Tag Archives: building model cars

More parts arrived

The parts I bought this January finally arrived today. The backgrounds are the business cards for the company I bought the parts from, to give you an idea of scale for these parts, and I’m using “scale” in two forms for this. The parts are for the Mini Sprint-T in 1/25 scale.

Rod ends in 1/25 scale, the color is because there was a brass lamp bouncing light from the camera flash

The seat in scale. This is actually much nicer than the actual seat in the car that I showed a few weeks ago, but if I had the $ this is exactly the seat I would install

Again, the backgrounds in the picture, the dark part, is the business card of the company that I bought these from. They literally get lost on a standard size business card. And there was a note inside the delivery envelope saying the guy that runs the whole show for this company just got out of the hospital after 2 months. And those thin pins coming off the top row of rod ends fit snugly in the stainless steel tubes I bought to make the links for the 4-link, and the plan is to add a tiny drop of solder to the end of the tube to hold the rod end and jam nut in place. The jam nuts are those hex-shaped things above the rod ends.

And I need to get to bed, so the blog post needs to, too.

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Shopping take two

I didn’t get out to buy butane and bolts today because Mrs. the Poet got a call to go to lunch with a friend and I had already started a pot of beans and couldn’t leave them unattended for the hours and hours they need to assume their beany goodness. So she went out and I stayed with the beans, and I will go shopping on Friday. NBD.

I’m sitting at my desk eating my last meal of the day, which is usually the sandwich and veggies Mrs. the Poet makes for lunch, but because she went out for lunch I had to scrounge up my own food today, after spending hours slaving over a CrockPot full of beans and ham bone. In such a situation my goto meal is usually something in the ramen family or cup noodles, this time microwave ramen bowl with veggies. It is just a constant source of amazement that that tiny packet of dehydrated veggies fills so much of the plastic bowl the noodles ship in. I mean the package is barely as big as two matchbooks, but after cooking there is about a third of the bowl full of veggies. The noodles hardly change at all, but when the veggies are rehydrated suddenly there is a bowl full of food in front of me. I don’t care what others say to me this is one of the miracles of the modern age.

So anyway while I was making sure nothing bad happened to the beans I had some time to think about the reason for the shopping trip. One thing I came up with was spending the extra money for a second 5/16” bolt to make the jig for the roll hoops, since they are going to be identical now. And with the jig I could theoretically make a kit for converting the AMT T roadster kits into a Mini Sprint-T if that seemed like it was a good idea. Right now it isn’t, but that might change in the future, who can say? Certainly not me. My prognostication abilities aren’t that precise. When I was asked to look at the possible outcomes of Bush v Gore I saw battles and chaos and interpreted that as possible civil war or riots in the streets, not the Iran /Afghan wars.

Anyway, back to the car model, if I can find some good wood in the garage I can drill a couple of holes in it to put the bolts into that would be the right distance apart. Then after making the first bend I could use the second bolt as a jig and make the second bend to make the hoop the exact right size for the frame, using guide marks on the jig to get the angles right, which is almost a pun, because both hoops need to have their legs bent to a right angle to the top bar of the hoop. The design has gone through some iterations where this was not a true statement, but for the time being it is true. Both hoops are the same, same width and same angles, and when the frame is finished and painted the internal bracing for the rear hoop gets bolted into the 1:1 Sprint-T after the painted and wired body gets slipped inside the frame and roll cage. Technically that should be a slash (/) instead of the word “and” because the frame rails go around the roll cage which forms structural bulkheads in the frame and the roll hoop bracing becomes part of the triangulation of the frame. As I pointed out years ago now, frame stiffness is a function of d4 where in this case d is the average distance from the bottom of the bottom rail to the top of the top rail, and running the top rail over the roll cage increases d to the max it can be without making either the top or bottom disconnected from the rest of the frame. And it’s much easier to build the frame with removable sections than it is to either spray the body inside the frame a different color, or build the frame around the body without causing damage to the body or getting overspray on the frame or body or both. The tricky part for the model is getting that same effect without messing up the paint when gluing the braces in the frame. I think I might need to use cyanoacrylate for these joints instead of my usual Testors solvent cement because “assembled after paint” so these joints will require a bit more patience fitting together than the ones for the solvent cement. And it’s starting to get to be time to hit the sheets, so I’m cutting this one short here.

