Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beating the Sunshine Models Vinegar Tank Car kit into submission

This resin kit is considered by many to be the one of the more challenging kits ever produced by Sunshine.
While there's nothing in the kit that is overwhelmingly difficult, save for one task which we'll cover shortly, the kit is rather intimidating just with the shear volume of parts to be dealt with.
3 different tank saddles/supports, 14 handrail supports, 4 handrail corner fittings and 44 tank band couplings along with many other detail parts. You get the picture.
To date I've built 3 of these kits, my first one is pictured above. I like to think that I've gotten better over time with these kits and have figured out the most challenging part of the kit construction. The actual tank.
The tank is built using a cast resin wrapper, but no core is supplied. I always found that it was a bit of a fight to get the tank to the right diameter, and adding weight was a challenge. So for this time around I tried a different tack.
I had my local machine shop dress down a piece of steel pipe to 0.965" dia x 5" long.
I slipped the pipe into the tank body, glued one edge to the pipe using Loctite 496, which is meant for metal bonds. From there it was to the kitchen and the big pot. I immersed the assembly into very hot water for about a minute to soften the resin, then pulled it out and held the wrapper tight to the pipe. A near perfect fit resulted.
Before heat on the right, a cooling assembly on the left. From there it was back to the shop and I could glue the seam closed.
And then use the finished tank as a guide, I could sand the saddles to the final shape and get it all to fit properly.
And no, your eyes are not deceiving you, there are indeed 4 of these kits on the bench right now. Yes I am a glutton for punishment.
Tomorrow it's tank band time. About 30 bands per tank. Who has more fun than us?


Gerard J. Fitzgerald said...

It may be obvious but why did you not leave the metal tube within the resin "shell" to provide weight and stability to the model? For whatever reason I thought that was where you were going with this blog post. Nonetheless a very intriguing way to shape the resin into the proper shape.



Gerard J. Fitzgerald
Charlottesville, Virginia

Pierre Oliver said...

Actually, Gerald, the metal tube does remain in the tank body.Both for weight and to insure the tank shape.

Eugene said...

What about rust?

Pierre Oliver said...

What about rust? It's all inside, covered by the wrapper and the end castings.
I'm not in the least concerned about that.