To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Saturday, January 25, 2014

North Shore Line 409 - Part 12 Adding Non-Roof Detals to the Exterior of the Car Body

There are significant details to add to the ends of the car. Both ends are the same. At least one of the details to be added should catch your eye as a train made up of the 409 and other Silverliner cars went by.

Holes to mount the details can be drilled in both ends at the same time. However, all the details should be added to one end at a time.

Seven "sets" of details are to be added to the ends of the model excluding marker lamps. Each of the details should be painted before installation. The "sets" to be added include: 
     a headlight mounting bracket,
     a pair of grab irons inside the vestibule,
     a chain across the end door, 
     a windshield wiper,
     a retriever, 
     a dual horn, and 
     hand-steps up to the roof.

A Q-Car B-136 Headlight Bracket was used for the bracket mounted on the end door.  ACC was used for glue for all items.

Modeling Note - If you have had problems with ACC causing fogging or frosting of glazing or other parts of a model, work in a room with a ceiling fan turned on high. If no ceiling fan is available use a box or other fan to move the air around in the room. Blowing away the fumes of the curing ACC is required.

For the pair of grab irons and the hand-steps up to the roof 0.020" diameter brass wire was used.  For drilling the holes in the model a pattern made out of an index card was used.

A chain having 24 links per inch was used for the chain across the end door. The chain should be darkened with chemical metal blackener before installation. The chain can still be painted black but this is not necessary.
The chain is "hooked" into the grab iron. Another method is to use fine black thread to tie the chain to the grab iron.
I installed the chain before blackening or painting it. Look at the next photo to see what happens when the chain is painted with an 00 brush - a mess!
 The end door and bracket have to be repainted red.

Cal Scale part #190-3017 Wind Shield Wipers available from Bowser Manufacturing were used for the windshield wipers. As you drill the hole for installation, use a finger to back-up the glazing. Other windshield wiper castings can be used but may not be a fine of a casting.

The 5 above items can be reviewed in prior 2 Posts "Sunset NSL Silverliners #8A and #8B Ends & Sides" dated February 22 and 25, 2012.

Your choice of retriever can be used. After they are painted black a nice touch is to paint the center of the retrievers red. A red dot of paint works well.

For the dual horns Q-Car B-137 were used. If these are not available an O scale and an HO scale horn of the same design OR 2 out of a set of Nathan diesel horns can be used. If either of these 2 alternative methods are used an angular mounting bracket must be fashioned. 

The horns need to be painted bright aluminum before attaching to the dash. It's this set of horns which set the 409 apart from other Silverliner coaches. The horns on the dash of the car may have been one of many reasons the motormen and carmen didn't like the 409.

My 409 is to be operated with another model, a powered NSL combine 256. As the tail car of the train, markers have to be installed on the 409. Look at prior Post "Sunset NSL Silverliners#8A . . ." for how the markers were installed. Unlike the installation in the other Silverliners, 16 volt bulbs are used in the 409.

Which end you decide to have markers attached is your choice. Since most of my models run from left to right, I decided to have the side of the 409 into which the new windows are added face away. If you are familiar with which is the #1 end of a NSL car, the 409 has the lavatory at the #1 end. For my model the markers will be located at the #1 end.

Getting the marker lamp base ready requires some work. This is an example as to how small the bases are compared to a dime. Note the up position on the bottom of the photo and the down position at the top.

To drill out a hole for the bulb's wire, it's best to solder the bases on a small sheet of 0.005" brass sheet. This makes it easier to handle the bases. After the holes are drilled, un-solder the bases from the brass and clean them. Do not remove all of the solder on the bottom.
My sheet of 0.005" brass has been used for other marker bases.
After the holes have been drilled and tested to see if the light bulb fits in the marker bases, a piece of wire has to be soldered on for insertion into the marker brackets on the model. The bottom of the marker base does not have a lot of contact area for good soldering between the base and the wire. To increase the contact area, a small bend was made in the wire before soldering it to the base. The wire used is nickel silver 0.020" wire. Any wire which will solder to the base can be used.
These are the bases and the marker lamps after they have been painted. The paint has to dry before the bases are installed. Note the bent pieces of wire on the bases.

The bases after being installed on the model are very fragile. Be careful not to break-off the wire. Hole to thread the wire from the bulbs in the markers has to be drilled in the dash. To camouflage the wires and the holes in the dash, they were painted silver.

In the marker base is a Miniatronics 16 v bulb. This photo was taken before the headlight bracket was repainted red. Note the red dot in the center of the retriever commonly seen on Silverliners.

