Hi Rob, I think maybe you over read this brass thing. The higher level of detail in brass just happens, it's a gimme. It's automatic. Pete's photo shows an early model frame, maybe a Ford Model A or something from this era, it will be visible when the model is finished. I like the idea of what's inside my models, even if it may be later unseen. This is though, as you stated, a mindset. I recently made a motor that has details that can't be seen in pics, but I can see them when I look close enough, plus knowing they're sitting there makes me happy and proud. For instance, if I were to do really machine parts in brass, and bend fenders from flat sheet metal like some gifted modelers on this forum, and the work was good, I'd leave it in brass too. Probably. After all, it is a model car. Pete will probably think of conservation, maybe clear lacquer. The difference is, it's all handmade. I like all brass models, you see them in museums. I used to build from scratch wooden sailing vessels, some didn't have the hull completely planked, just so you could see how the framework was really made back then. But it's just a model. You've posted an interesting topic.
Looking good Ray. When I see a Cobra I think small block and Weber carbs. I like the setup. Ray, did you copy/paste the pics? I not able upload any pics from PB lately, so I'm doing copy/paste. Michael
Here a pic of the small parts I left out, the fuel pump, I suppose the filter from an external oiling setup, and the butterflies. I'm really surprised the butterflies came out, this is a really small dainty piece!
I've started the rear wheels, hopefully they'll come out, more tomorrow. Michael
Hi Brad, Take a look above (the posts aren't numbered anymore) where I show the original parts on wax sprue leads. They're sitting on a plastic cone, and this whole setup will have a steel ring cylinder placed over it. There'll be enough room all the way around the circumference of the waxed setup to lets say run a pencil around it without touching anything. On the crummy, used looking black rubber plate there are rings around the base. See them? This is where different sized steel cylinders are placed into, these grooves keep the ring in place so that none of the objects are touched. I'll pick the size of ring that leaves enough room so that none of the objects in there touch the steel ring. Then I'll pour investment, a fine powder and liquid mixed to exact ratios into the mold to the top of the ring, so that everything is covered. The investment is runny thin, so it gets into the tiniest crevices. The oven this whole deal goes into is already at operating temps. For a nickel chrome alloy the oven temperature is 1650° F. These temps are according to what kind/type of metal I'll be casting. After letting the investment ring /mold sit for 15 minutes, it goes into the red hot oven, without the rubber plate. It starts to smoke and burn immediately, smells like an old coal burning steam locomotive, so get out of the room quick. After 45 minutes I can cast the ring. This is done in a broken-arm-centrifugal-casting-machine. After 20 minutes douse it in water and with various tools snip away till the castings are a bit visible inside all of the investment, the rest is blasted with various medium till it's all shiny and clean. There are many, many YouTube vids about this, check out for instance "Lost Wax Technique", this covers visually what I just wrote. I like nickel alloys because the metal is fairly hard and shines up like chrome, but has a real nice hue when just smoothed and sandblasted. Plus it's cheap. The tools I use, oven and casting machine can be had fairly cheap as used machinery from the dental branch. Older dentists have this stuff laying around too, so new machinery is not needed by any means. Investment and a few supplies are not cost intensive. An air compressor and small sandblaster (I use aluminum oxide in various micro grits) and that's about it. Hope this helps a bit.
Hi Jesse, Man I'm with you on this! The metal just looks killer in my opinion. The "mag" wheels look real, the pics I take can't bring out how good they look in 1:1. I'm thinking the blower will just be left as it is, that dull metal look is realistic. I can't get plastic to look nearly as good. Another point that I like is the fact that the car weighs a lot! I'm surprised every time I grab the Bantam to check something out. This motor will be a lot heavier. Thanks for the feedback! Michael
Carl & Andy, thanks guys. Today I finished up the casting procedure. All parts are done, even the tiny fuel pump and oil pump and butterflies for the injector hat, just I forgot to show them here. I'll be doing the magneto myself and I'll have to order a decent drive belt and maybe alu. pulleys. Here's the rest of the motor, and a group photo;
I changed the blower manifold as I want the blower to show studs that I'll be adding. There wasn't any room for the bolts so I had to graft a rail onto the manifold and countersink tiny holes for the 8 bolts. Also the front and back cover to the blower did not fit well so I added material so they fit snugly against the blower housing. The block is in one piece as well as the injector hat, I wanted seamless pieces. I'll make a super thin injector plate too with some tiny fittings for the fuel lines. I'm real happy with the results and think the motor will look fairly good when assembled. Next up are the the wheels, also in metal. Thanks for looking. Michael
I agree with all that's been stated about the positive side of brass works. Plus, in my eyes styrene frames for instance look kind of blurry and soft. The smallest detail is visible when in metal. It's the sharp outline of metal that enthuses me, plus the parts can be made much finer in scale than in styrene. Pete J. above shows some beautiful metalwork, this possibility just thrills me. As Cato said, brass can be plated, even gold plated. Anyways, I'm lousy with styrene and I like metal. Brass is cheap. Solder it up, you don't like it, un-solder it and do it again. I'm hooked.
