I had a dilemma while composing this post: how do I take a photo of something that is completely invisible?
I worked on the cab window glazing of 8152 last night, and tonight I finished the all-weather window on the engineer’s side and the sliding windows on the fireman’s side. The glazing isn’t all that evident in the photos because, well, it’s see-through (duh). Actually, it turns out that it’s mostly see-through because I managed to get some dirt and grease on the pieces while I was installing them. I’ll have to buy some HO scale Windex to clean them off.
I experimented with two different adhesives. I used Micro Crystal Clear glue by Microscale on the rear windows. It’s white with the consistency of Elmer’s school glue. I used a Testor’s product specifically designed for cementing clear plastics on the front windows. This product is slightly thinner in consistency and more grey in colour when it’s wet. Both products are clear when they dry.
I think I like the Testor’s product better, but it’s too early to say for certain. I’m going to need more practice before I can say for sure. The pieces of glazing included in the kit are die-cut to fit just behind each opening. Some pieces were cut perfectly while others were slightly too large to fit in the depression inside the cab, just behind the window gasket. The tight quarters of the cab interior constitute a difficult place to apply adhesive and move parts into position. This challenge is compounded by the fact that the model is nearly complete and has lots of delicate detail parts attached. It was prickly business, but I’ve finished one unit.
Having completed the front handrails on 8152 this evening, all of the handrails on both of my SW1200RS units are now installed. This marks the end of all the wire bending for this project.
In my previous post, I mentioned that the step, or riser, on which the front drop step is mounted was not included in the kit. I had to build those out of bits of styrene. I started by measuring the height of the step on the rear walkway with a digital caliper’s depth gauge. I then cut a strip out of a sheet of .010″ styrene that matched the height. I cut four pieces of styrene HO scale 4″x4″ stock and attached them across the strip with plastic cement. The spacing was determined by the etched piece for the two stanchions that are fastened to the riser. Here’s what it looked like:
I chopped the excess 4×4 from the top and bottom of the strip and trued the edges with medium and fine sanding sticks, using a precision square to check my progress.
Once I had the top and bottom trued, I cut a piece of .010″x.080″ styrene strip the same width as the space between the inside edges of the middle stanchions. I used the precision square to hold everything together while the cement dried.
Once the cement was dry, I chopped off the extra length of .010″ styrene strip to free the work piece. The extra styrene made handling such a small piece much easier during the fabrication process.
With the extra plastic trimmed away, I sanded the workpiece on all faces to smooth out the seams. I scraped away some paint on the front walkway and used CA to attach the piece.
Once the riser was in place, I was able to proceed with the rest of the handrails, starting with the centre stanchions.
I think I’ll turn my attention to window glazing next. Stay tuned.
Wednesday evening is our weekly work night at the WRMRC. I couldn’t make it out to the club tonight, and I haven’t been there for a few weeks in a row now, because of other commitments. However, I was able to make more progress on the SW1200RS project this evening.
Predictably, 8152 now has rear handrails. I also bent the wire parts for the front, but I didn’t get around to installing them. I’m one step closer to putting these units on the rails.
I finished the handrails on the front of 8159, which completes all of the handrails on this model. Here are a couple of photos to show off all the wire bending I’ve done over the past week.
These locomotives have a step in the middle of the rear walkway upon which the drop set is mounted. The drop step on the front of the locomotive had to be raised to an equal height in order for them to line up at the same height on m.u.’ed locomotives. The kit has a part for this step on the rear platform, but the step for the front platform was not included. I scratch built these out of some pretty small pieces of styrene shapes.
There are some very small details that I still need to add, but I think I’ll do the end handrails on 8152 next.
I had a busy weekend, but I was able to squeeze in a couple of hours at the work bench. At least some of that time was dedicated to my continued organizing of the work space, and I cleaned up a bit. It’s amazing how such a big work surface can get cluttered with so many small tools and parts.
The SW1200RS project inches forward. I finished the rear handrails and stanchions, and painted all of the bits that have been added. I’ll post my progress on the front handrails as soon as I have something to show.