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Friday, May 30, 2008

Stripping Paint from Brass Models

Stripping paint from a brass model is actually quite easy and inexpensive. Here is a technique I use:

Step 1: Disassemble the model. Remove anything that is not brass.

Step 2: Submerge the model in a 50/50 mix of Original Pine-Sol and water. I let it sit over night.

Step 3: The paint flakes off easily. I use an old toothbrush to get the paint out of the tough corners and crevasses while rinsing with clean water.

Voila! Yessir! Voila!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ken Kidder Birney

I acquired this little guy from eBay (I really need to get out to the swap meets!). This Ken Kidder model is very close in appearance to the San Diego Electric Ry’s 300 series Birney cars.

Taking close-up pictures of a model really help in determining what needs to be done to get the model looking prototypical. Right off I can see that the retriever is on the opposite side of the headlamp, window arrangements on the doors are different, details are a little oversize, etc. But I’ll probably let all that slide, I don’t want to drive myself crazy with such things few people will ever notice.

Work I will do includes drilling out the headlight to accommodate a bulb, open up the destination sign to accommodate a light-up one, maybe add the security bars across the windows, add the route number sign on the roof, and add seats and figures.

Since I was able to buy this model relatively cheap (especially for being brass), it will be the proving ground for developing standards and techniques for the models that come after it. Such as the type of motors, trolley poles, interior and exterior lighting, etc. And I have to come up with a satisfying decision as to the color! Early San Diego cars were painted “Mission Yellow”. What color exactly is “Mission Yellow”?!?!

First order of business, strip off the old paint. Yessir! Strip!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Glass Beading

Man! All the little details that need to be taken care of! Now I’m installing beading for the clerestory window glass. Though I’ll probably use Plexiglas, since this thing is designed to be portable, I don’t want to risk shattering glass from all the handling. I never gave the mechanics of window beading a thought until now. It fun, but time consuming, yes-sir! Time consuming!

While I’m building that, take a look at a trip I did with my family on a Mud Wagon. You can read all about it on my A California Adventure blog.