Hi Ray, No, this is a nickel chrome alloy, like the mag wheels from the Bantam. The tin nuggets arrived today, and I'm already working on some parts to pour. I just have to figure out which ones, maybe the rear axle housing. I don't have any experience with tin, I suppose it's kind of smeary to work with and won't handle any manipulation top speak of. I do want to get some time in though with the pouring technique. Thanks for looking. How's your aluminum journey progressing?
Hi Clayton, I'm really up about this endeavor and really excited about getting everything all set up. It's fun! I'll be trying other metals too as time moves on. Thanks for the good feedback! Michael
The casting went very well, I'm pleased with the result. The parts are flawless.
Here are the parts just cut off from the sprue leads, absolutely no finishing done yet. They're purdy. The heads can be finished so they look like real after market heads. The valve covers are very nice. I can polish them to look like chrome, but they were like that out of the kit box. I think a nice satin finish would look good. The front cover too. Tomorrow I'll do the blower manifold, oil pan and the injector scoop with movable butterflies. Then the motor is completely in metal. Off to the machine shop. Michael
I think detailing is a preference that can be extended from build to build. Like Jon said in the beginning, every build trying to add a bit more detail. That's the way I see it too. 1st time around with plug wires. Next time with some fuel lines, and so forth. The comfort zone can be stretched occasionally, I think it's all piece by piece. I don't like plug wires that are way out of scale either. I like 1:25, and things are not big in this scale. I draw the line when it comes to replicating every bolt that is on an engine or rear end, or every rivet that joins some kind of sheet metal, enough is enough. I recently did lug nuts on mag wheels, I like the result and I'll do it again only if the rest of the car shows similar detailing. But half the buggers went flying and I can't find them. Expensive waste.
UPDATE: Today I've started the process of casting motor parts in metal. First off are the heads with bored out exhaust ports which will take a 1.5mm brass rod to hold the 2.5mm brass tube headers. These make for a scale of about 2.5" which is about right for a fuel Hemi motor. The valve covers have holes bored for the plug wires, and the front cover has holes first of all for motor and drive train alignment plus for the metal pulleys coming up. The block is already done in another type of metal to get a slight contrast in metal color, plus a little different type of finish for each of the parts. I think a bit different finish and color makes for an interesting look and adds some depth to the whole deal. I'm doing the parts just like they come out of the kit, no cloning or otherwise time consuming steps. The down side for this method is though, it's a one shot deal. If for some reason the casting procedure fails, then the parts are gone forever. Good though too, I have lots of motors! LOL. I see the chances of success here at about 90%, so I'm going for it. Here a looky for starters, the preparation;
For some reason I'm not able to upload from Photobucket. Yesterday didn't work either. Thes 3 pics are just copied from my folder on PB. I hope they're visible. I'd be happy to share info should anyone be interested. Michael
Thanks guys, I'm happy with the way things are going. I had to lower the drive shaft loop, which moved it more forward so the seat has a better position. I added a small mounting bar for the seat and the firewall is mocked and ready to cut out and finish. The frame will be soon finished up, then it's on to the motor. This will be real fun and also some partial new ground for me. New metals to try out and some new techniques, but I want to do the whole big bad blown Hemi in metal. Yooo-hooo! More to come. Michael
Today the frame got some new bracing and the roll bar as well. Also on the agenda was setting up the body so that it can be tilted for a closer view when on the shelf. This went very well and the body sits square on the frame with no play. Here's a look should anyone be interested;
Next up will be the firewall area and a few other assemblies to be mounted on the frame. Michael