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  • Model Railroading "Basics"; Casting Cleanup


    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 20 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 21

    Many of the very best kits in model railroading contain a number of highly-detailed metal or plastic castings. The kit makers spend countless hours preparing and authenticating the accuracy of these parts but it's the modeler's responsibility to properly prepare and assemble or fit the castings into the completed model. Every casting has a certain amount of "flash"; a thin wisp of metal that manages to seep out the seams of the best molds when the molten metal is poured. The modeler must "clean up" any casting before gluing it in place or pre-painting it prior to assembly - it's one of the basic steps of modeling, but one too often overlooked by the beginner in his haste to complete any kit. The assembly techniques used to assemble Scale Structures Limited's "Jenson Oil Pump" HO scale kit are much the same as for any of the hundreds of quality kits containing castings to simulate the intricate detail parts of the prototype.

    One of the newest time-and labor saving techniques in modeling is the availability of the new "rapid bonding" adhesives. This new type of glue was originally developed for the aerospace and medical industries where surgically clean and ultra-fast work is required - they actually use the stuff to glue some surgical incisions together in place of the old fashioned "stitches." These new glues are activated by a lack of oxygen. The instant two glue-coated surfaces are pressed together they bond securely. The glue is a water-like clear liquid that can be wiped away should you apply a bit too much; only the smallest drop is needed to bond most model surfaces. Just be sure to keep the stuff off your fingers. If you get a drop between your thumb and forefinger you'll probably have to cut your fingers apart With a razor blade or rip off a chunk of skin! The surfaces to be bonded must be perfectly clean and they must fit precisely. You can glue one painted surface to another but the strength of the joint will then rely on the bonding strength of the paint rather than the glue. Most of the major hobby shops carry one or more brands of this new "rapid bonding" adhesive; Vigor-brand "Aron Alpha" (sold only to dealers by JMC International) seems to be the most commonly available brand. The "Aron Alpha" is available in four types; a blue-capped "Ethyl" and a blue-capped "Methyl" with a 45 to 60-second setting time or the white capped "Ethyl" or "Methyl" with a 10- to 20-second setting time. The two types of "Ethyl" are best for bonding any combination of plastic, rubber, ceramic, or glass. The two types of "Methyl" are best for bonding metal parts t o other metal parts, plastic, ceramic, or glass. The "Methyl" will probably be the most useful to model, railroaders in that it can be used to bond metal or plastic castings to wood or cardboard IF the surface of the wood or cardboard is sealed with a good coat of paint to keep the adhesive from soaking into the wood or card board. A two-gram applicator bottle of any of the four types of "Aron Alpha" retails for $2.29 but so little is required for any joint that the two-grams should last for hundreds of modeling projects.

    1. Most of the "craftsman"-quality model railroad rolling stock and structure kits contain metal or plastic castings for the precision details with wood and card for the major portions. Scale Structures Ltd.'s "Jenson Oil Pump" kit in HO scale has far more than the usual share of these metal castings since the model is nearly all precision detail. The kit contains castings, wire, stripwood for the base, and full-size scale plans to duplicate this piece of oil field equipment.

    2. Razor blades; flat, round, and square jeweler's files; a hobby knife; and ruler are the only tools required for assembly of most kits. Tweezers are a big help in handling the smaller parts and extra decals. We used Floquil's "Caboose Red" and "Tuscan Red" to paint this pump.

    3. The round (also called "needle") jeweler's file is most useful in cleaning out the excess metal "flash" from inside holes. You can use both a rotating and in-out motion but keep pressure light.

    4. The flat jeweler's file will quickly remove the "flash" mold marks from the smooth sides of a casting. Study the plans and instructions before beginning work so you don't file off any detail.

    5. The square jeweler's file will allow you to reach into the inside corners of parts to smooth off the molding marks. It is particularly useful for cleaning up the inside corners of windows.

    6. A sharp hobby knife can be used to trim off the ridge of molding flash from the sides of the smaller parts. This is X-Acto's No. 11 blade.

    7. Check the fit of one casting to another before gluing them together. "Aron Alpha" is a, clear, nearly instant-set, adhesive well suited to casting assembly. Only one or two drops are needed for any joint.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 22 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 23

    8. Most of the parts can be painted before assembly. Experienced modelers prefer an air brush (a miniature spray gun like the Badger unit shown) but the parts can be hand-painted with a brush.

    9. The HO scale engine that would drive the full-size pump is assembled and detail-painted, then glued to the strip wood platform in the kit.

    10. A relatively complex piece of machinery, like the SS Ltd. "Jenson Oil Pump," is easier to assemble if the major components are first glued together in to fully-painted sub assemblies.

    11. The "Aron Alpha" is used to glue the pump's supports to the wood sub base. The wood must be painted to seal its surface so the water-like glue won't soak in before bonding to the metal parts.

    12. The "Jenson Oil Pump's" counter weighted flywheel is glued in place next. Apply just a drop of glue from the end of a wire scrap.

    13. The giant "walking beam" portion of the pump is installed last. With a bit of careful fitting the pump can be motorized by a motor hidden beneath the tabletop.

    14. & 15. Drill a hole in the scenery or tabletop to accept the pump at the bottom of the cable when installing the "Jenson Oil Pump" on your own layout. The lubricating oil barrels and stand are included.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 24 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 25 

    16. Three of the SS Ltd. "Jenson Oil Pumps" have been installed on this HO scale hillside to supply oil to the SS Ltd. "Oil Tanks" beside the tracks. Such a scene has a realistic "complete" look showing the source of the oil, oil storage, and railroad tank car loading.

    17.. 18. & 19. This milling machine, lathe, and band saw (plus a drill press not shown) are included in the new SS Ltd. "Machinery" kit of metal castings. These parts must be cleaned, painted, and assembled in much the same manner as the oil pump to take maximum advantage of the built-in detail.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 26 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Summer 1971 - Page 27


    Article Details

    • Source 1001 Model Railroading Ideas
    • Publication Date Summer 1971

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