My 409 is being used an un-powered car at the end of a train. If the model 409 is powered or not is the modelers decision. The model 409 can be operated at the front of a train. In this case a headlight has to be added to the front of the car. There are earlier posts on the Sunset replacement Silverliner cars in the this blog which describe the installation of a power truck and a headlight on a model.

In the next Post interior lighting along with wiring-up the marker lamps will be the topic.


Monday, January 20, 2014

North Shore Line 409 - Part 11 Installation of the Windows and Glazing

The windows were designed so the back of the windows would be flush with the back of the model's brass wall. The wall where the windows are to be installed is 0.040" thick (2 pieces of brass 0.025" and 0.015" thick). With this in mind the sash of the lower window was planned to be 0.020" thick while the sash of the upper window is 0.030" thick. By doing this the window will have nearly the same profile as the other windows in the side of the model.

Before the installation some trimming of the existing glazing had to take place. The piece of clear plastic used for the glazing for the 3 windows to the left (as you look at the model) of the opening was too long for the glazing of the new windows to fit. It had to be cut back just a little. Since this was hard to do with the piece of glazing in place, the glazing was removed from the model. The glazing was then cut to the correct length. This turned out to be a blessing as you will find out later.

So the new windows could mounted flush with the back of the model's wall, a piece of 0.100" thick styrene was covered with one of the thick plastic bags parts come in. The covered piece of styrene was held against the interior wall of the model where the windows were to be installed.

The new windows were pushed in place. Medium thick ACC was applied along the sides of the new windows and the window posts of the model. A pin was used to push the sash of the new windows against the model's window post. A pin has the smallest surface area to be pushed against the new painted window sash. The pin did not disturb the paint.

Once the ACC started to cure the 0.100" thick styrene in the plastic bag was removed from inside the model. The new windows were being held in place with the ACC. The ACC was allowed to complete cure before the next step.
The left of the pair of new windows is above my finger. If you look closely the space between the lower sash and the belt rail of the model can ben seen. This space will be filled with the thick, slower curing ACC.

Once this was done, thick slow curing ACC was applied along the bottom and top of the windows. The piece of styrene backing was held in place while the ACC was allowed to start curing. The slow curing ACC is a gap filling product. It filled in an irregularities between the styrene windows and the brass body.

The following photo, the only other one taken for this post, was taken after the slow curing ACC was used and allowed to cure completely. Before any touch-up painting can be done the area where the new windows were added has to be cleaned of excess ACC.

A small brush was used for touch-up painting. The paint was applied twice brushing in only 1 direction. Allow the paint to completely dry between coats. The 2nd coat dried  to a flat finish. To give the newly painted area a gloss finish like the balance of the model, a diluted Glosscoat was applied. I have forgotten how diluted the Glosscoat is. Using a small brush, the Glosscoat was applied by brushing ONCE in only 1 direction. This is to prevent the red paint from being disturbed.

If an area requires a 2nd coating of Glosscoat, the 2nd coat was applied the same way - brushing ONCE in only 1 direction with NO touch-ups until dry.

The glazing is next. There are 6 windows requiring glazing. The new windows will be held in place with glazing. Using canopy glue the piece of glazing removed for the model to be cut back was affixed  behind the 2 new windows plus the 2 windows to the left. This gave the piece of glazing a larger area to be glued plus this gave the new windows greater support.

For the remaining 2 windows a piece of 0.040" thick clear styrene was cut to size. A piece of masking tape was attached where the frosting was on the other pieces of glazing in the model. Using an emery board the clear styrene was scratched until it appeared as frosted as the other pieces of glazing. This piece of glazing was glued in place using canopy glue.

All the glazing was weighted down until the canopy glue cured. So the side was not scratched, the model was suspended over the work area. A box of parallels was used for weights.
The worse of the work is done. The next items are the exterior, non-roof items which need to be added. These are the items which make the 409 distinguishable from other Silverliners.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

North Shore Line 409 - Part 10 Making the Windows and Painting Them (The Red Matching Paint Disclosed)

A Special Announcement Regarding the Red Paint Selected for This Project!

After preparing a few paint "chips" to compare the red paints available from Tru-Scale Paints, the TCP-012 Chinese Red color was chosen.

Further on in this post and the next where when the windows are painted and installed, comments will be made as to the finish of the paint and other factors.

