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Posts posted by peteski

  1. If you have used Smooth-On products to cast your own tires then you know at least the basics of mold making and casting.  Smooth-On offers a range of Urethane resins for casting parts and Silicone or Urethane RTV rubbers for making molds.  I would stick with Smooth-On and just get what you need. When I need to cast some parts (I use simple 1-piece open molds) I use Smooth-On products.

  2. This is really not a new process. It’s the same process they use to silver plate mirrors. Centuries old. I just bought a kit. And will soon start doing platting. This is a chemical process not real chrome platting. Thickness depends on how much you apply. About the same thickness as vacuum platting. But what they don’t tell you is that your parts have to be perfectly smooth. Any flaws in the surface will show up. They like me will not finish the parts for you.


    As with any highly reflective finish, it has to be as glossy as possible (and free of any defects).  That is no secret or nothing new. The same applies to any other type of highly reflective silver surface.  Whether it is this method, vacuum-plated aluminum (ChromeTech) or Alclad Chrome, or even real chrome on real car parts.  If the base surface is not perfectly glossy or polished, it will not be mirror-like after the final coat is applied.

  3. Well, my conclusion is, this stuff sucks! I was trying to take the paint off of a small pile of parts that had different colors of paint. There was red, light blue, gloss black, and flat black. It had no effect on the light blue whatsoever. On the red it only took the top of the paint off but the part was still stained red. It removed most of the gloss black but did not touch the flat black at all. This was even after scrubbing with a toothbrush! I applied this product as suggested by coating the parts but not soaking them for a long period of time. I poured the ELO over the parts three times before letting them sit overnight. Looks like this was a waste of 15 bucks!

    Um, not all strippers work equally well on all types of paint. That is why I uses several types.  Also, what was the ambient temperature?  ELO (well, all paint strippers) work best in warm environment.  As far as staining goes, some paints do permanently stain plastic. Red is often one of those nasty paints - especially if it is a hotter paint which slightly etches the plastic. Do you know what brand of paint was used on those parts?

  4. Only the head and tail light.  The LED's that are small enough to go in the turn signal and running lights are just a little too expensive for my wallet at this time.  Shoot, I am lucky to afford a model kit about once a month......

    Nice build Harry!

    If you want some really small and very inexpensive LEDs go to eBay and do some searches.  The SMD (Surface Mounted Devices) LEDs are extremely small. I most often use size 0603 (which is 0.060" X 0.030" footprint) or 0805 (0.080" X 0.050" footprint).  There are smaller LEDs like 0402 (0.040" X 0.020") or larger like 1206 (0.120" X 0.060") and many more sizes.  You do have to have some good soldering skills to solder wires to them (I use thin magnet wire) but it is quite doable.

    For example if you search eBay for SMD 0805 amber LED (for your directional signals) you will see many of them available for sale (usually from China) with free shipping for really low prices.   Something like 50 of them will cost you less that $10.

    For example, here is a listing for 50 0805 amber LEDs for less than $6: http://www.ebay.com/itm//111113907642


  5.     Or you might check with Bob at Drastic Plastic, http://public.fotki.com/drasticplasticsmcc/mkiba-build-under-c/    and see if he has an interest in them seeing as scaning isn't on your list of things to do.

    This is a big +1 for me. I found Bob's website extremely helpful in a pinch.  I have contributed several instruction scans and if we could get more modelers to do that, the online instructions library would be huge!

  6. ELO is specifically formulated for use plastic (styrene).  It is not DOT-3 brake fluid, but it contains a similar chemical (plus other ingredients) I usually use it to strip N scale (1:160) model train bodies.  I usually warm it up to about 80 deg. F (to accelerate the stripping action) and dunk the item to be stripped in it.  The paint usually starts coming off after few minutes.  But there are many types of styrene formulas used by different model companies - some of the kinds of styrene can be crazed by ELO - I am always careful to make sure not keep the parts in ELO for too long.  Just like it is mentioned on the ELO's label.

    I also realize that there is no perfect stripper which will work on all paints. I use The Purple Stuff, ELO, Scalecoat Wash Away paint remover, and my home-brewed strippers which have stuff like denatured alcohol or 99% isopropyl alcohol and a little bit of acetone.

  7. Maybe because they can? :D  This is often the case with armor and and aircraft model kits too - full engine which will never be seen after the model is fully assembled, or full interiors which will not be seen once the fuselage is assembled.  Pocher 1:8 kits have fully detailed engines but the parts are never to be seen once the engine is assembled.

    One reason is probably to be able to brag on the kit's packaging that those details are included in the kit.  But I also think that the reason is to give the modeler an option to build those hidden gems either as a separately-displayed model, do a cutaway-view model showing the hidden parts, or simply (as with the engine packs) give a modeler source of miniature engine parts for a garage diorama or a junk yard.

    Also, nobody is forcing you to use those hidden parts (unless they are structural pars of the kit). Modelers often leave those parts out of the kit.  I don't think that those parts were leftovers from some possible variation of the kit (since as you said, they would not be normally visible).



  8. My apologies, Peteski. I should have wrote that RPM gave us the business. Testors Corp. acquired Floquil Polly-S and Pactra prior to itself being acquired by RPM in 1984. The decision to drop the other lines was made by the RPM corporate braintrust. These lines were seen as not profitable enough to justify continued production. Hobby paints and products constitute, at most, 1 percent of RPM's total sales. Its major business is in industrial coatings and sealants. 

