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thoughts about replicating bus' sheet metal


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#1 mysterj1

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:32 PM

I'm thinking about attempting my first scratch build, a conversion of a Eagle silver eagle coach.  I'm just beginning the research for materials but am curious if any of you have any thoughts on how to replicate the aluminum(?) sheet metal.  I've seen a few decals that I could use for some of the riveting but for the actual texture/ribbing I'm scratching my head...

 

 

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#2 CadillacPat

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:21 AM

If it were me I'd do it just like I make my Decals,

I'd lay the casting of the bus on its side on my Scanner and copy it.

Then I'd use PhotoShop to draw the ribbing and the rivets right on top of the saved scan.

 

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#3 southpier

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:23 AM

styrene - and if the pattern isn't available in sheets, start with smooth and apply shapes.

 

http://www.plastruct.com/Home.html

 

http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/



#4 Art Anderson

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:11 AM

The fluted stainless steel cladding on a bus body is one of those surface details that cannot be replicated by decals--it's pretty nigh impossible to capture the shiny polished stainless steel fluting that way (ask anybody who ever saw the Burlington railroad's "modernized" 1920's era dining cars that were painted to look like fluted stainless steel--the effect was less than stunning!).

 

Fluted stainless (some busses have been clad in fluted anodized aluminum as well) generally had a contour looking very much like a series of tubing shapes, as if bright stainless tubing had been sliced lengthwise at about 1/6 of a circle, the "slices" laid side to side, with the inside surface showing as the surface.  About the only way to duplicate that surface would be with a vertical mill and a ball-shaped end mill (cutter), but it would take a LONG milling table in order to make the cladding for a 50-55 foot long bus body.  Minnesota modeler Joel Dirnberger did just that, when he started scratchbuilding a 1/25 scale model of the legendary General Motors Futurliner, the transport vehicles for the traveling version of the GM Motorama's (the rigs were originally built for the 1939 New York World's Fair, mothballed during WW-II, then updated and used in Motorama service through the 1950's.  Of course, the Futurliner is just under 40' long, making the long milling table for Sherline's mill adequate for such lengthy pieces.

 

This style of fluted stainless was also used by GM Coach for the busses they built for Greyhound from the first postwar "Silversides" through the iconic Scenicruisers (and their single deck stablemates), and subsequent intercity busses to the end of GM Coach (picked up though be successor companies and of course, GM's competitors).

 

Now, it would be possible (albeit time-consuming and probably nerve-wracking!) to scratchbuild a master for casting such cladding in resin, using Evergreen styrene half-round strip stock.  That's far more complicated than can be explained in a forum such as this, but PM me if you are interested, I'll give you my thoughts as to how I would tackle it.

 

Art



#5 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:42 AM

You MIGHT have some luck looking at styrene board-and-batten siding made for model railroad structures. Something may look close enough. Evergreen also makes scribed 'passenger car siding' in several scales. One of those might work for you. Over the years I HAVE seen some generic fluted styrene for model railroad 'streamliner car' use, and a thorough search of Google may turn up the perfect material.

 

Alternatively, you might be able to lay half-round styrene strips on a styrene backer sheet to get the desired effect. Should be pretty straightforward, keeping the strips straight and correctly aligned by clamping the ends, one at a time, and wicking in a very small anount of Tenax or other liquid cement with a Micro-Mark Touch-N-Flow applicator.

 

The exact cross-section of your 1:1 reference fluting will determine the way to go.

 

If you have access to a milling machine, you could easily mill the required surface detail in a piece of thin aluminum plate, and vacuum-mold sheet styrene over it, or make a negative mold of it and cast resin panels.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 20 February 2013 - 07:59 AM.


#6 CadillacPat

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:09 AM

Joe, again, to the Point of your thread,

Certainly you can recreate just about anything using good Decals properly created in a graphics program.

Shape, contour, drop shadow, Inner bevel, angle of light and more can give a completely realistic look f you don't want to spend the time cutting rod and tubing to glue on the sides.

Many who don't use Graphics Programs don't understand that just as much design goes into good Decals as shaping individual pieces by hand.

 

Moreso, all your designs are saved in layers for future use on other projects.

 

Good luck,

 

CadillacPat



#7 mikemodeler

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:24 PM

Joe, again, to the Point of your thread,

Certainly you can recreate just about anything using good Decals properly created in a graphics program.

Shape, contour, drop shadow, Inner bevel, angle of light and more can give a completely realistic look f you don't want to spend the time cutting rod and tubing to glue on the sides.

Many who don't use Graphics Programs don't understand that just as much design goes into good Decals as shaping individual pieces by hand.

 

Moreso, all your designs are saved in layers for future use on other projects.

 

Good luck,

 

CadillacPat

 

Pat,

 

Do you recommend a certain graphics package and decal paper? Do you have some examples of decals you have created that you could share? I am curious and would like more information, have a few projects in mind and always looking to save time.

 

Thanks!



#8 CadillacPat

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:53 AM

Sure Mike, although I don't think I can save you any time.

The more you work with Graphics the more time you put into them, to make them the best you can.  It pulls you in.

 

I use Photoshop 6, it's an older version but the extent to which I use it (as complex and multilayered as my Decal images are they are made with basic moves in PS and I have only scratched the surface in the 9 years I have been using it) PhotoShop 4 or 5 would suffice.

Creating images that get printed out no larger than a 1" square or at the most 2" x 1" is slightly different than designing something as large as page size Art.

One has to be mindful of how an image will appear, and what possible aspects of a design would not be visible, at such a small size.

 

As for Decal Paper I've tried them all and for some time, years, I have only used Decal Paper from Papilio.com

All my work is done using Clear Glossy InkJet Decal Paper.

 

As for sharing, sure, I've created and given away files online to let others Customize their DieCast with my Graphics that they can print out.

What casting are you working with?

 

I began by using Word to compose my Decal sheets but it is nowhere near as useful as a copy of PhotoShop.

I wrote a "Make Your Own Decals Using Microsoft Word " Tutorial back around 2004 for a couple of dozen (at that time) Diecast Customizing sites.

It's very elementary, one of the first Internet Tutorials I posted, but until I put up my "Decals In PhotoShop" Tutorial it may break the ice for you and give you a feel for things.

I'll find it and post it in the Tutorials section.

 

I thought when I came here there would be lots of dialogue concerning Graphics and AirBrushing for such a large Model site so it's good to see some.

 

 

CadillacPat