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I picked up #37 flat car kit!
This looks to be a well put together Kit!
Any pointers!! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif
Can a novice put this together or did I bite off to much?  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif
 

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Hi,

I have not built one but this is a short (west side lumber) flatcar, and as such is the easiest kit to start with - you have a kit from a good manufacturer, and have made a good choice!

Always remember that the old maxim, 'measure twice and cut once' applies. The trucks could be complicated, take your time, and again try to fit everything, and before any assembly understand how the truck is assembled.

The chassis is kept secure by the deck , a solid deck could well be easier, but a individually planked one can look bettre - if the latter is chosen fix something temporarily at the other end to where you start to hold all together whilst some stiffness is gained. Flatcars were always abused, and the deck can be weathered, and 'bashed about' as much as you want, including the edges of the planks, at the outer edges.

Best of luck with your first kit; it should and I am sure will be a good looking and possibly a well used little old flatcar!

Any difficulties, add a message and I am sure that MLS will assist, photos would help with describing any troubles that you have, and certainly one or two of the finished article will be appreciated.
 

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Distress and stain/paint everything prior to assembly.  White metal parts can be blackened using "Blacken-It" (available from MicroMark and elsewhere).  When blackened in this way, white metal takes on a nice brown rust-like appearance.  The longer you leave the parts in, the browner thay will become.  Don't mix used Blacken-It in with fresh stuff.  Put in a different bottle for re-use.

With the exception of the wheels, which were painted, all the white metal parts of this Hartford Swing Motion Truck were done with Blacken-It  only... the wood parts were stained with Weather-It...



Obviously, I'm a real fan of these products and I've had good luck with them for over 25 years.  :)  I have no financial interest in them - just a very satisfied user.

As Peter says, take your time, and if you have any questions, post them here.  With a little effort, you'll end up with a museum-quality model.  :)
 

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DVI make a number of large scale how to videos.
 
http://www.modelrailroadvideos.com/page/page/2390347.htmwww.modelrailroadvideos.com/page/page/2390347.htm
 
This one would be a good buy before building that Hartford car kit.
 
HOW TO BUILD WOODEN ROLLING STOCK KITS by Alan Olson
 
It shows the step-by-step construction of a Hartford Products flat car and illustrates typical building techniques for wooden car kits. The video then moves on to more advanced construction methods by demonstrating how to modify and add more detail to kit-built cars. A section is also included on weathering your cars for added realism. Details of adding wood-grain and the uses of washes for staining are covered. This video program contains many helpful hints for beginners. Manufacturers are listed and sources are given for kits, plans and detail parts so you too can start designing your own rolling stock "kit!" Approximately 45 minutes. It is available in either DVD and VHS Tape format.
 

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I've never blackened white metal, but I have brass, and it works best if the brass is clean and dry before you apply the blacken
 

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I'll second that. Wash your parts well. Any oil/grease will prevent the Blacken it from working well.

-Brian
 

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The only pointers I have are;

1. Just don't get in a hurry.  The kits are cheap if you go buy hours of pleasure instead of the total cost versus buying something off the shelf

2. Watch the difficulty rating and work your way up.

3. Make sure you have a complete set of drill bit sizes

4. What Dwight and the other said

The only downside to the Hartford Kits is that they make your plastic cars look bad.




 
 

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Bob Hartford used to tell folks that the flatcars could be put together in a day, with time out for cocktails! That's probably a little bit of a stretch, but they are really good starter kits.

A suggestion regarding adhesives: I mostly use Tite Bond II for wood car construction. I have a bunch of small plastic squeeze bottles from the craft store and cut the applicator tips off to deliver the amount of glue I want. This really helps prevent overages and squeeze out. Much better for modeling than the large 'carpenter size' tip that comes on the original bottle. I also keep some damp cloth wipers handy to clean up any extra glue before it can seep in.

You should definitely wash and dry all plastic and metal parts prior to color treatments, whether using the colorizing chemicals or paints. This will remove any mold release or other agents left from the casting process. Otherwise you are liable to get blotches or worse in the finish.

Have fun with your new kit!

Happy RRing,

Jerry
 

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Good point - adhesives. I generally use thick CA for everything... white metal parts, wood... the works.

Regardless of which adhesive you use, it will prevent stains from penetrating the wood, so as I daid before, pre-stain everything. If you intend to paint, it isn't as big of a deal, but pre-painting often results in a cleaner finished product. Don't try gluing to the paint as it results in a very weak joint - clean it off where you intend to stick things together.
 

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Posted By smcgill on 01/29/2008 10:31 AM
before you Blacken-it do you washen- it ?

