mechanic. Read on so you have. Paint protection films are clear or colored polyurethane films that are applied to vehicles to protect them from scratches, dents, or swirls caused by road debris, rocks, bug droppings, and other environmental elements.

Wash your car regularly to prevent rust. All cars are going to rust, however you can delay this process by washing all salt and chemicals from your car immediately. A good wax is your paint job for a long time.

Look for warning signs that your mechanic is not as competent as you might hope. If they do not answer you directly, they are probably not the mechanic for you. You want to be able to trust the person doing your repairs, so don’t fear seeing someone else.

Make sure any mechanic can work on your particular vehicle. If you don’t think he has, spend the extra money and go to an authorized dealer.

A spare tire and a jack are essential items to keep in your vehicle all of the time. Many new cars already have these. You would hate to be stuck somewhere you don’t know and be forced to spend money on a tow. You can save money and have an easier time doing it yourself.

Pay attention to the condition of your wiper blades. You need new windshield wipers if the ones you have are making noises.

Try finding a reliable mechanic who fixes cars on their own garage. If they are experienced and skilled, they can typically do jobs for far less cost. You can save a lot of money and provide an independent worker by providing them with business.

Speak with friends and family about where they get their auto shop recommendations before you pick a shop. They have used mechanics before and can fill you in the right direction if so. You should still do some research however. Check online reviews at the shop in question.

The weight of a big key chain. If your key sticks, then you must get rid of all the extra stuff attached to your keys.

Be sure that you know how often the oil needs changing. You should regularly to keep your vehicle runs smoothly. If your oil is not changed on a regular basis, your car could stop working much earlier than expected.

Check the tire pressure in your tires when you fill up on gas. Look at them and make sure they there is nothing embedded in them.You do not want to take any chances by driving around with weak tires.

Don’t try to diagnose complex auto repair issues. What you may think is an easy fix may be a hard one, especially in newer computerized vehicles. Let an auto repair shop diagnose the professionals do the diagnosing. Let them know about any sounds you heard or what problems you have been having, but allow them to diagnose the final issue.

Some unscrupulous body shops have even been known to replace your tires with older models. They will profit off your ignorance if they can. Mark your tires before taking your car to an auto shop. If the chalk is not present when you go pick up the car, you’ve been taken advantage of.

If money is especially tight and you are desperate to get your car repaired, see if you can get in contact with someone at a vocational school. You will pay a very low rate for the repairs in return for allowing students fix your car while being supervised by a licensed mechanic.

Not many people read their car’s owner manual. You need to look through this manual and understand how the information is organized so you can find things quickly. Your manual has all that you should know about maintaining your car and performing small repairs yourself.

OEM is the abbreviation of Original Equipment. Remember this if you need to have car parts replaced. You will sound like a mechanic to install OEM parts. This will lower the likelihood of someone putting used auto parts on your car.

It is possible that there was a recall issue if multiple people report the same problem.The manufacturer may fix your car free of charge.

A portion of auto repair is consistency. Stick to a trusted mechanic whom you have used before instead of going around to various ones for repairs.Different shops may give you a different diagnosis of your problem is wrong. They might also charge you more for repairs.

Keep track of all your vehicle repair and maintenance receipts in a file in your car. You can categorize them chronologically or by service repair type. This will also come in handy if you decide to sell your car.

Don’t ever fill your windshield washer fluid goes. The washer system works with a certain type of fluid, so water can damage the system. Check the windshield washer compartment often to refill it as needed. Do not insist when the reservoir appears to be empty.

Determine whether you wish to service cars by the dealership or at a stand-alone shop. Independent mechanics are often less expensive, but you also run the risk of hiring a dishonest company.

Seek second opinions prior to committing to major repairs done on your car. The mechanic might find this somewhat offensive or try to snag you with a great on-the-spot deal, but these things should be warning signs.

Ask as many questions as you have about your car. Any company will be happy to answer your questions.

Find a technician that’s familiar with the make and model of your cars similar to yours. Ask whoever will be responsible for the repairs if they have previously worked on your particular make and model of vehicle.

