some work on a CNJ XM-3 40' boxcar

some work on a CNJ XM-3 40' boxcar

Postby scaro » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:04 pm

IMG_0050.JPG


i've been feeling a bit more inspired about american RRs. i used a 1:120 version of jerry glow's artwork for the side, in the absence of a decent plan. the side is paper laminated onto styrene with MEK. the idea is that this makes it easier to punch rivets and score lines representing the edges of the steel panels. rivets, panel edges, planks and weld lines look a lot better rendered in paper than styrene, in my opinion.

this is a fairly 'standard' postwar steel 40' boxcar, unlike a DS steel rebuild and SAL B5 i've also got in the 'half finished box, but it comes with its own complications. it will need 3/4 improved dreadnaught ends which aren't going to be easy. the 1937 AAR gold coast boxcar would be an OK stand-in for this car, as it has a similar flat panel roof and the same 10' height (the CNJ, B&O and SP had clearance problems at some locations which led to them ordering cars a touch lower than the standard 10'6" height of most other postwar boxcars) but i wanted to test the use of paper sides.
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Re: some work on a CNJ XM-3 40' boxcar

Postby scaro » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:29 pm

IMG_0052.JPG


the B5 body. i'm not very happy with it, although it's an OK first start. doors need redoing. it made me give up on evergreen styrene as a material for making car sides. it warps, it's impossible to laminate without losing detail ... etc.
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Re: some work on a CNJ XM-3 40' boxcar

Postby railtwister » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:58 am

Hi Ben,

If you are flooding the pieces of styrene with MEK, it should be no surprise that you have warping problems. A similar problem would occur if you were building out of wood or card stock and soaked the pieces in water first. A lot of folks use MEK as a bonding agent, but I prefer Ambroid Pro-Weld, which is primarily methylene chloride, because it flashes off very quickly in the open air, which seems to cause fewer problems. It is so fast that brush application is almost impossible, because it evaporates so quickly it will mostly be gone from the brush before the brush reaches the model. Usually it is best applied with a soft polyethylene squeeze bottle that has a superfine hypodermic needle attached. If the needle is too big, try inserting a piece of monofiliment fishing line into the needle to reduce the flow. You will also need a piece if the finest stainless steel leader wire you can find that will fit inside the needle to clean it, because eventually the needle will clog up. These used to be sold by a company called Gaunt < http://www.gauntindustries.com/1-1_4_Ounce_CLEAR_Bottle-HYPO-160.html >. You could also use a syringe, but in a very short time the solvent causes the rubber stopper to swell up, locking it place inside the syringe body.

The secret to a successful styrene model is applying the glue in Goldilocks proportions (not too little, not too much, but just right), as well as using the thickest sheets you can, as long as their thickness can't be seen. If you try to use scale thicknesses, it won't be durable enough to survive the construction process. A lot of traction modelers build their models out of laminated paper or card stock, even in "O" scale, and some of those models look as good as (or better than) commercially built brass models. I used to use manila file folders for this, and sometimes rubber cement for laminating larger pieces. With rubber cement however, initial alignment is critical, since once the two pieces touch, they can't be moved or slid into final location.

Cutting the material and punching rivets will be tedious no matter what the material. There have been some comments made on other groups about using computer driven cutting machines for this (think of a laser cutter or printer with a different head containing a scalpel blade). These are frequently sold in craft stores that sell scrapbooking supplies, and cost just a few hundred dollars, instead of the thousands for a laser cutter. I've never seen anything actually built using this process, but it sounds intriguing.

Good luck and keep trying...

Bill in FtL
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Re: some work on a CNJ XM-3 40' boxcar

Postby scaro » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:19 pm

Hi Bill

A Goldilocks thing indeed, but finding the right balance is hard and when I've used it too sparingly, I find that MEK simply won't bond effectively. Everyone says it will, but that has not been my finding. Some degree of coverage of the sheet is needed. Nonetheless I don't flood sheets, but I still get some warping.

However, the double sheathed USRA rebuild I did uses much thicker sides and looks a lot better. As you allude to, one advantage of boxcars is the walls can be as thick as you like.

However, I think styrene of any kind cannot hold a torch to paper in terms of detail.

One tip I heard is that if you want to MEK detail to the outside of a wagon, that is trusses, bands, doors, etc then the wagon wall will bow in the direction of the added detail. The antidote apparently is to laminate another piece of sheet on the other side of the wall and it this will stabilise it, basically by providing surface tension in the other direction.
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Re: some work on a CNJ XM-3 40' boxcar

Postby scaro » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:19 pm

Hi Bill

A Goldilocks thing indeed, but finding the right balance is hard and when I've used it too sparingly, I find that MEK simply won't bond effectively. Everyone says it will, but that has not been my finding. Some degree of coverage of the sheet is needed. Nonetheless I don't flood sheets, but I still get some warping.

However, the double sheathed USRA rebuild I did uses much thicker sides and looks a lot better. As you allude to, one advantage of boxcars is the walls can be as thick as you like.

However, I think styrene of any kind cannot hold a torch to paper in terms of detail.

One tip I heard is that if you want to MEK detail to the outside of a wagon, that is trusses, bands, doors, etc then the wagon wall will bow in the direction of the added detail. The antidote apparently is to laminate another piece of sheet on the other side of the wall and it this will stabilise it, basically by providing surface tension in the other direction.
It's *your* TT. It will be as good or as bad as *you* want it to be.
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