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Scale Louvers

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Part 1:

I’ve looked “everywhere†and I can’t find a source for scale louvers (1/25th preferred) that could be attached to a body surface. I’d like to avoid cutting out louvers from another model (i.e. the louvers on the Revell Good-Guys 32 roadster, etc.) if possible. I’ve also seen reference to railroad model P/E louvers that look good on 1/32nd models and I’d be willing to look those over but I haven’t found a source for them.

I’ve tried railway model stairs and while these look very cool they make modern race car type louvers, not the traditional pressed louvers style I’m looking for. (I’m totally committed to a traditional pre-/post-war lakes and hot rod thing right now).

I’d go the cut-out route if I absolutely have to but I think this would be impractical if I wanted to lay down a large set of louvers such as on the back of the trunk lid on a chopped '34 lakes coupe for example.

I’ve noticed that very few plastic kit-based modelers include this detail in their work so I suspect I’m not the only one who has reached this seeming impasse.

Any suggestions?

Part 2:

A very cool touch I’ve seen on some of Lyle Willit’s builds is that he cuts open existing molded in louvers from the inside. Before my first attempt at this does anyone have any tips, experience or available how-to’s on this subject?

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Part 1:

I’ve looked “everywhere†and I can’t find a source for scale louvers (1/25th preferred) that could be attached to a body surface. I’d like to avoid cutting out louvers from another model (i.e. the louvers on the Revell Good-Guys 32 roadster, etc.) if possible. I’ve also seen reference to railroad model P/E louvers that look good on 1/32nd models and I’d be willing to look those over but I haven’t found a source for them.

I’ve tried railway model stairs and while these look very cool they make modern race car type louvers, not the traditional pressed louvers style I’m looking for. (I’m totally committed to a traditional pre-/post-war lakes and hot rod thing right now).

I’d go the cut-out route if I absolutely have to but I think this would be impractical if I wanted to lay down a large set of louvers such as on the back of the trunk lid on a chopped '34 lakes coupe for example.

I’ve noticed that very few plastic kit-based modelers include this detail in their work so I suspect I’m not the only one who has reached this seeming impasse.

Any suggestions?

Part 2:

A very cool touch I’ve seen on some of Lyle Willit’s builds is that he cuts open existing molded in louvers from the inside. Before my first attempt at this does anyone have any tips, experience or available how-to’s on this subject?

Don't know if this will help, but.... Evergreen scale models has both building siding which might be used by rounding off the sharp edges, and rod of various diameters. They might even have half rounds, don't know, but might be worth looking at.

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The Parts Box make them in resin. http://www.thepartsbox.com/ They are listed under exterior/accessories.

Theyr'e stuff is very well done, nice clean castings.

Edited by Frank

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Darn it all. I just saw a good tutorial on scratch building louvers on a model truck that was posted on a model truck site of course. I saved the pics, but with my thousands of pics saved, I cant find them now. Anyways, Evergreen Styrene sells quarter rounds in various sizes. Choose the size you want and cut them to length, Easiest I think would be to use a modeling miter box and razor saw, clamp a stopper in ther with a large gator clamp or small c clamp so it always goes in the same distance, then cut them. Next round of the ends.They are now ready. Now heres where theres a varience. You can either cut out your opening and use thin flat stock strips, the thickness of your hood and cut them the length needed to fit snuggly inside the opening then glue them to the back of your louvers center then glue your louvers on. Here you can glue one on then use one for spacing and glue on the next. This method gives you opened louvers. Or you can go the simple way and leave your hood or whatever solid and glue one on, use one for spacing, then glue the next on. This will give it the appearance of louvers, but it wont be open. You choose the level of detail you want. It takes some time, but is not difficult at all. I hope this helps. Since I do larger scale models, this is a neccesity for me to do if I want to.Hope this helps.

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Don't know if this will help, but.... Evergreen scale models has both building siding which might be used by rounding off the sharp edges, and rod of various diameters. They might even have half rounds, don't know, but might be worth looking at.

Thanks Milt.

