joemac

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About joemac

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    MCM Regular

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  • Scale I Build 1:24

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  • Location elverson, pa
  • Full Name joe mac

joemac's Activity

  1. joemac added a post in a topic Paint Storage Tip   

    I always store paint upside-down. Makes mixing a breeze, after setting it rightside-up for a few hours.
  2. joemac added a post in a topic Laminating thin styrene instead of molding   

    OK, the first shot is of a few pieces that have been laminated to form the basic shape of the roof. A new piece is clipped onto the front, forming the beginning of what will be the 'brow' above the windshield.
    Next to it sits the 'mold' made from the three lighters. It's not really bent. I don't know why it looks that way in the photo.

    The second shot is of the two pieces that are nearly finished.
    They're still a bit rough, but I think one more layer will do the trick.

    The nice thing is, you can always add another layer if you screw up and remove too much material.
    Once the glue has cured, it sands and files like a solid piece of styrene.
    It's easy to manipulate small pieces into the piece, as the glue softens the smaller pieces, allowing easy integration and shaping.

    Oh yeah, another source of smaller, but thicker pieces of styrene is the little 'clips' that are commonly attached to bread bags.
    I'm always checking the recycle triangle on containers these days.
    The wife gave me a large, clear container that something came in, as well as a black, rather rigid tray, both made of styrene.

    On a similar note, the dollar store has five-packs of CD cases for... you guessed it... a dollar!


  3. joemac added a topic in Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials   

    Laminating thin styrene instead of molding
    I wound up with a bunch of very thin, almost transparent, styrene that I'd saved, but didn't know what I would use it for.
    Well, in the midst of building/modifying a Mack CF pumper project, I decided to start over. I bought another kit and began the modifications.
    All the while working on it, I wondered about what to do with the first one.
    It finally dawned on me that I could further modify it into a Mack C model, possibly my favorite truck.
    This would mean that I would have to scratch-build the cab.

    I made a simple mold/form, by gluing three disposable lighters together, side by side, and filling the gaps with putty. I then sanded it flat on the side that I'd filled. This gave me something to form the laminated styrene to.

    I found that certain yogurt containers are also made of styrene; polystyrene, to be exact.
    Look for the recycle triangle with the number 6 and the letters P S (poly styrene).
    Cassette tape and CD cases are also styrene, but they're thicker, flat and rigid. I use them for flat body panels, doors, etc.

    I started with a rectangular piece from the yogurt container and glued a sheet of the thin styrene to it and formed them to the lighter 'mold', using rubber bands to hold it overnight.
    After that, it was just a matter of adding layers of the thin, red styrene and re-forming it onto the lighters.
    When the thickness was getting close to what I wanted, I set some folded cardboard between the styrene and the mold, creating a slight arch, which was needed to achieve the appropriate shape for both the roof and the nose panel for the cab.

    Both pieces are coming along quite nicely, actually better than I'd expected. When they're closer to being finished, I'll post some photos. That is, if the sun ever shines again.
    • 3 replies
    • 934 views
  4. joemac added a post in a topic Basic decal question   

    Thanks for the responses thus far. I know nothing about producing decals and not much more about printers.
    My main concern is in producing a decal of the gold leaf that is only a half-inch wide with a thin black border in the small size to match a 1:32 scale model. It means the strip will be about a millimeter wide.
    The other issue is the 'spun' effect that is imparted to the gold leaf.
    Can a photo be scaled down that small?

    Is the general consensus of opinion that I should go to a decal service?
  5. joemac added a topic in Model Building Questions and Answers   

    Basic decal question
    I've been told by various graphic/printer types that if you can photograph it, you can turn it into a decal.
    I have yet to find anyone local who can actually produce the decals I need for a 1:32 scale model fire truck I'm building/modifying.

    What is needed to actually produce the decals I need? My son has a printer, but I don't know what type, although I can find out.

    The problem I see is that it's difficult (impossible?) to reproduce the real gold leaf that is used on the real thing. I've done actual gold leafing and i can't imagine doing it in scale. The sizing (adhesive) is too thick, for starters.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.
    • 6 replies
    • 291 views
  6. joemac added a topic in Model Building Questions and Answers   

    "Bulged" tires?
    I'm doing up a plastic fire truck model and I'd like to make the tires look more authentic by re-shaping the bottoms, sort of slightly "bulged", like they do when they have weight on them.
    Any tricks?
    I was thinking of sitting the bottom portion in some hot water to soften them, then pushing them against a hard surface for a bit.

