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Very Old Technique

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Very Old Technique
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, October 10, 2020 2:01 PM

Here's one I bet no one has used for years.

        Waay, Back when I was probably the youngest model building kid on the Block. I used to walk by this " Travel Agency" storefront every day on the way to school. Naw, we didn't have those sissy Busses!

     They had this big model Cruise Ship in there.In the Window. I think It was a Moore-Mcormack Liner. The Brazil or something like that. The "era" in the middle fifties!Well, this ship had ladders and rails! Well, of course it did! It was almost six feet long ! I wanted the same for my REVELL box scale ships. Now, How did a kid in the fifties do this in Box scale? Remember REVELL molded them with the rail pattern?

      Remember those strips of plastic they used for keeping the shape of a dress shirt collar, when they were just bought? Here's how that kid solved the rail problem. He took the plastic and cut it into strips. Then Taking the Good old number 11 blade and dragging it backwards on the plastic made all these little grooves in the plastic. Very close together. Remember we're talking anywhere from 1/400 to 1/545th.

      Ya see, the kid actually walked into this grown up " Travel Agency" one day and asked to get a closer look at the model ship in the window. The nice lady actually took it out of the display and let the kid stare at it for about an hour. The rails were Strips of a dull -ish clear( You could still see through it!) And the rails and stanchions were painted on these strips! I don't remember now,but the stairs were painted metal strips, I think!

     The kid did the replications very carefully and then came back and added the stanchions. Now here's the neat part. This plastic would frost, very lightly if you dragged the glue brush from Testors bottle glue over it!

    So the kid did this. Well, there were probably a dozen rejects! he kept trying and hit it right! Thank goodness there was aMmen's clothing store nearby to get the plastic pieces from. He's get the broken ones for free!

     Got the right dullness and the grooves were still there. So, Get some Watercolor paint from the school supply store on campus. It came in little jars and was labeled "Tempura Paints"  Perfect! Apply the tempura paint and then wipe carefully with a barely damp cloth. Again, lots of rejects ( Those could be re-used!) Finally perfect ! Put rails on the N.S.Savannah.WOW ! Looked just like the model in the T.A. Store.

      Tried something else for the stairs. Zip Ties were just showing up at electronics stores . Cut to length. Put plastic painted like bannisters on the sides, Glue with Elmers, Let dry and place afterwards. Yup, It worked and looked decent.

      I still do this today. Now, those pesky rails ( U.S.S.Randall, for example) are now made from Paper thin sanded down H.O. Scale Boxcar roof walks( From the forties and fifties.) Can be gotten from Tichy Train group! So there you have it ! A tale from the past on a desire to detail. try it You'll like it!!

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, October 12, 2020 12:44 PM


...Remember those strips of plastic they used for keeping the shape of a dress shirt collar, when they were just bought?

...Zip Ties were just showing up at electronics stores... 

I save those clear plastic stiffeners and use them when I need things like windows in 54mm, or to smash-mold a windscreen or canopy.

And zip ties make good ammo feed chutes, in smaller scales.  I do stage lighting as a side hobby; we use cable ties to dress loose cords out of the way.  In striking the lights after a show, I saved a bunch of pieces of ties in various sizes.

It's a tough balance to walk, though, between saving things you might be able to use, and just hoarding stuff Wink

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.



  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, October 12, 2020 3:06 PM

Oh Yes!!

 I know that line so well. I must have at least three widdle Biddy Bags full of Widdle Biddy Nuts and Bolts. For cars originally. Now i build more ships. Used lots in R.C.Boats, Which I haven't laid a hand on in five years now.


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