Don’t despair of being able to understand your vehicle’s repair needs. Buckle down and take the tips you learned here and get the repair done. Now, you can see what can be done to prevent you from getting stuck without a car.

Short Fairtrade Animation – From Concept to Delivery

The DVD for the Fairtrade Foundation (UK) has just been completed, which will be going out to hundreds of schools to encourage pupils and teachers to sign up and get certified as ‘Fairtrade schools’. As part of this comprehensive resource, we’ve produced an animation to explain how the process works and dispel some of the more common misconceptions surrounding Fairtrade. Your portfolio has a much better chance of being on top if you can design one type of concept artist really well.

Here’s how the film was put together, from concept to delivery:

July ’08

Whilst filming in a school for our forthcoming Fairtrade schools DVD, we get talking about how to tackle some of the common errors that people make when describing Fairtrade. Many schoolchildren, when asked to describe Fairtrade, use phrases such ‘as giving to charity’ and seem to have little or no understanding about trade prices, fair deals or social premiums. In an offhand comment, I mention the possibility of putting together a short animation to explain the issues.

I should have learnt by now that offhand comments always get taken seriously!

Aug ’08

The thoughts about doing an animation have now turned into concrete reality…

Sept ’08

A start is made on pulling a script together. Looking around at other animations for some inspiration, I start thinking about the characters that might front the piece. It becomes clear that all on the team are favouring bananas – they’re well-known as a Fairtrade product and the issues involved in growing them highlight a number of key points that we want to get across. Plus there’s plenty of available archive footage and they lend themselves well to being animated.

Over the next couple of months, the main area to work on is the script. It takes several drafts to start honing in on the style and delivery that we want. The difficulty is getting a balance between information and watchability – there are several things to get across, but I need to avoid it being an information monologue – it’s got to be fun and engaging to watch as well. Lynette from the Fairtrade Foundation is taking key responsibility for the script development, whilst I’m advising on how it will be delivered and help to edit and trim it down to keep it to length and make sure that the planned sequences are feasible to animate and edit.

Dec ’08

The script is taking form. We’ve decided to keep it to three key scenes, one in a market stall on a set of scales to introduce the characters and bring in the idea of unfair trade and hint at the misconception of Fairtrade as charity. There will be two bananas as presenters, one as a Fairtrade banana explaining to the other non-Fairtrade banana about how it works.

The bananas then jump onto a worksurface, with a tv screen in the background, allowing us to cut in and out of archive footage as the process is explained. Finally, they arrive in a supermarket where all the bananas are Fairtrade, talking about consumer power and choice and how things can be taken further.

With the script looking close to the final thing, I’m starting to sketch out some ideas for the look and feel of the bananas

Jan ’08

At last – storyboard time!

The script is looking good, so this is the key time to draw out the key scenes. This is always a useful step, and particularly for animation, where I don’t want to be wasting time having to redo lots of steps. I want to be precise and know where the story is going and how to tell this visually. Having a sketched out storyboard helps me work out what ‘shots’ will cut together and where the script might need changes. It also helps to think how the story can be developed visually without the need for words and where to put breaks in the script.

Having a banana to look at whilst sketching out the frames was useful, in order to get banana angles right! At this stage, our main protagonist was “Ben the banana”, so I gave him some cool sunglasses to watch over me whilst I worked! Unfortunately, soon after this shot was taken and the storyboard finished, the first of the “Ben’s” experienced the end of the line – my lunch!

Jan / Feb ’08

With the script signed off, design outlines for the bananas and the storyboard pretty much in place we book in a date to record the voices, start collating all the available archive footage and take the initial shots that we will cut into the animation. We also book in a shoot at our local Sainsbury’s to film and photograph the Fairtrade bananas here. By this stage, I’ve made some changes to the characters – Ben has now become Bernadette and her non-Fairtrade sidekick is now Carlos. Cue fluttering eyelashes and Latin pencil moustache!