    That there were too many paints in the combined lines is a fact. But, each line catered to a different segment of customer. The elimination of the three previously mentioned brands left the model ship builder and train enthusiast without any options. Floquil produced excellent Marine and Railroad Colors lines. Testors (RPM) never bothered to incorporate the Marine Colors into its MM line. Many of the Marine Colors have no MM equivalent and that placed the wooden ship modeler between a rock and a hard place to try finding a substitute. Ditto with the train guys. Your comment about the shrinking number of modelers isn't entirely accurate. Ever check out the number of items being produced for model railroading? That's a dumb question, of course you know :) . It's insane; but, that area of interest is more popular than ever. There are more brick and mortar shops exclusively dedicated to model trains than there are for plastic kits. And, they're raking in the mazuma, too. 

    Floquil reformulated (removing Xylol from the formula) its paints to be plastic compatible in the early '80s. That made them dilutable with regular thinner, as opposed to using Dio-Sol.

    I'm partial to N Scale myself, going all the way back to my first Aurora Postage Stamp Train set I got for Christmas in 1967. :)

    No apology needed Joe - I just wanted to make the RPM story a bit more accurate.  I'm also into N scale and I frequent a forum which is N-scale-biased: The Railwire . As far as the shrinking number of modelers goes, I am the one who should have been more accurate this time. What is shrinking is the number of craftsman-type of modelers who actually use paints and detail parts to detail their models or who scratchbuild their models.  Those are the modelers who miss those discontinued paints.  Sure, we have lots of new model RR models, but they are detailed and painted for specific railroad to the n-th degree. There are also lots of structures which are already built, painted and with details added a the factory (like the Woodland Scenics ones).  One thing is that all those exquisite models are rather expensive. But any schmuck can plop them on their layout without much work involved. 

    Same goes for automotive modeling - there are now lots of pre-built pre-decorated models available from many manufacturers. Many "modelers" just buy and collect those models - no painting or assembly required.


    I have a small stash of Floquil paints - hopefully they won't go bad on me. :D

  9. Thanks Mike.

    I should have also mentioned that it wasn't just an easy dip.  Straight-from the can PlasiDip is too viscous - it creates a blob over the wire spring. I ended up experimenting with thinning the PlastiDIp with solvents (Acetone, Toluene and Naphta) until it was thin enough not to create a blob.  It also took 3 or 4 dippings until I was able to build up a coat which was thick enough to cover the wire and not to break when I bent the "hose".

  10. Joe, I guess I'm still a newbie around here so I don't know when you are serious. :unsure:

    I'm not sure if I agree with the "killing competition" of Testors since RPM has owned all the paint lines you mentioned for quite some time before discontinuing them.  I also play with model trains :) and Used Floquil and Polly S and later PollyScale paints. I'm also bemoaning their discontinuation.  Like you, I much prefer all the old-school organic solvent based smelly paints to any of the new water-based paints (for the reasons you mentioned).

    So, if RPM already owned all those paint brands, they weren't much of a competition.  I suspect they discontinued those paints because of the ever stricter EPA controls for organic solvent based paints.  Plus they probably wanted to reduce the range of their hobby paint line.  Plus I also suspect that the sales were way down (too many paint brands and shrinking numbers of modelers).

    We still have couple good lines of paints left: TruColor and Scalecoat. Well, Weaver (producer of Scalecoat) recently closed their doors, but the line was picked up by another company, so it seems that it will still be available.



  11. Super nice work.

    I find it interesting that so many get so excited over issues with a $25 kit and yet there doesn't seem to be that big of a deal with such a high dollar kit. Can you image the review thread on this kit if it was issued today. Would definitely make some of the most recent kit reviews look tame.

    I suspect it is all in the expectations.  I have build a Pocher kit too and like Harry says, there are lots of problems. But it is to be expected, regardless of the price. Plus back when these kits were manufactured, there was no Internet and online forums for modelers to bitch and complain about poor fitting parts. :) Also remember that the master patterns and molds were pretty much made by hand. No CAD/CAM.  If Pocher name is revived and new kits are brought to the market, they will get as close of a scrutiny as the other smaller scale kits do. After all we now have means of connecting with thousands of people who have similar interests to us.

    In the 1:24 scale plastic kits world things are a bit different. Kits are much simpler and they don't have nearly as many details as 1:8 kits.  They are pretty much all injection-molded plastic parts. Modelers expect them to fit together right.  If you even build a Tamiya or Fujimi kit, you are as close to perfection as possible.  Most modern kits are also designed on a computer, and molds are made on CNC machines,  so there are fewer excuses not to make the parts to fit well or have incorrect shapes. Because of this, modelers have much higher expectations. Plus we have Internet and online forums to bitch and beat do death even the smallest problems with our kits.

    But it wasn't always this way. Many early plastic model kits were out of proportions and had poorly fitting parts.  Again, back then there was no Internet or online forums for modelers to gripe and complain.  Plus, back then kits only cost $1.50 so nobody complained. :lol:  Also to be realistic, back then kits were usually built by teenagers who just wanted to build them to blow them up or crash them. Nobody cared that the rood profile was a bit off. But now, as discerning adults, we strive for perfection.  Makes sense?

  12. It is not unusual for Japanese companies to take a plain kit and add some metal-cast, photoetched or resin parts and charge a top dollar for them.  Gunze-Sangyo Ferraris are another example of this (although both curbside and detailed versions vwere Gunze's own kit). Those added cast metal parts are usually not very good quality (often plastic parts they replaced were better).

  13. I also wish that the series would have continued. I've built them both. I don't have any photos of the Corvette handy, but here is my Cobra:



    For more photos see Peteski's Cobra Album

    These kits were revolutionary. Just like much more expensive 1:43 resin kits they included photoetched parts. But unlike the thick and often crude resin-cast kit's parts, the injection-molded styrene parts and bodies were very well executed.  Plus the price was so much more affordable than any resin kit.

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