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Van on the rails




Two weeks on and the luggage van has hit the rails. I finally finished a majority of the detailing bits. It had its first run around the layout on an old set of Minitrix Mk1 bogies, with no problems. Even the steps on the solebar cleared the platforms at Stur. All that is left are the cables on the ends, the inside window grills and the next major obstacle; the roof! So a question to all your blog readers out there, how do I shape the roof to the right profile, without having to buy specialist equipment? And a second question while I'm at it, about cleaning-up the brass. I've given it several scrubs in hot soapy water with a toothbrush, a good going over with a fibreglass brush and also with a wire wheel on the dremel. But I still I can't get it cleaned-up. Any suggestions?


Whilst this has been my first attempt at soldering a brass kit, I learnt some valuable lessons:

· Even though I read the instructions, always go back to them.

· Learn your railway terminology; find out what is a rubbing plate, solebar etc....

· As per any making or building project, measure/fit twice – cut once

· Unlike plastic kits, brass is forgiving and can allow you to fix some mistakes (like the underframe truss soldered upside-down on the solebarangry.gif )

· A good soldering iron is very helpful.





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Hello Neb :)


That looks really good, its a really nice kit to build.


As for the cleaning I am surprised that the fibre brush and the wire wheel didnt clean it up enough, I have used both of those without any problems. It the wire wheel a steel one? Its what I use.


Keep the posts comming, I enjoy looking at what you are upto.


Missy :)

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Some bits of old hacksaw blade sharpened to a point with a grind stone make great scrapers for excess solder. Iy you can do that make them in various shapes eg round, pointed and straight. I've got a set that a friend at work made for me each is about 3" long obviously with the teeth ground off as well and the top rounded to make a handle.



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Solder wick (braided copper impregnated with flux) is great for getting rid of excess solder.


Like JMissy I don't have much trouble with a fibreglass brush and always clean etched models with a tooth brush and Jif/Cif type cream cleaner - helps get rid of any excess flux and neutralises any that you miss. The micro-scratches it leaves also helps the paint stick.


If you're still worried about the excess solder spoiling the paint finish give it a quicke dusting with white primer. It will show the areas you don't need to worry about and highlight the parts you need to do a bit more work on.


Keep up the good work!


Steven B.

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For the roof you shouldn't need to reshape anything, trim the ends off the roof moulding square with a set square or similar (or use a square and square up one end. You can then trim it just over length and file it until it fits nicely between the ends. Remove some of the lip on the bottom where it fits over the sides at each end and off you go. A spot of filler will cover any minor sins.


NB - I always cut them a bit over but square then file back. Don't assume you can file the ends square to fit - sometimes you find you've got the coach ends merely 'almost square' so test fitting is a better approach.

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