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General Category => Modellers At Work => Topic started by: Ray Dunakin on October 02, 2010, 12:43:05 AM



Title: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 02, 2010, 12:43:05 AM
This isn't a "finescale" project, but maybe some of you might find it interesting. I have a 1/29th scale Aristocraft RS-3 which I'm converting into a 1/24th scale narrow gauge loco. There's no real prototype or anything, and I'm trying to use as much of the existing shell as possible. I will be adding some new details and changing some of the existing details.

The two biggest factors in making it look like a narrow gauge loco in a larger scale, are to widen the deck and to give it a bigger cab.

I started by widening the deck. To do this, I glued 1/4" square styrene strips to the edge of the frame, then topped them with 1/4" x .010" strips. I still need to cover the expanded deck with new non-skid treadplate:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1215c/IMG_1215c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1219/IMG_1219.jpg)


I also decided to make the hoods slightly taller, by gluing 1/8" x 1/4" strips all along the base of the hood pieces. And I reduced the length of the short hood, in order to accommodate a larger cab:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1201c/IMG_1201c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1199/IMG_1199.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1228c/IMG_1228c.jpg)

I removed the "bug-eye" classification lamps. Soon I will remove the existing grab irons, fill the holes, and replace them with new grab irons that will be larger and spaced more appropriately for the increased scale.

To make this look like a narrow gauge loco in 1/24th scale, it needs a new, bigger cab. I began scratch-building one out of .080" thick styrene. I cut the front and rear walls to shape, taped them together and carved out the windows. While doing the windows I also trimmed the curved edge a little more:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1197/IMG_1197.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1221/IMG_1221.jpg)

Here's how it will look on the loco:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1226/IMG_1226.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1239c/IMG_1239c.jpg)


That's all for now. I'll post more updates as I go.



Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Malachi Constant on October 02, 2010, 08:06:14 PM
This isn't a "finescale" project, but maybe some of you might find it interesting.

Yup ... watching with interest here.  -- Dallas


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 03, 2010, 05:56:05 PM
I haven't been able to get much done this weekend. Too many interruptions, plus I wasted a lot of time trying out a technique that didn't work before settling on one that did. Anyway here's the latest update...

I've been building up the frames around the windows on the front wall of the cab. There are two parts to these. The first is cut from a sheet of .010" thick styrene, then glued to the window. They overlap the inside edge of the window a little bit:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1243c/IMG_1243c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1249c/IMG_1249c.jpg)


Next I glue down a thin styrene rod to form a sort of "bead" around the inner edge. This is really slow and tedious but adds a lot to the appearance:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1254c/IMG_1254c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1256c/IMG_1256c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1261/IMG_1261.jpg)

Two windows done, six more to go! Then I do the side windows.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: finescalerr on October 04, 2010, 02:11:17 AM
Incredible. I would have used a laser cutter or something. -- Russ


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 04, 2010, 11:04:50 AM
I considered using laser cutting but decided against it for a couple reasons...

First, I was concerned that anything I drew on the computer would turn to not fit correctly on the model, and would need to be tweaked and redone to get it exactly right, costing time and money. And second, I didn't really want to wait to have to send it out -- I just wanted to get to work on it.



Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 06, 2010, 01:30:34 AM
I've made a little more progress...

Finished framing the windows on the front and rear walls of the cab, and glued the cab together. To create the arched roof, I glued in strips of styrene, then sanded down the angled edges:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1263c/IMG_1263c.jpg)


It still wasn't rounded enough so I filled it in a bit with spot putty:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1272/IMG_1272.jpg)


Then I topped it with .015" thick styrene sheet. Unfortunately that wrinkled a little in places, so I had to smooth it out with a little more spot putty. I also rounded all the corners, and started detailing the side of the cab:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1280c/IMG_1280c.jpg)


In this photo you can see some of the detail on the side of the cab:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1295/IMG_1295.jpg)


That's all for now, more to come!




Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: eTraxx on October 06, 2010, 04:54:26 AM
Dang Ray. That's looking good. Makes me want to jump up and model.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: lab-dad on October 06, 2010, 07:03:23 AM
Looking good, thanks for showing the missteps.
Why didnt you use pre-formed (heated in boiling water and put over appropriate shape) sheet styrene for the roof?
Would have eliminated the work on the strips.
Some reinforcement strips under the roof line would have kept the front/rear spacing.
Just a suggestion/comment.
I worked an hour last night with styrene and it all went into the trash  >:( >:( >:( >:(
-Marty


