Sunday, 28 March 2010

The railcar, a kettle, and some plastic ...

OK progress has been interrupted a bit lately, but I have completed the roof!

The kit didn't come with a roof - and I'm not sure I could have rolled a brass roof to the right shape anyway, so again I have reverted to my usual plasticard. The trouble with plastic is that it doesn't stay bent - unless that is you give it a hot bath! So two pieces of 20-thou plastic were cut to the lenght of the roof but over width, and taped to a used tin can. Then I put the kettle on ...


... no not more tea! Here's how it is done. Put said tin into jug and pour in boiling water. Allow to stand for a while (now have your tea!). Empty away, rinse in cold water, and then remove the tape. Hey presto, curved plasticard! Simple but effective, and not my idea - I've done it before but can't remember where I first hear about it. This tin was pretty close to the right radius, slightly too tight, which is fine as it is forced to the right radius later.


I said two pieces of plastic were bent - one was trimmed to the roof size with slight overlap over the bodysides, the other cut to fit just into the bodyside, then the two were cemented together - there is no way that bend is coming out! To make it even stronger I cut a piece of 40-thou plastic to fit inside the body like a ceiling, and - here's the fiddly bit - 4 small pieces to the curve of the roof to act as "ribs" like this: ( - which were glued to the false ceiling, then the curved roof stuck over the top. It is now really solid, and exactly the right radius! It is a faily tight fit into the body and helps hold the sides rigid, especially when being picked up, when painted a spot of PVA will hold it in place such that it could be prised off if needed.


Finally I found some lamp ventilators in my bits box - whitemetal castings of unknown origin - and added a couple as per the photo's I have. Also some fine microstrip makes the rainstrip along the edge of the roof.

Posted by Picasa

6 comments:

CF said...

Nice.
BTW beer cans work a little better (thinner metal and smooth).
It's looking good.

Michael Campbell said...

Cheers.

Metal thickness isn't really an issue, you could argue the thicker stuff is stronger but I doubt it matters. The ribs didn't seem to be a problem in fact. In any case I don't drink Beer ...!

To be honest, any tin/jar/bottle will do if it is the right radius and long enough, though my wife gave me an odd look as I raided the recycling wheelie-bin :-)

Phil Parker said...

Nice technique - and even nicer looking cafe in the background of that photo. Tell us more...

stephen said...

The cafe is on the micro layout used by the Sussex Downs OO9 group when on publicity duties for the society.

http://mickthornton.fotopic.net/p61973850.html

Michael Campbell said...

Well spotted Steve, yes that photo was taken while showing off progress at the Sussex Downs 009 group clubnight on Friday. Meanwhile the display layout was being tested for a trip to Alexandra Palace!

It is just a circle of track on a board about 2'6" square, divided into two scenes, the front of which is visible while a display cabinet sits on the back. When the other side is finished we'll be able to reverse the layout to get a completely different scene - two layouts for the price of one!

CF said...

...Or just use the can itself The low shunters in the Sussex Downs layout use xxxx beer can for the roof.
I've just worked out that I did those 15 years ago!!!