Progress, but without pictures

I know, pics or it didn’t happen, but I forgot to take pictures. I still haven’t gotten any butane for the bender, but I’m working on making diagonals to fit smoothly to look like both crossing diagonals are one continuous piece. It’s tricky, and kind of a cut and try thing to get both halves to match up. Many mistakes were made and discarded.

I have been so busy with this I forgot to take pictures, forgot to watch the Formula E race I recorded, and would have forgotten to eat if Mrs. the Poet hadn’t made dinner and yelled at me to come eat after I checked to see if the meat was done enough. I have been seriously spaced about this.

And now I need to check e-mails and get caught up on the day.

Got all wrapped up in practicing

And then found out one of my tools had made like Elvis and left the building. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say needed another tool to maintain the one tool, as everything came to a grinding halt because I didn’t have anything resembling a sharp pencil to make lines with.

Seriously, I needed to mark out the placement of parts on the bottom level of the practice structure because part of “practice” was putting parts where they would be in a plan, and without something capable of making accurate, repeatable marks,that was not in the plan. Well that was exactly the plan but the inability to make those marks threw the plan out the window.

I also tried cold-forming the styrene rods I’m using to represent the frame tubes, and I’m getting good bends as far as radius and roundness are concerned, but they don’t retain their shape. I actually bent one in a 180°+ loop and in about an hour it had straightened out so much it wasn’t even a full 90°. So I’m making the trip to Harbor Freight for that butane torch to replace the one that was “put away” after I already put it away where I thought it belonged, and picking up a few more things while I’m there. I also need to pick up a replacement Christmas gift for one of my RPG group, the guy who sometimes gives me rides home when it gets too dangerous to walk on the streets near where we play because there are no sidewalks and the speed limit is “50% of pedestrians struck at this speed will die within 30 days” which I know does not apply to me, but “not dying” doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt (there is a character who uses that quote in “Dan and Mab’s Furry Adventures”, but I can’t find the page it appears on). So we bought him some sword fighting gloves for his Renny job, but they were ridiculously small on his hands and too small even for my hands which were Medium/Small glove size when I was in the Army back in the ’80s.

That was a sidetrack. So, Harbor Freight, butane torch, other things like gloves and batteries. And a pencil sharpener if they have one. And if they don’t I get a mechanical pencil with really small “lead” someplace on the return trip.

Another place-holder while I do something else

OK this is just here to have an actual daily “something” here to attract attention from the bots that eventually read and classify everything on this blog for search engines. What I’m going to do after I finish this place-holding post is make a structure from the rods to get more practice with the file method of generating a cope in the plastic rod, more practice in getting a decent close-up from my phone camera (I should probably invest in a macro lens for said camera), and see just how rigid a structure I can build using the styrene rods and sheet.

OK now off to practice creating things from plastic shapes.

I found the files

And I used one to make copes in the rod I’m using to represent the tubes of the frame. I need more practice, but I got one that fit well and looks almost like the 1:1 Sprint-T will look when completed. Now the 1:1 car will use tubes of different wall thickness for areas of the frame that are loaded more or less with the wall thickness adjusted accordingly, but since they are all the same OD but different ID I use just the one size rod for everything on the frame. That is the same stuff I’m using for practice because I have tons of it, and I need to get those joints as close to perfect as possible.

This is the leg that had the cope that was better then the cope on the other side. The joint in question is the one on front and to the right of the picture.

Now the joint is in front and to the far left. You can see the fit of this side is not as tight as the other.