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 06, 2010, 01:26:16 PM
Marty, I considered forming the styrene, but I wanted it to be pretty thick (.080") so that I could sand the edges round and still have plenty of material for support.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Malachi Constant on October 06, 2010, 08:33:19 PM
Shaping up nicely ... still watching!  :o  8)

Cheers,
Dallas


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 08, 2010, 01:14:09 AM
Today I've doing some detailing on the short hood. I replaced the original grab irons with new, slightly larger ones, spaced farther apart, as appropriate to the new larger scale. Most of the grabs are from Phil's Narrow Gauge, I just bent them a little to fit the corner positioning on the hood. I had to make the longer grabs myself. I used Phil's brass, nut/bolt pins to secure them:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1311c/IMG_1311c.jpg)


I also carved off the molded door handles and replaced them with new handles made from brass rod:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1303c/IMG_1303c.jpg)


I put some small details to the top of the hood. I also made the sand box fill hatch larger and added hinge and latch detail:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1304c/IMG_1304c.jpg)


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: NORCALLOGGER on October 08, 2010, 07:33:49 PM
Ray,
Well done.  There is nothing like hand building for a feeling of satisfaction.
Beautiful work on those cab windows, it is the tedious little details that really pull a project like this together.

Keep up the good pace.
Rick


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Gordon Ferguson on October 10, 2010, 09:03:27 AM
Ray,

appreciate its a bit late but came across this and immediately thought of your conversion

http://cs.trains.com/trccs/forums/p/165642/1825746.aspx


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: JohnP on October 10, 2010, 07:44:36 PM
Speaking of critters, a fun book to own is "Critters, Dinkys & Center Cabs" by Jay Reed (ISBN 0-9647221-2-7). My local hobby shop had it. It has so many ideas for model inspiration in all scales- I bought it to make a battery powered 1-1/2" scale 7.5" gauge loco.

This project looks good so far.

John


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 10, 2010, 11:57:35 PM
I finished putting the grab irons and door handles on the long hood. I also filled in the overly-wide panel lines and scribed new, thinner ones; and replaced a couple of molded-on pipes:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1333/IMG_1333.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1334/IMG_1334.jpg)


I scribed some lines into the smoke stack, and replaced the molded details:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1332/IMG_1332.jpg)


One of the reference photos I found included a close up view of the horn, which inspired me to go nuts and add all the little details to the horns on my loco:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1359/IMG_1359.jpg)


The sideframes of the trucks have a lot of molded on detail, including the brake cylinder. I'm cutting those off and making my own, completely 3-dimensional brake cylinders. I haven't finished that yet, but here's a pic showing how I'm altering the shape of the steel arch-thingy (pardon the technical terminology!) to more closely approximate the prototype. I used epoxy putty to fill out the shape. Since this piece must be able to move up and down, I just put a piece of wax paper between the two parts before adding the putty:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1362/IMG_1362.jpg)


That's all for now, more later...

.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 11, 2010, 10:58:15 PM
I finished making a master for the brake cylinders. Here it is with a coat of primer; just needs to be touched up on a couple places. I need eight cylinders, and I really don't want to make them all by hand, so I'll make a silicone mold from this one and cast duplicates.
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1374c/IMG_1374c.jpg)
 
 
The grill over the radiator fan isn't totally accurate but it looks pretty good, so I want to keep it. Unfortunately the holes are much narrower on the back then on the outside, in fact they're barely open. So I'm carving them out, one by one, with the tip of an X-acto knife. Very tedious, so I can only stand to do a little of it at a time. I'm halfway finished so far:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1380/IMG_1380.jpg)

.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: lab-dad on October 12, 2010, 11:59:50 AM
A jewelers reamer might make quicker work of that!
I have a set and find them indispensable!
-Marty


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 12, 2010, 02:19:54 PM
I used the knife blade instead of a drill bit because I wanted to have a tapered hole, wider on the underside, to improve the "see-through" quality without altering the square grid effect too much. At least, that's my theory.



Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Malachi Constant on October 12, 2010, 05:41:56 PM
Ray --

Um ... what Marty said ... get a set of jeweler's reamers, you'll be glad to have them on hand.

And, well, sorry to say ... they ARE tapered ... but maybe not quite as much as you want, so we'll let you slide this time!  ;D

Cheers,
Dallas


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 12, 2010, 07:03:17 PM
... they ARE tapered ...

Ah, I did not know that! Thanks.



Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 13, 2010, 01:29:24 AM
Today I made a mold of the brake cylinder master. Because of the complexity of the shape, a two-part mold was needed. I built a form out of styrene, and filled half of it with sulfur-free modeling clay. Then I pushed the master into the clay, and worked the clay in around it to make as clean an edge as possible. I pressed a few dimples into the clay to make "keys" that will keep the two halves aligned:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1382/IMG_1382.jpg)
 
Next I poured in some silicone rubber mold compound. I use Smooth-On brand "Oomoo 30" because it's easy to use and doesn't require a precision scale. It mixes by volume, not weight, and is pretty/ forgiving. When this set, I pulled off the bottom of the form and removed the clay. Leaving the master in place, I then coated the face of the first layer of silicone with a very thin coat of vaseline as a release agent. I also used a spray on release from Michael's:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1388/IMG_1388.jpg)

 
I poured in some more silicone, let it set, then removed the form and pulled the two halves apart. Then I started casting. The initial casting came out rough, which is typical. The rest came out better. I had also made a simple one-piece mold of another part that will be used on the side frames, and cast that too. Here's how they look after cleaning up the flash:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1390c/IMG_1390c.jpg)

 
And here's one of the brake cylinder castings after being painted with a coat of primer. It's a little bit rough but not bad:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1400c/IMG_1400c.jpg)
 
 
 
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 15, 2010, 12:44:04 AM
A little more progress...
 
I finished casting all the brake cylinders and install four of them on the rear truck. 
 
The brake shoes on the original model are removable plastic pieces, and include a curved shape that is supposed to represent the sand line. As-is, these brakes look pretty anemic. So I reworked them, adding on new styrene bits to make the brake shoes a little larger and thicker, and also made the hardware stouter and more accurately shaped. (In silhouette, anyway. As on the original model, a lot of liberties have to be taken in this area.)
 
I cut off the original sand lines and built new ones that are much more realistic looking. Here's a shot of two remodeled brake shoe assemblies next to one of the unmodified parts:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1420c/IMG_1420c.jpg)

 
Here's a couple shots of the modified parts temporarily installed on the truck. You can also see how the brake cylinder castings fit into place:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1429c/IMG_1429c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1431c/IMG_1431c.jpg)

 
I still have to make four more brake shoes pieces, for the loco's front truck.
 
.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 19, 2010, 11:20:14 PM
Doh!

Rather than making the four remaining brake shoe assemblies individually, I wanted to try molding and casting them.

I spent a considerable amount of time figuring out a way to make a two-piece mold of the brake shoe assemblies. This was not an easy task, because they are a fairly complex shape. Got the first half of the mold cast. Added some stuff to form the fill channels, then poured the second half of the mold. All of this was done piecemeal, between numerous interruptions, which also meant a lot of it was done in a rush. (You can probably guess where this is heading...)

Pulled the mold out of the form this evening and discovered the Big Mistake. I had forgotten to apply any kind of mold release between the two halves of the mold. So now I have one big block of (expensive) silicone rubber with two master brake assemblies buried somewhere in the middle. 

< sigh >


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Malachi Constant on October 20, 2010, 08:33:35 AM
Oh man, that really sucks!  I'll make some suggestions ... pretty much the obvious stuff here ...

-- First, if your frustration/aggravation level is high, let it sit for another day so you don't destroy your patterns trying to get them out ...
-- Try different lighting, magnifiers, etc. and see if you can find any evidence of the two different mold pours.  If the RTV was mixed by hand and you didn't use a super-precise scale, there may be some subtle difference in coloring on the two pours.  If that happens, then with the right lighting, you may be able to cut along that line.
-- If the shape of your mold is irregular ... eg, a rectangular block, you might be able to "imagine" where the parts are inside and their basic orientation.  If it's a perfect cube with the bits right in the middle ... well ...
-- RTV will close itself somewhat after being poked with pins ... so you might want to use some fine needles to see if you can locate the parts.  Then start cutting in very gently with a very sharp blade (for a clean cut) ... proceed gently until you just tap the pattern.  Then start lifting the opening a little to see what you might determine visually and work around the pattern, etc.
-- At the very least, you should be able to remove the pattern in reasonably good condition ... with a little luck, you may actually be able to separate the mold halves into useful pieces.
-- Re-read the first suggestion.

Good luck!
Dallas


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 20, 2010, 06:39:37 PM
I got the parts out of the rubber but could not salvage the mold. The shapes were just too irregular. I'm currently in the midst of a second attempt at molding the parts.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 23, 2010, 06:08:03 PM

Finally have another update on this project...
 
