Scratch Building materials

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Wildcatfootball, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. I'm trying to make a Amtrak Cascades consisit, and the only thing I'm having trouble with it the generator/baggage cars. What would be the best material to build that little hump where the blue goes up on the front of it? Would some type of material be better for painting? I've NEVER scratch built anything before, so I have no clue where to start, other then looking at that picture. Thanks guys.

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  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Are you planning to scratchbuild the whole car? I would recommend styrene plastic- but this may be a challenge. It's a complex shape. You are gonna want something lightweight, because you don't want the car to be top heavy. You could try carving the shape out of a block of wood, and making a mold and casting it with resin - but I think that would be too heavy. You would need a thin/hollow casting. I'm curious to hear what you decide.

  3. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    Do you already have the Talgo coaches? If you do, it's a simple matter of building the aerodynamic fairing out of .020" sheet styrene.

    I would:

    - Make cross-section internal bracing panels out of .060" styrene to help the exterior keep its shape.

    - Cut external panels out of .020" styrene, and fit it over the internal bracing frame.

    - Once you are satisfied with the fit, glue it all together.

    - Fill in voids with body putty (Squadron Green or Testors Contour Putty), let dry, then sand smooth with sand paper, from large grit down to wet fine grit for a smooth finish. While you are at it, sand the corners round.

    - Test fit with the Talgo coach. If it looks nice, glue it on, fill in voids with putty, sand the joints down, paint it up, and voila!

    Scratchbuilding smooth structures with sheet styrene is very easy. The trick is all in the internal bracing (to help it hold its shape) and sanding things smooth to the right contour. I'm sure you will do fine. :thumb:

    Hope this helps.
  4. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Thats a pretty wild setup. I can't wait to see how it turns out!
  5. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Itll be a challenge, im new to scratchbuilding myself, but good luck to you and keep us posted with your progress!
  6. timber

    timber New Member

    You can also use poaster board to test pieces and than use the poaster board as a guide to help cut your plastic.
  7. Thanks Tom for the WONDERFUL run down on how to do this! I have no doubt that I can do it now, if I just fallow these steps. Stryene just = evergreen plastic type stuff right? The Talgo cars are on order, should be here soon, so I'll be taking pics as I go. Thanks again guys!:wave:
  8. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Yep! Sheet styrene is simply the Evergreen stuff.

    .060" is good for building the internal framework because its thick gauge makes it nice and stiff..

    .020" is good for building the external panels because it's thin and flexible, and you can bend it to adapt to the shape being formed by the internal bracing. If you find .020" still a bit stiff, you can go down to .015", but I think it should be OK.

    Good luck!

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