Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Resin Car Body Assembly

Today each resin kit we build is either a flat kit or a one piece car body kit.  The difference is the flat kit requires you to assemble the sides, ends and roof or floor to build the car body. Of course, the one piece body has this step complete making it easier for the kit builder. When building a flat kit, building the car body is just an extra step.  I will show you the steps I use to build the car body from the parts found in a flat kit.

Flat kit resin parts
(tap or click on all photos to enlarge)

Before beginning the assembly of the flat kit car body I complete the following basic steps: wash the kit parts with Dawn liquid detergent soap, remove flash and make sure the sides of the car body are of equal length.  If one side is longer than the other, a Northwest Short Line True Sander is a great tool to use to sand off the same amount of material from each side end to make it equal in length to the other. I count the number of sanding strokes used to remove material on each end to attempt to remove the same amount of material from each end.

Flash is removed from car body parts and underbody

I begin the build of a flat kit car body by first building the "box."  I make the "box" by gluing an end to a side to create a "L" and repeat the process for the other end and side.  I use machinist blocks to keep the "L" square to accomplish this task. The two "L" units are glued together to create the basic box. Again, the machinist blocks are used to complete the task.

Custom machinist blocks with chamfer edges used to create "L"

Purchased angle plate machinist blocks used.
  Use glue sparingly to prevent "L" attaching to machinist blocks
or move block with clamp to the right, back along side away from corner joint

Two "L"s glued together to make basic box or car body

Next, the roof is fitted to the box and cemented in place to complete the car body.  Some kit instructions have you  install the underbody rather than the roof first.  Inside the car body, corners are reinforced with Evergreen #164, .080"x.080" strip styrene or Evergreen #165, .080"x.100" strip styrene.  On the sides the same strip styrene can be used to create underbody supports. The reinforced corners can also be done using kit sprues.

Underbody supports installed on sides only

Underbody support added on ends; however, not really needed.

Finally, a baffle made from Evergreen. 040" sheet styrene is added in the center of the car body to prevent car body from bowing in.  I use a caliper to obtain the measurement for the width of the baffle.  I take the width measurement inside at one end of the car.  An angle plate machinist block is used to align baffle.

Angle plate machinist block used to align baffle

Baffle installed

Once the car body is complete, the underbody is fitted via sanding to the box and car weights, electric outlet box punch-outs,  are added.  I also add couplers and trucks to the underbody at this time.

Underbody fitted to car body via sanding

Weights, couplers and trucks added to underbody prior to install

After the underbody is fitted and cemented into the car body with coupler pads flush with bottom of ends for proper alignment, the basic car body with underbody installed is complete.

You are now ready to complete the detailing of the car body and underbody.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.
Lester Breuer

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