Distressing Plastic Freight Cars


Bob Chaparro
 

Distressing Plastic Freight Cars

Serious Question:

Has anyone tried using an air fryer to soften a plastic gondola or hopper so that the sides could be distressed?

What temperature did you use?

How did you keep the floor from deforming?

Thanks.

Any yes, I am aware of other methods for deforming plastic freight cars.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 06:50 PM, Bob Chaparro wrote:
How did you keep the floor from deforming?
Plastic injection moldings have a LOT of unrelieved stress frozen in place, and if you soften the entire molding, it likely will turn into a cross between a strip of bacon and a croissant. Possibly a couple car weights laying on the floor would be enough to keep it cool, but it's doubtful. It seems a heat gun would be give more control to only heat the sides.

Dennis Storzek


Andy Carlson
 

This doesn't answer the OP's question but an option for gondola side distortion is available for those who cast their own gondolas.

Resin is off course a liquid when poured into the mold and within time it morphs into a solidified casting (which we have been purchasing for decades now). Along the way to being a solid casting, the urethane passes through a range of hardness from liquid to pure solid.

I experimented on a mold from an HO WP Greenville built 29' coil steel gondola side and got some promising results. While still "green" in the mold, picking on the sides with a somewhat pointed, blunt object, outward dents were created. One thing that I discovered was while still in the mold, the distressed green castings tended to revert back to un-dented. The most serious distresses were from de-molding the sides and doing the pointing with the pointed/blunt object while the green casting was on a piece of foam board.

We whom are older than 40 years remember the model presses suggestions of using heated soldering irons from the inside of plastic gondolas to get the dents. Problem was, the resulting dents did not scale well and to me the results looked forced and not very effective. The resin dents, however showed some rather realistic effects.

With all of the YouTube videos offering intros to home resin casting tutorials, and with the readily availability of resins and RTVs, climb on in....the weather is fine!
-Andy Carlson



Tim O'Connor
 

Andy

As a teenager I recall slathering the interior of a gondola (Mantua or Tyco or such) with Testor's
liquid cement (of the type sold in the 1960's) and it caused the sides of the car to soften and bow
inwards, which is what I was trying to do. But Arrowhead probably has done the best thing - make
the sides from etched metal!

Tim O'Connor


On 7/6/2021 11:18 PM, Andy Carlson wrote:
This doesn't answer the OP's question but an option for gondola side distortion is available for those who cast their own gondolas.

Resin is off course a liquid when poured into the mold and within time it morphs into a solidified casting (which we have been purchasing for decades now). Along the way to being a solid casting, the urethane passes through a range of hardness from liquid to pure solid.

I experimented on a mold from an HO WP Greenville built 29' coil steel gondola side and got some promising results. While still "green" in the mold, picking on the sides with a somewhat pointed, blunt object, outward dents were created. One thing that I discovered was while still in the mold, the distressed green castings tended to revert back to un-dented. The most serious distresses were from de-molding the sides and doing the pointing with the pointed/blunt object while the green casting was on a piece of foam board.

We whom are older than 40 years remember the model presses suggestions of using heated soldering irons from the inside of plastic gondolas to get the dents. Problem was, the resulting dents did not scale well and to me the results looked forced and not very effective. The resin dents, however showed some rather realistic effects.

With all of the YouTube videos offering intros to home resin casting tutorials, and with the readily availability of resins and RTVs, climb on in....the weather is fine!
-Andy Carlson


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts