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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Niles Project ~ How The Hecka?

I'm unable to get the clear styrene to conform to the curve of the corner windows in a satisfactory manner.

These Niles cars have these stylish curved corner windows. Curving almost a full 90 degrees. Quite a handsome feature if you ask me. If I can only get the glass (clear styrene) to curve that way too!

So I scoured the internets looking at all the nifty theories on bending styrene. I tried a bunch of them, finally building the above jig. How it works is, the styrene fits between the two pieces and then the whole shebang is put into the oven (I forget the temp). It kinda worked:

... but while that method might work fine for regular styrene, it caused the clear styrene to frost over. That might be fine for some folks, but you know me, everything has gotta to be overly realistic. I want to try for crystal clear.

So I'm asking for YOUR help, my dear readers. Below this post you'll find the "comment" button. If you have any ideas on how to fabricate and install curved window material, I sure would like to know. Please, click on that comment button and make you voice hoid! Yes sir! Make your voice heard!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Niles Project ~ Christmas Headlights

Shaping Christmas lights LEDs to work as headlights.

Well a year ago I encouraged you all to seize on the end of Christmas sales to grab cheap LED's. Well, I should have known, but it turns out that...

... Christmas LED's come in different sizes (and colors). The bulbs I grabbed (left) are way too big to use as headlights. Fortunately, I have a good friend in John McWhirter who gave me some of his Christmas bulbs (right) that fit the Niles cars perfectly.

To get a good fit for the bulb in the headlight opening, a little shaping of the LED's leads is necessary. Then the tip of the bulb is shaped into a lens shape.

Looking through doorway to see the inside of the front, you can see how well the bulb fits into the hole. And how the leads are bent around the housing and then up the widow posts. Which brings up a little problem; does the window glass go over or under the leads? Obviously, the glass would look best pressed against the window frame. So the glass goes under the leads. Which means, the next step is installing the window glass. Yes sir! Installing the window glass is next.