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 Tools and tips for scratch building
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Author Previous Topic: Yard Office Interior, need help Topic Next Topic: The Tenement and others - Brammer Salvage 1-12-20
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Sully
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/01/2006 :  2:35:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sully's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't think that guy is looking at the drum!.....tom


Country: USA | Posts: 2683 Go to Top of Page

railmus
Fireman



Posted - 12/01/2006 :  3:23:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit railmus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bum.......mer!


Edited by - railmus on 12/01/2006 3:24:45 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 2005 Go to Top of Page

rlennox
Section Hand



Posted - 02/03/2007 :  10:44:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One of the most difficult things one has to do is hold odd shaped or angled parts together, like cardstock roofs, while glue dries.

I asked my wife to make me a set of bean bags which I filled with bbs - you could use fine shot as well. Each bag is 2.5" x 3". What makes each bag different is how much shot goes into each bag. The more shot, the heavier and stiffer each bag. Light bags "fold" easily over roof peaks and provides a flatter surface for more heavy bags.

I end up using these bags several times for each kit or scratch project.

Try 'em...you'll like 'em.



Country: USA | Posts: 68 Go to Top of Page

railmus
Fireman



Posted - 02/03/2007 :  11:16:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit railmus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Same idea as Bob's but if you are not married or....???
Zip Lok bags with sand works well also.



Country: Canada | Posts: 2005 Go to Top of Page

B_A_R
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/08/2007 :  11:02:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My essentials: Scratchbuilding or otherwise, I use a small computer fan wired to an old power pack to provide fresh air on the workbench. A good idea where solvents or CA accelerator are concerned.

A pane of glass is absolutely flat, and you can put plans underneath it, glue and paint just scrapes off with a razor.

A mill file in varying lengths is good for squaring styrene wall edges and other large jobs. I keep a pill bottle of pins for applying cement, starting drill hole, opening clogged bottles, etc.

A surgical scalpel is finer and sharper than an X-acto blade. I also use it to sparingly apply accelerator to CA joints.

Stuart



Country: | Posts: 140 Go to Top of Page

LVRALPH
Fireman



Posted - 12/09/2007 :  07:24:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"I use a small computer fan wired to an old power pack to provide fresh air on the workbench. A good idea where solvents or CA accelerator are concerned."

I love this idea!!!!




Country: | Posts: 5585 Go to Top of Page

woody
New Hire

Posted - 12/23/2007 :  01:59:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone. I'm a newbie to railroad-line but have had my hands at scratchbuilding for some time. A very helpful tool for me is Corel Draw. I'm using Corel 9 and have converted many scanned plans and also taken measurements from existing models to produce scale plans in O scale from HO. I have also created plans in 1:20.3, 1/18th, and 1/8th for structures to fit my large scale, 1/18 diecast and 1/8 scale model collections.

If anyone is familiar with Corel, all you have to do is create a new page, click on Layout, page setup, rulers, make sure you are inches for units ( unless you prefer metric), click on edit scale and adjust to what ever scale you want ie: 1/4" to 1.

You can then use measurements from one scale to draw plans in another, which I have done from several Campbells and FSM kits. If you scan any plans in from a magazine, then import into Corel and adjust the corner handles until the measurements on the plans match the scale measurments in Corel. To make that easier, I take one of the original plan measurements and draw a straight line that is correct for Corel and adjust the handle until the original measurement matches the drawn line.

For confirmation, I then print off a section of the new plan and check it with my scale ruler. Each time it's right on scale. Of course, if your plans are in a larger scale than original, you have to print the plans off section by section with a regular printer and tape them together, unless you have a printer that can print on larger media.

At the moment, I'm building a copy of Campbells Bretts Brewery in O scale to use as a fish processing plant to fit with a dock I'm planning and Hap Hazzards from Rusty Stumps that I've ordered to build as a boat repair shop. All these will complete a waterfront scene on my On30 D and F C short line. For those of you who have seen my engine house, coal station and water tank in the On30 forum, these were all built from plans out of the Narrow Gauge Gazette converted to O scale.

Hope this helps anyone else out, it's sure been very helpful to me.

ps, I consider myself a real amateur compared to the great works I've seen here.



Country: Canada | Posts: 20 Go to Top of Page

Jerry M
Fireman



Posted - 12/23/2007 :  12:49:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Guys since scratch building and craftsman kits are one of my favorite parts of the hobby here are my three most used clamps. The smallest is 3/8" long and I use for delicate strips. I use these by the dozens and probably have a total of 5 bucks in a couple hundred....Just my 2 cents worth. Jerry

Download Attachment: train garage 069.jpg
174.23 KB



Country: USA | Posts: 4055 Go to Top of Page

Hume Lumber Co
Engine Wiper



Posted - 12/23/2007 :  6:43:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hume Lumber Co's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by woody

Hi everyone. I'm a newbie to railroad-line but have had my hands at scratchbuilding for some time. A very helpful tool for me is Corel Draw. ...


