Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Scratchbuilding’

wood_54.JPG

It turns out that modern freight wagons are deceptively complicated

Having assembled the 192 tiny parts to make the uprights on this wagon, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until someone on the NGRM Online forum pointed out that I now had to paint them all.

I really should think about these things more.

This is somewhat important on this stage, the ‘rust’ layer. Once everything visible is dark brown, I can probably get away with missing a gap or two when I add the ‘final’ colour by pretending it’s supposed to look that way. I can’t get away with that with light grey primer.

My plan was to do this in stages after work, but what you see took about 20-30 minutes of painting, rotating the wagon and trying to look at every section from any possible angle, then going back again when I inevitably found a bit I’d missed.

That’ll teach me to get all excited about a wagon in a photograph and start building with no plan whatsoever…

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Slow progress at the moment due to because of a combination of general festivities, a final dissertation that I promised myself I’d try to get mostly finished by the end of the holidays, and applying for work after my current contract expires at the end of April 2019

Nonetheless, this is progress. Now I have to work out how to make plastic and acrylic paint look like aluminium. Any ideas?

 

 

Read Full Post »

Every now and again I decide I’m going to get more disciplined, which usually means I’m going to try and focus on making stuff for the Körschtalbahn. Occasionally I even manage to follow through on this for a few weeks.

Of course the thing about deciding to focus on a challenging project is that you don’t do it just before the start of the annual silly session at work, while simultaneously trying to finish a final dissertation and make an elderly mountain bike into a  ranndoneur/touring bicycle. last week I realised that I was getting into the usual vicious cycle of coming back from work tired, so not making anything, then feeling more tired because I hadn’t done something productive all evening.

This obviously couldn’t go on, so I decided that it was better to make something than nothing at all, even if it was a fairly random tangent.

A while back a seriously excellent model maker and semi professional mold builder on the Lead Adventure Forum said that you can make almost any kind of model out of card, at the same time as making a rather spiffy monowheel, out of whitemetal, so I decided to try the theory out.

I may have turned up the Bonkers Factor in my version.

To start with I made the circle of card seen above, started with one strip around an old aerosol can lid stuck down with a bit of masking tape, then added two more pieces to make it solid. This is what passes for technology on my workbench.

Next step was to make a rather rough tread, which I’m sure will look fine once it’s painted and weathered and viewed from a distance. Quite a considerable distance admittedly. It probably looks worse to Frederick.

Then I added an equally rough ‘gear’ or possibly ‘rack?’ on the inside of the wheel, which took a bit of fiddling about with superglue to stop the layers from separating. I need to find a better way to do this. I’m told Shellac is the stuff.

‘Colonel’ Oliver is taking an interest, which is Probably a bad sign. Frederick remains unimpressed.

The crowning loopiness so far is the drive unit, which is gradually taking shape. I have a sneaking suspicion that switched on it would rotate inside the outer wheel while producing absolutely no forward motion whatsoever, but we’ll ignore that.

More silliness will undoubtedly follow, but hopefully I’ve now broken the model making block and can get on with some more ‘serious’ models…

Read Full Post »

 

Work, my final dissertation, and family needs are combining to make sure I don’t have a lot of time for anything else at the moment, and therefore was short of blogging material this week.

Fortunately Japan Railways have come to my rescue by running some very unusual diversionary train workings in the last few months, featuring my favourite Japanese locomotives dragging freight trains across the central mountains in Japan and along the west coast to avoid a section washed out by a typhoon. Normally these are seen lurking in monotonous industrial zones so it’s a change to see them in a more attractive corner of the country.

According to Wikipedia these locomotives are 18000mm/55′ long and a somewhat lardy 2951mm/9.5′ wide, which works out as 327mm long and 53mm wide, or about 1′ by 2″ in my chosen scale of 1:55, or ‘Seriously Massive’, especially as the first model of the Körschtalbahn is likely to be about 2m long at the most, meaning the locomotive will be at least 1/6th of the length of the entire model railway.

On the other hand, I could cheat.

It seems there’s a long tradition of model makers playing fast and loose with scale to make a prototype fit a model, and some companies have been known to make a locomotive 10% under scale so it fits with other models. If you do this with a DD51 it makes for a slightly more manageable 47mm wide and 294mm long. Still a right beast but it would at least fit under bridges.

Of course that assumes I manage to get my sorry behind into gear to make one at all. Currently my progress on all fronts is a bit slower than this:

Read Full Post »

Finally all 196 pieces of the uprights are together, the uprights are in place and not just that, they are in fact upright.

Mostly. If you don’t look too hard.

It took several evenings to achieve this, making 1 or 2 uprights per evening. It turned out that the blocks I’d carefully glued in ready to hold the uprights were not as accurately placed as I’d thought and I had to use several 0.3mm pieces as packing. Of course the packing pieces turned out to be too thick, so they needed to be sanded back, checked, sanded a bit more and then fitted.

Now they still aren’t perfect but they’re passable from normal distances and angles, so I’m calling it good.

Next we have detailing, painting and weathering which means I really need to decide what colour it is going to be…

Read Full Post »

When we last looked at the wood wagon I was about to start building the uprights that are fixed along both sides of the chassis. Of course when I say “about to start building” I actually mean “about to start making loads of excuses to do it later” because of course, that’s what I proceeded to do. It wasn’t the thought of the 192 tiny bits that was putting me off; more the idea of trying to make them look vaguely similar.

Eventually I realised what most readers undoubtedly already know: templates are the answer. Make one template, fit each part in it, cut along the template or attach the next bit in the right place and move on. No guessing, measuring or aligning by eye, not even much thinking in fact, just repeat the same thing a few dozen times.

I started with a simple set of templates to make sure all the uprights were the same length, then another for the tiny cross pieces… and then things got out of hand and I made a template for pretty much every stage of the build.

It worked pretty well too, although we’ll ignore a certain amount of fiddling about at some stages (note to self: if you’re going to make a template to drill holes, it helps if the holes in the template are in the right place…) On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of practice in filling, sanding, and redrilling holes. Now I have a stack of finished parts that you could almost swear looked the same.

All I have to manage now is getting them consistently upright on the wagon itself.

Read Full Post »

This project seemed such a good idea at the time: it’s a flat wagon, with pointy bits on each side. That was it: dead simple. What could go wrong?

I never learn.

Remember the model is loosely based on this wagon. Very loosely, admittedly, but it still needs to have enough of the features of the real thing to be vaguely recognisable as the same type of wagon. This means I need to make some vague representation of those double uprights and the big bolts holding them in place.

So I made a sketch, and used this to build a ‘prototype’. It looked awful. I scrapped this and tried again, this time looking much more at the photographs as I worked.

This one was much better, the only problem was that having finished I realised I’d have sixteen parts for each upright. Sixteen. And 12 uprights.

I did some sums…

I repeated the sums because I’m rubbish at maths…

I gave up and did the sums on a calculator*: 16 x 12 = 192 little bits of plastic, which need to be the same, or at least close enough that they appear the same.

Something tells me I may end up putting this off for a while.

*Yes, really that rubbish, or out of practice. On the other hand I can design a quite complex project in my head and see it in 3d from any angle: swings and roundabouts.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »