scratchbuilding question

Skyraider Jun 10, 2022

  1. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    After asking a couple of friends who are good modelers and not getting may ideas, thought I'd throw it out here.

    The next scratch building / kit bash project is a couple of oilfield trucks. They were extremely specialized and I won't go into all of the details. Most of the components--especially for early 1950's trucks are simply not available. Alloy Forms has a few things (winch), but not anywhere near all of what I need.

    Anyone have an idea how to scratch build a heavy duty bumper like the ones pictured? There are several different styles of heavy duty bumpers, but the two pictured are my favorites. I need about three of them. autocar 7.jpg autocar 8.jpg
     
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  2. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would go with brass, tube, sheet and flat stock.
    I'm not a tech type person but 3D printing might be another way.
    Have you checked on Shapeways?
     
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  3. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    The mulch yard nearby still runs a couple auto car dump trucks. They have a really neat exhaust sound.
     
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  4. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. The stuff on Shapeways is incredibly expensive. And most of it is way too modern for my layout. If I built a truck using Shapeways parts (a bumper, the winch and headache rack, and the gin pole bed) it would cost $60 without the truck? The truck would be an additional $20.

    Most of my scratch building has been with styrene and wood. How do you cut small shapes out of thin sheet brass?
     
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  5. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm not an expert but based on my experience depending on thickness you can use small shears or a jewelers saw or scissors.
    In my experience the jewelers saw distorts the material less and with an assortment of blades can cut various thickness material.
    Search YouTube for using a jewelers saw. I use a small piece of thin plywood with a V notch clamped to my bench as a bench pin. No need to by a bench pin.
    Do you have a jewelers saw?
     
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  6. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    No, but I will look for one. The closest thing to a jeweler's saw in my toolbox is 1) rail saw and 2) thin mitre box saw. thanks for the suggestion!!
     
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  7. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    It's possible to build something like that with the aforementioned materials. I'd outright whittle the big bumper part out of balsa wood, make the flat parts with styrene, and the bars with brass or other stiff wire (like that used for RC plane control surface linkages).

    I had a small wire bender at one time - great for making handrails - but I can't find it back!:(

    It will probably show up the day after I get a new wire bender from Amazon or from a train show...:LOL:
     
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  8. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, Mike. What you described is how I've built several things on the layout. Just cut, sand and file til it's about the right shape, add wires, etc., til it's close to what you want. The bumpers in question are pretty intricate and they need to look good. But your method may be a good starting point.

    Attached are a couple of photos of the service truck I made out of a beverage delivery truck a few months ago. The biggest thing I did wrong was using .010 styrene sheet for the tool doors on the sides of the truck body. They are way too thick. At some point in time they will be replaced. IMG_5641.JPG IMG_5640.JPG IMG_5639.JPG
     
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  9. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    ok...the oilfield truck project is underway. The grill looks to me like a 1950's Peterbilt, but I can't find anything definitive on the 'web regarding the grill, so it's going to be a Peterbilt oilfield truck unless someone here knows better. I took a chance buying this stuff, and it sort of panned out and sort of didn't. The photos were awful, but the guy seemed honest. He just didn't tell me the whole story, or didn't really know that much. The used trucks I bought were the worst examples of modeling I have ever seen. All have to be disassembled as much as possible, stripped of their horrible paint and rebuilt and redetailed. Some will be sources of parts. At least it's been fun building a little oilfield fleet.

    The skirts on the bed are just pieces of styrene that were cut out and dremeled for wheel wells; the passenger side step is also a piece of styrene; the driver's side tank is an Alloy Forms fuel tank that was scavenged from something else; the hood area had to be reshaped a little to make the grill fit (grill was narrower than the more modern grill that was on the truck). Still have to scratch build the exhaust stacks...no big deal there. Needless to say, it had to be stripped of terrible paint before doing anything else.

