Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Fluesheet, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Sgtcarl, I forgot to comment on this earlier. I was at the museum this past summer and got some pictures of the inside of the CF caboose they have on display, but only detail shots of the outside! If you have any good photos of the exterior, let me know.

  2. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Had that problem once when I was taking shots for a superdetailing project (Mantua 0-4-0 Shifter...still in progress). Plenty of detail shots, but no overall views. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one who had taken pics of this engine and I found more online. Good luck!
  3. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Roof is on!

    This caboose, as most do, had an arched roof. The AMB kit has a fairly clever way of accommodating this feature. Each section is a single piece of wood, with lengthwise scribing that penetrates about halfway through the wood. The result is a single piece of wood that can be curved to follow the arched "rafters".

    I initially tried to "pre-bend" one of the pieces, which promptly caused the wood to begin to break along one of the scribe lines. Curses and a little thin super glue along the seam set things right enough to continue.

    I used Titebond Carpenters glue to fasten the roof on, and used rubber bands around the carbody to keep it in place until set (protect the corners of the carbody!).

    After it was set, I evened out some high spots and roughened up the finish with a flexi-file Flex-Pad.

    Note that the window sills have also been applied. These are very small peel and stick that I ended up reinforcing with a touch of thin CA glue where needed - there didn't seem to be enough adhesive to weather being handled. This might be a good thing to leave for last if I do another.


    On goes the roof end facia / roofwalk support (glue) and side facia (peel and stick)

    In the photo above, you can also see the open bottom of the toilet "hopper". This is where I drilled the hole in the carbody floor to provide some ventilation without being seen. The end of the decoder is directly above this point.

    Next time is the roof covering.

  4. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    These cabooses, when originally built, had wooden roofs covered by canvas coated with an asphalt based water proofing material. Later they were replaced with metal roofs. I chose to try to imitate the canvas using some type of tissue paper. And was pleasantly pleased with the outcome.

    As I had never tried this before, the first photo shows some practice attempts (materials and color). What I learned from this is that toilet tissue probably wouldn't be the best material; I was concerned the "quilting", may show through.


    Other practice attempts using kleenex type tissue bypassed the quilting concern and I was also happier with the texture. For color I decided on a mixed paint that turned out to look more or less like grimy black.

    To attach, I cut strips of tissue about .3" wide and applied these across the roof to simulate the seams in the canvas. The paint was applied by dabbing drops directly to the tissue and allowing it to wick through the material. It also doubled as the adhesive.

    Frankly, I was unhappy with the work as it progressed; the paint was going on too thick, the texture wasn't showing through and it was difficult to prevent the tissue from bunching up.

    I stumbled on a better solution by accident. After completing the longer ("A") end and the cupola roof, I took a break and forgot to cover the paint. When I returned, the surface of the paint had begun to set up, I scraped this off and thinned the remainder; as it turned out, it was significantly thinner than the original paint - Voila! The thinner paint wicked faster and left the texture much more visible.

    Incidentally, the white surface was another peel and stick piece - the lines crossing the crown are index lines if you want to add a "steel" seam (also peel and stick)

    The tissue was still bunching up, so the final step in this learning process was to "stretch" the strips to prevent and remove wrinkles while applying the paint with the other hand. Note the lack of wrinkles in the piece being stretched compared to the strip next to and on top of the cupola. I was please as punch at this point.


    The process went something like this:
    1) Apply "canvas" strip with a slight overlap of the previous piece.
    2) Dab paint at the roof crown to anchor it
    3) Alternately apply the thinned paint to one side then the other while stretching the tissue.

    After all the canvas was applied and paint was dried, I removed the overhanging strips by filing along the roof-facia corner at an angle with a flexi-file. This cut the tissue nicely without damaging the facia. The last photo shows the crispness of the result.

    I also used a flexi-file (great tools) to knock down the high spots on the first two roof sections I completed (see previous cupola-top picture as an example), and finished off with a coarse file to put some texture back into it. The result wasn't perfect, but very much improved the situation on those surfaces and will be very difficult to see once roof walks and other details are added.


