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It's time for some bashing...

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  • Member since
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It's time for some bashing...
Posted by NWP SWP on Saturday, April 14, 2018 11:31 PM

I'm wanting to begin kitbashing/scratch building some motive power and rolling stock, I figure on shells I'd have to make cuts where I want to make a joint (what saw/knife to use?), then sand/file the cut, then use a styrene plate to bridge the gap, and then fill the gap with some sort of putty (what to use?), I'm really wanting to get started and I can care less how derailed the thing looks. Thanks for the help.

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, April 15, 2018 2:52 AM

Steven,

For cuts like this, I prefer some sort of jeweler's or razor saw. Fine teeh, a stiff back, and a comfortable handle, plus a small miter box to keep things square. The blade and teeth are very thin, but remember you still need to account for a kerf in your calculations for the various cuts. The miter box won't take the bigger whole shells, but practice in other stuff that doesn't matter so much and then you'll get to where you can freehand your cuts when you have to.

Squadron Green Putty  can work, but I tend to use Tamiya putty now. Its just a little better. in my book, but either will work.

Lots of very fine (1000 grit or even finer after the intial smoothng) sandpaper.

Practice with chisel tip blades for your knife so you can sliver off suface details neatly and replace them with a nice smooth area to modify.

Best bet is to start with a freight car or two, then a passenger car, then work up to locos. This is one of my creations. the NW2M. A Kato NW2 is narrowgauged, the the hood is modded to accommodate a steam generator and dynamic brakes. In reality, what ths does is add just enough room under the hood to squeeze in a decoder without driving yourself nuts. The massive weight inside makes for lots of tractive effort, but little room for adding electronics.

100 was my first NW2M conversion. Since it was already a Rio Grande loco, carefful cutting meant I only needed a little spot painting to make her look right. Here are a couple of views of ths bash before it got paint t disguise things.

oThe second cnversion is in this one, wasn't quite as neat in saving the previous work, but had to be renumbered anyway. In real life, the Rio Grande owned only one NW2 even though it had several differrent numbers. I have "several" on the narrowgauge.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:09 AM

Kitbashing is great fun, I simply love kitbashing.  Check out my blog post for some of my doings.
 
I also use a super fine tooth saw.  I prefer the Excel Pull Saw for locomotives and rolling stock.
 
 
Don’t worry about screwing up, fixing my screw ups is part of the fun in kitbashing.  I use all kinds of material for filling, from Testers Plastic Filler, Squadron White and Green Filler to JB-Kwik Epoxy and Bondo.
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, April 15, 2018 11:58 AM

Go online to A.C. Moore or Michael's websites.  They are craft shops, but they have a lot of useful tools and materials, and pretty much every week the have a coupon good for 40% off of one item.  Go buy yourself a razor saw with the first coupon.  It's a great tool.

A Dremel is another great tool  Get extra cutting wheel blades.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by dstarr on Sunday, April 15, 2018 12:51 PM

To cut a plastic shell, I use a razor saw, Zona is a good name, and a miter box (home made miter boxes work fine).  To lengthen a car, get two shells, cut them to length and glue them back together.  To shorten a car just saw a slice out of the middle somewhere and glue it back together.  Don't mess around trying to lengthen a car by fabricating a stretch section out of sheet styrene. 

   To get a good smooth invisible joint your cut has to be perfectly square, both ways, up and down, and side to side.  Then you need to sand the cut edges until they are very smooth.  Go down to at least 400 grit sandpaper.  And you have to keep the shell square to the sandpaper.  Jigs are very useful in that respect.   Use a jig to keep the two parts of the shellSleep in position while the glue dries.  I use that clear solvent welding cement on styrene,  any brand will work well.  Done right you should not need any putty to smooth out the joint.  

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, April 15, 2018 1:44 PM

I will agree with the title of your post.   It IS Time to start a project rather than come up new posts that well meaning people take the time to give thoughtful answers for a project you never intend to start.

We had the NWP business car, the Big Bad John Loco, the P42 B unit and dual tender kitbash threads.  Nothing came of those and nothing will come of this thread until you realize it's not your post count that makes you a model railroader. 

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by BATMAN on Sunday, April 15, 2018 2:15 PM

BigDaddy
it's not your post count that makes you a model railroader. 

