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Adding etched brass to our repertoire

This winter we decided to try something new- etched brass. So we picked something simple that need, namely storm doors for my vans. CPR (and CNR) vans always had a storm door. The classic was wood with either a screen in the summer or glass in the winter in the upper half. They spent most of their lives in the latched open position. After examining 1/2 dozen different model vans I discovered they were all different heights. so my doors are the tallest height and you can cut them down if you want. I drew them up and sent the CDR file off to England and a month later I had doors coming out of my ears.  Below shows the etchings.

This is a quick little addition to make the van stand out. My next question is what do I do for an encore? I can do other scale or other detail parts. Any Ideas?

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Paper- what’s old is new, Modelling with paper

One of the things we did in St. John, was  to give a presentation on modelling with paper buildings. I’m a great fan of using this medium and have built over a dozen different buildings out of paper.

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Winnipeg Cold Storage

Using photos from digital cameras and printing out on a laser printer there are several advantages:

  1. The material is cheap, if you make a mistake crumple it up and print again. Companies like Clever and scalescenes provide free kits to try.   http://clevermodels.squarespace.com/  http://www.scalescenes.com/
  2. You can take a photo of a specific prototype and build THAT building.Box P2 File 25-001

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    North side of Winnipeg yard
  3. You can scale the buildings to force perspective.
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    Tanks are 1/87, 1/120, 1/160
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    Wall actually straight on

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    the effect is forced perspective
  4. The buildings come preweathered.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I say paper, the body is cardboard, usually 1/16” thick. That gives you about a 6” HO thick wall. Braced on the inside and sealed both inside and out it won’t warp. For windows I usually print out on overhead projector sheets.

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Windows are recessed 1/16″

Yes, I could give my presentation here but it’s a little long for a simple blog. I’ll give it again at another show.

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Clever freebee & one of my own
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Does your plastic model have this detail?
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Black cat’s new CEO

20151218_175828LucyBlack cat Publishing has a new CEO( Cat Executive Officer) Lucy. Taking her new responsibilities seriously she is closely supervising all aspects of Black Cat Publishing’s operations especially mouse operations during artwork creation.

 

The Director Of Greetings ( Chloe ) has come to an understanding with Lucy as to duties and responsibilities and will continue with her duties as supervisor of shipping but will share greeting of clients.

 

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Applying decals

People have asked me how do I apply decals. This is how I do it-

  1. The model should be painted with a gloss finish. I use Scalecoat. A flat finish like Floquil is rough and the decal may not snuggle down (on a minute level) and when you overcoat you will get fogging. The paint should be FULLY DRY before you decal. paints can be dry to the touch but be still curing underneath.
  2. Cut a piece that you want out. I start with a larger piece. You can use either fine scissors or a knife with straight edge. Completely immerse in room temperature water for 20-30 seconds. the decal will still be on the paper at this time. put the paper & decal on the model next to where you want to apply it. Wait another minute. Put a puddle of water where you want the decal to be.
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    If the surface has texture to it you could make this puddle with Microscale Decal Set but that will soften the decal more. Slide the decal off the paper onto the puddle. use a dull stick such as the end of a paintbrush to move the decal around. remove the paper. There should be no air bubbles. Use the corner of a paper towel or tissue to soak-up the excess water. Poke the decal into the final position and squeeze out air bubbles.  let it dry for 20 minutes- 1/2 hour.

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  3. The first piece is now loosely attached. if it’s crooked now is the time to add a drop of water and move it. Otherwise, if you’re doing numbers  apply the next number. When doing numbers I start in the center and work outwards.

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  4. Once the side is completed gently brush on  some Decal Set. When this is dry- 1/2 hour you can flip the car over and do the other side. Then let the whole thing dry overnight or at least an hour.
  5. Now it’s completely dry and you can check how the snuggling down has progressed.
  6. If the car side is tongue & groove siding, take  a fresh razor blade and cut the decal in the grooves.
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    Use a pin to open up air bubbles. Then gently brush on Microscale Decal Sol on the decals. This is more active than decal set so don’t touch after applying Decal Sol.

  7. Repeat 5. 6. & 7. until the decal is DOWN. Then  wait over night.
  8. The final thing is to spray Dulcoat over top. Dulcoat can be mixed with glosscoat for a semiglos finish if that is desired.

Problens? Typical problems are:

  1. A white residue around the decal – seen in steps 5,6 or 7. The water you’re using has too many minerals.  Get some distilled water for future use. This time use a q-tip to wipe the residue away before you overspray.
  2. Decal looks perfect until you overspray and then a white fog appears. – you didn’t listen to my admonition about glosy finish before decalling.
  3. Decal disintegrates into small pieces when wetted. Like Humpty Dumpty you can’t put it back together again. – the clear decal film has lost it’s flexibility, usually due to age, and has cracked. If it’s one of my sets contact me and I’ll replace it. if it’s somebody else’s decals test a part yo’re not going to use and if it fails, coat the decal with Microscale Liquid Decal Film before putting it into water.

Yes it takes time but if you line up a couple projects at the same time it reduces the waiting. Other people have success with other methodology this is just how I do it.

Allen

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Cost of decals

Lately I’ve had several (Canadian) modelers ask why have my price gone up. Well there are a couple of reasons. I buy most of my materials in US dollars. A print run of 500 sheets used to cost me $200 US or $.40 per sheet the Canadian dollar was below the US dollar at that time. Prices have snuck up untill I was paying $400 or $.80 per sheet. Lately more people are buying RTR and not decalling so I have elected to print 250 sheets at a time and my last run was $350 which works out to $1.40 per sheet.

I had to raise my prices to cover these increases so a year and a half ago I raised a regular set price from $5 Canadian to $6 CDN. The Canadian dollar was at or above par. with the US dollar. At that time the CDN dollar was above the US $ and when asked why the Canadian dollar was so hy the government said it was because people were so confident in how they had managed our economy. Well since then the CDN $ has gone in the tank, but some people are still confident in their ability to manage. So last spring I kept the US price at $6 and raised the CDN price to $7. This summer I got a neat feature in the website that automatically converted CDN prices to USD prices at a push of the button. ( the currency selection is on the bottom left on the page- you can see what it costs in pounds or euros as well) and lookee lookee the US price is back down to $5.30. So, if the Canadian dollar goes down further expect the price to go up.

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Help make our site better!

Hi folks. As you surf this site you will see some excellent models by some of my friends & customers who have used our product. We’re still looking for more, so if you see a set without a model photo attached then send us one of your model and well add it. We will be accepting orders when I come back after the labour day weekend.

Allen