Evergreen makes various sizes of quarter round which might make a good start. The bummer is evenly spacing equal length strips of very small stock. I'll also check out the siding thing which might avoid having to space individual strips. There my concern is countersinking the surface so that the louvers sit properly. Also, conforming to curved surfaces such as the trunk lid mentioned above might be an issue when using siding.

What I like about these approaches is that I’m not stuck with one size or length of louvers. Rounding corners is probably not a major concern, although a PITA, I’m sure. I'll definitely have a trial at these, though, to see if either is practical. LHS has a great railway department and stocks pretty much the full line of Evergreen and a fair amount of Plastruct stuff as well.

How are those lovely louvers made in the first place when the models are prototyped?

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The Parts Box make them in resin. http://www.thepartsbox.com/ They are listed under exterior/accessories.

Theyr'e stuff is very well done, nice clean castings.

Thanks Frank.

What a great supplier. Lots of neat stuff in the style I’m working in. I hadn’t encountered them before. The louvers look like re-pops of the old AMT louvers included in many of their early kits. They look funky but perhaps if they are countersunk a bit and cleaned up they might work. I think I have some somewhere to have a go. If not I’ll order some along with that cool flathead V-12 I saw on the Parts Box website!

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:(

Darn it all. I just saw a good tutorial on scratch building louvers on a model truck that was posted on a model truck site of course. I saved the pics, but with my thousands of pics saved, I cant find them now. Anyways, Evergreen Styrene sells quarter rounds in various sizes. Choose the size you want and cut them to length, Easiest I think would be to use a modeling miter box and razor saw, clamp a stopper in ther with a large gator clamp or small c clamp so it always goes in the same distance, then cut them. Next round of the ends.They are now ready. Now heres where theres a varience. You can either cut out your opening and use thin flat stock strips, the thickness of your hood and cut them the length needed to fit snuggly inside the opening then glue them to the back of your louvers center then glue your louvers on. Here you can glue one on then use one for spacing and glue on the next. This method gives you opened louvers. Or you can go the simple way and leave your hood or whatever solid and glue one on, use one for spacing, then glue the next on. This will give it the appearance of louvers, but it wont be open. You choose the level of detail you want. It takes some time, but is not difficult at all. I hope this helps. Since I do larger scale models, this is a neccesity for me to do if I want to.Hope this helps.

Thanks Jody.

As I replied to the post above, I am going to try the quarter round route. I’ll start with surface mounted louvers to keep things simple. I have a miter box so that solves the equal length issue mentioned above. Thanks for the tip on using a strip as a spacer. And also suggesting rounding the corners in advance, since this avoids much fiddly work later! It’s tempting to go whole hog and try your cut-out suggestion but this adds a whole level of complication I’d like to avoid right now.

Have you tried either of these approaches in your larger scale work? And, did the truck site tutorial involve doing it this way? Sure would be great if you could remember that truck site or find those pics! :(

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You are welcome. I save tons of photos almost everyday. I have litterally thousands of photos. It was a site I happend upon while looking for something else. I had no interest in the site but found the tutorial informational so read it carefully and saved the pics.This is the method they described, as far as cutting out the hole and all. I have just supplied the common sense of doing it without cutting out the hole to make things simple. I have not tried it myself yet, but if you give me a couple of days, I am working on a 1/16 swcale 1934 flip top altered ford( with the top cut off and filled in and sitting on a scratchbuilt "homebuilt" style frame. I am wanting to add louvers to the back deck, so it would be the same as you were talking about, just bigger.If you are in no hurry, then I can take progress pics of it and share them with you to show you how to do it if you want. As for the prior tutorial pics, I dont always catagorise them, or catagorize them incorrectly so you have my apologies. Some day I want to organize all of my photos and get a web site with them all on it under certain catagories for poeple to find stuff a little easier.Thats why I had to upgrade to a 64X dual core processor and dual core memory even though its only 1 gig so far. Soon I will have to add more memory, thats how much I got! Jody