    The winch on the bed is just laying there. It will be detailed, attached just behind the headache rack, some cable added and a hook and some other stuff. A step will be added to the driver's side, along with mirrors, etc. Lots of junk will be on the bed (chain, cable, some oilfield stuff). A toolbox will be attached under the bed on the passenger side close to the front of the bed.

    There was an A/C unit on the cab roof--too modern for me, so I attempted to remove it. It was molded into the roof and broke the roof and left a hole. After gluing a piece of styrene to the underside of the cab roof I patched it with good old testor's putty. Someday I'll buy some better putty after finishing the tube of testors.


    That's about it for now.

    Peterbilt close up.jpg IMG_5652.JPG IMG_5650.JPG
     
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  10. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    So far it's promising. It's going to look great with that front end glued on!:cool:
     
  11. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks. It's been fun so far. Maybe tomorrow there will be enough progress to post more photos. Tonight I fabricated the exhaust stack and did a couple of other small things. The model doesn't have any windows, so I've got to figure out how to make windows. The cab won't come off so I can't install them inside. They will have to fit in the window openings.
     
  12. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    The grill has been painted, will be weathered, and as you see in the attached photo, there will be a brush guard. It may even be painted something darker--maybe even body colored.

    Nearly finished the scratch built winch; added an underbed toolbox on the driver's side and a step on the passenger side. The exhaust stack is done and will be attached after the model is painted. After looking at many photos, they didn't all have mufflers on the vertical stack. Maybe the muffler was underneath.

    The hard part is still ahead: painting. Painting isn't my strong suit and it still scared me a little. You don't want to put all this time in a tiny model and then mess it up with bad paint.

    Question for anyone who knows trucks better than I (which is just about all of you). All the photos are b&w. Would the underframe and undercarriage have been black or the same color as the body?

    IMG_5654.JPG IMG_5656.JPG IMG_5657.JPG IMG_5658.JPG IMG_5659.JPG
     
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  13. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    From my memories of my youth most frames were a dark brown metallic color of raw steel unless getting painted by the owner if exposed. To help make it look better and more professional. So it's up to you.
     
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  14. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    For some reason, airbrushing has always been a struggle for me. And it continues with this model. It won't dry!! It's been 7 or 8 hours since I painted it and it's still tacky. Oh well... The paint is a mix of floquil paints to make the green, with a little gloss included. It's a little humid today, but not that humid. Who knows...

    It still needs exhaust stacks, windows, chains, cables, hooks, a fire extinguisher, etc., etc. And weathering...but it's getting there.

    IMG_5661 copy.jpg IMG_5662.JPG
     
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  15. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looks very nice. Hopefully the paint will cure.

    Does anyone know if this is a known issue with old Floquil paints?
     
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  16. 7dmack

    7dmack TrainBoard Member

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    Enamels always take a bit to dry, I try to give Floquil a couple days at least. It can be quicker if dried with heat.
     
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  17. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks to both of you. Are you sure Floquil is an enamel? It cleans up with lacquer thinner.

    Thanks again.
     
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  18. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Perhaps you should have thinned it some more.
     
  19. Skyraider

    Skyraider TrainBoard Member

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    That's the only thought I had, but wasn't sure. At times I've had problems with Floquil crazing some plastics, so I paint it with a little less thinner on bare plastic / styrene. This basic model is a hodgepodge of stuff that came to me in a box of parts. I have no idea what it originally was, so don't know what kind of plastic it is and how well it holds up to lacquer paints.

    Additionally, my success spraying acrylics is close to nil--just don't know how to do it. Poly S and other acrylics are for weathering and brush painting in my shop.
     
  20. 7dmack

    7dmack TrainBoard Member

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    I used to work at a shop that used lacquer paints. Often they would be dried up but adding lacquer thinner and lots of mixing would bring them back. I haven't found anything that will bring back Floquil so thought it was enamel. Lacquer dries by having the solvent evaporate. Adding solvent back softens the paint. Enamel "sets" when it dries and adding solvent won't make it flow again. FWIW, I have been airbrushing Floquil thinned with lacquer thinner for at least 25 years.
     

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