• Announcements

    • General Usage   05/10/2017

      If someone is acting badly, either in a forum or a private message, please report it. There are conveniently located buttons for sending the post to the moderators. 


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About RobRus

  • Rank
    MCM Regular

Previous Fields

  • Scale I Build 1/24

Profile Information

  • Location Michigan
  • Full Name Robert Russell

RobRus's Activity

  1. RobRus added a post in a topic Working Air Bag Suspension   

    I have given this some thought also since I am working on a 40 ford that is lowered.

    The idea I came up with but have not tried is to mold the airbags using silicone. The bags should be hollow with the bulge of the bag being thinner than the rest of the mold. Then I thought of running the lines from the bags to a small tank just as they would in real life.
    I would then use a medical syringe connected to the tank to raise or lower the suspension.

    Since the volume of air you would need to move the suspension up and down would be very small just the action of pushing the syringe plunger in and out should be enough to activate the suspension.

    The problem I can see with this is the suspension (not the bags but the actual suspension) has to work with little or no resistance or the car will not go up or down very well.

    After giving it some serious thought I decided not to do because I didn't think the effort would be worth it.

    But that is the idea I was thinking of using.
  2. RobRus added a post in a topic Welding Plastic   

    I was not talking about artistic ability when I said that glue doesn't take any skill.
    It takes plenty of skill to chop a car up and turn it into something else.

    I was talking about the act of applying the material.

    It isn't a matter of how much I abuse a model. It just makes a stronger joint and a stronger joint will last longer.

    I still use glue and I am not cursing the glue gods...
  3. RobRus added a post in a topic Welding Plastic   

    @ crazyjim, I would love to come to see that but it is a pretty long drive from Michigan.

    @ GrandpaMcGurk, By all means post anything you have on the topic. The more info the better.
  4. RobRus added a post in a topic Something I need To Get Off My Chest   

    I understand your rant. I have been in the racing sim community building 3d models. A very similar thing happens there but it is guys ripping off other peoples work and passing it off as theirs.

    The only thing worse than that is someone correcting anothers spelling. (he said with a grin)
  5. RobRus added a post in a topic Welding Plastic   

    crazyjim, I would love to go to that and see how someone else does it. I started playing around with it when I was about 15, as a matter of fact the soldering iron I am using is the very same one I started with. It was actually my dads and everytime I used it he would yell at me and take it away... He finally got tired of taking it back...

    Back in the mid 70's and I was working in body shops they came out with an actual plastic welder that used hot air in a small jet. I talked my manager into buying one and I took a class on how to use it. The technique of making the V came from that class. At the time cars were going plastic on us with inner fender wells, radiator shrouds and bumpers which are the first things to crack in an accident. We made our money over and over by welding up a crack rather than replace a part.

    For anyone interested in this here is a cool video that shows how to use an actual plastic welder. I am doing exactly the same thing but with a soldering iron. They don't show him doing the other side of the bumper but the process is the same, grind out a V and melt in the plastic.

  6. RobRus added a post in a topic Welding Plastic   

    @ Plowboy and SuperStockAndy, thanks for your comments relating to the topic.

    I know most guys use glue of some sort and it doesn't surprise me that you voice your opinion about how easy/safe/fast glue is but it is clear you have not tried welding because you would find out that it is about 75% stronger and about 50% faster once you learn how to do it correctly. The one thing I will give you is that glue is easy and doesn't require any skill.

    If done correctly the joint is much stronger than the surrounding plastic because you are using the same material and not introducing a solvent into the mix. I ask you do try an experiment. After you have glued a seam and you think it is dry (in what 12 or 24 hours?), grab your part like a 3 year old would and twist it. When (not if) it breaks apart take an exacto knife and scrape at the seam. You will find that it is soft and mushy inside. That is the solvent that has melted the plastic and will probably not evaporate out for weeks. And even when it has evaporated out completely you will still be able to snap the joint right along the seam. If I snap one of my welds it will not break the seam because there isn't any seam left. You can break it but it will be somewhere other than the weld. Very much like welding metal, the weld is much stronger than the surrounding metal.

    As a testimonial of how strong the joints are. I am working on a project right now were I cut part of the roof and hatch off of a car and welded the sail panels back in. As I was just finishing up I made the mistake of setting it down right in front of my dust collector. I just bought that new dust collector you see in the pictures which draws air at 600 CFM and has a velocity of 5500 foot-per-minute at the opening. You can see I have not put a screen over the opening (yet) and when I set the model down it sucked it right into the collector. The hose is a 4" corrugated tube with the collector installed down stairs in my shop. The hose is about 25 feet long and it sucked my model all the way down into the base of the collector.
    I was shocked at how quick it sucked the model in and I sat there thinking "all that work for nothing". I went downstairs and opened up the collector and there was my model all in one piece. It has a few nicks and scratches but the welds held up just fine.

