CO2 laser - the learning curve
CO2 laser - the learning curve
Rather than clog up the Emblaser thread (or indeed, anyone else's thread) with stuff that's "almost relevant", I've started this thread. Please feel free to add anything about laser cutting, emphasis on gas lasers.
I'll cross reference where I think I should, please do so too if it helps. There's clearly a load of carry over between the machines.
EASY FROGS - any angle, no tears.
I was asked the other day which jig(s) I used to file up my crossing noses so accurately. Well I know the mention of jigs and the like for such operations usually produces much wailing and gnashing of teeth so I quickly admitted to not using any. I explained how I did do it to my correspondent and then thought I may as well share my method here with you. I don't always use this method but it has served me well over many years. Regards, Brian.
Swings and roundabouts spring to mind.
You may save about £20 on a complete kit. I have never seen a damaged Gresley Coach of this type(s) advertised on eBay , so cheap ones are presumably very hard to find.
You then have to look at the additional time to convert the Hornby coach . In my opinion it is not a simple build/conversion, in particular if you are doing a Teak version, the painting will add considerably to the build time. Unless you are doing the exactly the same version, the interior mouldings will need to altered, to the new compartment layout or replaced as would the glazing . Cutting the chassis to correct width was a bit of a pain to do, and in the process you lose all the mounting clips to hold the body on. You then to have to invent a method of holding it all together. Some builders will not like the Hornby plastic bogies/wheels which will again also add to the build cost. The £20 difference disappears very quickly.
Hornby haven't issued any Gresley's for quite a while perhaps a new version will appear in the future ? The current prices show there is the demand there, especially for amended version(s). Hornby adjusted the beading on the Full Brake when they were issued, so you never know what might become available.
I have never seen your BRM article re how you built your conversions.
The article on converting the Hornby Gresleys was in a BRM Annual about four years ago. I can't remember which one, but it described all the processes, including making new body/chassis mountings.
I'm not suggesting it is a simple build/conversion process, but it's no more difficult nor complex than building a complete etched-brass carriage. I agree, any difference in price can be swiftly swallowed up, but I do use the Hornby bogies if appropriate (though I do change the wheels). The fact remains that the conversions do (in my opinion) produce a much more convincingly-shaped carriage than the standard Hornby. I do admit, though, that painting them in BR colours is far simpler than recreating teak. That said, it would appear that Hornby's most recent renditions of teak leave a lot to be desired.
The conversions are, of course, far more complex than building a complete plastic Kirk Gresley.
The following pictures give a precis of the processes.............
The sides cut away with circular saw in a mini drill and a Stanley knife.
The ends shaped with a file to give the correct profile.
Evo Stik was used in impact mode to secure the sides to the ends, then a bead of thick superglue run along the joint between the top of the sides and the bottom of the roof.
My method of joining the 'new' body to the floor pan.
The pan must be narrowed to accept the new body. Ideally, I should have cut off the solebars longetudinally, shaved a bit off the width of the pan and glued them back together.
The two fixed together. This one was a conversion for Gilbert Barnatt - he uses Kadee couplings.
This conversion made an SO. A new cantrail was made from plastic strip, though brass can be used.
Two conversions painted with Halfords Ford Burgundy red, straight from the rattle can after priming.
A RSO after the roof was brush-painted. Note the new cantrail.
Though I prefer to solder the door furniture in place, Gilbert wanted the handles to be in brass, so I superglued them after lining had taken place.
Many of the brass-fixing procedures are exactly the same as for building a complete kit, so I've omitted these.
I hope all the above helps.
Wright writes.....8 hours ago, Anglian said:
Thank you for a wonderful walk through of some of your coaching stock. It's very interesting to make the comparisons between hand built and ready to run and to see how the later has improved over time. The thing I notice is that it's not until the Bachmann Thompson that the R-T-R glazing is as good as that of the hand built version.
The other aspect that I find interesting is the different level of gloss to the finish. Larry G's being quite glossy. Do you have a view on whether gloss or matt better replicates the right prototypical appearance at 4mm scale, or is it a case of both, depending on the age of the vehicle?
Piggly numbers – the companies making the transfers ought to do some research and produce decal sets of the full running numbers. I think it's a bit much expecting modellers to be able to line-up a row of tiny digits. To overcome this I've designed decal sets (for small scale aeroplanes) to get round the potential issue but it can be very time consuming to do. The sheets I've had printed are waterslide so nudging the decal into a precise position isn't too bad.
