Friday, August 22, 2014

We've come so far.

And people still complain.
This is the car that is on the bench today.
A very early Chooch O scale resin boxcar kit. How early? The instructions offer to honour the warranty until 1988. You do the math.
The resin parts come with a prime coat of light grey paint. This is to seal in the stink from the castings that is released when you sand the castings to true them up and make things square. A peculiar mix of diesel and kerosene fumes which soaks into your clothing and hair, and causes the wife to launch a justifiable stream of invective when you arise from the depths of the basement.
I've never fought so much with 5 basic castings to try and assemble a car body. The CA just doesn't want to hold the joints together. And the car body really doesn't want to stay square. In the end, though, I prevail.
But most peculiar to me is the lack of a roof casting. The instructions direct you  to create ribs/trusses/rafters from scrap styrene and then use the supplied piece of sheet styrene for the roof and then to add the carlines from strip styrene supplied.
For the life of me I can't understand why the roof wasn't cast in resin. We'll just add it to the list of things I'll never understand.
You may be wondering why the roof in the photo is black. The kit supplied sheet of styrene was miscut. It was 2 1/2" wide at one end and 2 3/8" wide at the other. So the only 0.060" styrene I had was black styrene.
This car should be done tomorrow and ready for paint.
For anyone who thinks that any resin kit that was made in the last 15 years is difficult to build, grow up! We've got it so easy these days and yet battalions of "modelers" won't try a "challenging" kit.
Sometimes I despair for this hobby.
Particularly with the news today of the apparent end of Carstens and Railroad Model Craftsman. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Well, people don't buy cars with automatic transmissions, either; cameras are all auto-focus and auto-exposure - just point and shoot; if you want to make bread you "need" a bread-making machine; (but they still only achieve mediocre results...)

Most people just don't want to go outside their comfort zone. I'm with you, however, and enjoy the challenges.

Anonymous said...

Here's an educated guess. I suspect those were Alumilite castings. At the time, everything was flat cast, and a flat cast peaked roof would contain a *lot* of resin. A mass of resin like that would get really hot when it cured, much hotter than the other body parts. So it would shrink a lot more than the other parts as it cooled down from a higher temperature. Resin casting is very much like injection molding in that regard - you want parts to be uniform in thickness so everything cools and shrinks at the same rate. Chooch probably had a pattern for the roof, but didn't oversize it to allow for the extra shrinkage so the castings were too short. Then it was on to Plan B. As I said, an educated guess.

Tom Madden