Re: Scratchbuilding a car in styrene

Nelson Moyer

I score and snap styrene, then sand the bottom edge smooth. The top edge is usually square. I use a Tru Sander to square edges if necessary.


I was able to make replacement Z-channel for a stock car project by using brass strip of the appropriate thickness as a straightedge. Tape the brass to a flat surface, lay the first styrene strip with the edge against it, place the vertical styrene strip on edge against the brass, then place the cap strip on the brass overlapping the styrene. Run a tool along the glued edge to align and smooth the glue joint. Place weight on the top strip until the glue has set. I used MEK, but it’s too hot for making long strips, so you may wish to use Testors Liquid Plastic Cement which provides a longer working time.  Use the liquid sparingly for initial assembly, then go back and run a brush of Tenax along the joint to be sure it’s secure.


Tichy has  line of NBW castings that includes square nuts. Check to see if they offer the size you need. Looking at the prototype drawings, you’re talking about a lot of NBW castings!


Nelson Moyer


From: [] On Behalf Of Fred Jansz
Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2019 8:01 AM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Scratchbuilding a car in styrene


Hi all,
Since there's no model or kit commercially available of WP's first (1916) Pullman-built box car -and there won't be in the near future I understand- I chose to try to build one myself.
Since I'm not afraid to rebuild, refine, DCC & paint brass engines or kitbash existing plastic or styrene models and kits, I thought; well let's give it a go.

First problem I encountered was scribing the styrene horizontally, to resemble the 5 1/4" T&G sheating.
For this I used various tools, obviously all not suited for making a clean gap: knife, sharpened dentist pick, 'scriber'.
So the question is; how do you make a clean cut in styrene without damaging the edges?

Second problem I encounterd was the Z-bracing.
The 3" bracing is not available in HO-scale, 5" is, but widht is too large.
So I decided to make my own from strip sryrene.
At least I thought I could, since gluing these tiny pieces together to form a Z-shape is only possible when you're a robot.
However, I succeeded to produce exactly one 3" Z-bar in half an hour.

But now the third issue came along: how to resemble the hundreds of 1/2" SQUARE thin head bolts that were used to slap this car together?
I'm aware Archer makes more or less the correct size, but these are dots, not squares.

If the above problems could be solved, I could try -again- to build this WP car.
For the moment I called it quits.

The 15001-series car ran (renumbered) untill the end of WP and is a 'landmark' WP car that's dearly missed in my WP collection.
I even have drawings of the unique run board saddles that could be replicated as brass etchings.
Hope the pros in this group can give me some how to advise, so I can build this car following the Pullman drawings.
Thank you for your assistance.

best regards
Fred Jansz

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