Use a straight edge and several light cuts. Test fit and dress with a
file to make a snug joint. Use liquid plastic cement applied with a
small brush. Consider where and how you will apply interior bracing to
And oh yes: measure, and measure again (and again) before cutting.
A good trick is to photocopy the parts, and cut apart the photocopies to
test different combinations.
Plastic is cast in high pressure molds to the shape and size desired.
Moderately high temps are also used in the molding process. Table top
describes "engineeriing type" mold making machine and these weigh hundreds
of pounds to begin with.
Work with plastics with typical woodworking tools and things will be fine.
rmay at nethere.com
http: slash /nav.to slash bobmay
http: slash /bobmay dot astronomy.net
Others have given some good answers. I'll just give you my general take
on what tools you need.
You can do most (or all) of what you want to do with ordinary tools,
some of which you probably already have:
o small saws ("razor" saws, like Xacto or equivalent)
o hobby knife (Xacto or equiv.)
o small drills (might want to get a set of small number drills, #61 to
80, available at many hardware stores)
For heavier cuts, I find an ordinary utility knife is better than a
little #11 Xacto. And you'll need a good straightedge, preferably metal,
not plastic so you don't slice into it. Styrene (which 99% of the
plastic you'll be dealing with is) can be scored and then cut by
snapping or bending; you don't always have to cut all the way through.
A model railroad scale ruler (available at many places: General makes a
good one) is nice for measuring in "pretend" (i.e., HO) feet.
A good cutting board helps. I make my own from sheets of Masonite
(hardboard or equivalent), to which I glue thick-ish sheets of
posterboard or illustration board. When the surface gets too sliced up,
I glue a new sheet of paper to it.
A roll of masking tape or similar will help hold things together
When you get to painting, a set of small paint brushes is needed. You
can start with a cheap set you can get at the dollar store. Good brushes
(more expen$ive) are available at any good art store. Lots of other
goodies at the art store too.
You were wrong, and I'm man enough to admit it.
Yep use those too, I especially like the ease of squaring up things along
the grid lines on these pads. I got a whole box of these ( 20 ) at a local
euro store when they were only 1,50 each for the somewhat larger then A4
my model train site www.janbouli.com
A few reasons actually, first of all i wanted a town where the Santa Fe
SuperChief ran through, then a region where at least 2 other Railroads were
running and interchanging ( Mopac and Rock Island ), I also didn't want to
do the usual suspects ( Tecohapi, Cajon Pass etc. ) , I do want to
scratchbuild the beautiful station of Newton, I'm not into rocky mountain
scenes, I love smalltowns with the typical mainstreet buildings ( plenty of
those in Kansas ). All these things made me do research on Newton and Kansas
in general. I've obtained quite a few books on the subject and reading these
books, getting a copy of Kansas ( the magazine ) every few months, in short
getting to know Kansas has made me even more confident of my choice to model
this region. Of course from Europe its hard to tell but I get the feeling
that this is a part of the US that is still the US as most europeans think
of it, it's certainly a place where I could imagine myself living if I had a
So those are my reasons, imho nice , good reasons to base my dream layout
on, don't you think.
Oh and confirming that my choice was good, was the fact that I've already
had lots of help from Kansas people, Elisabeth Hurley telling me where I
could get a copy of her fathers book, or Mrs Rachel Goossen who personally
sent me a copy of her manuscript "Brick an Mortar a History of Newton
Kansas", or the half dozen Kansan people that went out and took pictures of
the depot and other buildings in Newton and mailed them to me, etc. etc.
I've never been there ( I will though ) but I love Kansas ;-)
The doors are a piece of clear styreen with strips of silver painted styreen
to resemble the doors, it was my first try at scratchbuilding and I'm still
a far way from scratchbuilding the Newton Depot, my next project in Newton
will be the Railroad Savings Bank the hard part about this are the ornaments
because in N-scale they don't make things like that so I'll have to make
them from clay or something myself.
In the last year I've also decided not to stay prototypical for the whole
layout( the meatpacking plant I'm building right now doesnt exist in Harvey
county but it could have ), but instead get some significant buildings in
the right places so that people that look at my layout will say "hey thats
Newton or at least Harvey county Kansas"
Whyncha try 'em and see? ;-)
They are more than good enough for most painting jobs around the layout,
esp. scenery and structures. They are excellent when thinned to be used
as washes for weathering, tinting rock, toning down over-bright enamels,
etc. Bonus: the flat ones are dead flat. Since most of them are water
based acrylics, you do have to thoroughly wash plastic first, and prime
everything (which you do anyway, right?)
Nope. As I've said before, nothing magical about the paints you buy at
the hobby store as opposed to the much cheaper ones you find at "craft"
stores. It's not as if the pigments in the model railroad paints are
ground for 1:87 rendition. Plus they come in a *lot* more colors. (Only
problem is that you can't buy them in standard railroad colors like
Pullman green or whatever, but for buildings, etc., they're great.)
You were wrong, and I'm man enough to admit it.
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