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  • 2 months later...

 

Guess What!

 

A few posts back in 'The End of the Beginning' I wrote 'if I start having to build really big pieces from scratch again something's gone wrong.'

 

Well folks...

Guess What!

 

There are two reasons that It's been forever since I posted here. The first is that I've been focusing most of my modelling time on helping Baby Bandsaw get her 'Hogwart's Express' finished in time for WASMEx. The second is because I've had to do the tracks again... Yep again... from scratch.  100% repetition. 😢 

 

Here's where I left all you good folks hanging.  Things at this point were looking good. Something had to go wrong.  

45vLt4o.jpg

 

And so it did. I left the tracks semi-permanently in place on the model and found that, because they did not fully wrap around the entire length of the track-run, they slowly started to 'open up' again. That is, the front and the back segments of the track slowly started to 'unfold themselves' as the entire length of plastic started to try to regain its original flat shape. As shown below I tried to re-pin each track back onto the balsa former and then re-steam it but each time I tried to re-steam the damned thing It broke; see the broken length in the background from the previous track.  This was a problem.

rD8N2y8.jpg

 

Here you can see the remnants of the broken track lengths. It was actually worse than it looks here since the broken off remnants - out of shot - were not just a salvageable single piece but were themselves broken into about 3 pieces each.

sfGVZgs.jpg

 

I had to start again. This time I resolved to make longer tracks that would wrap completely back on themselves and form a closed loop. This would stop them ever 'opening up' again and requiring re-folding.

HfMtDs2.jpg

 

I carefully marked up the track links using essentially the same method as before but made sure that I marked up both tracks together and did the mark-up of the inside of the track at the same time as I did the outside.

rAuNj1H.jpg

 

Then - and this was the clever bit - I cut out a second identical balsa former.  Two tracks - two formers.... It turns out that’s' important folks.

83CIs2Z.jpg

 

Now use an olfa cutter to make a series of light cosmetic notches on both the top and the bottom of the tracks - but only work where the etches will actually be seen. Experience has taught me that the plastic was a bit weaker in this application than I first thought so I'm doing what I can to keep it strong. However, where it must bend I've still used a triangular section file to deepen the notch. At this point the plastic must be weak enough to bend when steamed, so deepening the notches at this point is a necessary step. The plastic is about 3mm thick and on the future curve, I would say that each notch is about 1mm deep.

8xItFhJ.jpg

 

Now split the two tracks along a centrally scored line.

fNey8Wg.jpg

 

Drill a handful of strategically placed holes where the drawing pins will go.  Honestly, if posting on Britmodeller please try to take better photographs than this messy thing. At least make some sort of effort to hold the camera still! 😡

yNfPwvg.jpg

 

You can now pin the tracks onto the balsa former as shown.  Make sure you get the centre of the track on the centre of the former and the outside on the outside and the front to the front and all that stuff.  Since you now have two sets of formers and two sets of tracks set them both up at the same time to ensure that the set-up is identical.  I guess I should have made the picture show that really. Sorry. 

AB8kxfe.jpg

 

As per the previous post, steam the bends. Once the plastic starts to go pliable just gently slowly press it around the bend. Wear heat resistant gloves because you neither want to get your fingers scalded nor do you want to rush the job trying to get your fingers away from the heat. The jug shown is a safety jug and annoyingly it kept 'clicking off' during this procedure and I had to keep switching it back on again.  The constant cycle of 'bubble bubbble bubbble Ssssssssheeeeehheesssssssssssssh' 'click' 'bugger' 'click' 'bubbble bubbbbble bubblee ssssssssheeeessheeeessssssssh' 'Click'  eventually drove Mrs Bandsaw to distraction. Consequently she allowed me to use a saucepan with a little breather hole in it on the stove.  It actually worked much better than the jug and will be my 'go to' method in future.

Jlv0lpp.jpg

 

Anyway after about 10 minutes work you might have something like this.  Note that the bent sections can be held in place with drawing pins.

wWVsNfg.jpg

 

Then do the whole thing, even slower, on the bits that fold around the wheels.  The bend here is more pronouced so take your time. Broken tracks at this point are a regular pain so use a lot of steam and only press the plastic to move when it's really pliable and completely ready to go.

VRTB0lJ.jpg

 

Ta dah! All done.  Now leave the damned thing pinned on the balsa so it cannot get damaged and can't start unrolling.  That's why you need two formers,  you need to finish two sets of tracks and leave them both pinned. Obvious really, at least once you have done it wrong a few times.

Nv2j80v.jpg

 

Don't take it off the former.  But you know you will!  Just to see what it looks like. As you can see even this 'extra long' bit of plastic wasn't actually long enough to go all the way around, so as a stop gap I put it back on the former and cemented a bridging length onto the gap on top. 

jZWMmnE.jpg

 

Before I did that Though I just had to check what it would look like in the final position.  Not too bad! 👍 It follows the contour of the drive wheel quite nicely now and fits in between the cogs rather well too.  Now nice and gently remove it from this position and carefully get it  back onto the balsa former before it gets broken!

4PGsUdi.jpg

 

Now use some of this lovely gridded plastic to make a bunch of identical rectangular track pads...

eqBEUF8.jpg

 

These can be stuck onto each track and then sanded down as required.  Note that the track is attached to the former during all of this process so there's very little chance of it getting stressed or damaged.

yFkqm0f.jpg

 

Ah! At last, a photo of both formers in one place together and happy.

