Ore Cars Step 10 – End Caps

With a project of this scale, it’ amazing how such a small piece of the construction sequence can turn into a major undertaking.  In this instalment I’ll describe how I installed the end caps on the bolsters and cross-bearers.

As with all of the other small resin parts in this resin kit, the end caps are on a sheet of resin, and they need to be cut out and cleaned.  The end caps were aligned in a row on the sheet, so to begin, I cut them away from the other parts but kept them all together in a strip.You can see that there are two sizes of end caps.  Four large caps go on both ends of each bolster, and four smaller ones go on the ends of the smaller intermediate cross-bearers.  I’ve circled them in this photo by Jurgen Kleylein.

There was a slight problem with getting these parts into the correct position.  They have small alignment tabs that position them against the end of the piece they are being attached to.  The cross bears didn’t always line up precisely during construction because the slot they fit into is at least twice their width.  The centre beam also has a bit of vagueness as a result of them being warped and then straightened in hot water.  Despite my careful efforts, it was difficult to them precisely squared up for their entire length.  As a result, if the end cap was centred on the cross-bearer, it might not necessarily be spaced nicely when looking at the car from the side.  To address this I removed the tabs on the backs of the end caps by sanding them while they were still held together in a strip.  I used course, medium, then fine sanding sticks in succession.

Once they were smoothed and polished, I cut them away from the resin sheet with a razor blade.

I sorted them by size and threw them into a couple of bins so they didn’t accidentally get lost.  They are pretty tiny bits.  My wife thought they were left over scraps when she saw them.

 Before I glued eight end caps onto each car, I had to clean up the ends of the bolsters and cross-bearers.  Some of them protruded out to the edge of the car as result of the warpage I mentioned earlier.   After they were trimmed accordingly, I attached the end caps in assembly-line fashion.  In this photo, you can see the car on the right has the end caps installed.  The car on the left is next in line.

Here’s an assembly-floor shot of all 16, completed up to this point.

At this point, most of the remaining parts in the assembly sequence are very small.  I expect that the difference at each step is going to be less dramatic.

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