Come on Henry, over twelve years I am averaging .86 post per day! I am peddling as fast as I can. You gotta give me at least a little time to model.Laugh

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 6:20 PM

Steven,

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Just grab a saw and start cutting. I know I have posted this picture in your threads before, but take another look.

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I built this when I was a little younger than you are, using only the tools we had in the house. Nothing special, just got it done.

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It looks terrible, but I learned a lot from this project. These skills have been honed over another three decades.

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I have said this before... just build it! Thirty-five years from now it will be one of your prized possessions no matter how badly it turns out.

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CUT! SAW! BUILD! NOW!

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:14 PM

I just went in eBay and tried to bid on a lot of 8 identical cabeese for 10 bucks, got outbid and it ended Super Angry

I found two for eight bucks each so I'll be buying them tomorrow along with some sandpaper, putty, and a razor saw.

I am assuming that it would be smart to strip the paint first? Or wait till later?

A jig can be made by gluing two pieces of wood in an L shape and have a narrow slot for the saw, right?

Would a rubberized abrasive block work? Or it has to be sandaper?

A Zona saw is good, correct?

I have glue, when I go to join to shells do I need to use some styrene strip as a bridge plate behind the joint? Or is the shell itself thick enough?

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:20 PM

Steven,

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Are you aware of the thread "WEEKEND PHOTO FUN"?

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If not, check it out.

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I would like you to post an update in WPF every week with the progress of this project. As it comes along you will tons of great advice for the next step, and encouragement from your fellow modelers.

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I for one, am looking forward to your updates on a real project.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
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Posted by NWP SWP on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:45 PM

Alright I've got Squadron White Putty, a Zona 52 TPI razor saw, a set of rubber abrasive erasers at 180, 400, and 1000 grits, a 12x24 sheet of .020" sheet styrene, an AHM Heavyweight Passenger Car, and two Athearn Cabeese in my cart on eBay, what I am making will remain secret until I finish it. Hopefully I can convince the Joint Chiefs to leg me buy it with my money tomorrow, hopefully.

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:03 PM

NWP SWP
what I am making will remain secret until I finish it.

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WHY? What possible reason is there to keep a project secret?

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Works in progress are a great addition to WEEKEND PHOTO FUN, and your participation will greatly improve your recognition among your fellows in the forum. We all would really like to see something you work on with progress updates.

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Some "Work In Progress" photos I have posted of yet unfinished projects:

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There is no embarrasment in unfinished efforts.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:10 PM

NWP SWP
I have glue, when I go to join to shells do I need to use some styrene strip as a bridge plate behind the joint? Or is the shell itself thick enough?

That would be a good idea.  Maybe even a support, on the inside, the exact thickness as the shell interior, along with the thickness of the backing strip, like a wood block.

For sawing, a blocking on the inside, that fits tight, would also help with the accuracy of your cut.  Go slow.

Mike

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:27 PM

NWP SWP
I have glue, when I go to join to shells do I need to use some styrene strip as a bridge plate behind the joint? Or is the shell itself thick enough?

Hi Steven:

I'm glad to see that you are getting your hands 'wet' as it were.

Most car bodies are thick enough that they don't need internal bracing, but using it can make it a lot easier to keep the pieces lined up with each other. Just make sure that the splice (bridge) plates won't interfere with the installation of the interior or the floor/frame.

I would suggest getting a few sheets of sandpaper too. Getting the cuts in exactly the right place can be difficult. What a lot of modellers do is leave a bit of extra material when they make the cuts, and then sand the edges to get them to exactly square. Put a full sized sheet of sandpaper on a flat surface (a sheet of glass is good) and then carefully sand the bodies until you have an exact fit. A small square like this would be really helpful.

https://www.micromark.com/Steel-Square-3-Inch-Blade

This is a case where less is more. Sand a bit, then check the fit, then sand a bit more and re-check the fit. Holding the body square on the sandpaper requires a bit of practice so that's why it it best to take off a bit at a time. If you do take too much off it's no big deal. That's what the putty is for.

I will second the suggestion that you post on the Weekend Picture Fun thread. Not only will you get to display your work, but you will see some really inspiring work as well.

Dave

 

 

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Posted by NWP SWP on Sunday, April 15, 2018 10:02 PM

I don't think it'll be tomorrow I buy the stuff, it might be towards the end of the week if not later, my parents call not mine, so we'll see what happens.

