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Well friends, it’s been another great year for Clever Models, and it’s all because of YOU!  Thom and I want you all to know how thankfull we are to have gotten to know so many of you.  In these tough economic times, it’s not easy to keep a small business going.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  Thanks again for your support.  We look forward to working with you all for a long time to come.


Dave & Thom Miecznikowski


Quick build note

I’m adding to my rollingstock by building a new tank car.  This has always been a tough one for me so I thought I’d share the experience.  Sorry no pix right now.

The tank itself has always been difficult to handle while building.  I had a couple of ideas.  Originally, I thought I’d build it on a solid wood core.  The HOn30 tank is 5/8” dia.  Went to an art supply store to pick up a dowel but no luck.  They did have a brass tube that was 9/16”, so I picked that up and wrapped it with scrap paper to bring it up to 5/8”. (about 6 wraps of 60lb card)  What I ended up with is a nice firm mandrel, on which I am building the tank. So far, I’m very happy with the result and how easy it is to handle the tank.  The finished tank is 4 layers with the extra steel plate sadle and the reinforcing end bands.  I still have to fit the collar around the dome but having the tank on the mandrel makes it easy to handle.

More later.


Plasticizing paper

This is a technique I’ve been aware of for some time, but only recently had the opportunity to try.  On the recent coal skip build, some of the thin metal frame and braces where just too fragile to work with. Right now I am building a couple of HOn30 tankcars and I’m testing plasticising the ends of the tank.

Here’s what I know so far.

By coating the part, (I’ve only done it from the back so far), in CA and letting it cure fully, the paper completely changes its charecter.  It does not seem to curl as it dries.  It does get slightly thicker.  I understand that most modelers use the thin CA, but I’ve only had the med. gap filling available and it seems to work fine.  The CA spreds out nicely by itself.  You can spread it out, if you do it imediatly or as you apply it.  DO NOT try to spread it even a few seconds after coating.  It will develope ridges, but if you don’t touch it, it will be glass smooth.  My recomendation is one even coat, from the back.

At this point, forget about using any tabs, they are never going to fold, I’m specifically talking about the tank car ends here.  I dont imagine this would be useful for wide pieces like walls, but window frames and such might work.  The CA seems to have no ill effects on the ink.  The resulting material is extremely tough.  Unlike plastic that is cut very thin, it doesen’t curl.  You will not be able to use markers to touch up edges, as there is no longer any place for the ink to soak into.  Ink, and I suspect some paints, just slide off.  CA dries crystal clear and shiny if you use more that one coat.  Single coats do seep into the paper and are not shiny, leaving the paper texture mostly intact.  Three coats turns it to glass.

At this point, it is closer to fiberglass then either paper or plastic.  Cut it, drill it, sand it.

I still have to see if this will take dull coat, thought it worked fine with the coal loader.  I’ll keep you up to date.


new ad

We would like your thoughts about our new ad that will be appearing in various magazines.