First, here's how I made the mold for the brake shoe assemblies:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1543c/IMG_1543c.jpg)

 
I was concerned about the sand lines, which seem to be in a position where they are likely to get banged up a bit in use. So I inserted brass rods into the mold prior to casting:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1548/IMG_1548.jpg)

 
Here's a shot of the masters (top) and the castings (bottom). As you can see the castings are slightly thicker and rougher, but should be acceptable:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1551c/IMG_1551c.jpg)

 
I made the brake rods from brass:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1564c/IMG_1564c.jpg)


I used short sections of rectangular brass tube to make the clevis on the brake rods. First I grind off one side of the tube, then cut off the short sections using a Dremel and cutoff wheel:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1565c/IMG_1565c.jpg)

 
I also made castings for the brake lever and the sideframe extension that goes above it. Here's how the sideframes look with the brake cylinder, brake rod, lever and extension in place:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1574/IMG_1574.jpg)

 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1575/IMG_1575.jpg)

 
 
That's all for now, more later.
 
.
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Malachi Constant on October 23, 2010, 07:20:00 PM
Ray --

Glad you were able to rescue those patterns and go on despite the intermediate headache(s) ... all those nice little bits will add a ton of dimension and interest to the model, which seems to shaping up rather nicely!  ;)

Cheers,
Dallas


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 28, 2010, 12:26:14 AM
I've finished the trucks on the RS-3. First,  here's a "before" photo showing one of the stock trucks for comparison:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1435c/IMG_1435c.jpg)
 
And now here is the finished truck:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1624c/IMG_1624c.jpg)
 
 
And a couple detail close ups:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1607/IMG_1607.jpg)
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1608/IMG_1608.jpg)
 
 
This truck has the cast brake shoe assemblies:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1620/IMG_1620.jpg)
 

Prior to painting, I masked off the openings to the motor and gears. Then I used a q-tip to smear vaseline onto the tread and flange of the wheels. I applied a coat of gray primer, then a coat of Rustoleum gloss black.
 
To weather it, I began by mixing some Model Master "Gun Metal" and "Steel" paint together, and dry-brushed it onto the areas that seemed likely to become scraped or scratched. All the rest of the weathering was done using Apple Barrel flat craft acrylics. Next I added some rusty colors. Some of this rusty color was applied directly over the "metallic" colors, then rubbed partly off. When this had dried, I went over the whole thing with a wash of dusty gray-tan mix. When that dried, I added a mix of "apricot" yellow and black to a few areas, to represent grease. The final coat was a very thin wash of blue-black over the whole thing.
 
Once the final wash was dry, rubbed my fingers over various parts of the trucks, removing some of the thin layers of acrylic and letting some of the black undercoat show through. Then I sprayed a light dusting of Krylon UV matte finish over the whole thing.
 
The weathering is a bit understated, meant to look well-used but not overly grimy. It looks a little better in person than in the photos. I'm not sure if it's enough though, but I can always add more weathering to it later if necessary.
 
.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: finescalerr on October 28, 2010, 01:56:00 AM
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. -- Russ


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on October 31, 2010, 01:13:11 PM
This is one of those projects where one thing leads to another...
 
Having made the deck wider, I decided that the fuel tank needed to be wider as well, so I built a completely new fuel tank. This actually works out well though because I now have room to fit the speaker in the tank, eliminating the risk of moisture damage posed by the factory speaker location. And of course I also got to detail it out nicely too.
 
Here's the original fuel tank:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1630/IMG_1630.jpg)
 
And here's the new one:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1663/IMG_1663.jpg) 
 

The areas that have been patched with putty look pretty ugly now but it'll look much nicer when it's painted:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1662/IMG_1662.jpg)
 
 
In this photo you can see where I'll be mounting the speaker. I still need to drill a bunch of little holes to form a speaker grill:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1651/IMG_1651.jpg) 
 
 
The original air tanks weren't worth reusing, so I'm replacing them too. The new tanks will be wider and more detailed. Here a shot of the new tank next to the old one:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1660/IMG_1660.jpg) 
 
A closer view of the new tank (I still need to build the second air tank for the other side):
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1653/IMG_1653.jpg) 
 
Here's how the fuel and air tank will fit together. I still have to add the plumbing, too:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1667/IMG_1667.jpg) 
 
 
I already had some domes, but I didn't have any styrene tubes in the correct size for the air tanks. So rather than order them online and have to wait to have them delivered, I found a pair of plastic knitting needles at Michael's that were exactly the right size!
 
 
.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: finescalerr on October 31, 2010, 01:39:12 PM
You are transforming an Aristo-Craft toy into a model. I have never understood the fuzzy thinking of most large scale manufacturers. They repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot and then wonder why they walk with a limp. -- Russ


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Malachi Constant on October 31, 2010, 08:39:54 PM
Ray --

I agree that you're doing a superb job of elevating the detail level on this (re)build ... at the same time, I feel that I'll be sorely disappointed if you don't fill that air tank with the clear domed ends with little tiny gumballs!  ;D

Cheers,
Dallas


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Philip Smith on October 31, 2010, 08:43:52 PM
 ;D

I thought I was the only one who entombed my patterns!