As you can see from the shots below, there was quite tight similarity between the storyboard images and the framing and set-up for the live shots that we would finally mix in to the animation.
Location shot

Audio is recorded at the end of the month, shots in Sainsbury’s added in and the archive footage captured into the edit suite ready to pull together Supermarket bananas

Feb ’08

Now for the fun techie bit. I’ve adapted a couple of existing vector images for the bananas (vector images allow you to scale in and out of the picture, without losing quality – unlike raster images (such as digital photos) that have a limit on the resolution. Too much zooming in and raster images become grainy and pixelated).

Taking these into After Effects and then adding in mouths, eyes, sunglasses and eyebrows, these are then step animated frame by frame, overlying these onto the pictures I’d already taken shots of. The audio is imported and then synchronised up with the mouths. Each layer (banana, mouth, eyes etc) is kept independent in relation to time, but linked in terms of space / position, allowing animation of each to happen independently but without losing on-screen orientation. Makes sense? Sorry – getting too technical now!

The archive material is then matched to the on-screen television by corner-pinning and then the process of rendering out each scene and compiling these together begins, with tweaks to the audio edits and addition of music and title graphics.

Mar ’08

The film is ready and goes to Fairtrade for approval. A few tweaks here and there to tighten up the story and make it flow better are made, credits added and then it’s ready to go!

The film is exported to the final DVD, where it joins a further 90 minutes worth of material going out to schools.

Here’s a link to the final film – post a comment and tell us what you think!

Phil Knox is the co-founder of Purple Flame Media Ltd who specialise in developing world, NGO and corporate social responsibility related projects.

Go to the Purple Flame blog to read more from the Purple Flame team or their website to see their latest films.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Phil_Knox/309217

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2330206

Fast Cooking Advice To Your Best Meals Ever

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and tried to figure out how they created their food dishes? Have you actually gone ahead and tried to duplicate your favorite restaurant’s food at home? Use the tips in this article to create your favorite meals for any occasion. Cooking Christmas party ideas is a great hobby that can participate.

If using skewers made of steel or metal, the square or twisted kind are much better than round ones for holding food in place.

If you are looking for new ideas for meals to prepare for yourself or your family two great places to look are the library and the internet, go to the bookstore or library and get a cookbook of simple and basic recipes that appeal to you. Try different recipes and be patient as you develop your skills.

Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and dark. Your food will taste better if your spices are fresh.

Partially chill meat makes it easier to slice into thin strips. This tip is particularly good for Asian cuisine. To keep your meat cooking evenly, make sure they thaw out before use.

Cooking vegetables for a long time robs them of the critical nutrients that are found in them. To preserve their nutrition, consider steaming or sauteing your food, sauteing or even just eating them raw.

Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to lower the fat content.The somewhat bland taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, offering you a perfect way to add another vegetable to your dish while cutting calories.

This seasoning can be used with various other than meat. Try using it to season roasted potatoes or mix it in your scrambled eggs. Everyone will beg you used for spices.

Fresh ingredients are often inexpensive, as well as be more economical to prepare.

Always use an airtight containers to store sugar or flour. Keeping your food in sealed containers will keep them from spoiling or being infected with bugs. These can be purchased at almost any store and definitely make for a good investment.

This is going to help ensure that they do not burn during the food is cooking on them. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to keep food intact.

If the recipe calls for water, you could easily use chicken broth, juice, or juice when suitable. Instead of using milk, try sour cream, buttermilk or sour cream. Using a variety of liquids can add nutritional content to certain dishes and improve their flavor.

This will help to give your dish to become more flavorful.

Leave the bone in a roast if you are cooking and pressed for time. Your roast will be done a lot faster this way because the bone helps to carry the heat straight to the inside of your roaster.

You need to stay organized when you are cooking, which could be costly. Having all your kitchen tools handy and organized cooking area will help you are productive when cooking. Being disorganized can make it quite easy to make it impossible to find things when you need them, wasting valuable time and money!

One of the best cooking tips you can find is to use your own thing. You need not follow a recipe to the “T”. That type of a true cook!

It is important to properly care of wood cutting boards. A wood cutting board can warp or split by too much exposure to moisture, heat and dryness. Do not immerse the cutting board in water, but instead, soapy water. You can find oil designed for this purpose.Make sure that your board is completely dry before using.

Exposure to light, heat and light can cause your spices to lose their flavor fast. This exposure will only exposes the spices to the elements which make them to lose flavor.

