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Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #009-- Bending Corners
October 16, 2007
September 15, 2007

Getting around corners in scale modeling and doing it precisely usually takes some thinking the smaller you get.

Lately, I have been using foam core for a variety of scale modeling projects particularly in N Scale structure work, but it fits in other venues as well, So I have been scanning online forums for tips on its use and it is fascinating what some modelers have come up with in unusual techniques for cutting corners.

Make Your Right Angle Right

For instance joining sheets at a right angle needs to be precise. Instead of mucking about to create your own right angle form with a couple pieces of scrap wood or worse, a pair of foam core leftovers, work with a machined right angle--aluminum. It is more appropriately known as extruded aluminum, angle 6063-T52.

It is normally used for architectural molding and trim and comes in 1/8th-inch material with one, two or three-inch legs. A one or two-foot length will work.

Hinges Are Handy

But you don't have to resort to the normal brass hinges with sizes dictated by the manufacturing process. Consider alternatives:

* Use fiber tape for hinges needing constant bending/

* Cut the corners out of CD cases for a pair of hinges.

* Cut a piece of overhead projector transparency and notch one end with barbs.Insert into foam core edges. Fold to the angle you need and glue with epoxy.

* Tape always seems to be the handiest but tends to eventually slip off. Stick it down over a figure 8 made from fishing line.

Cheap Epoxy Mixing Cups

For small amounts use fast-food plastic spoons, you can't beat Free.

Larger amounts can be mixed in one ounce fast food containers forsalad dressing, salsa or special sauce. Yes, Free again.

Quick Rigging Tip

Some shipping models come with light colored, even white, rigging twine that won’t look very realistic. You can tint your line almost any shade you want. Use SEPIA colored Calligraphy ink. Put two or three drops into a small vial of water. (I use discarded medicine bottles). Dunk lengths of line as needed. Quickly pull them out squeezing off between my fingers, hang them and they dry in minutes. You can make any shade from light to dark brown. Cork your bottles and it lasts and lasts.

What's New In the Handbook?

I am beginning a new N Scale modeling project and the Vice President of Finance and Right of Way Management has approved plans to convert the spare bedroom of our apartment into my office/modeler's retreat.

Her idea for producing an office desk by slapping a coat of dark stain on a hollow core door has been so successful, I want to do it again with a shelf layout.

To date I have been granted the necessary easements and have filed papers for a shore land protection permit. I have met the National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review. (Coastal waterways will be solid and windows are available for out gassing).

The N.H. Department of Environmental Services, Waste Management Division has granted a Limited Permit assuring compliance with Hazardous Waste Rules. (There is a wastebasket in the room).

The project has been found to be in compliance with both the Mercury and Dioxin Reduction Strategies of the DES Environmental Management Systems.

No wonder new prototype railroads are not being built!

Here's the layout plan I am working to produce:

You'll Find Our More Here

Final Thoughts

I have been kind of excited about what can be done with paper when it comes to building your own structures for model railroading and other places you need a building.

For instance, I have devised a DIY background building design package which lets you custom-design a building flat for your own application.

It is offered in my eBay Store. Click on the factory:

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