One hell of a tranformation Ray!

Philip


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on November 05, 2010, 12:57:00 AM
Time for another update...
 
I ran into a little snag with those new air tanks.  Although they're the same length as the originals, they're wider and are designed to mount more realistically. The originals are flat on one side and mount up under the edge of the frame:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1698/IMG_1698.jpg) 

 
 
Mine are intended to mount on the frame, like the real ones do. Trouble is, they foul the sand lines on the front truck:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1701/IMG_1701.jpg) 


So I had to order new, elliptical domes to replace the hemispheric domes. This reduces the total length of each tank by at least a quarter inch, more than enough to clear the sand lines. It also makes the tanks more accurate, as most of the RS-3's I've seen have tanks with elliptical ends:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1745/IMG_1745.jpg)

 
While I was waiting for those new domes to arrive, I started work on the front pilot. I had hoped to be able to use most of the stock parts, but decided that too many changes were needed, so it was simpler to scratch-build. I did retain the rear portion of the pilot, since this has the tabs and such needed to mount it to the frame.
 
I began by cutting off the poling pockets. Then I glued on styrene extensions to widen the pilot. I also used a Dremel with a small carving bit to lengthen the slots that support the steps:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1704/IMG_1704.jpg)   


Then I decided to mount the steps differently, so I filled in the slots. This would have been easier to do if I had not already added some bolt details. I also sanded the poling pockets smaller and glued them back on, in their new positions:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1718/IMG_1718.jpg)   


I couldn't find anything better suited to represent the steel grill used on the steps, so I reused the original steps from the model. However, I sanded them to about half their original thickness:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1725/IMG_1725.jpg)   

 
I built up a completely new front section of the pilot. This was glued to the rear section, rather than being attached with screws as the original parts were. I changed the position of the steps, to fit the now-wider pilot:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1742/IMG_1742.jpg)   

Here's how it looks on the frame:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1740/IMG_1740.jpg) 

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1736/IMG_1736.jpg)   

I had to take some liberties with it, particularly at the coupler pocket, but I think I captured the essence of the prototype pretty well. I still have to add some more details, such as the air hose, MU cables, grab irons, lift bar, etc.
 
 
.
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: finescalerr on November 05, 2010, 01:30:55 AM
Are you sure it wouldn't have been easier to build the whole thing from scratch? -- Russ


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: gnichols on November 05, 2010, 04:23:51 AM
Ray,
  Got any new overall shots of the mock-up?  I've got several of these 1/2n42-ish things to make (complete, actually) so I'm getting a kick out of seeing what you are up to.  But mine won't be so detailed.  One is based on a seriously shortened USA SW with a fixed single truck from some other little gizmo, and the other will be a USA centercab GE with the cab enlarged.  And a Tommy York box cab kit, too, some place around here.  I got SO many unfinished projects.  Gads.  Gary


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: darrylhuffman on November 06, 2010, 01:33:35 AM
Ray,

I always enjoy seeing what people do that is out of the ordinary.

I grew up with SP late steam and early diesels in my backyard so I have always like that transition era.

I bought an S scale SW-1 in SP Tiger Stripes and had it narrowed down to run on my On30 layout.

It fits right in in my mind but is far from being prototypical.

Interesting to watch your 1/29th to 1/24th conversion.

Party on, Dude!

Darryl Huffman
Anchorage, Alaska


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on November 12, 2010, 11:30:48 PM
Progress has been a little slow this week, but it's getting there. Here's the latest update...
 
I decided to mount the air tanks to the fuel/water tank assembly, rather than mounting them directly to the chassis. I used some small screws from an old camera:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1753/IMG_1753.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1758/IMG_1758.jpg)

 

Both the front and rear pilots are basically finished. The brake hoses are from Phil's Narrow Gauge -- I modified them slightly for this application. I still need to make some MU cables. The handrails and associated stuff will be added later:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1811c/IMG_1811c.jpg)

 
I put the whole thing together temporarily just to see how it looks:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1799c/IMG_1799c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1802c/IMG_1802c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1805c/IMG_1805c.jpg)

 
That's it for now. Currently I'm working on the cab interior... more updates to come.
 
