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Monday, February 21, 2011

Niles Project ~ Cathedral Glass Windows

Simulating the Yellow Stained Glass Windows

Bill Bolton was very kind enough to think of me when he came across the September 1908 issue of Electric Traction Weekly that featured an article on the new Niles cars for San Diego, and sent me a copy. What a timely treasure trove of information that article is with lavish descriptions of the cars inside and out! I knew that the "deck sashes" (clerestory windows) and "upper side sashes" (the arched portion of the center windows) were of stained glass, but I has not a clue to its color. This article reveals them as "Yellow Cathedral Glass". Wonderful! Thanks a million Bill!
After some discussion around the Southern California Traction Club clubhouse, we concluded that colored index tabs would make suitable material. And handy too, we had some extra in the clubs files.

After digging out a yellow tab, I cut it to size and glued it into place with my new glue of choice for this sort of thing: Micro Kristal Klear.

I was going to do the same for the clerestory windows (or "Deck Sashes" as the article describes them as) but it occured to me that Micro Kristal Klear might be perfect for this since the windows are tiny and the material goes in the window rather than behind the window frames like the yellow plastic would.

I "blobbed" on the Micro Kristal Klear over the windows from the inside with a small screwdriver.

The goop filled in the window nicely.

To "stain" the glass yellow, I purchased a bottle of Mr Hobby Clear Yellow Acrylic paint. It comes in a tiny bottle in a variety of colors to tint the taillights and turn signals etc, on auto models.

After the Micro Kristal Klear windows dried, I filled in the window with the clear yellow paint. If the index tabs fade over time, I'll tint them with the clear yellow paint as well.

Oh I wish you could see this in person, the windows glow yellow really nicely. The photograph just doesn't do it justice.
Thanks to good friends around the world, these are turning out to be some very handsome cars. Yes Sir! Very handsome cars!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Niles Project ~ Corner Windows ~ Transparency Film

After some more trial and error, I do believe I have finally found a suitable "glass" material that will curve around the corner window frame.

But first, a common suggestion was to use vacu-formed packaging such as found in battery packaging and soda bottles. So I gave that a try...

...and it actually worked well. But a common characteristic of vacu-formed packaging is that it has a texture to it as can be seen in the photo above (above the smudge of glue in the lower 1/3 of the window). The clarity of the plastic isn't the best either. So on to the next suggestions.

Ken Blackburn, a member of the HO Traction Modeling Yahoo Group, suggested Acetate. And Ken Somers, a member of the Interurban Yahoo Group suggested Mylar. I was really struck with how simple and elegant these ideas were. It fits perfectly with the KISS principle. So I set out to find some transparency film. Not so simple. Because of the proliferation of computers, overhead projectors are all but obsolete. Drafting supply shops seem to have disappeared as well. On line I can find transparency film for well over $20 a box!

I ended up stopping by Kinko/FedEx and asked if they can print transparencies. She said a dollar something for color and 75 cents for B&W. "What would you like to print"? I told her I was actually only interested in the transparency sheet itself. She sold a sheet to me for 75 cents. I don't know what the material is other than it came from a box of 3M Transparency Film. But it is slightly more flexible than styrene. So I cut a piece to size and...

Hey! Not bad! Not bad at all. It curved real nicely. And the clarity is quite... well... clear! This time I used CAA (Super Glue) to glue on the window. I've been trying to stay away from CAA since it shatters in freezing temperatures. But I needed the fast drying qualities while I pressed the window to the frame. I'm very happy with the result. I'm going to use this transparency film material for the rest of the windows.

I wish to thank all of you who gave your 2 cents, your help is greatly appreciated. Yes sir! Greatly appreciated!


Monday, February 07, 2011

Niles Project ~ Corner Windows ~ Micro Kristal Klear

Well you folks really came through for me, thank you! A lot of ideas were presented, a few of which I'm going to give a try.

To recap, I'm trying to find a suitable solution for creating the "glass" for the rounded corner windows:

Australian traction modeler Bill Bolton comes through once again with the suggestion of trying Micro Kristal Klear. I've been using this stuff for gluing on clear styrene windows because it won't craze the plastic and it dries clear. But it also claims it can be used to make small windows itself. So since my bottle of Micro Kristal Klear is right here, why not give it a try?

Micro Kristal Klear is very similar to white glue, with some characteristics of rubber cement. I took a blob onto a toothpick and stretched it across the window opening. That was easier to do than I anticipated. Then I took a small screwdriver and scraped up the over slop. As you can see in the photo above, the "glass" is within the window frame. Not behind it as clear styrene would. Also, the "glass" the took on the almost 90 degree curve! But unfortunately that wouldn't last. Apparently it shrunk a bit as it dried and kind of straightened out:

And here is the result. Its not exactly "crystal clear" (which is probably why its named "Kristal Klear"), it is a bit cloudy, but not that much more than clear styrene. Also, since it is a liquid, the thickness is not consistent. So there is a bit of a "ripple glass" effect to the window. So Micro Kristal Klear is still a strong contender for use in the final model. But before I make a final decision, I'm going to try some of your other suggestions. Yes sir! Lets try some of those other suggestions!

Thanks Bill!