First the metal housing for making the replacement windows has to be made. Some time ago a 0.060" thick piece of aluminum sheet was cut-up to be used as a shims. It just so happens each piece of aluminum  was large enough to be used for the current project. The piece selected had all 4 corners square. The piece was scored in its vertical center. A hole the same size as in the model was marked and cut out. The same steps as making the hole in the model was used.
The styrene pattern has been installed in the piece of aluminum. Small squares were used in scribing the lines on the aluminum.

To explain the size of styrene and its location in making the new windows, drawings of the styrene and a photo of the "form" used for making the window will be used. The letter in the circle is the order in which the piece(s) of styrene were placed in the form and then glued.
E is to be placed over C.
It may not look like I followed the order in building up the windows from the photos. I was fitting parts and at the same time taking photos. Photo taking was secondary to building up the windows.
When the styrene glue has completely cured, the window was popped out of the form. The windows are extreme fragile so they were attached to a piece of wood using masking tape in preparation for painting. The second photo is the windows after painting.
The painted widows have been placed on a clean shop towel. Before painting the windows a test was done to see if my choice of paint/color was correct. A brush was used to paint over the scratch on the window post to the left of the new windows. The comments Tru-Color makes about brushed-on paint are correct. The paint dried to a satin finish. This will be corrected in the future to have the finish of the paint match the high gloss of the model.
The comments Tru-Color makes about the paint being sprayed-on are correct. The windows were sprayed using an air brush. The paint covers very well. It can be sprayed straight out of the bottle. The paint dried to a light gloss finish.
When the windows were placed in the hole, the fit was correct as expected. The finish on the paint was less glossy than the finish on the model. The windows were taken out of the model and sprayed with a coat of Testors Glosscoat. The windows then matched the gloss of the model's finish.
Installation is next!

Monday, January 6, 2014

North Shore Line 409 - Part 9 Preparing the Hole for Replacement Windows

The hole needs to be filed square using mill files. Mill files have teeth on opposite sides - usually the larger faces of the file. The edges do not have teeth or any cutting surface. The corners of the mill file are square!

Mill files can be purchased in hardware and like stores. I've found these files to have courser teeth than required. Many years ago I purchased my mill files at a jewelers' supply company in Downtown Chicago. These files have finer teeth. I obtained mill files designated "00", "0", and I think "1". They are also of different sizes (lengths and widths).

This is not the time or place to go into a dissertation on filing. However, if you have filed enough "things", you know the thinner the piece to be filed, the finer the teeth have to be. Also, be aware trying to file something flat and square takes great skill. Over the years I've made patterns for parts to be cast out of brass. Some brass patterns had to be filed square. Now with age my skills are starting to wane.

Filing the hole square takes time. Often it comes down to 1 or 2 strokes of the file and then measurements are taken. If you are doing this take your time. Long strokes over the length of the piece or hole are best. Correct any dips or off-square edges and corners immediately.
An old white sock was placed inside the model to prevent brass filings from getting all over the interior. The sock also protected the glazing and wall opposite where the work was being done. The scratch in the left window post can painted using a small, fine brush. The gray line above the windows will be covered over with an aluminum stripe decal. 

Remember my comments in the prior post about the soldering together of the 2 pieces of brass? This is where I ran into a minor problem. Near the edges of the hole, the 2 pieces of brass were not soldered together. In filing the hole square, I was filing 2 separate pieces of brass. 

Filing tends to "pick" at the edge of the piece being filed. In one corner of the opening as the corner was being filed, the 2 pieces of brass separated a little.

The worst part of having the 2 pieces of brass separate, causing a gap, is the separation makes the window appear deeper than it actually is. Trying to clamp the 2 pieces of brass together is nearly impossible. The exterior brass is finished. Placing just any clamp will not do as it will probably mar or scratch the paint. Also, the clamp has to be small to fit into the hole due to the location of the brass separation in the model. There are small, plastic clamps available. I could not find mine.