Woody,
I think your idea is great. I have tried a number of drawing programs and didn't use Corel. It sounds like Corel is easy. I did find a free CAD program A9CAD www.a9tech.com/ and it works well. I import lots of photos to it and then trace them out...

Have fun!

Matthew



Country: USA | Posts: 413 Go to Top of Page

TrainClown
Fireman



Posted - 12/23/2007 :  7:28:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also use Corel Draw for making plans. I draw my HO plans in HO scale. Then I just have to print them off. I also reduce them to Z scale. Works real good for me.

Christopher


Clowning around with trains.


Country: Canada | Posts: 1584 Go to Top of Page

angelanzus
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/24/2007 :  10:10:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That Corel Draw sounds like a neat program - I love Craftsman kits but so many are only in HO scale and we have O scale. It sounds like just the program I need to try to convert some plans that I have. Thank you.
Angela



Country: USA | Posts: 375 Go to Top of Page

inkaneer
New Hire

Posted - 04/06/2008 :  11:45:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is a great idea I picked up a long time ago from one of the Model RR mags. I have found it to be an invaluable tool in scratchbuilding. It eliminates the need to physically take measurements on site by creating photos with a built in scale. It involves the use of "story sticks". Here it is as I wrote in another topic here and in another forum:

"I carry story sticks with me where ever I go. They are 2 pieces of thin lattice board, one is four feet long the other two feet. The four foot one is calibrated in 1 foot increments. I use white and red reflective tape in an alternating pattern such as white red white red. That is only on the top half of the stick. the bottom is opposite alternating colors [red white red white] The 2 foot stick is marked the same way except it is marked in incremments of 6 inches and one segment is divided into 1 inch segments. Again alternating red and white. When I see something I would like to scratchbuild I simply place my story sticks on or against whatever it is and take pictures. Then I have a permanent built in scale contained in the photo to properly size the object. That is why they are called story sticks. They tell the story of what size a particular item in the photo is."

With these all I need to do is take a photo of the object with the storysticks in the photo and I have a built in scale that will tell me how big is that window, is the trim board 4 or 6 inches, etc. With the digital cameras we have today I can easily and quickly photo hundreds of interesting buildings put them on a CD, access them maybe years later and know exactly how big to make a structure as well as all the pieces in or on it. Like I said it is an invaluable asset for scratch building.



Country: | Posts: 2 Go to Top of Page

TrainClown
Fireman



Posted - 04/08/2008 :  01:55:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good idea, Chester. Welcome to the forum.

That reminds me of a folding ruler I once saw used in the same way.

Christopher


Clowning around with trains.


Country: Canada | Posts: 1584 Go to Top of Page

VILogging
Engine Wiper



Posted - 04/08/2008 :  08:13:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit VILogging's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here are a few of the things that I find useful for scratchbuilding:



A razor blade holder; I use it more than #11's.

A styrene scriber (a woodworker might be horified at that description) from Lee Valley instruments - another place whose catalogue is dangerous).

Hair clips for gentle holding of just-glued parts.

Another, plastic scriber; this one cost a dollar and has another piece to allow it to be used for cutting circles.

Rare earth magnets, also from Lee Valley.
An old super-8 splicer that I use in place of a chopper for cutting stripwood. Compact and free.

I also dicovered our local Dollarama a year or two ago where you get clothespins for a buck, spray bottles for a buck, ground foam/grout boxes 4 for a buck, paint brushes, ACC, clamps, acrylics, car card holders, etc. etc.

And our local Princess Auto had an Optivisor-style magnifier headset for $6; works fine, beats $40 at the LHS (sorry guys) and at 69 next week, I'm using it a lot more these days.


Jim


Country: Canada | Posts: 198 Go to Top of Page

clif
Engine Wiper



Posted - 04/30/2008 :  10:21:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a few tools I use,

the first is the old exacto blade, especially after the tip breaks off, (don't ask)

I scribe thick .060 and .080 styrene sheets to cut them. I just draw the blade backwards creating a "grove" which with repeated scribing cuts thru.

I also have a small battery powered drill, It's made by Tamiya, and uses 2 AA cell battery's. It spins much slower then any Dremel and is much lighter. I have gotten many holes out of #78 and 80 drills with out breaking them.

I got it in a hobby shop and the neatest part is the drill comes as a build it your self kit. Very easy and quick 30 min, but very useful when drilling a lot of holes. I use a needle point to pre-mark the hole then drill, works like a charm.

Another thing I use is large heavy angle iron 4"and 2" cut into 3 to 4 inch long segments to hold walls and other parts while gluing.

I agree about the vernier calipers with a dial gage, it makes marking and cutting styrene much easier because the dial is much easier to read, and setting the caliper scribes the styrene and allows much tighter tolerances when setting dimensions to be cut.

I also have a small set of machinist squares, which I also use to check square and aid in assembling walls. (Got mine from Harbor Freight, not up to machining standards but more then good enough for model building.)

One addition to my optivisor is the six LED light kit, helps by lighting up small parts and close tolerances.



Country: USA | Posts: 303 Go to Top of Page
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