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You are welcome. I save tons of photos almost everyday. I have litterally thousands of photos. It was a site I happend upon while looking for something else. I had no interest in the site but found the tutorial informational so read it carefully and saved the pics.This is the method they described, as far as cutting out the hole and all. I have just supplied the common sense of doing it without cutting out the hole to make things simple. I have not tried it myself yet, but if you give me a couple of days, I am working on a 1/16 swcale 1934 flip top altered ford( with the top cut off and filled in and sitting on a scratchbuilt "homebuilt" style frame. I am wanting to add louvers to the back deck, so it would be the same as you were talking about, just bigger.If you are in no hurry, then I can take progress pics of it and share them with you to show you how to do it if you want. As for the prior tutorial pics, I dont always catagorise them, or catagorize them incorrectly so you have my apologies. Some day I want to organize all of my photos and get a web site with them all on it under certain catagories for poeple to find stuff a little easier.Thats why I had to upgrade to a 64X dual core processor and dual core memory even though its only 1 gig so far. Soon I will have to add more memory, thats how much I got! Jody

Hey Jody:

No hurry on my end - I'm in the middle of scratchbuilding some frames myself and have some new models arriving in a couple of days that will need starting so I can wait. Great to hear that you'll be laying down some louvers on a rear deck. I suspect that's probably some sort of acid test. Looking forward to your “tutorialâ€...

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Thanks Milt.

Evergreen makes various sizes of quarter round which might make a good start. The bummer is evenly spacing equal length strips of very small stock. I'll also check out the siding thing which might avoid having to space individual strips. There my concern is countersinking the surface so that the louvers sit properly. Also, conforming to curved surfaces such as the trunk lid mentioned above might be an issue when using siding.

What I like about these approaches is that I’m not stuck with one size or length of louvers. Rounding corners is probably not a major concern, although a PITA, I’m sure. I'll definitely have a trial at these, though, to see if either is practical. LHS has a great railway department and stocks pretty much the full line of Evergreen and a fair amount of Plastruct stuff as well.

How are those lovely louvers made in the first place when the models are prototyped?

In the old days of tooling a kit you made a scaled up version that was quite a bit bigger... so you could get all the detail - out of a block of wood. The tool maker used a special tool to run over the wooden model and it would be scaled down through a pantograph like device and cut into a slab of steel - very labor intensive. I am sure some parts were made on a Bridgeport.

Now days it's mostly all CAD-CAM.

Edited by CAL

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to suggest a method to open up existing louvers, on many you can attack the louver from the inside of the body, lightly cutting away with a dremel or perhaps just a sanding stick cut down to fit the underside of the louver. if youre lucky you sneak up on the outside and end up opening up the louver. and you might have to do some close up clean up to get them looking really good.

i have used this technique a few times and its worked very well with deep louvers, and not so well with shallow ones. i suspect you could partially sink those glue on louvers and then use the same technique to open them up.

Edited by jbwelda

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I'm converting a '67 VW Bus model into a pre-'55, and(among other differences) the side engine vent louvers are different on the earlier one; I'm using .040" quarter-round to make them, and I sent a bunch to another scale Bus nut in CA for his conversion....he got his on first, and I'd say they look the business:

407481.jpg

I measured the louvers on the new Revell Merc's hood, and they seem to be about .030" if that helps anyone.

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I seem to remember reading an article in one of the model mags (sorry,I don't remember which one), about someone who made a set of small dies for making louvers. The ones I saw were attached to a pair of vice grips(I think, It's been awhile). It looked like it would be time consuming but what I saw looked very good. Anyone else remember this? I think they had them in several sizes. Mageck

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I seem to remember reading an article in one of the model mags (sorry,I don't remember which one), about someone who made a set of small dies for making louvers. The ones I saw were attached to a pair of vice grips(I think, It's been awhile). It looked like it would be time consuming but what I saw looked very good. Anyone else remember this? I think they had them in several sizes. Mageck

I had started playing around with a mini louver press on CAD but didn't get as far as I wanted with it. I don't recall the magazine article but vise grips could work or something that could be done in a drill press. If you are punching something like .010 or .012 brass it doesn't take that much pressure. Of course there's still some straightening and clean up involved once you get there.

Bob

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Thanx everyone!