I placed a small amount of slow curing ACC into the separation and held the 2 pieces of brass together with weights placed inside the model. To keep the weights from sticking to the model's interior wall wax paper was placed between the interior of the model and the weights. The model was placed on its side on soft material with the weights inside.
This photo was taken after the ACC had cured. The raised portion of the interior brass can be noticed.
This is the same photo at the beginning of this post. What needs to be done is make a set of 2 windows to fill the opening in the side of the model. Also notice the unpainted brass in the sides of the opening. This brass has to be either covered-up or painted as part of the window construction or installation.
This will give you an idea as to the measurements for the replacement windows. On the left of the drawing are the measurements for the window post between the windows. All measurements were taken with a Vernier caliper.
I decided to make a drop-in set of pre-painted windows just like the ones you can get to replace the windows in your house. What will be done is to make the replacement windows in a metal housing having a hole the same size as the hole in the model.
First a 0.040" thick piece of styrene was cut to the exact dimensions as the hole in the model. The piece of styrene was made having a snug fit into the hole.
Notice the word "outside" written on the plastic "pattern". What you do not see, and there is no photo showing, are the tiny gaps around the edges of the hole and plastic "pattern" where light shows through. When the replacement window is installed, gap filling ACC will be used and then painted over.
By a stroke of luck I had a squared off, rectangular piece of 1/16" thick aluminum sheet of an appropriate size to make the styrene window for the model. You'll see it in the next post.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

North Shore Line 409 - Part 8 Cutting Out the 2-Window Panel

Happy New Year - 2014!

To prepare for cutting out the 2-window blank panel, look at the drawings of the 409 as printed in MR. Then, look closely at the model to determine how much must be cut out. Also, look at the windows around where the cut-out will be. Conveniently the upper edge of the cut-out needs to be at the lower edge of the letterboard. Run a finger over the window post up to and over the letterboard. You should feel a slight hump about the top of the windows. The opening needs to start just below the hump.

Next notice the window sash ends just above the horizontal belt rail with rivets. The bottom of the window sash, the lower edge of the cut-out, is at the top of the the belt rail.

The sides of the windows end next to a slightly elevated post between the windows. The sash of the windows is next to this raised piece. This is a photo of a sample of windows in the side of the model. What look like little white dots are rivets.

This is a photo of the area to be cut out. Notice and compare the top and bottom of this area and the windows. Notice the sides of the area to be cut out ends with a single row of vertical rivets. When the panel is cut out the 2 rows of rivets (1 at each side) at the sides of the panel will be gone.

Before cutting out anything, how are the windows going to be built? Are they going to be built in place? How are they going to be supported on the sides and back? Are the pieces making up the window going to be pre-painted or painted after the window is built or inserted in place? What kind of material will be used to build the windows?
In answer to these questions a decision was made to build the windows out of styrene strips. Styrene is easy to work with and comes in various correct size, scale shapes. However, it does not have great structural strength in the sizes to be used to build the windows.
The windows will be built in a "form" the same size as the cut-out in the side of the model. After the glue had cured. the windows will be popped out of the "form" and painted a color matching the red of the model.
To answer the structural strength problem of styrene, the pre-painted window will be "glued" in place. The new windows will be backed (glazed) with clear, styrene much the same as the models window glazing. If required the new window can be glued to the glazing.
Now you have an idea of how the new windows will be added to the model. Keep in mind the area will be cut out and then filed "square" for the pre-painted windows to be inserted and glued in place. The operative word is "square". Filing metal, or other material, square is not easy. It requires time and work.
The 1st cut into the side of the car was to get a feel for how thick the brass was in this portion of the side and how hard it would be to cut the hole into the side. The cutting was done slowly so the brass did not get too hot. Heat destroys the finish and will weaken glued and even soldered seams.
It wasn't too difficult to cut the hole with a cut-off wheel. A white sox on each side of the area being worked on can be seen. The sox were a great help with holding the model. I didn't have to worry about where the model was grabbed and what would happen to the model. 
Four holes were drilled in each corner of the area to be cut out. The 2 horizontal cuts were completed into the holes.
Take note of the amount of brass filings left from the 2 cuts. Always blow or brush-out these filings before going further. A small vacuum cleaner would be handy. Do not let the filings build up. They can scratch the finish and glazing on the model. The 2 vertical cuts were next.
The horizontal cuts were made with a larger 2-1/2" or 3" diameter  cut-off wheel. The vertical cuts were made with a smaller cut-off wheel. As a cut-off wheel is used it becomes smaller in size. The smaller wheels are saved for close-up work where a large wheel would not fit.
After the 4 cuts are made what is left of the panel fell out. The outer piece is painted red. It was 0.025" thick. The unpainted panel is the inner piece and was 0.015" thick. From the fact the 2 pieces fell out free of one another tells me the 2 pieces are soldered only at their edges where the 2 pieces join. The effects of soldering flux (the pink color) can be seen on the inner piece. The back of the inner piece of brass was painted the same as the interior of the car - a light mint green.
Let's stop here and pick-up the finishing of the hole in the next post. A problem arose which will be explained in the next post.