Not much to say except I used the back side of a triangular file to form the cope and the melting effect of solvent plastic cement finishes the actual cope when I force the joint together. Once I got it down it worked surprisingly well. The second try worked perfectly and also auto-aligns the joint to the center of the vertical member, or whatever orientation the coped rod is forced against.

In other news Mrs. the Poet’s new vacuum cleaner sucks, and that’s a good thing because that’s why we got rid of the old one that stopped sucking, sucking up the dirt. She made a test run and then did the entire house while I was doing my first search for the hand files. She is much happier to have a vacuum that sucks again.😁

Finally getting some work done on something

It wasn’t much, but it took a while to do and then more time to photograph. I did some experiments with the nippers and building junctions where tubes intersect on the real frame to see how close I could come to IRL appearances with the tools and materials I have.

The one to look at here is the one with the vertical sticking up on the far right

The one we are looking at here is the one I did first with the non-flush side of the nippers, where I failed utterly in getting a smooth junction. That is the one that is on the right side of the picture, the gaps are huge.

Again on the right, with the junction made from the flush side cut

Again the junction in question is on the right side of the picture, this time the smooth side of the cut from the flush cutting side of the nippers. This is a much smoother junction than the other cut but still has undesirably large gaps. This is a very simple to construct junction compared to the first junction. Just do the flush side towards the work piece when making the cut and stick it in there facing the junction.

This was two 45° angle cuts facing each other and the vertical member on top and on the right side of the image again

This time I cut the flush side towards the work piece at a 45° angle and put those together like a mitered joint and glued the vertical on top. This was the smoothest junction yet, but there are still some large gaps showing. I have one more junction to do before moving to other cutting methods, the 45° like the mitered joint but against the vertical instead of under it. I’m cutting and gluing that joint between sentences of composing this post. And I’ll post the picture in this post tonight if I can.

Looks pretty good from the outside

Focus problems but you can still see the large gap on the back side.

This is almost as clean on the mitered joint on the outside but there is still a huge gap on the inside because the geometry just doesn’t work to join round stock with straight cuts. The mitered joint with the vertical member on top was the best so far as gaps and other fitment issues are concerned, but still not even close to what can be seen in the real 1:1 world. Basically I need to use rounded cutting tools like files or sanding sticks to make the joint fit like it does in the 1:1 version.

So the next step is to use the miniature files I bought a few years ago for this project to cut some “copes” in the stock to get better looking joints. Or just call it an engineering model instead of a display model, and don’t worry about the appearance. The lengths of the members would be outside to outside, or inside to inside depending on the orientation of the joint and would be made with the flush cut side of the nippers against the work.

What do you think?

T Shirt Idea, and random schitt

“I survived 2018 and all I got was a cheap T-shirt and a bill for a wall that will never get built.”

Well I never claimed it was a good T-shirt idea. I’m feeling a little more political today, maybe it’s the eggnog… The label says >1% alcohol, but that was when it was packed back in November…

Mrs. the Poet wants a heated toilet seat, but we don’t have the required GFI outlet in the bathroom.

I can’t find the mini-torch I was going to use to bend the styrene rods for the roll cage and frame in the Mini Sprint-T, so I think I’ll take a trip to Lowe’s and Harbor Freight to see if they have one, and the butane fuel to go with it. Searching web sites has the torches at both stores, but the fuel only at Lowe’s, and also at CVS for some odd reason. Also I just love it when people “put my tools away” when they were already put away, and forget to tell me where “away” is by their definition.

Mrs. the Poet is either going to have lunch 1/2/2019 with some of the lunch ladies she used to work with, or wind up sitting in a ditch waiting for a tow truck if the weather behaves as forecast. Possibility of scattered freezing rain, well the freezing part will be scattered, the rain part not so much. I might take the chance to get that torch from Harbor Freight and the fuel from CVS next door to it. Because she’s getting a ride from her lunch lady friends and I’m taking the bus and also because I’m a little more steady on my feet.

And now I have basically run out of things to say so this is probably a good place to stop writing…