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Old Modeling Tools & Methods
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 Posted: Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 02:11 am
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Mr Stumpy
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Wood looks like wood because it IS wood! What better reason to use it? But many modern modelers go to great lengths to make plastic look like wood!

I have used card stock for steel over the years, especially those old 3x5" file cards with the nice smooth finish. Of course "bolt heads" or "rivet heads" can be "embossed" into card stock. I've used a Ponce wheel since my mother had one for sewing in the fifties and sixties. Micro-Mark sells them as specialty hobby tools now.

For bigger scales than a Ponce wheel will work for, I use an old ball point pen that has run out of ink. You draw a light line and then "punch" rivets one at a time. For even bigger scales, I've used drops of glue placed with a toothpick.

Of course, you can also emboss other shapes into card stock and cut it into strips to represent a number of items. With a little dampness and some work, you can even make compound curves in card stock. It's handy stuff once you learn to use it.

If you MUST have real metal, I've used soda/beer can aluminum. It cuts with common sissors and embosses like card stock. But it is razor sharp, so I don't like to use it.

I built a lot of train, car, airplane, and boat models over the years using balsa, strip wood, and card stock, and still do. I'm used to working with these materials and they're relatively inexpensive these days compared to other hobby materials.

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

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 Posted: Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 02:14 am
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pipopak
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.... and old toothpaste tubes, before they were made out of plastic....
And safety match boxes, when they were made of real wood..... (and the wood matches themselves, of course). Jose.



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 Posted: Thu Jul 24th, 2014 04:18 pm
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Mr Stumpy
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As most of we "old timers" know, there were not the hobby specialty tools and materials available years ago that are available today. You HAD to be imaginative!

For instance we didn't have the Woodland Scenics and other products, so we used dyed sawdust for "grass" and Joint Compound to make roads. I STILL use Joint compound because it's cheaper than the hobby materials and is easier to use than plaster, it's "pre-mixed!" It has the correct texture for pavement and can be made into walls too. It works in rock molds, just pack it in and let it set.

Along the lines of walls and rocks, I have found carving them from scraps of extruded Styrofoam to work well. Once again the material has the correct texture for stone, concrete or adobe walls, or pavement.

Keep the ideas and comments coming!

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

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 Posted: Fri Jul 25th, 2014 03:19 pm
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W C Greene
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Maybe us old dudes are losing the ability to post!! Jose reminded me of a great material we used to have...old toothpaste tube material. Geez, was that stuff lead? What would the EPA, etc. say nowadays? I remember cutting the top off the tube, slitting it down the side, washing the old toothpaste off and then you had a metal material that could be spindled folded and mutilated (embossed with rivets).
And then there was the glue...many times I used a mixture of DUCO or AMBROID mixed with GOO or PLIOBOND (still use that today) to stick things together. The first time I heard about "super glue", a friend who made engineering models showed me a small bottle of EASTMAN 910 CA which cost about 50 bucks! Fantastic! We are spoiled by today's cheap and plentiful CA, how did we ever live without it??!!
Paint? How about 410 M or even TESTORS had "model railroad enamel colors" back then and FLOQUIL was lacquer with Dio Sol for us all to sniff!
Those kitchen matches? I built my first HOn3 track (late 50's) using match sticks with the heads cut off for ties. Spikes were big old hunky "HO" scale which actually looked like spikes and they did a great job of splitting the matchstick ties. KEMTRON made code 70 rail and 3 point track gauges then..HOn3 flex was in the far away future.
On that subject...the old Ken Kidder HOn3 "Mudhen" was $9.95, Kemtron "Teakettle" 0-4-0t kit was about 30 bucks, and PFM imported HOn3 C&S 2-6-0 and 2-8-0's at $34.95 and $39.95. There were neat HOn3 car kits also, all a narrow gauger needed to have is a bit of money and the skills to put everything together right.

As Archie and Edith sang.."Those were the days".
More?

Woodie



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 Posted: Fri Jul 25th, 2014 08:22 pm
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pipopak
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...and who else made "flat paint" by adding talcum powder to regular shiny ones?. And collecting old wheel balance strips to melt on the range and cast lead weights for the RR fleet... Jose.

