Closing in on wheel castings

Thanks to Brian Pate, and to Don Mitchell who suggested I call him, I’ve started vacuuming my castings when I pour them.  Brian indicated that he liked to vacuum before and after pouring, but I’ve found the pre-pour treatment makes little difference.  The post-pour treatment, on the other hand, dislodges all sorts of bubbles from […]

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A good effort at pressure

I’m still grappling with the problem of bubbles in my castings. The accepted wisdom indicates that you want to set polyurethane castings under pressure so the bubbles become very small. I think the Smooth-on site suggests 60 psi (413 Kia). Not having anything that holds pressure, and not wanting to spend a lot of money, […]

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Backdrop epiphany

In response to my hack-job about composition, Neil Erickson sent over an in-progress photo of his layout that he likes.  It is a simple, entirely railroady scene, quite similar to the painting of a train I showed in that post.  I quite like the oil painting varnish on the photo; I’m not sure if that’s […]

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Challenging composition

Some of the comments in Friday’s post lead the way to thinking about model railways as art, and it’s worth getting a book out of the library to refresh ourselves on the elements of composition. My favourite art book is Jeanne Dobie’s Making Color Sing. It changed my dabbling with watercolour dramatically. One of the […]

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Of Accuracy and Realism

Lance Mindheim’s piece last week about prototype modelling strikes a chord for me. You should read it yourself, but to précis, it is an argument for flexibility in prototype modelling to augment appearance. Embedded in the essay, Lance says, Its taken me decades to realize this but the two, appearance and accuracy are, in fact, […]

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And now we are two!

For many years, I was the only Canada Atlantic Railway modeller I had ever met.  Then for a short while, Ron Newby was hoeing this very long row with me.  Then, he found other, more accessible subjects, and then as far as I know, I was the only one again. A couple of weeks ago, Richard […]

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Bubbly bolster

The wheel plan for 622 requires perfect castings. Unfortunately, every attempt so far using my test molds has resulted in large bubbles. These bubbles are not there when I pour the resin, but seem to be forming during the curing process. According to the Smooth-on website, this could be due to humidity, and I should […]

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