Friday, February 26, 2016

Have you Creme Bruled your frieght car today?

I'm currently engaged in building a Smokey Mountain Model Works S scale B&O M-53. The classic B&O wagontop boxcar.
A stunning looking model. The body detail is exquisite, along with a very nicely rendered Duryea underframe. Once builtup and finished it will be an outstanding model.
But the instruction contain a direction that has to be the stupidest thing I've ever read in all my years of model building.
And I quote;
"Form the bolster cap plate to the web's shape using very short applications of a Butane torch to soften the urethane, then press with your finger and hold until cooled..."

Open flame near a resin model? Are you freaking kidding me?

Modern resin and adhesives are wondrous things. The combination of the right materials and techniques allow us to achieve things were only dreamed of a few decades ago. There's absolutely no reason to be taking open flames anywhere near resin kits. If the right resin is used, thin plates are very flexible, and a good quality CA will allow for quick work, as I'm about to demonstrate.
Now I'll grant you that the bolster shape is complex. But this is not insurmountable.
I started by sanding the bolster covers so the flash is just about falling off. I then drilled the hole for the truck screw as well as drilling the actual floor. At this point the bolster cover is about 0.010" thick.
Using the blank end of a #50 drill, I aligned the 2 holes and secured the centre portion of the cover to the centre sill.
Ca is applied to the first portion of the bolster block and the plate is bent onto the CA. The trick here is to use your thumbnails to push at the actual bend locations. Good CA will allow you release thumb pressure within seconds.
CA is then applied into the region of the next bend and pressure again applied.
Finally the last little bit is folded over and secured to the car side. There's a bit of a stress line showing from the last fold, but paint will hide that.
Look Ma, no flame!

Oh! And it's worth mentioning that there were no spare bolster covers provided if you managed to incinerate a bolster cover. There are days I just shake my head.


Unknown said...

Pierre, you didn't make the Duryea under frame operational? ;)
Regards, Bruce

Pierre Oliver said...

Stop helping , Bruce.

Ryan Mendell said...

Double Dumb,

Pierre not only could the parts be ruined by the torch, but Polyurethane and Urethane plastic gives off toxic fumes with are extremely bad for you when it burns...

Stephen Gardiner said...

But how are you going to get that nice carmelization on the bolsters if you don't brûlée it???

I have to admit being serious now, that is one of the strangest instructions I've ever seen, I guess that kind of technique pre dates me!!

Anonymous said...

Probably a method that works well for the kitmaker.

But not necessarily a viable method for most building their model.

Steve Lucas.