Making Dents & Bulges in Plastic Cars - Techniques?


Bob Chaparro
 

Making Dents & Bulges in Plastic Cars - Techniques?

Allowing for differences in plastic composition and thickness in HO scale hoppers and gondolas, what techniques do those of you with experience recommend for creating dents and bulges in such cars?

I am especially interested in temperature ranges and choice of equipment used for softening plastic.

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Jon Miller <atsfus@...>
 

On 11/24/2019 5:08 PM, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io wrote:
Making Dents & Bulges in Plastic Cars - Techniques?

    One of the mags had an article many years ago.  Try searching a RMC or MR data base, if there is one.

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
SPROG User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Daniel A. Mitchell
 

I’ve never seen melted plastic look like bent metal. The two materials just don’t bend the same way. YMMV. I do recall some fellow ten years or so back that replaced all the plastic panels with thin aluminum or copper foil, and then dented that. Lots of work, but looked great!

Dan Mitchell
==========

On Nov 25, 2019, at 9:41 AM, Jon Miller <atsfus@...> wrote:

On 11/24/2019 5:08 PM, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io wrote:
Making Dents & Bulges in Plastic Cars - Techniques?

    One of the mags had an article many years ago.  Try searching a RMC or MR data base, if there is one.

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
SPROG User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


npin53
 

Resin is far more forgiving. Styrene gondola sides are too thick, and the plastic is difficult to control when you try to manipulate it. Resin is usually far thinner and has memory, so if you don't like what you've done just warm it up again and it bounces back.

Aaron Gjermundson 


npin53
 

This is a Westerfield PRR gondola. It took damage easily and I think realistically. I used a heat gun and various pointed objects.

Aaron Gjermundson


Roger Huber <trainpainter@...>
 

Aaron,

That looks nice!

Roger Huber
Deer Creek Locomotive Works


On Monday, November 25, 2019, 11:16:14 AM CST, npin53 <npin53@...> wrote:


This is a Westerfield PRR gondola. It took damage easily and I think realistically. I used a heat gun and various pointed objects.

Aaron Gjermundson


Andy Carlson
 

Years ago I came upon a most realistic warping of a steel freight car side when I wasn't careful in mixing the two components for a urethane pour into the box car side's mold. After removal from the mold, I had the most beautiful distress that I felt was worth replicating. None of my purposeful attempts yielded anything close, often I had swerls with uncured wet spots of resin. I suppose continuing experiments may lead to the discovery.

-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA



Tony Thompson
 

Um, no one advocates melting. Softening and bending are very different from melting.
Tony Thompson 


On Nov 25, 2019, at 7:23 AM, Daniel A. Mitchell <danmitch@...> wrote:

I’ve never seen melted plastic look like bent metal. The two materials just don’t bend the same way. YMMV. I do recall some fellow ten years or so back that replaced all the plastic panels with thin aluminum or copper foil, and then dented that. Lots of work, but looked great!

Dan Mitchell
==========

On Nov 25, 2019, at 9:41 AM, Jon Miller <atsfus@...> wrote:

On 11/24/2019 5:08 PM, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io wrote:
Making Dents & Bulges in Plastic Cars - Techniques?

    One of the mags had an article many years ago.  Try searching a RMC or MR data base, if there is one.

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
SPROG User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Roger Huber <trainpainter@...>
 

I vaguely remember Allen McClelland did an article way back in RMC about doing this.

Roger Huber
Deer Creek Locomotive Works


Bob Weston
 

For a loaded gon I’ve built the panel’s up with thick super glue to replicate bulges. Of course if the gon is empty this doesn’t work on the inside.


killercarp
 

One can carefully gouge the inside between panels with a motor tool behind the bulges.  

In my observation, the sheet metal bulges but the structural members of the car are much more robust on prototype cars.  

On this car the sides use the ACC bulges.  The ends were gently bent after the car was immersed in hot water.

Tim VanMersbergen


Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;)
 


Hi Bob,
 
I've done this in N scale to a gondola by lining the inside of the gon with several layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Then use a small soldering iron to heat the inside of the gon and, when the plastic is softened by the heat, press to bulge it out a bit. Locate the bulge in the center of the chosen side panels, since that is typically where the prototype is most likely to have a bulge. I also dinged the top chord, simulating damage due to dropped loads or dropped pieces of scrap.
 
You can see the results below - the gon looks like it is on its last legs! Hopefully the link works...
 
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
 
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2019 8:08 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Making Dents & Bulges in Plastic Cars - Techniques?

Making Dents & Bulges in Plastic Cars - Techniques?

Allowing for differences in plastic composition and thickness in HO scale hoppers and gondolas, what techniques do those of you with experience recommend for creating dents and bulges in such cars?

I am especially interested in temperature ranges and choice of equipment used for softening plastic.

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


radiodial868
 

Aaron, that is one good looking gondola. Is that the Westerfield G22 twin-pak flat-Pack version?  I'm keeping your pictures for reference for when I build mine.
RJ Dial
Burlingame, CA


David Allen
 

Folks: The felloe Dan Mitchell mentions is Jeff Eggert. A while ago (October, 2003) Jeff showed his model of C&NW 742149 at a division meet in Two Rivers, WI. It is exquisite. He made new sides and ends of thin ,001 shim brass sections with styrene posts. I have seen a write-up somewhere, but I cannot find it now.

Be well.  Dave Allen


Jeff Eggert
 

While this topic is making dents in plastic car bodies, it is just one of the many methods to create a dented the gon.

As Dave Allen eluded to, here is the How-To:
http://www.yardoffice.com/RR/Modeling/howto/tangons.html

Jeff Eggert


Daniel A. Mitchell
 

I could not recall this chap’s name, but his models were impressive. I saw them at a Chicagoland RPM event years ago. In addition to dented gons he had a flat car load of a rumpled-up covered hopper being removed from a wreck site. The tears and wrinkles were wonderfully executed. Despite a number of comments and photos here, I still don’t think distorted plastic looks like bent metal. Several modelers here have tried to represent the distressed gondola “look”, with varying degrees of success. But it still does not look quite right. Soft plastic still does not bend, dent, or crease like metal. This might be a good opportunity for some resin kit maker to offer such a decrepit gondola. The master would be hard to make, but I can’t see why the subsequent castings wouldn’t be acceptable. Perhaps just the distressed panels could be offered, for insertion into existing mass-market plastic gondolas. The panels could be made a bit oversized, so they could be trimmed to fit a number of prototype dimensions.

Part of the problem with the softened plastic method is that the bulges look like they were pushed-out by big air bags … they are FAR too smooth and regular in shape. Most real gondola bulges are the result of numerous small dents accumulating over time. They have a rough and bumpy texture, with occasional perforations. And, if modeled, the interior should have a matching appearance. Part of the problem is that the typical plastic sides are far too thick ... they bulge but don’t dent or crease. Perhaps 0.005” styrene would work better, but, then, why not just go to thin metal (see above) and get it “right”? I’m not saying this can’t be done in plastic, but that I’ve never seen it, in person or in photos, and I’ve seen MANY attempt it. I few have come real close, but never “quite” right.

Dan Mitchell
==========

On Nov 26, 2019, at 12:51 PM, David Allen <dallen@...> wrote:

Folks: The felloe Dan Mitchell mentions is Jeff Eggert. A while ago (October, 2003) Jeff showed his model of C&NW 742149 at a division meet in Two Rivers, WI. It is exquisite. He made new sides and ends of thin ,001 shim brass sections with styrene posts. I have seen a write-up somewhere, but I cannot find it now.

Be well.  Dave Allen