(F) Let's Get This Critter Started

For discussion of the issues faced when building a model or layout - how to replicate wood, what glues to use, exactly how much weathering can a Gnat take, a good source of detailing accessories - you get the picture, I'm sure.

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JT Previa
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Interests: Industrial Narrow Gauge, slot cars

(F) Let's Get This Critter Started

Postby JT Previa » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:16 am

Let's get this Critter started!

For many years, my model railroading has been an on again / off again tale. Some tentative projects, usually based on escalating plans that collapsed under the weight of their ambition and various other obligations. Needing a break from slot cars, and finding this Gn15 forum very conducive, I've decided to obey the old adage, "A job once started, is half done."

So, after unearthing accumulations from year's past and a few weeks of shopping at the local hobby shop, big box stores and "The Largest Model Train Store in the World" (Charles Ro's word's, not mine, but living less than a half-hour from a G-scale landmark has its benefits!) I had reason to start. I'm particularly interested in modern narrow gauge, modeling what might be (based on some prototype precedents), not necessarily what's already been done.

Exhibit 1

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HO Model Power (Hustler I think?)
LGB Seated People pack. I choose Mr. Conductor because his sheleleigh (sp???) helped him sit upgright.

Body off of the Hustler with one screw, it doesn't get better than this.

In order to hide the too small details at either end of the chassis, I figured I'd make a cover of cardstock. Following, Dieselwater's idea, I could swap bodies onto my solitary chassis.

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I drew the chassis cover directly on the coated cover weight cardstock from my stash (I wish I'd made a copy - should'a used CAD!) and cut to size with gluing tabs in a few spots. Using the various squares as T-squares against the side of the paper worked well to keep things, well ... square.

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After getting my sorta Lister mocked up, I did a few sketches. I hadn't specifically planned to go modern era, but I followed my pencil.

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The first sketch looked like a mid-century design, mostly orthagonal, no geometric fun or corporate safety criteria. The thin roof supports were definately old-school. I did like the angled cover at the radiator and the roof projections. So, I threw some trace over it:

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(Mufasa's headgear was last year's project - son's school play - and will not show up on the model!)

I've been looking at current construction equipment, and the industrial designers have had a free hand with power angles and tapers. They all look like Japanese mecha warriers. The key detail was the roll bar and angle roof support. Now I was getting somewhere.

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A quick sketch before bed and the next change was to slope the hood forward, typical of many backhoes, for better forward visibility. I added sun shades, grab bars, lights, antennaes and all the other appurtances that sprout on OSHA-regulated, fleet-owned vehicles. Added some character, looks a bit sassy. It's a cute scoot. The Model Power chassis has a rolling gait as it hunts side to side, this should suit the body well.

Tonight, I tried to quickly make the sketch a reality.

Folded up a new hood with some side access doors sketched inplace. Mr Sheleleigh tries it out (gotta reduce that radiator cowl angle a bit).

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Made a cardstock roof panel and basswood support panels. This scale is big: didn't expect to be making a lap joint in wood on a model! Made some curved roof supports too.

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How often do we hold up our next detail on a model and consider "Is this right? Higher, lower, back, forward....hmmm."

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No excuses now, I started it . :D
Last edited by JT Previa on Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JT Previa
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Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:54 am
Location: Massachusetts, GNew England
Interests: Industrial Narrow Gauge, slot cars

Postby JT Previa » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:54 am

Whose idea was it to use all those compound angles and curves on that canopy?

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The cardboard chassis isn't attached to the plastic underframe and likes to show some camber. It is restrained tonight in hopes of curbing its exhuberance. Mocked up air tank.

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My carefully notched and bent uprights snapped when I tried to persuade them to splay wider than my estimated cuts would allow. Reinforced by pins, they fell into line. Needs some putty and sanding.

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The popsicle stick exhaust pipe and aluminum muffler (and foamcore seat) are just mockups. I'll reduce the size of the muffler and try some proper hot tubing bending with my spring tubing bender that's been hanging on my workbench for a long time unused.

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I might put a circular air cleaner on this side of the bonnet. Not completely sold on that size air tank.
Last edited by JT Previa on Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JT Previa
True GnATTERbox
True GnATTERbox
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:54 am
Location: Massachusetts, GNew England
Interests: Industrial Narrow Gauge, slot cars

Postby JT Previa » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:43 pm

I just ordered Italeri's Modern Truck Accessories Kit 720 (which is chock a block with such goodies) from my local hobby shop. Hopefully, scale will be somewhat suitable.

I made a quick list of things that remain. Wow, I better get back to the basement:

Rain gutters at side of roof
Curve rear beam
Gusset front beam
Steps
Coupler pockets
Rear railing w/panel

Engine cover taller?
Door louver overlay
Radiator frame

Fuel fill
Air cleaner
Exhaust pipe/muffler

Control panel
Levers
Seat

Lights
Siren
Horn
Antenna

Stiffen chasss with brass angles?

On a different note, any special (and cheap) HO wheelsets preferred for 4-wheel skips/flatcars. I've got some standard HO trucks, but are most people using On30, larger diameter wheels?

Any standard acceptable car width? 42"?

Thanks.

User avatar
JT Previa
True GnATTERbox
True GnATTERbox
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:54 am
Location: Massachusetts, GNew England
Interests: Industrial Narrow Gauge, slot cars

Postby JT Previa » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:11 am

The radiator is a perforated brass sheet that my local hobby shop gave me - another reason to support your local shop if you've got one.

Okay, knocked a few items off the to do list (and added a few more - solar charger on roof!).

These are the parts for the coupler bumper and air cleaner.

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A few minutes (hours ... ) later, and we have some cool parts. My first experience with sliced plastic rod bolts. I had a yield of 50% - the rest are still ricocheting around my workshop!

The air cleaner was made from a pan head screw with the slot filled with a slice of plastic card, superglued in and filed smooth in the drill press. The various brass and aluminium tubes are from and endless supply I purchased in a grab bag of tubes/rod/etc. I think Micro Mark sells this now.

The muffler on the fortuitously-shaped model car sprue is Michael's rolled paper technique - I couldn't get the aluminum tube on after I'd heated, notched and superglue/baking powder filled the bend at the top. Who plans ahead?

I did get a bit fancy and tapped the air cleaner and exhaust pipe for 4-40 screws/threaded rod to make attachment (and changes) a bit easier.

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I'm thinking of added a power hump with a top hatch to the engine cowling (yea, it's got a Hemi :roll: ). This breaks up the purity of the lines, but makes the engine a bit more realistic and implies that the prototype received some modifications as generations went on. I'll probably lower and narrow it a tad, maybe put an intake slot in the front and rear.

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JT


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