The question of whether model coaching stock should be glossy, semi-gloss or matt is one which has taxed the makers/painters of such things for a long, long time.
Obviously, prototype carriages (especially those with metal sides) would have been finished in gloss paint, and even gloss varnish. How long would they stay like that in service, though? The sides might be cleaned regularly, but not the roofs, ends, underframes and bogies.
As far as I know, Larry Goddard paints all the carriages he makes, or those which others have made which he paints, with gloss paint, probably cellulose. I've never seen anything he's made/painted which he's weathered. Though the finish is very good, I'm not sure if it's always 'realistic'. I'm not being critical of his work (far from it, it's to a very high-standard), but I always weather (at least) the roofs, underframes and bogies of any of my carriages. That's why I think carriages with bright, white roofs always look slightly absurd, especially on a steam-age depiction. I'm quite happy to leave the sides of my carriages gloss, but not as glossy as LG's carriages. If you look closely, you'll see (as part of my repairs, to be fair) that I've painted a roof in matt paint, and certainly taken down the frames/bogies on LG's carriages on LB. No doubt, to the purist/collector, this is anathema, but since I'm not pure and never collected anything (apart from batsman's scalps!) I really don't care.
I think the 'trick' is to not have everything the same. Paint finishes will fade in time, and the effects of weathering will be dependent on geography and the various time intervals between repainting.
Perhaps some further examples?
In the main, the RTR boys/girls provide a dull or even matt finish on their carriages. Here's a (slightly-modified) Hornby Gresley BCK. Apart from it not being a particularly good model at source, this is too 'flat' a finish for my tastes.
This is a Larry Goddard conversion from the same carriage, but with MJT sides over-laid. This is in a high-gloss finish, which I don't dislike, but a friend of mine (the owner of the carriage) has weathered the roof, ends, underframe and bogies.
I don't mind a gloss finish on some of the conversions I undertake; this is a Hornby donor with Kemilway side. Everything apart from the sides is weathered-down, though.
Another of my Hornby conversions, but this time with the sides not so glossy. I use Halfords Ford Burgundy Red acrylic in a rattle can, sprayed directly to the models. For a high-gloss, I hold the can closer, and for a semi-gloss, I hold it further away. Trial and error, really. The numbers on this are all individually-applied.
The same paint on a plastic Kirk Gresley, again applied to be semi-gloss. The numbers on this are in one piece, supplied on a sheet by Modelmasters.
On items such as Mailcoach products, where the the sides are one-piece clear plastic, then sable-painting has to be employed (at least as far as I'm concerned). Having built this this ex-Silver Jubilee triplet diner, I gave it all four coats of
Railmatch BR maroon, finishing it off with a coat of polyurethane satin varnish. Since I don't own a bow pen, all my lining is waterslide transfers, applied with varying degrees of success.
Another Mailcoach carriage, this time a Tourist BSO, painted in the same way as the triplet.
And a Mailcoach Tourists SO/SO, this time varnished with a mix of satin and matt polyurethane varnish to give a slightly duller finish.
The opposite of a dull finish, this Mallard Gresley BG has been painted in very high-gloss (by, I think, Larry Goddard, though it's not signed, which is unusual). It came my way in a rather 'tatty' state (you can see my repairs at the near end), and I weathered the roof, ends, underframe and bogies.
Carriages fresh from overhaul would have very glossy sides. This ex-1938 Flying Scotsman triplet was painted by Geoff Haynes to my specification, with dull roof and weathered underframes and bogies.
I suppose, what I'm after is 'realism' of finish in context. The context of Little Bytham. Please remember as well that all the above examples are 'layout' carriages. They're definitely not 'showcase' models (I'm not that skilled!), they're built/painted (within my limitations) to run on a fairly large layout and to be viewed as 'part of the scene'.
Stock for 'The Elizabethan' was lifted, repaired as necessary and repainted before the summer season. It was always kept very clean in service; I know, I saw it very often. Thus, my model of it depicts this, but the roofs, underframes and bogies are all weathered-down.
Won't it be good to have the correct girder bridge finally in place?
I suppose, in the final analysis, not every loco nor every item of stock should look the same.