Thursday, September 9, 2010

Making of a Conoco Gas Truck, Part IX

Some of you are reading this after you’ve already purchased the final kit. I was working on finishing the kit parts up to 9:00 PM the night before my morning flight to St. Louis, so I didn’t have time to take photos and post an update before it was off to National Narrow Gauge Convention. And of course, once there, it was all fun and no time to get on the computer… The kits actually sold better than we expected. In fact, Ragg sold all the kits I made for him at the show, so I’m making more parts.

I also neglected to remind Jimmy Booth to make sure he had plenty of 1934 Ford truck kits on hand, so he sold out on the first day, and it would be another two weeks before he would have new kits. Woops.

I made a new mold for the oil cans, and they turned out rather nice. Here is a photo showing one S-scale oil can with the “flash” removed (more on that next):

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And here is a close-up of the parts still on the sprue:

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Notice the “flash” around these parts. Once again, the tool path gouged a path for flash into the mold. I noticed this after making one half of the mold, so I was able to eliminate the problem on the second half. But unfortunately, this means I have the “flash” on the parts. Darn!

Fortunately, now I know to look for this issue, which I believe is a bug in the program I’m using, and I now know how to get around it. Even better, Jimmy Booth gave me a suggestion on how to fix my existing molds, which I’m going to try soon.

Next up, I redesigned the mold for the tank lids and handles. The previous version was too hard to build. Here is the improved version:

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The handles are much finer than before (because I got rid of the “flash” problem on this mold). And because the holes are larger, it’s much easier to glue the handles in place. I’m pretty happy with how these turned out. By the way, this is blown up way above actual size, so you can see the tool marks.

Unfortunately, between making these new molds and making a set of parts, I ran out of time to make a separate mold for the bottom of the tank. As a result, the kits have two tops. You can easily shave off the tank openings for the bottom half if it bothers you. However, you would only be able to see that they’re there if you turn the finished model upside down.

With the strong sales at the show, and quite a few requests, I’ve decided to make an O-scale version that will fit the Berkshire Valley 1934 Truck kit. This kit is the O-scale version of the PBL kit, which were both part of the Wheel Works line of kits in the yellow boxes.

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