Re: MKT cars

Ken Roth

Lester and All,
As to more details on construction of the sides, I began with .030" plain styrene sheet, scribed with a regular x-acto blade.  Parallel lines were achieved using a vernier caliber measuring each line from the bottom of the car side.  Once the lines were scribed, I drug the x-acto blade "upside down" to remove a bit more material. The sides were then scraped with a razor blade to remove raised burrs (I didn't do this enough!).  Next I drug sandpaper over all the boards to create some grain, leaving the top metal section and sill glossy smooth.  I also did a little random scraping of individual boards to get a little more definition, but I was really going for the look of a fairly recently-built car, which does not show a lot of gaps and irregularities between boards. Locations for the truss members were "milled out" just a bit using a scraper made from an old x-acto blade, ground to the width of the Z-brace.  I used hand-made .005" styrene strips 3" wide for the the thin edges of the braces (bolt heads were embossed prior to cutting the strips).  The milling allowed me to bury approximately half of the thickness of the .005 styrene. On top of the .005" styrene strip, I glued a 2x3, and then another piece of 3" wide .005" styrene for the outside of the Z-brace.  I built a jig to ensure a bit of overlap to depict the Z shape.  I'm indebted to Jim Hays for the Z-brace construction method.  Other bolt detail was made by embossing rivets on a scrap sheet of .005" styrene, which were harvested and applied to the sides where needed.  All of my rivet work is done with a Micro-mark drill press with x/y table and Northwest Shortline rivet dies.  The female dies were ground down a bit to allow closer rivet spacing for some applications, like my tank cars which I described on the PlasticFreightCarBuilders group last spring.  I only made one side and used it as a pattern to make resin copies for both sides and a pair of sides for my friend.  The mold was usable, but I don't have fancy casting tools for pressure casting, so casting was a bit problematic.  Producing more that a couple of sets would have required a more sophisticated casting setup.  Anyway, one needs just one of these cars since there were only about 150 in existence!  Ken Roth

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