So far the best approaches to modeling pressed louvers in plastic I’ve seen seem to be either to use pre-existing louvers from another kit, like the Goodguys ’32 Roadster from RMC or the alternative hood from their 49 Merc, or to build your own using styrene strip.

Thanks for the photo of the VW Bus vents Dave. You are right. they do look the business! Do you file the corners before or after you cement them to the panel? The spacing looks like less than one louver width. Do you use a standard spacer when laying them down? How do you make sure they are all the same length, or do you true them up after laying them down?

As it happens I have some .040 quarter round so I’ll have a go at it. I’ll report back on my impressions in a few days.

I still think somebody should do louvers in p/e or pre-pressed metal strips. Then you’d see them all over the place on our models!

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I haven't installed the louvers on my Bus yet, but the other guy told me he trimmed & rounded them before adding them(he owns a real Barndoor, so he had the right measurements); I'm pretty sure he just laid them down by eye, starting with the top one and using the body's beltline as a guide. He says he glued each one with liquid cement, then he lightly brushed a little more cement over the top once the full set was in place.

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I seem to remember reading an article in one of the model mags (sorry,I don't remember which one), about someone who made a set of small dies for making louvers. The ones I saw were attached to a pair of vice grips(I think, It's been awhile). It looked like it would be time consuming but what I saw looked very good. Anyone else remember this? I think they had them in several sizes. Mageck

I seem to remember something like that, too. If you have ever seen a real 1:1 louver press there isn't much to it.

Edited by CAL

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to suggest a method to open up existing louvers, on many you can attack the louver from the inside of the body, lightly cutting away with a dremel or perhaps just a sanding stick cut down to fit the underside of the louver. if youre lucky you sneak up on the outside and end up opening up the louver. and you might have to do some close up clean up to get them looking really good.

i have used this technique a few times and its worked very well with deep louvers, and not so well with shallow ones. i suspect you could partially sink those glue on louvers and then use the same technique to open them up.

Yes that works, but when they don't exist at all and you are building them from scratch that is a whole nother story.

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I seem to recall Larry Boothe creating scale open louvers on his Deuce coupe. Maybe he could help us out with more info, if he participates in this forum?

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I seem to recall Larry Boothe creating scale open louvers on his Deuce coupe. Maybe he could help us out with more info, if he participates in this forum?

A few NNL Easts ago I had a 1/2 hour conversation with Larry and his louvers and realized who he was much later in the day!

They were done in separate brass panels and then grafted into the plastic. I don't recall if someone made the panels for him or he had a press himself. We talked about alloys and thicknesses of brass sheet and he had some loose parts on display.

It's really not that hard to make up the punch but it would have to be done out of tool steel. The female die section would be a little harder to do and has to line up with the punch. The female die could be a straight shape through or could be made out of die-quality urethane rubber.

Bob

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i wonder if they could be made out of brass photo etch....

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I seem to recall Larry Boothe creating scale open louvers on his Deuce coupe. Maybe he could help us out with more info, if he participates in this forum?

The louvers were made for Larry by someone else (who doesn't want to be known because he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life making 25th scale louvers for people) in thin brass plates which Larry grafted into the plastic panels.

DSCN0727-vi.jpg

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The louvers were made for Larry by someone else (who doesn't want to be known because he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life making 25th scale louvers for people) in thin brass plates which Larry grafted into the plastic panels.

DSCN0727-vi.jpg

Lovely! Now if one of the aftermarket houses would make up sheets of various widths of these....

Thanx for the pic, Lyle

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Great idea to do the initial louver slitting in a sheet of PE brass. It doesn't have to be much, .200 long x .010 wide slits spaced conveniently apart is fine for a 5" louver. Most of the resistance in louver punching is getting the material to shear or perforate.

I drew up a 1:1 louver at work today in CAD, shrunk it down to scale and man is that a small punch and die!

Bob

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I remember seeing a couple of Model Mag Issues(I want to say SAE, followed by an updated version in FSM), that had to do with using pieces found in a Model Rail Road Section(Ladders or House Window Shutters??), and then Grafting them onto the panels for styling....

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