    @ Scale-Master, The weld is completely through the plastic so there is no seam anymore. If you look at the last 2 pictures I am showing both sides but one is ground down and ready for filler. I could actually sand it smooth and prime it if I wanted to but I prefer to use bondo. As far as you saying current technology is faster and stronger that is just not the case. I am guessing you do not glue a seam up and start filling it as soon as you close the glue bottle do you? And as far as strength... no comparison what so ever since there isn't a seam anymore if it breaks it will break beside the weld or somewhere else but not a properly welded seam.

    I am not trying to convert anyone from how they work now. I just thought I would put this tutorial up here for anyone interested in learning about how to weld plastic. I don't think it is really necessary to make a post saying you prefer glue and why.

    Now it all honesty, the weld I did for this tutorial is much more "finished" than I would do on a car. I wanted it to be "proper" looking weld for this example.

    Here is what my welds usually look like. This is the car that was sucked through my collector. This stage I have already welded the seams and shaped the window opening and the welds you see are just filling in the shape so I don't have to use as much Bondo to smooth it off. It has not been ground down so this is a good example of welding an actual car.

  7. RobRus added a post in a topic Body mods/custom panels   

    I have used regular model glue and Testors Plastic Cement which like Tenax7 is mainly acetate and has no fillers. Both are solvents which melt the plastic and chemically welds the joint. I have found that joints usually bleed through after priming and painting because the solvents become part of the joint. Even after a week or 2 of drying under a lamp I have seen joints pop after priming or painting (leave raised marks right where the joint is).

    Any time I do a body mod that requires welding the 2 pieces back together I prefer welding with a soldering iron. It takes practice (and a variable temp pencil tip soldering iron) not to warp the parts but the advantage is that you do not have any drying time and you can sand and fill the parts immediately after welding. You also don't have any solvents to bleed through so you don't have seams popping up after you apply paint.

    I will put a heat welded joint up against any glued joint as far as strength and durability any day.

    I actually wrote a short tutorial on how I do it and your question sparked me to post it in the Tips section here:


    I have also heard of some guys using 2 part epoxy with good results also but I enjoy welding because it is more like what you would do on a real car and it is very strong.

    Just my 2c

  8. RobRus added a topic in Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials   

    Welding Plastic
    There is nothing that makes me more crazy than waiting for glue to dry when I am trying to do some major modification like adding fender flairs or chopping a top.

    What is worse is the model is much more fragile than before I cut it and the glue lines always seem to bleed through to the finish.

    The reason is because we are using glue that softens and melts the plastic and it takes a long time to evaporate out.

    I started welding plastic when I was about 15 and there is nothing that is stronger and faster than using heat to weld seams and joints. I use an adjustable temp pencil tip soldering iron. It has a very small tip that is perfect for welding plastic. It is important not to melt the surrounding area so a variable temp soldering iron is a must.

    I have to make this warning and I want everyone to read it and understand that melting styrene fumes and smoke is not a good thing to breath in.




    OK I have warned you... Don't be dumb and ignore this.

    The first thing to understand in welding plastic is not to get it hot enough to smoke. If it is smoking and turns brown you are burning the plastic and it will become brittle and your joint will fail.

    When you see smoke stop and clean the tip of your soldering iron with steel wool.

    Practice is the best thing I can suggest to figure out how hot to get it and when to get off a spot before it starts to warp. But here is a quick explanation of how I do it.

    I will put a good weld up against any glue as far as strength and the best part is when you are done welding you can get on with your customizing and do not have to wait for anything to dry.

    Thanks and I hope this helps.


    First make sure your area is clean and free of any flammable materials like paint or thinner.

    Start by tacking the parts together to keep them in position.

    V out a small section and weld in the rod to fill the V. Then create another V and repeat the process.

    Notice when I create the V I push the plastic out to the sides of the V. This will be mixed in with the rod in the next step.

    Start welding by laying the rod in the V and moving the iron very close to the end of the rod.

    When you see the tip of the rod begin to melt start pushing the rod into the V. While it is soft I start to move it around and then pull the sides of the V in to create the weld.