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, April 15, 2018 10:27 PM

NWP SWP
...when I go to join to shells do I need to use some styrene strip as a bridge plate behind the joint? Or is the shell itself thick enough?

Rather than strip styrene, I use .060" thick sheet styrene, which I buy in 4'x8' sheets.
Here's a Bachmann tender, which has been shortened and narrowed...

The heavy sheet material allows for a greater bonding surface and can also help with alignment of the parts.
 
However, don't assume if you're joining parts from the same model, or from more than one identical model, that all will have the same thickness.  A friend cut apart two Athearn baggage cars and decided to make one car using the identical ends which had the wider doors (one end had wide doors, the other narrow).  While he wisely used sheet material to make the splices, he forgot to check shell thickness, and discovered that on the exterior on one side of the new car, the surfaces at the joint were not in the same plane.
 
I managed to cover over the area with body putty, and sand it enough to make it unnoticeable, but it would have been easier to have checked the shell thicknesses first, then add a suitable thickness of sheet material on the interior of the thinner portion, so that the thickness matched that of the half to which it was to be joined.

Also, when you're sanding with the sandpaper face-up on a smooth surface, sand in only one direction at a time, not back-and-forth....the latter generally leads to rounded-off leading edges.  Also, periodically turn the work 180° - this helps to equalise the pressure which you're applying.
Well-done cuts and sanding can, with care, be rejoined without the need of body putty.

Do not fill holes with body putty - instead, use a piece of styrene a couple of thousandths bigger than the hole to be filled.  If necessary, enlarge the hole to accept stock sizes of styrene strip or rod.  Coat both the sides of the hole and those of the filler piece with solvent-type cement, then, after the solvent has softened both surfaces (you may need to re-coat more than once) force the plug into the hole.  It should protrude on both interior and exterior sides.  Go do something else for 24 hours-or-so - when you come back the plug and the shell around it will have become one piece.  Use a sharp #17 chisel-type blade, bevelled edge against the work, to slice-off the protruding material. 

Wayne

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Posted by Southgate on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:53 AM

To answer your question about stripping paint, do it first. That will keep your glue joints from getting fowled and gummed up with paint. Dan

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 16, 2018 6:30 AM

Hi, Steven

I seem to be picking up a vibe where you have the desire to add caboose cupolas to various kinds of equipment, based on some of your business car/locomotive/cupola threads of the past.

I can relate to that, to some degree!

 PRR_line2 by Edmund, on Flickr

Many, if not all of my "kitbashing" projects come from sort of a conflagration of ideas combined with opportunities that seem to fall into my lap.

For instance, this PRR MP54 that is getting the cupola "dome-car" look. As it happens, I found a deal I couldn't pass up on this powered, Con-Cor, MP54 and it just so happened that I had a left-over roof from a PRR N8 cabin car.

Idea Idea Idea

After doing some research and planning I discovered that the Pennsy had several of these line cars, many of which were made from former "doodlebug" gas-electric cars but I beliece I found photos of some that may have been MP54s.

 PRR_line3 by Edmund, on Flickr

As you can see, the cupola is a pretty good fit to the roof contour so making the final joint will be effortless. The pantograph did not provide any power to the car but was raised to ground and insure the 11,000 volt AC, 25 Hz. overhead catenary wire stayed de-energized.

 PRR_line1 by Edmund, on Flickr

This is about as far as I got with the project but now that you have re-kindled my interest in it I'm ready to dive in again. I have the PRR yellow M-of-W paint and decals.

Shorpy recently had a photo posted by William Volkmer showing the top of a PRR Tower car:

http://www.shorpy.com/node/23153?size=_original#caption

You can see the pantograph raised just beyond the crew. I plan to make some wood platforms for my version of the car.

In the meantime this photo kind-of shows a similar car to the one I'm making.

http://www.railroad.net/articles/railfanning/worktrains/media/MW_18.jpg

In the above photo you can see a slightly-narrowed cupola, used for wire inspections, on the roof. 

My scratch-build/kit-bashes have to at least be plausible if not quite historically accurate.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by NWP SWP on Monday, April 16, 2018 10:59 PM

The vibe you seem to be getting is about right.

My idea for a lengthened double cupola large end platform caboose riding on a pair tri-axle heavyweight passenger trucks. I figured it would be a pretty easy job, cut the short end of the cabooses off then glue the two together and make the end platforms longer. Perhaps flatcars would be a good underframe.

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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