    Lastly (after the final picture was taken), I applied a final paint touch up to the filed corners, high spots that were filed down (and a little shiny), etc., then applied a thinned white glue layer for stability. All and all I am very pleased with the result.

    My apologies for the lengthy post!

  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The caboose is really lookin' good, Matt. I put a "canvas" roof on one of the CNR cabooses that I recently upgraded, and got fairly good results by first removing the roofwalks, then lightly sanding the painted styrene roof. I then placed a single ply of facial tissue over one side of the roof, then brush it with lacquer thinner. It took several applications of thinner, then the roof was left to dry overnight. The next day, I trimmed away the excess tissue with a sharp blade, then brush-painted the roof with Floquil Roof Brown. It was later airbrushed with the final colour, and doesn't look too bad, although the tongue-and-groove roof boards show through slightly - it's not objectionable to me, but it would be simple to add a second layer of "canvas", if necessary.

  6. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Interesting - though I may not quite be following. The lacquer thinner was used to soften up the styrene enough to allow the tissue to adhere?
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Well, it not only softens the styrene, but it also softens the tissue, allowing it to conform to the curve of the roof and even, to some degree, the roofwalk supports. I tried this first on the underside of the roof, and the "canvas" cannot be removed, unless you scrape or sand it off. I didn't stretch the tissue at all, as it's very fragile while wet, but it tightens itself to the roof nicely without physical manipulation. The lacquer-based Floquil is just more of the same treatment, although with colour. Because the paint isn't applied until after the lacquer/tissue is completely hardened, there's no wrinkling or distortion caused by the paint brush.

  8. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Roof Detail

    Next on was the roof detail.

    The roof walk is peel and stick, it's supports are roughly "T" shaped items that were in my case were tight enough to simply be pressed into the slots seen in one of the earlier photos. The end platforms were also peel and stick, as were it's supports. I'll have to watch to see if the very small adhesive area of the supports will stand up to time.

    The smoke jack was cast with a flat base, that had to be filed at a slight angle so it would stand straight without any gaps. The only other thing the smokejack required was a locating hole in the roof to accomodate the cast-in locating pin on the base. It was attached with CA. The prototype had angled braces supporting the smoke jack, those would be added later.

    Both the walk and platforms were given first coat of paint. You can also see the base red showing through on the end platforms, another reminder not to paint everything red next time around.


    Next I'll start on the grabs.
  9. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    End Grabs

    Most of my grabs are now on. Most of the grab locations on this model are already drilled (lasered?) through the sheathing and only had to be extended into the inner wall. One fresh hole had to be drilled to locate the bottom of the carbody end grab into the edge of the platform.

    The photos below display some of the tools and methods used to make sure the result was as consistent as possible.

    1) A piece of .020" styrene was used to make sure the new hole in the platform was consistent for all for corners:


    To create the grab itself:
    1) A right angle bend with a soft radius (maybe a little too soft)


    2) Once this central bend was located, the grab was fitted to the carbody to find where the sharp bends that go into the platform and end wall sheathing beside the door were located and bent. This photo shows the final bend in progress.

    3) Test fitment:

    4) The the .020" styrene was used again to gain consistent separation between the grab and carbody, then were secured with medium CA where the wire entered the sheathing. I was concerned with blobs, so I actually applied the glue to the wire, then "pushed" it toward the sheathing with a tweezer point. After much breath-holding and sweating, the results were satisfactory.

    5) Last step, very small "L" brackets were created (pointed to below), inserted into the hole under the soft bend, and glued. I found this worked much better if the side of the L that was supporting the grab was squashed as flat as possible (too small to get a photo of).


    Next were the side grabs, which were created in the same manner, other than the custom bend mandrel... :)

    Fitting the end result

    End result.
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Beautiful work on the end grabs! I admire your patience and precision. They really enhance the model!
  11. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Excellent work with the grabs. Now I know how to do mine on my future projects.
  12. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    Hey! fluesheet.
    What did you think of our museum? I've visited it two or three times since moving here. Been in Va almost 7 years. I lived in Ca. for 11 yrs, and visited disneyland alot, but I prefer the transportation museum 1000 to 1! Will send you some photos of the caboose's exterior as soon as I can. Hopefully, before the end of the month. I will be making at least two trips to Raonoke this month, on medical appts, so hopefully will find time to take some photos for you.
  13. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I like your jigs! Normally I just use left over grandt line jigs, or I make my own with stryrene. I like your idea of using pencils and such.