Last edited on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 08:25 pm by pipopak



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 Posted: Sat Jul 26th, 2014 04:34 pm
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Mr Stumpy
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Ambroid Cement, YEAH! Loved the smell, the stringiness not so much. As a youngster when I started, I remember Ambroid fingerprints and strings ruining otherwise pretty nice rolling stock! I think Walthers ended up with Ambroid, and GOO is the modern stepchild of the old Ambroid stuff!

I tried the talcum powder trick too, but it never worked out for me. Since those experiments, I've probably absorbed gallons of Toulene using the old Floquil paints! It probably made me as goofy as I am today.

What did we do before Plastruct? Well, we looked for the shapes elsewhere! Need a pipe or culvert? Cut up an old ink pen! When ball point pens came along you got two sizes of pipe from one old pen! Drinking straws provided yet another size of pipe.

Valves and elbows were filed and sanded from wood and a dress snap or a button made a hand wheel for the valve, and even brake wheels on rolling stock!

Cans of all types and sizes became oil or fuel tanks at trackside. Broom sticks became loco boilers and tank car tanks. Wooden dowels were used for all kinds of stuff! In recent years I've started using Bamboo Meat Skewers for the same things because they're cheaper ($1.89 for 100!)

Depending on the scale, you found shapes where you could. Plastruct has made that all easier, but more expensive.

Bring on some more "old stuff!"

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

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 Posted: Sat Jul 26th, 2014 09:20 pm
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Helmut
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W C Greene wrote:
Those kitchen matches? I built my first HOn3 track (late 50's) using match sticks with the heads cut off for ties.
On that subject...the old Ken Kidder HOn3 "Mudhen" was $9.95,

oh boy,
I used code 40 on that matchstick ties with N spikes - they did not split them and the track looked right. Even made a three-way stub ( my first attempt and it was successful )
That K.K. was mine at an exchange rate of 4.2 Deutschmarks for a buck - quite expensive then..but.. you got RP25 wheelsets on it, I replaced that big open-frame motor with a can motor and opened up the frames with an Emco Unimat I bought from the wages I got for toiling in a steel mill for 6 weeks.
Still have some bits and pieces of it flying around in the scrapbox.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 26th, 2014 10:28 pm
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Alwin
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For corrugated sheets I use covers from butter or yogurt cups. They are a bit thicker than alu-foil wich is perfect for embossing them.
For pipework I use copperwire from an old machine. I've got them in several thickness. A bit bigger pipes can be made from cocktail sticks. The watertanks I made are out of PVC sewer pipe. Or what about water/gas pipes?
For some simple object out of plastic I use sometimes old CD hardcases, but they are difficult to cut to length.
Windows (glass) from overheadsheets.

That's all for now.

Alwin

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 Posted: Sun Jul 27th, 2014 01:12 am
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Mr Stumpy
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Corrugated metal sheeting was once very common. Building siding and fences for junkyards and speedways used miles of it. Today, there are several hobby products, both plastic and metal to represent that corrugated metal.

Like Alwin, I used something that wasn't supposed to be a modeling material for corrugated siding: those corrugated banking pan liners for making cupcakes. They were pretty small, but you could buy a bunch of them for 37 cents back then! Eventually, I used a some strip wood and a file and made a two piece "corrugating press" to emboss card stock.

A few years ago on a trip to the craft store, discovered a corrugating tool in the "Scrapbooking" section. Using card stock, I use it to roll corrugated sheets in both O and G scale.

Where there's a will (and little money) there's a way! Keep those stories coming, we're all learning!

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

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 Posted: Wed Jul 30th, 2014 11:33 pm
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Salada
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Helmut: I've still got my Emco Unimat -- but I have to use very strong elastic bands &/or hydraulic gaskets as replacement drive belts, they don't seem to be available anymore.

Jose: I find fag-ash better than talc for making matt paint - I use it as 'weathering' powder too.


Regards              Michael

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