Try not over or under cook it. The recommendations on the package are only guidelines, because many factors, like elevation, can have an effect on how long it actually takes a cake to cook. A good way to judge whether a toothpick into the center of the cake.If it removes cleanly, more baking is needed; when the toothpick stays clean after insertion, it’s time to eat!

Do your prep work in advance to cut down on cooking time. You can frequently get many of the ingredients for future meals ready ahead of time. There are many occasions where longer prep times actually lend a wonderful meal.

A great way to make the most of the stray meat and vegetable items left over from other dishes is to cook up some fried rice. Fry your vegetables and chopped meat in vegetable oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and other spices.

Use spices after you cook. Pepper, garlic powder, cayenne seasoning, and garlic are yummy additional seasonings you can add. Many people like different tastes when it comes to spice.Each person can then have his or her own special version of your meal that they will love.

Always make sure to use silicone spoons/spatulas if you cook on nonstick cookware. Metal or wooden utensils will scratch the nonstick coat and cause flakes to fall from the pans. This is both unappetizing and could be dangerous.

When making mashed potatoes, your milk should be hot, non-boiling water prior to mashing them. This alternative to the addition of cold milk will give your mashed potatoes that light and airy texture that you desire. Nobody really wants lumps in their mashed potatoes full of lumps.

Saffron is a good example of a spice for experiments. Saffron can create a burst of bright flavor that no other spice can. Saffron is a popular ancient herb which is still delightful.

You have lots more tools now to help make you a skilled home chef. Get creative with your meal ideas and experiment with different recipes. There is no limit to how creative you can be with your cooking, and there are so many options when you combine foods from many cultures.

What are the Different Methods for Hazardous Waste Handling?

Hazardous waste includes any materials that are potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes may be found in the form of liquids, solids or contained gases. These wastes are usually categorized as toxic, corrosive or flammable. The method of hazardous waste handling is typically determined by its type and hazard category; methods may include well-ventilated storage areas, proper storage container materials and knowing the proper waste disposal facility for a particular type of waste. When it comes to waste management and recycling waste disposal Northern Beaches offers basic household waste services for general waste, recycling and garden waste.

When attempting hazardous waste handling, it is important to be knowledgeable of the type of waste being handled. Toxic waste, such as chemicals, inorganic substances and organic compounds, typically need to be ventilated. If there are large quantities of toxic substances, then it is generally advisable to have a well-placed exhaust fan in the area where the waste is being handled.

When storing toxic materials, it is ideal to keep the smallest amount of waste possible in one storage container. Toxic wastes should be stored out of direct sunlight and in temperatures safe for the chemical being stored. Make sure storage containers are sealed at all times when not in use.

Following the proper procedures for disposing toxic materials is an essential part of hazardous waste handling. Toxic chemicals should not be flushed down sewers or sanitary drains, mixed with other materials or placed in regular garbage landfills. Consult local government regulations for instructions on how to use the appropriate local hazardous waste disposal facilities.

Hazardous waste handling of corrosive materials, such as alkalis, oxidizers and other acids, should also be done in well-ventilated areas. Corrosives may easily destroy holding containers, so make sure to use the proper storage unit for the waste. Before handling a container with corrosive materials, check to make sure there are no visible leaks or damage to the unit.

Corrosives should typically be stored in cool, dry areas and far from heat sources, such as pipes or boilers. When disposing corrosive materials, it is generally recommended to use the appropriate local hazardous waste dumping sites. It is important to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disposing of the product. Local environmental offices should also be able to provide information for safely disposing corrosive materials.

Flammable hazardous waste typically contains gasoline, ethanol, acetone or nitromethane. When handling flammable hazardous waste, it is important to keep all materials away from open flames or spark-producing equipment. It is generally recommended to refrain from smoking and to use explosion-proof materials whenever possible.

When storing flammable materials, it is usually best to use containers that are self-closing and flame resistant. Hazardous waste collection companies are typically responsible for removing flammable hazardous waste. It is not advisable to attempt to reuse any hazardous waste containers, especially those that contained flammable materials.