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Surgical spirit/rubbing alcohol
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Feather River Bill



Joined: 15 Nov 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Ely, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: Surgical spirit/rubbing alcohol Reply with quote

Good evening everyone,

Where can I purchase surgical spirit/rubbing alcohol in the UK. I'd prefer a high street option. The Boots and Superdrug in Ely didn't have much of a clue. In this Health and Safety world they looked at me as if I was planning on drinking it! I assured them I wasn't!

Even my local hobby shop was clueless as to where to pick it up. The guys actually said to me, "I've been here 8 years and no one has come to me with that problem!" I took that to mean he wasn't a modeller...

Cheers all!
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1388

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, Bill.... you have just discovered why modelling Magazines and Books in the UK make no mention at all of the many uses of Rubbing Alcohol/IPA... it just isn't available here like it is in the USA..... Sad
The only "High Street" source I know of is Maplins the Electronics store:-
http://www.maplin.co.uk/isopropyl-alcohol-28994

I don't know how 14 for a 1 litre can compares to US prices - probably far more expensive here, as usual.... Rolling Eyes Evil or Very Mad
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Feather River Bill



Joined: 15 Nov 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Ely, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jordan...

Then is surgical spirit the same thing?

So what do UK railroaders use as a spreading agent for ballasting track and laying scenery?

BTW...at those prices I might as well buy a cheap bottle of vodka. One shot for me...one for the railroad!

BT
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alastairq



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 372
Location: the land that time forgot

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Dettol' is a mix containing Iso-propyl alcohol.....will kill 99% of all germs on your models, for starters.


I believe it is available under the counter from pharmacists....but known as Iso-propyl alcohol, rather than 'rubbing alcohol?'
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feather River Bill wrote:

So what do UK railroaders use as a spreading agent for ballasting track and laying scenery?


A detergent, such as cheap washing-up liquid, very diluted in warm water. A rather poor substitute to IPA it would seem, since although it breaks water surface tension, it can also froth up (obviously!!), leading to annoying bubbles in your ballast.... Rolling Eyes
There is also the issue of 'smell' and the Domestic Authorities, otherwise known as The Wife, The Boss, or SWMBO - She Who Must Be Obeyed.
I cannot use white spirit, turps etc indoors - to be fair my wife is asthmatic too but very susceptible to 'smells', so even if IPA was available cheaply, I doubt I'd use it.....
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Feather River Bill



Joined: 15 Nov 2010
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Location: Ely, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good info guys...

Another problem....without alcohol what do you guys use to dilute india ink with for weathering wood?
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alastairq



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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shoe or leather dye?

Jordan, have you tried Johnson's Klear, or its modern derivative, for ballast fixing?
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feather River Bill wrote:
Good info guys...

Another problem....without alcohol what do you guys use to dilute india ink with for weathering wood?

Erm... *embarrassed shuffle* ...You'll probably find we don't use India Ink much, either... Embarassed

Quote:
Jordan, have you tried Johnson's Klear, or its modern derivative, for ballast fixing?

No, I haven't... I'm not even sure that I've ever seen it sold anywhere, but I have read that it's formula was changed a few years back, and it now isn't as good (in terms of whatever modellers use it for) as it was before... Shocked
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alastairq



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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi.......it's available from high st naggy housewife stores, it's used to place a shiny coating over tiled floors [which reminds me, I need to do my quarry tiles]....Pledge Future floor polish is thought to be similar...less than three quid a bottle last time I looked?


Jim S-W has used Klear to fix the ballast on New St......but Klear is no longer available, except at extortionate prices on ebay [I have three bottles put aside, at ebay prices, that's 75 or so!].....

Anyway, whatever product replaced Klear must be able to coat thinly, and fill any tiny uneven surface bits....and importantly, it flows well.

Doesn't smell too bad either.

Check out tinternet for Klear and it's replacements..it is used widely amongst military muddlers...
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Feather River Bill



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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jordan wrote: "Erm... *embarrassed shuffle* ...You'll probably find we don't use India Ink much, either... Embarassed "

Jordan...I keep forgetting I'm in the land of cardstock buildings! Wood kits are pretty much non-existent! There has to be a suitable option out there. It might take some research. Maybe a future entry on "On the Workbench."
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alastairq



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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to use India Ink a lot...but have not found it to be readily available these days.

Is it toxic or something?
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Jordan



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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feather River Bill wrote:

Jordan...I keep forgetting I'm in the land of cardstock buildings! ...

That reminds me of comments about Kalmbach's "Great Model Railroads 2012", which had a "British" layout in it, built by a US resident with "Expert" help... Some things stood out as so "wrong" - such as his trains running on the right - one wonders how much help his "Expert" really was, and more worryingly, whether our UK-built depictions of US Railroads might also look as wrong and unbelievable to our American Brethren.... Embarassed
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Feather River Bill



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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jordan,

The Brits aren't doing too bad with modelling US-outline. The worst thing I've seen was an incorrectly stacked well car at a show in March. Before I could say anything, the 20' container (on top of a 40' container) came zipping around a corner, slid off and plunged into a ravine before coming to rest at the feet of some spectators. Luckily no one was hurt and I was assured the load inside the container was undamaged! Smile

I will say this though. I think British modellers are more inclined to model a foreign line then my countrymen. I've definitely received more of a worldly railroading education here then I would have in the US. That can only be a good thing!
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Michael Oliver



Joined: 23 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an excellent range of American buildings available to download and print onto cardstock available here:

clevermodels.net

Most are in HO and N with some in S too.
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feather River Bill wrote:
The worst thing I've seen was an incorrectly stacked well car at a show in March. Before I could say anything, the 20' container (on top of a 40' container) came zipping around a corner, slid off and plunged into a ravine ...

Loading the other way around (40ft on top of 20ft) wouldn't have been very clever either!! Laughing Laughing Laughing
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