Believe it or not, I usually don't.  The only time that's caused me a problem is when I blackened unwashed parts on a structure destined to stay outside.  A few good rains washed the blackening off.  On my Harftford rolling stock (which definately does NOT stay outside), I've never had issues. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/satisfied.gif  Still, washing things off can't hurt.  :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Does Tite bond II or III bond to the weathered wood?
And does CA glue bond Blackened metal to weathered wood?
 

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One other thing to add is,.. india ink (a drop or two to some water in a small container) works good for weathering wood. You can start off with a small amount of the ink in the water and add some as you try it out, to get the desired shade you want. Just make sure the wood is dried out before you glue it, and you will have no problem.

I always liked this method as it is cheap, and a bottle lasts forever.:)

Here is a set of the built up trucks with india ink used to weather the wood on the trucks.



And a couple of other flats not finished that have Hartford all metal trucks. The flats are scratch built and the deck on the finished one is weathered with india ink..

 

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You have already received excellent tips on building a Hartford kit.

Let me add my thoughts.

First, read the instructions at least twice.

Then, read them once more, physically identifying each and every part.

If you find a damaged or broken part, contact Hartford.
This doesn't happen often but Hartford is very helpful when it does.
They even helped me when I damaged a part.

Like Dwight, I don't wash the metal parts before blackening them.  No problems so far.

Jim
 

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I haven't built this kit, but one thing I would say is to identify every wood part, and identify which way it goes onto the model. I learned this the hard way on their Quincy & Torch Lake hopper car. It has two large beams that run the length of the car, and look square. They aren't. I didn't notice that I had put them in sideways and I had a heck of a time putting the first one together. When the second one went together in 1/4 of the time, I started measuring stuff, and that was when I realized what I had done.
 

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I would advise against using CA to bond wood. Like Dwight mentioned, it WILL stick to your fingers, as it was developed to be a surgical adhesive. But it also breaks down over time when in a moist environment (like the body). A humid basement or garage could have enough moisture in the air to make the car fall apart over time.

On the other hand, I've dropped wood kits put together with yellow aliphatic resin glue ("carpenter's glue") and the wood around the joint broke, but not the glue itself.

CA is probably OK for attaching detail parts to wood, but it's not great even there. It has outstanding tensile strength (remember the ad showing the piano held up by one drop?), but poor shear strength. That shows up when, for example, a step or brakestaff gets a sideways blow during handling, and the piece comes off, usually somewhere you can't find it when you notice it's gone. I have lost too many little castings that way and think I'm going to use JB Weld next time I build a car. It takes longer to wait for it to set up, but by golly the parts will still be there next time I take them out of the carrying box.
 

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I disagree Vance.  I scratchbuilt this HOn3 roundhouse...



and this HOn3 car ferry...



almost 30 years ago  Both were assembled using thick CA exclusively .  Both are made up of hundreds (if not thousands) of pieces.  The roundhouse has been stored in the garage overhead for the the last 25 years.  Both the roundhouse and the car ferry are holding up just fine.  Neither has had adhesive failures, parts falling off, or shown any signs of adhesive degradation.  With the exception of dust build-up, both look as good today as they did the day I finished them.  Both have wood-to-wood, wood-to-metal, and metal-to-metal joints glued with thick CA.

Most of my Hartford kits were built between 2000 and 2002.  All are holding up just fine (except for minor transport damage).  Again, all were built exclusively with thick CA.  Neither were subjected to full outside storage.

All thick CA's may not be created equal.  I've always used Sheldon's own brand, sold locally by Sheldon's Hobbies (a local hobby store specializing in R/C planes and cars).  It is, however, available online.

Your mileage may vary, but for me it's worked 125% for over 25 years.  I can only relate my personal experience.  :) 
 

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I have had varying success with CA. I did build a set of Trail Creek flat cars entirely with CA for a friend and have seen rather mixed results. The wood to wood joints are in great shape as are the metal to wood joints where there is a large gluing surface and a minimally exposed surface on the outside. The problems arise with large exposed castings that have a low adhesion surface to risk ratio. If I were to do the cars again, I would most certainly use JB Weld for the metal to wood joints. It takes longer to cure, but is a much more permanent and would result in many fewer headaches and lost bits with these particular cars. The whole thing boils down to personal preference and the use the cars will be seeing.
 

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All thick CA's may not be created equal.

Evidently not. I'm impressed with your 30-year-old models! But I have had lots of pieces fall off of cars during storage, handling and operation. And they are just the kind of parts heliconsteamer is talking about - expensive metal castings with small gluing surfaces and high profiles. A sideways whack and that CA will let go most of the time, in my experience, dropping your casting into the ballast.
 
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