Saturday, January 19, 2013

Water Tower 05 / Passenger Cars 01

It's been a bit since I had any time in the studio.  Part of the hang up is work, the other part is cold weather.  I'm comfortable most of the time, but it gets hard in the extreme cold.  On the bright side, that means I have had some time to work on designs, and do prep work for new projects.  One of those new projects is a stub switch, and I hope to post on that tomorrow. . .  .

The most notable progress today was on the spout for the water tank.  As I have decided to animate the tank, it took some time to think through how I would make the spout.  I ended up settling on a combination of brass and tracing paper.  I soldered most of the spout from brass, but built up the tapered section with CA soaked paper.  It sounds sketchy (forgive the pun), but in actuality it worked really well and went much faster than turning the part on the lathe or fabricating the cone from brass.  It also took on a couple wrinkles that will help it look more like beat up tin, a good thing.  The fin will be mostly hidden when I am done--I just needed something to attach my actuator rod to.  I am going to send it down through the supply pipe.

I also embarked on making a passenger car roof today.  I deliberately chose a prototype that did not look like a Bachmann brand car.  While I appreciate everything that Bachmann has done for ON30, I don't want my railway cars to look like Bachmann redux, and I fear that is what would happen if I modified one of their roofs.  Not to mention, making the duck bill was pretty straight forward once I did a drawing, dividing it into sections.

After stacking the sections, I sanded the "duck bill" to shape, and set it up in a mold box.  Note that the fascia boards are not part of this piece, they will be cut separately when I build the cars:  I had to think through the assembly a bit.

Ultimately the plan is to cast two ends in epoxy and create a middle section of the appropriate length between them.  After that, I will make an open face mold so that I can make thin fiberglass roofs (allowing for detail, clerestory windows, etc.).  It sounds complicated, but if I am efficient with materials it will cost me less than a single Bachmann car, and give me a better more unique result. . . .  .we'll see how it goes.  At a minimum, it will look unique.  The red paint, by the way, is just what I had on hand to seal the roof end and the mold box.

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