    The roof looks good. I'm trying to decide if I'll be attempting a masking tape roof, or a tissue paper roof like you've used.

    Keep up the good work!
  14. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    It's looking great. I'm really looking forward to the end results. Should be the next best thing to the real one. Awesome!
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One other method that I have used to put on the "canvas" tissue roof is to paint the roof, and then lay the tissue in the wet paint. Sticks it down nicely, and you can come back with more paint after this is dry, thereby avoiding tearing or otherwise distorting the tissue.

    Great job, BTW! Especially for something that's so hard to see! ;)

  16. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    First of all, thanks again for the comments!

    SgtCarl, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Roanoke. It was our 20th anniversary, and even without the museum, we had a great time touring southern West Virginia and western Virginia. I've posted some of my VMT photos here:
    Zenfolio | MGoodman | Virginia Museum of Transportation

    MasonJar, your canvas roof process sounds far too simple. There's very little pain involved!

    nkp and Glen, glad I could help!

  17. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    Glad you enjoyed your trip! Those are some great photos! You put me to shame, and I'm a semi-pro photographer;)BTW congratulations on your 20th anniversary!
  18. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Smoke Jack, End Work

    I've remained busy on this project. Following the grabs, it was time to brace the smoke jack before I knocked it off. The first bend here was around the chimney, or more accurately around a (I believe) #50 drill bit. Getting a tight fit around the smoke jack and getting the remaining 6 bends positioned properly was a bear.



    Next I prepped the ends, which presented me with another dilemma; I'd glued the floor in early in the process, and secondly had installed the roof before drilling the marked holes in the end beam, which cut off access from the top side. The resolution was to drill up from the underside, with fingers crossed that the bit came out where it was supposed to.


    The holes for the grabs were drilled out with a #79 bit, the corner post holes with a #67.
    After drilling the corner post holes, I extended the bit up into the roof (eyeballing for squareness), and drilled a shallow hole there as well. This was locate the top of the corner post and also allow a good solid mechanical connection (vs. a butt joint) to go along with the adhesive.


    The kit supplied a .032" styrene dowell for the corner posts. I chose not to use this because there was only enough to go from end sill to roof for all corners. In the prototype, the corner posts were also downspouts and as such extended through and below the bottom of the end sill. Being that it was just as simple to model this detail as to not model it, I chose the former.

    By the way, piano wire is waaay too hard for modeling-weight sidecuts / xuron cutters. For the remaining three I used a much softer green coated steel that my father offered. Unfortunately, he doesn't recall where he got it.

    Test fitment of .032" piano wire corner post. Note the curved extension below the end sill, this is the "downspout".

    Since the previous photo, I've also added the steps (required some TLC to square them up) and the drop grabs on the end sill. These came from the Details Associates kit mentioned at the top of the thread; interestingly, the 2' drop grabs in the kit were too narrow. The 2' stirrups in the kit were fine, so I bent a "drop" into those.

    More later.
  19. Sarge_7

    Sarge_7 Member

    This is looking like one awesome project. I love the detailing. I too have been bending my own grabs and hanrails for some of my projects, i think I will use some of your pointers next time:thumb::thumb:

  20. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I find that a cut-off disk in a motor tool works great for cutting music wire, and there's no "burr" to file away. For cutting soft brass wire, a used (even dull) #11 X-Acto blade works well when used on a hard surface, such as a sheet of glass. Use the heel of the blade rather than anywhere near the tip, as the blade can shatter, to "snick-off" the piece required. Make sure that the cut piece doesn't take flight as the cut is made. I've even had success using this method with small diameter stainless steel wire from Detail Associates. For half-hard brass wire, or larger diameter soft brass wire, and small diameter brass tubing, the knife blade will also work well, but the trick is to use downward pressure on the blade to roll the material back and forth on the hard surface, eventually cutting through small diameter material, or scoring larger material deeply enough that it will break cleanly on the score line.
    I almost never use pliers or wire cutters for working with wire for models.


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