    The wheels will be glued in place, so it won't roll.
    • 5 replies
    • 341 views
  7. joemac added a post in a topic 1/18 Lowenbrau Porsche 962, Miami Winner, 1985, Finished   

    I've had the pleasure of working on this car a few times.
    It's usually kept in Holbert's in Warrington, about forty minutes from here.

    If I'm not mistaken, A.Unser Jr.'s name is also on there.

    Nice job on yours, by the way. One of these years, i plan to build one, although probably a smaller scale.
  8. joemac added a post in a topic I KNOW STYRENE IS CHEAP BUT   

    My brother scratch built an entire motorcycle model using the leftover sprue trees from various kits.

    I'm stretching the rear body of a kit of a fire truck. The trees are very useful in bracing and connecting panels from the inside, where it won't be seen.

    The trees come in handy when making all sorts of small parts,
    I haven't built that many models, but I have an entire box full of trees.
  9. joemac added a post in a topic Make your own "glass" fuel filter   

    I'd suggest cutting the tubing and leaving a gap in the middle of the bead.
    It would look just that much more realistic without the red tube going through it.

    Still, a neat trick.
  10. joemac added a post in a topic Used tape for a fabric look on interior.   

    Masking tape.
    Yes, masking tape. The adhesive will last the life of the model.
    You can paint it and it will resemble vinyl.
    If you use wax-type shoe polish, it will look just like leather.
  11. joemac added a topic in Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials   

    "Textured" aluminum replica
    Hi gang, been away a while.

    I'm modding/ improving a boxed kit fire truck.
    1/32 plastic.

    I'm going by closeups from my cell phone cam pics of the real truck.
    I found myself wondering how I was going to mimic the aluminum under the door
    that has a pattern of 'lines' across it that form series of tiny diamonds. Life-size, it's small.

    My wife is a smoker. I went past the dining table this morning and looked at the pack
    and the lightbulb went on.
    Sure enough, the foil has the exact pattern in miniature.
    Under the magnifying glass it looks like what I'm seeing in the photos.
    The scale is perfect, as is the amount of sheen.

    Thought I'd pass in along. Sometimes, it helps to be resourceful (and lucky).
    • 3 replies
    • 1,122 views
  12. joemac added a post in a topic Is Ebay really that evil?   

    eBay used to be great, for buyers as well as sellers.
    Now, not so much.

    They've gradually slanted things so much in favor of buyers that it's unfair to the seller.
    Sellers are trying to make up the difference by charging more for shipping, which means the bargains are just about gone (for buyers).

    I rarely use eBay now, as the shipping has gotten out of hand. The shippers all charge more than before and sellers charge more than actual rates to make up for losses incurred by the increased fees.

    I sold a drum to someone who waited three weeks to file a complaint that it was not as described. He claimed damage that didn't exist. I'm sure it was a case of buyer's remorse.
    He lied to eBay, telling them that he'd emailed me several times and that I wouldn't cooperate.
    They gave me no opportunity to defend myself and sided with the buyer, giving him a full refund and making me pay to have it shipped back. When I opened the box, the buyer had exchanged hardware with inferior pieces. eBay was a vehicle for this guy's means to rip me off.

    That was the final straw for me, and I understand it's gotten even worse.
    No negative or even neutral feedback against buyers makes no sense to me.

    eBay doesn't weed out the problem clients, they just make it easier for buyers to take advantage of sellers and in the process, chase off decent sellers.
  13. joemac added a post in a topic Paint Strippers - What to Use?   

    The Dollar Store (Dollar Tree) sells their own water-based cleaner that I've found to be every bit as good as Purple Power, Simple Green, etc.
    It's yellow in color, called, "La's Totally Awesome".
    For the unbelievable low price of a buck, you get the best spray bottle I've ever found, with little grippy ridges at the top that keep the bottle from sliding out of your hand when wet, filled with 20 fl. oz. of cleaner. The refill bottles are even larger, but don't include the sprayer.

    I've been using one of the sprayers for about six years now and it still sprays as good as it did when new.
    I've used the cleaner to de-grease automotive parts, as well as household items.
  14. joemac added a post in a topic Sticky sandpaper   

    I've been known to use sprue trees wrapped in sticky sanding disks.
    A worn (dull) razor blade or utility knife blade make a great substrate, with a nice, straight edge that the paper can be folded over.

    I have sticky disks of 400 grit.
    They're made by Wurth, in Germany.
    I used to restore cars...

    Auto body supply stores have 'em.
  15. joemac added a post in a topic Everybody eats bread right?   

    I use the little plastic clips for projects, as they're polystyrene.

    The wire ties have extremely useful wire in them for all manner of repair and fabrication.