Resin kits are great for those that enjoy building things. They are a
LOT more work to assemble than an injection-molded kit, however.
Resin kits are made in rubber molds, and precise size, shape, and
location are nearly impossible to maintain. The parts frequently warp a
bit. Edges and corners are rarely straight or square. There is usually a
lot of 'flash' on the smaller parts. Some castings, or the mold, may
contain air bubbles on the surface ('craters' or 'warts'). You have to
deal with all these things.
Needless to say, some kits/maunfacturers are FAR better than others.
BUT, most resin kits are the ONLY models available for some obscure
prototypes, so you're 'stuck' if you WANT the model. The only
alternative is scratchbuilding, which is (usually) even more work.
Before you begin assembly, carefully WASH the kit parts in detergent and
warm water. Resin parts usually have a slippery 'mold release' substance
on them that will cause problems in painting and gluing.
Early resin kits were made from glass-hard resin, and were glass
brittle. Newer kits are usually made from a slightly flexible resin, and
are a lot less fragile.
Warped parts can be CAREFULLY straightened after heating them in HOT
(not boiling) water. Sometimes a 'heat gun' will also work, but is
harder to control.
Plan on spending a lot of time sanding.
Small parts are best 'released' from their backing sheets by sanding
most of the backing away with the black 'wet or dry' type sandpaper,
used WET. The parts will then be more easily cut out, with far less
danger of breaking them.
It is usually best to file and sand ALL mating edges of major parts to
assure flat and/or square surfaces and corners. Trial fit until a good
joint exists before gluing.
I prefer 5-minute epoxy for all major structural joints, It's far
stronger and less brittle than the common ACC 'superglues'. The ACC is
fine for detail parts application, and faster. If the parts are thin and
brittle, you may wish to reinforce some with sheet or strip styrene or
brass. Small blocks or angles glued in hidden corners can make the model
stronger, and assist in obtaining square corners.
When you're finished with construction, WASH the model in detergent and
warm water AGAIN before painting. This removes any remaining 'mold
release' and fingerprints.
Greg Forestieri wrote:
I would suggest you _temporally_ put the F&C kit aside. Buy a
Westerfield (or Sunshine) kit simple for the detailed instructions and
photos. Once you have done one of those you will have a much better idea of
how resin goes together and the kits come with very, very good instructions.
Then build the F&C kit!
The trend away from pure flat kits should help prevent this.
I use ACC to tack the kits together then mix up a batch of epoxy to
use as fillets inside the main box. I don't know if it would prevent
shattering but it seems like it might.
Finally, you might want to look into black ACC which adds powdered
rubber to the usual glue. It has shear strength considerably higher
than regular gel ACC. I haven't tried it on resin kits, but now that I
think about it, I will the next time I tackle that stack of unbuilt
kits on my shelf.
In addition to the regular ACC suppliers like Zap, Jet etc, Loctite also
make a wide range of adhesives. There are at least 10 types of ACC designed
for particular applications. I think the one you speak of is their 'Rubber
Toughened' formula. They also have formulas specifically designed for
bonding metals, plastics, etc.
These can be had at most industrial distributors.
pure flat kits should help prevent this.
Ah, the picture gets a little clearer, I think.
From your first post, I envisioned a "catastrophic" failure along the lines
of a car dropping to the floor. From your last post it sounds more like a
localized failure where the coupler mounts to a very thin floor.
Now, if this is correct, would gluing a piece of flat plastic to the floor
and using a longer coupler mounting screw extending into the plastic
reinforcement have solved the problem?
The only reason that I am digging into this is to tap into your experience
as I too have a stack of older kits waiting to be built.
Thanks for your help!
I also dropped one of the P54's and got just about the same effect.
It literally came apart at the seams.
I think so, now that I have gained a few years' experience. That
sounds like the easiest, yet most efficient way to "brace" the floor.
Glad to help -- and I'm still learning as I read others' experiences
with these sorts of kits.
Fortunately, all was not lost with the three F&C LIRR P54's I had.
Though they did "die off" over 20 years of a few moves, some
not-so-smooth operation, etc., I did not feel bad about "scrapping"
them. I merely replaced them with one-piece shells from Images
Replicas. I recycled the trucks (MDC Old Timer four-wheel trucks very
closely resembled the flanged roller skates under LIRR P54's...) and
the underbody details and step castings I had originally used. And I
was even able to salvage five of the six MKD couplers!!
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