.
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on November 18, 2010, 01:51:29 AM
I've finished the cab interior details. I didn't bother trying to include every single detail of the prototype. I just wanted to include enough of the major features, enough to give the impression that it's all there. As it is, much of what I did include will be difficult to see anyway. Here's a shot of the control stand under construction:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1824c/IMG_1824c.jpg) 

 
And here's the complete interior assembly. This assembly slides up into the cab from below. The floor was made to look like old wood with worn paint, as seen in some RS-3 pics I found:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1826c/IMG_1826c.jpg)

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1830/IMG_1830.jpg)


On the fireman's side, I added a toolbox and grease bucket. These were cast from molds I made of originals I found on ebay. Everything else in the cab is scratch-built. The toolbox and bucket help support the end panels:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1835c/IMG_1835c.jpg)

 
Oops! I made the seats a little bit too tall. Fortunately that's easy to fix. The seats are not glued down, they are secured with screws. I'll just remove them, cut the seats off the posts, shorten the posts, and glue the seats back together.
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1839/IMG_1839.jpg)

BTW, the seated figure is from SLM, and will be serving as the engineer until I get around to sculpting some custom figures for this loco.
 
 
.
 
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Malachi Constant on November 18, 2010, 12:14:06 PM
Ray --

Excellent!  That assembly will certainly give the right impression as one peeks into the cab ... very neatly done.  (Well, maybe all that "grime" doesn't look so "neat" ... but it looks good!)

Of course, that SLM guy will have to go ... he's gotten all of his railroading experience on Gn15 critters and can't be trusted to operate the larger loco!  :D

Cheers,
Dallas


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on November 27, 2010, 11:30:02 PM
Finally, another update!
 
One of my biggest concerns when I started this project, was how to do the handrail supports. They need to be tough and rigid, slightly flexible but not brittle, and they need to be removable. I also wanted them to be as close to the prototype as possible. I considered using brass rod, but it's round, and the real thing is made of flat slabs. Brass bar stock might work but is not easy to find in such a small size. Brass would also be tough to work with, especially drilling the holes for the handrails to run through. And brass doesn't spring back if it gets bent over.
 
Then I hit on a solution: Rectangular carbon fiber rod! These are sold by Midwest Products and can be found in many hobby shops, in a variety of sizes. It's a high strength composite material used in aircraft. It's very rigid yet somewhat flexible, and extremely hard to break.
 
I used some carbon fiber rod that measures .019" thick by  .118" wide. As tough as it is, it can be split lengthwise, so I laminated some strips of .010" thick styrene to it. I was then able to drill holes through the supports without splitting the carbon fiber. I also added brackets and simulated bolts/nuts made of styrene. Here are some pics:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1857/IMG_1857.jpg)
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1862c/IMG_1862c.jpg) 
 

The handrail supports are designed to fit into slots in the deck and frame of the engine. This presented another problem: How to create deep, narrow slots? I have no tools capable of doing that. So my solution is to drill round holes, fill them with epoxy putty, then use a homemade tool to press the slots into the putty. Here's a photo of the tool I made, and a chunk of scrap styrene used as a test subject:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1860c/IMG_1860c.jpg)
 
 
This worked just fine. The top surface of the putty came out a little rough on this test piece but I think I can do better. Most of it will be hidden by the bracket anyway. Here are a couple shots showing how the support fits into the slot on the test piece:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1864c/IMG_1864c.jpg) 
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1866c/IMG_1866c.jpg) 
 

Now I just have to drill holes in the deck, add the putty, and form the slots for the model itself.
 
Meanwhile I also did a few other small things... I decided that the smokestack needed to be taller, to look right with the new larger cab, so I built up a new stack around the old one. I also created a bracket and air ringer for the bell, and made the metal "cabinets" on the deck behind the cab. I don't have pics of these changes yet.
 
.
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: MinerFortyNiner on November 28, 2010, 12:22:15 AM
Ray, all I can say is 'wow'...that is shaping up to be a fantastic model!

I love old Alcos, and had the privilege of getting a cab ride in an old RS-3 on the Magma Copper line between Ray Junction and Mammoth, Arizona back in 1982.  The cab interior looked just like what you have modeled...I seem to remember the floor was steel.  Your finish on the cabinets and control stand has nailed the dirty, scuffed, workaday patina the aging loco had.  Thanks for reminding me of a pleasant day...   :)


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on December 05, 2010, 06:42:43 PM
Haven't had as much time as usual for modeling lately but I am making a little progress...
 
I finished the handrails along the sides of the engine. Here are a few shots with the handrails temporarily installed. (The fuel tank, air tanks and a few other items have been removed.):
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1883c/IMG_1883c.jpg)
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1884c/IMG_1884c.jpg)
 

In this photo you can see the "cabinets" that form the raised part of the deck, behind the cab:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1881/IMG_1881.jpg)
 

I still have to make the handrails and other details for the ends of the pilots:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1882/IMG_1882.jpg)
 
 
I used brass tubing to make "sockets" for the handrails to plug into where they connect to the pilot:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1895c/IMG_1895c.jpg)
 
 
Here's a close up photo of the new, larger smokestack, and the bell with air ringer. The bell has already been painted but is not yet glued in place:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1893/IMG_1893.jpg)
 
 
Well, that's all for now. It's getting close to the finish line!