    The real trick is to get a very small spot hot but not melt or warp the surrounding plastic. I like to brace the part I am working on with a finger under the spot I am welding. If the opposite side is too hot to keep your finger on then you need to stop and let that spot cool (it only takes seconds).

    After I have welded a complete seam I like to go back over it and clean my weld up buy dragging down both sides to move any bumps into the middle of my weld. Then I drag a diagonal line to create a nice smooth weld. If your joint looks smooth with no holes or burns then it will be a good strong joint.

    • 22 replies
  9. RobRus added a post in a topic Revell '49 Merc - I need a favor   

    There is a blueprint of a 49 on this site.


    It also has a LOT of other cars this guy has done in 3D in renderings and blueprint type drawings. Look at the top of the page and you will see his blueprint page.

    Heck... Here is the image of the 49.

    (I am not sure if the admins will allow this so if not please remove it. ((Or ask me to and I will))

    Hope it helps.

  10. RobRus added a post in a topic 40 Ford Custom   

    Thanks for having an interest in my build.

    @ Eric,

    Gee thanks, I have been away from this for a lot of years but I was doing 3D modeling and had a forum (that I just shut down). I always tried to help people learn 3d modeling so I had a number of tutorials in the same format. I found it easier to follow than having a big page of text or showing pictures that guys had to figure out. (if you are interested in seeing the kind of 3D work I have done you can Google "Team Players Virtual Garage").

    Nice looking chop on your ford. That is one way to do it and it gives a different kind of look. I wanted to keep the stock look but give it an "update".

    @ Roger,
    Interesting idea using 2 cut-off blades. I guess I am old school... I just used a saw.
  11. RobRus added a post in a topic 40 Ford Custom   

    Thanks guys, Back when I was in the body shop I have actually helped do a couple of chops so I know the kind of planning it takes to do one right. I was surprised that I didn't have to cut the roof up lengthwise to get it to fit but I guess that is due to only cutting 1 1/2 inches and the 40's pillars are nearly straight up and down.

    @Don, Yes I will be putting the drip edge back on. I think that is one of the things that will keep it looking like a mild custom. I found some really nice channel strips at the Hobby shop I think will work very well for that. The one thing that has bothered me from the start is the body line where the drip edge stops by the trunk. On this die is is not straight so I may have to fix that.

    I am guessing that most people will never know it has had so much cutting done on it but that is one of the things I love about mild customs. The average person will look at it and see a 40 Ford but the trained eye will be able to pick out the modifications.

    More to come...
  12. RobRus added a post in a topic Barn find 55 chevy   

    Very nice job with the rust, I am not a big fan of it but you really captured what I barn find looks like.

    The only critique I have is the wheels should have the same amount of dust on the lower part of the rim. That is unless you had to put new tires and wheels on it to move it out of the barn.... Oh that's right, this IS a model...

    Great job for your first.
  13. RobRus added a post in a topic 40 Ford Custom   

    Here is what the final results look like after being sanded, filled and primed.

    Not to bad for for the first one I have done in years.

  14. RobRus added a post in a topic 40 Ford Custom   

    Ok some more progress.

    Keeping with my theme of low, smooth and shiny I decided to do a mild chop. I am not a fan of radical chops, especially on the 40 Ford Coup. The lines of this car are beautiful just the way they came from the factory but that doesn't mean it can't be improved on.

    This is the first chop I have done in a number of years but I am not afraid of cutting up a perfectly good car so...

    I decided to do a mild 1 1/2" chop because I wanted it to be subtle and I also didn't want to distupt the lines of the body (especially the roof line flowing down into the trunk. At first I thought about doing a raked chop leaving the back about where it was but I decided on a full 1 1/2 all the way around. I actually raked it backwards very slightly leaving it just a bit taller in the front. That is a trick I learned a long time ago (it gives the illusion of stock proportions when doing a mild chop).

    Here is the progress on how I did it and the final results.


    I cut a strip if blue tape 1 1/2 inches wide and laid out where I wanted to cut.

    The Cut

    I left the tape on and then sprayed some paint on it so I could tell where my guide lines were. I then sanded the white area up to my guide line.

  15. RobRus added a post in a topic A100 lowrider...5-22-12 DONE!   

    Looking good, and I love the color combo.

    I think the white bed cover is a bit much, at least in the picture it kind of takes over the nice custom work you have done. But that is only my opinion based off of one photo. Maybe if you put some white faded lacing or something to bring that whilte into the rest of the vehicle?

    It is coming along very nicely though.