 

So here are the new cardinal rules folks:

Rule one.  Two tracks = two formers.

Rule two = Don't take the tracks off the formers until they are ready to go onto the model. 
 

Got that?!?! 

IE8MhFY.jpg

 

OK - you have seen this step before.  Punch out about 250 of these little guys.  6mm disks of 2mm thick evergreen styrene. 

Blqdtm6.jpg

 

And now cheat to save time. Stick two of these little 'finger nail bling' things onto each disk...

HUcYInW.jpg

 

and cut each disk twice - once on each side of the bling to leave a little sort of little ovalish / rectangularish shape with two bits of bling stuck onto the side.

p4wIioN.jpg

 

Then, stick each little bobby bitty thing onto the side of the tracks as shown.  While doing this keep the track mounted on the balsa former. It's better that way....  Did I mention that before?  Keep the track mounted on the balsa former.

kzBLrEv.jpg

 

And now all is going well. If you work at the same pace that I did you should be able to watch one episode of 'Game of Thrones' and the whole of Martin Scorsesse’s 'Casino' while doing this job. Man, that 'Casino' is one disturbing film!

ugny8ca.jpg

 

Anyhow - make two balsa formers and keep the tracks on them.  

zVWl4jG.jpg

 

At least until the job is done and you need a final wrap-up photo. Once the photo’s taken, put the tracks back on balsa former. That’s important.

1c8SAqF.jpg

 

The tracks aren't 100% finished yet - but I think the worst of the job is over.

 

Yep I know... I've said that before.  🙄

 

Sorry about the delay folks, hopefully It won't be quite such a long time until the next post. 

 

Best Regards,

Bandsaw Steve

 

 

 

 

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Whew!  I'm sweating just watching the track re-make. :phew:   Great job, by the way. :clap2:

 

Looking forward to the next update.

 

John

 

 

 

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Gidday Steve, I've been tuning in to this section of the forum several times a day, not wanting to miss the next instalment. And I guessed that BBS's Hogwarts was the priority project at present. Sorry to hear that you had to repeat some of your work, but it seems to have paid off. And I've learned something here - steam. I've used a heat gun in the past but the heat is too intense. I'll try steam sometime.

     Looking forward to the next instalment. And remember, keep the tracks on the formers. 😀   Regards, Jeff.

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What a great solution Steve.  I have been considering scratching a Russian Bat-M.  This track scratch is right up my ally.  Nice Job!

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6 hours ago, RichO said:

What a great solution Steve.  I have been considering scratching a Russian Bat-M.  This track scratch is right up my ally.  Nice Job!

 Hi @RichO

 

Good to hear you have got something out of all this woffle. 
 

I’ve just had a look at Bat M tracks on google and do not fancy that challenge!

 

Those tracks are much more complex than the PZH tracks and seem to be set much more ‘slack’. I think @ArnoldAmbrose suggestion - a few pages back - where he suggested using a thin strip of highly flexible plastic as a ‘spine’ for the tracks has great merit and should be carefully considered in that case. 
 

I hope your Bat M goes ahead. I will be watching with interest to see what you come up with. 👍

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There are many ways to skin a cat 🐱 

and many ways to track a bat 🦇 

 

Just thought I would share. 😀

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Gidday Steve, I'll take your word on skinning a cat - I've never done it because ours don't keep still long enough! 😁 Besides, I'd have to answer to SWMBO. Regards, Jeff.

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Well, that was an epic rework and rather splendid they look too.

Blqdtm6.jpg

You took all those tablets during the process... 

 

Stuart

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Some excellent work that you've done there Stuart. I have never seen anything like it. Respect!

 

Vytautas

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Good to see you back in the saddle Steve - great job on the remade tracks and an excellent step-by-step 'how to' for us watching.

 

SD

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45 minutes ago, Courageous said:

Well, that was an epic rework and rather splendid they look too.

Blqdtm6.jpg

You took all those tablets during the process... 

 

Stuart

Yep... pain killers! 😳

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Job well done Steve. The steam thingy with the pan is a great idea. I'll use that for sure. 

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Thanks for the comments and interest everyone.

 

Not much to see here folks. Just got a new computer and getting myself settled in.

 

This is just a test really - but it all seems to be working OK.  Will try to have something more interesting soonish.

 

Steve

 

1c8SAqF.jpg

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39 minutes ago, Clogged said:

Is that train scratch built? Looks amazing. Are you going to paint it further?

Yes and yes.👍

My daughter is making it (with a bit help from me). The whole project is on Britmodeller under civilian vehicles. I’m not sure how to post a link using this I-phone but if you use Britmodeller’s search tool and search for ‘Hogwarts Express’ you will find it very quickly. 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 13/04/2021 at 23:33, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday again, any more progress with this, and are you going to make it by WASMEx? I look forward to seeing it. Regards, Jeff.

Sorry mate but there’s no way this’ll be ready for WASMEx 2021 now - most effort is directed at the Hogwarts express at the moment. I will bring along what I’ve done so far on the PZH2000 so you can see it in the flesh.

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Gidday Steve, yeah I thought BBS's (should we call her TBS now?) Hogwarts would be taking priority. So it'll be there too? Great. 👍 Regards, Jeff.

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Yep - will bring the hogwarts and the Avro 504 and all unfinished projects (including drawings for Xantho)

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