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: NORCALLOGGER on December 05, 2010, 10:24:09 PM
Hi Ray,
I don't know anything about diesels, but then I guess I don't have to, the craftsmanship and care in your build is obvious to even a casual observer. 
Don't you just love/hate this point in a build?  The end is so close that you can just taste the finish, but the last nagging details to finish just keep on coming.  If your like me the end is also bitter-sweet.  As I/you sit and look at the finished model and think about all the things that could have been done differently and/or better but we have to save all that for the next build.

Great model.
Rick


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on December 05, 2010, 10:45:04 PM
Thanks Rick!

Yeah the home stretch on a build like this can be kind of frustrating, there are always finicky little details that have to be attended to before it can be officially finished. And in this case, after all the modeling (the fun part) is finished, then I have to installed the electronics (yuck), which is the part I dread.




 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: finescalerr on December 06, 2010, 03:25:35 AM
Nonetheless an Aristo-Craft product might never look as good. -- Russ


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on December 08, 2010, 11:06:02 PM
I got the superstructure (cab and hoods) painted. Still have to add lettering, then weather it. Once that's done, I can install the "glass" in the windows:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1901/IMG_1901.jpg)
 
 
The main color is Rustoleum Gloss Enamel burgandy. The handrails and pilots will be "school bus yellow", using Rustoleum's "inverted marking paint".
The steps and deck are gloss black:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1906/IMG_1906.jpg)  
 
  
I used 1/24th scale diamond treadplate for the steps and deck. I got this from Don Mills Models. Here's a link in case anyone's interested:
 
http://www.donmillsmodels.com/main/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_new.tpl&product_id=183&category_id=25&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=73 (http://www.donmillsmodels.com/main/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_new.tpl&product_id=183&category_id=25&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=73)
 
That's all for now.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on December 10, 2010, 08:56:05 PM
Here's another brief update...
 
On the real RS-3, there are chains connecting the brake wheel with the brake cylinders on the rear truck. The chains pass through a couple of guides that hang down from the underside of the deck. I added these details to my model. I had to make sure that the truck would still be able to turn enough to handle my 6.5' minimum diameter curves. Here's how it looks prior to painting:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1914/IMG_1914.jpg)
 
 
I'm getting closer to the finish line!
 
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: NORCALLOGGER on December 10, 2010, 10:43:17 PM
Beautiful finish and detail work Ray, you have several Atttaboys comming on this one.
I especially like the chain hanger details.
Rick


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: finescalerr on December 11, 2010, 02:44:40 AM
Don't forget the antlers. -- Russ


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: jacq01 on December 11, 2010, 04:42:10 PM

  Russ,

  as Chester mentioned a time back discussing antlers, diesels have horns.  and Ray's loco shows 2 large ones  ;D ;D ;D

  Jacq


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on December 12, 2010, 07:15:05 PM
I got the handrails done for the front pilot. I just need to make a couple of minor adjustments, then duplicate it for the rear pilot. The straight uprights were made same as the ones along the side, using carbon fiber rod with a thin styrene strip laminated to it. The angled uprights were a challenge. I couldn't get any brass strips in the correct size, so I ended up using 3/32" aluminum tube, and flattened it with a hammer:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1917c/IMG_1917c.jpg) 
 
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1920/IMG_1920.jpg)
 
I also need to adapt some couplers.
 
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: finescalerr on December 13, 2010, 03:10:25 AM
What a vast improvement over the stock hardware! -- Russ


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: JESTER on December 13, 2010, 08:09:35 AM
Wow! Just went through all 4 pages. That's a lot of work. Great job!

-


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on December 24, 2010, 12:47:31 AM
I haven't had a lot of time to work on this project lately, due to getting ready for Christmas, etc. But I have made a little progress...
 
First off, I got everything painted. The deck and underframe is painted Rustoleum gloss black. The pilots and the sides of the deck are painted "school bus yellow", and the cab and hoods are burgandy. I added the herald, engine number and some "high voltage" signs, all of which were printed out on self-adhesive vinyl.
 
Then I started on the weathering. Here's a shot of how it looks so far. (The handrails along the sides have been left off at this time, and the cab/hoods are not yet weathered.)
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_1999/IMG_1999.jpg)
 
 
I'm using flat Apple Barrel craft acrylics for the weathering except where noted. I applied a thin, blotchy wash of dark brown to the deck, with a few blotches of lighter, rustier brown, mostly down the middle of the walkways where there would be more wear.
 
