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Bending Plastic Rails

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Bending Plastic Rails
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 7:42 AM

Hi Ya'll:

         This is mainly for the larger Ship and boat Modeler, But, I have used this method on "RevellScale" Smaller ship models too. Everyone seems to have some and making rails can be a challenge. Especially if they Don't make P.E. in that scale!! Enter a model train item. It's called Evergreen and Plastruct products. Oh, and Walthers(The Train folks go to, for buildings and some details).

          Walthers puts out a Rail Car Float,  Shore Apron and Tugboat. The Tug is waterline and it can be a superdetailer's dream come true! It's H.O. Scale(1/87). and she,s starting to show her age though. The last one I built, (Which is ongoing as we do this) was warped so bad the sides broke in two as I tried to glue them together. Over the years the worst one I've ever gotten into! All three kits are seperate purchases.

         Anyway, even on the good Tugs there has always been a problem with the rails. If you follow the instructions you wind up with a handful of shattered rails, everytime! For some reason over the years they have never addressed this either! It's as simple as changing the formulation for the plastic in the rails! You can put them in BOILING water or torch them (Carefully, I might add) and they will still shatter!

  Plastruct and Evergreen to the rescue.they have some of the most workable rails(Two Rail) packs I have come across! You can form them cold, hot, or however and they will stay that way. In the case of the tugs they have to go in two directions.The Curves at the front and back of the deckhouse, side to side! Plus the Sheer curve from front to back.

     You can actually make relief cuts and they won't fall apart, But when you put glue on all the spots and sand gently after drying overnight they look like they were molded that way! Now another Company makes the material I use on smaller ships. They are called(Tichy Train Group). They make "N" scale(1/160), "H.O."(1/87), and some "O" (1/48). (Lionel Size) stuff. What I use is their Extruded steel elevated Grated walkways for Boxcar roofs. These can be sanded very thin and then cut apart and bent with heat to fit anything from 1/587 to 1/454 and so on. Try it you'll like it! Oh, Not forgetting this. There has been a new type showing up called "Z" scale and that is half of "N". They have their own stuff but there are scenic rail paks available, They are mostly, as far as I know, from Europe, I think!


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