Here’s an interesting tip and a new modelling material. I can’t take any credit for it, as it originally apperared on the Model Railroader forum, and I read it on Bill Schneider’s layout web site. (http://oldandweary.blogspot.ca/2013/10/keeping-it-together.html)
The article discussed making new plastic drawbars between diesel locomotive sets to give the minimum spacing to suit your minimum radius. The author had tried plastics of various types, including styrene sheet and even laser cut acrylic sheet, but all of them became brittle and prone to breakage around the fixing screw holes.
The material suggested in the web tip was… wait for it… an old credit card. We all have old credit cards from time to time and we’ve all had “fun” trying to tear up or fold them after they expire. However, the tip noted that you can cut the material with scissors, file it to shape with any normal file, drill it as needed, and it’s virtually unbreakable (although I confess to having had cards that split in my wallet after a few years use).
Now it may be a bit of a stretch to make new N-gauge drawbars, but I am sure there are other potential applications for mechanical linkages – perhaps that difficult point motor connection?
Now why didn’t I think of that…?