View single post by Huw Griffiths
 Posted: Thu Feb 9th, 2012 08:45 pm
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Huw Griffiths

Joined: Wed Oct 21st, 2009
Location: Cwmbran, Wales, United Kingdom
Posts: 259
Excellent advice about experimenting with a selection of styrene sheet thicknesses.

I'm not yet ready to break cover with what I've been working on 
("issues" with some "test sections" - so I want to check everything's really OK before I "get serious").

I don't wish to raise anyone's hopes too much - I might have learnt a lot, but I've still got a lot to learn. 
Understandably, I want to make sure that my next model has a bodyshell that's at least structurally sound. 
Unless I get that right, there'd be no point in detailing, or working on new or improved versions.

OK, so I'm no expert. 
However, I'm aware of some things from stuff I've built or bashed. 
I hope you don't mind if I mention some of the stuff I've come across.

I've built coach / wagon kits whose sides were effectively thin sheets of styrene - styrene which warped  inwards between bulkheads. 
It turns out that (even though these kits came from reputable manufacturers) this warping is well documented. 
Also documented are "fixes" - like extra bracing, extra bulkheads and concealed reinforcement strips (running all the length behind the panels).

Like many people, I've also glued (or laminated) styrene layers on top of each other.
Fine, as long as there's an odd number of layers and totally dissimilar materials aren't rigidly glued on opposite sides of panel assemblies. 
I've sometimes been caught out here - and ended up with curved panels.

I've also come across another trap.
Creating sealed voids within styrene structures 
(any solvent vapour trapped within these voids is likely to end up softening or warping the panels around it). 
The "fix" involves adding small holes for vapour to escape, somewhere hidden from view.

Returning to which styrene sheet thicknesses to get, the thin stuff already mentioned is useful. 
Some thicker styrene sheets might also come in useful:
  • 40+ thou for bulkheads and the like;
  • 60 and 80 for footplates, floors and anything else where you need real strength, also if you want to laminate and carve thick blocks.
In practice, I tend to do most of my experimenting with 40 and 80 thou. 
(Some people will disagree with me - this is fine by me - I'm just saying what I'm happy using.)

If you're looking to read up on this subject, I know that Evergreen do this book (I think it's very good).

In 1996, the late David Jenkinson wrote a book which I consider to be even better:
Carriage Modelling Made Easy (Wild Swan Publications, Didcot, UK; ISBN 1-874103-32-1). 
I'm not sure if this book is currently in print, but it's very informative and well written.
(Also, a lot of the contents apply to model locomotives, just as much as they apply to railway passenger carriages.) 
If there's one modelmaking book I routinely reach for, it's this one.

Anyway, I think I've said enough for now - I certainly don't wish to hijack your thread.

Whatever you do - however you proceed - I hope you enjoy your model making. 
I also hope you enjoy success with your model making.



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