I began weathering the pilot and steps by brushing on some dark brown "rust" areas to represent places where the paint has been scratched or worn off -- mostly along edges, and on the handrails. When this had dried, I dry-brushed some highlights to represent bare metal, using a mix of Model Master "gun metal" and "steel" non-buffing metalizer.
 
Then I went over the whole thing with a thin wash of dirty, rusty brown. This wash had some clear acrylic matte medium mixed in, and a tiny dab of liquid detergent to prevent beading on the glossy surface. When applying the wash to the front of the pilot, I held the model so that the front would be almost level, preventing the paint from running off. However, I did allow some of the paint to build up along the bottom edge. It still needs some more work, but here's how it looks now:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_2015/IMG_2015.jpg)
 
 
I did the same thing along the side of the deck, adding some extra rust color to certain areas and allowing it to run down in streaks. This too, still needs more work.
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_2002/IMG_2002.jpg)
 
 
The trucks had been weathered already, but I decided they needed something more. I wanted to add some caked on dust and dirt, which would be typical on an engine that runs in the desert and works around mines and mills. To do this, I used some ashes from our barbecue. First I applied a mix of grimy colored paint and matte medium, with a dab of detergent. Then I sprinkled on the ashes, and blew off the excess. I went over it again with some more of the grimy paint mix to wet the ashes thoroughly.
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_2007/IMG_2007.jpg)
 
 
I gave this same treatment to the back of the pilot as well as the fuel and air tanks, keeping in mind the way these features would most likely accumulate such dust and grime.
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_2009/IMG_2009.jpg)
 
 
On the fuel tank, I added several successive layers of thin, dusty washes to represent build up of spilled fuel and dirt. Then I topped it off with a narrow "dribble" of muddy black paint mixed with gloss medium, to look like a recent spill:
 
(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_2003/IMG_2003.jpg)
 
The fuel cap was painted with Model Master "brass" metalizer, then given a wash of grimy black. I may give it another layer or two of grime.
 
That's all for now, more later. Merry Christmas!
 
 


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Scratchman on December 24, 2010, 02:08:22 AM
Good job Ray.That's a nice looking engine.

Gordon Birrell

http://www.flickr.com/photos/77318580@N00/


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: NORCALLOGGER on December 24, 2010, 10:48:37 AM


Well done Ray, very well done.
I particularily like the "grime" buildup using the ashes.
Rick


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: lab-dad on December 27, 2010, 07:19:15 AM
Coming along lovelt Ray,
I have always loved the RS locos.
The weathering is progressing quite well also.
May be some darker "chips" using the Vallejo leather brown and a very small brush?
The darker color will add some depth to some of the chips.
Keep up the good work!
-Marty


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: TRAINS1941 on December 27, 2010, 02:32:19 PM
Ray

Very nice. 

Jerry


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ken Hamilton on December 28, 2010, 07:18:07 AM
That's a really nice piece of work, Ray.  Beautifully weathered....Just enough.
Superb job!!


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on January 03, 2011, 12:48:35 AM
This evening I finished wiring everything up (Revolution receiver, Phoenix sound board, new lights), tested it, and EVERYTHING WORKS!!! Whoohooo!

Of course, then I realized that I forgot to put the engineer in the cab, so now I have to open it all up again. :P

Right now I can only run it back and forth on a 5' section of track in the garage. I'll have to wait a couple days for our latest batch of rain to stop, before I can clean up the layout and get it running out there. I haven't been able to run anything on the layout since mid-October, due to the frequent rain this year.

Anyway, I still have a few things I need to do on the exterior of the loco before it's officially finished.


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ray Dunakin on January 09, 2011, 11:36:14 PM
Here's a construction pic that I hadn't gotten around to posting before. It shows the windshield wipers I made for the loco, out of bits of brass wire:

(http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/IRR_RS3_Conversion_files/Media/IMG_2072c/IMG_2072c.jpg)


Title: Re: RS-3 narrow gauge conversion
Post by: Ken Hamilton on January 10, 2011, 08:02:10 AM
Looks good, Ray.
For what it's worth, working in 1/2" scale opens up a whole range of model car
detail parts that will fit your Big Scale. 

Here are some Model Car Garage photo-etched windshield wipers:
(http://www.modelcargarage.com/store/pc/catalog/mcg2013.gif)
They also have a whole bunch of other stuff that can be tweaked for Model RR use.
http://www.modelcargarage.com/store/pc/home.asp