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Discussion Starter #1
I would have bumped up the old thread, but I could not stop myself from using this corny thread title. As it suggests, James has since been subjected to his first Bondo job:





...and an intensive sanding job, which quickly served to remind me why I hate Bondo. Never seems to transition well between the surface of the plastic to itself.





The Bondo was applied yesterday, and sanded tonight - a second primer coat was applied not too long ago:





As much as I don't care for the stuff, I must admit that I pleased myself with the way the dome and stack taper turned out. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself:




On a side note, an Aristo Rogers I purchased on eBay as a donor for another accompanying character arrived today. Talk about size difference, particularly as James is G-1. Well, that Rogers won't stay like that for long
:




Take care,

-Kurt
 

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Great job on the shell. With all that bondo and sanding, I think it qualifies as a sculpture now ;)
 

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I have had some luck with sanding Bondo before it sets up really hard. It does gum up the sandpaper really fast and you have to make sure it is fairly well set or the Bondo will just peel off.
 

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you have far more patience than I do, I would go nuts sanding that much, nice looking work
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Posted By placitassteam on 12/06/2008 9:01 AM
I have had some luck with sanding Bondo before it sets up really hard. It does gum up the sandpaper really fast and you have to make sure it is fairly well set or the Bondo will just peel off.

I usually give it 7-24 hours before I touch it. Haven't had any significant problems since, though it does make a mess of the paper in short order - I usually go over the worst spots with 80 (!) grit before I even bother to start smoothing it.

Posted By vsmith on 12/06/2008 9:13 AM
you have far more patience than I do, I would go nuts sanding that much, nice looking work.




I sympathize - I've found myself playing mind games to convince myself that sanding is not monotonous...not monotonous...not monotonous...


P.S.: Got one of the servos for the eye mechanism - figured I wouldn't spend money on the second one until I can develop a decent mounting system inside the boiler.


-Kurt
 

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Very nice job. Looks very smooth


What paint are you using for primer? Looks like it dries to a nice finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is quite smooth, but getting between the splashers to smooth anything out calls for some unmentionable words.

Believe it or not, the paint is nothing more then rattle can Rust-Oleum "Automobile Primer," part number #2081:
http://www.usahardware.com/inet/shop/item/10750/icn/20-665372/rustoleum/2081_830.htm

P.S.: James has since received some Squadron putty. Sharp eyes will notice a smoothed edge (Bondo) between the firebox and boiler. Some may note a servo sitting behind him for the eye mechanism:



We'll see how this Squadron fast-dry stuff does...

Take care,

-Kurt
 

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Kurt:

Thank you for posting the in-process pics. It was a real good education for me. And, great-looking results!

Les
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Posted By Les on 12/07/2008 2:40 PM
Kurt:

Thank you for posting the in-process pics. It was a real good education for me. And, great-looking results!

Les


Glad it helps, Les. Believe me though - that education is not complete until you've been subjected to sanding a big chunk of Bondo (or waited a full 24 hours because you don't trust its curing capabilities). It does not sand easily, nor does it sand quickly. Getting between the splashers was a royal disaster too. Squadron is much more manageable, but I prefer to wait 6-7 hours rather then the 30 on the tube - just to be on the extreme safe side. Sands a lot easier then Bondo, thankfully (220 grit rather then 80 for initial smoothing), and it blends the joints between each section far better. Everything is topped off with 400 grit.



Drilled the grabiron holes with the pin-vise yesterday. I was taken off guard by the ease at which the bit went through the PVC.



Now, we ask the age-old question that has been bugging rivetcounter Thomas fans clear into adulthood: What prevented Lionel from molding theirs prototypically?



-Kurt
 

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Thanks for all the good info on this project. Now I have a good idea how and what to use on my next project. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Posted By Jerry Barnes on 12/08/2008 9:26 AM
Cause they are cheap! It's a shame that they can make such neat O scale stuff, but their G scale items look awful!

Cheap in craftsmanship, and yet, expensive in price. I can't tell you how much I cringe at those orange and cream boxes.

I question their O-scale stuff too - get a load of their 3-rail James:





James the Saddle Tank Engine, eh? Get a load of that severely extruded face - not to mention that forehead. Should unquestionably give some kiddies a few nightmares. In comparison, here is Lionel's marketing shot for the G-scale version (photoshopped onto 3-rail
):




How can one company screw up twice? Heck, the G version looks stunning in comparison to the O-scale hack-job.

Just for the record - the actual TV model (Season 5-onwards):


I've never understood the attraction to 3-rail O - then again, I'm also from an era long past Lionel's heyday. Why folks don't see the sense in 2-rail O is beyond me - name recognition and marketing, I gather. Then again, I've noticed that 2-rail O is more often then not more expensive then used G/G1 - hence why I am here


-Kurt
 

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I've never understood the attraction to 3-rail O - then again, I'm also from an era long past Lionel's heyday. Why folks don't see the sense in 2-rail O is beyond me - name recognition and marketing, I gather. Then again, I've noticed that 2-rail O is more often then not more expensive then used G/G1 - hence why I am here


-Kurt







Kurt,

I got my Lionel Pennsy turbine in 1948. I can just remember (age 4) my dad 'helping' me set it up. I sold it in '94 because I was out of work and had kids, etc. I don't miss it: the kids/wife/house were more important. Would I ever replace it? Nope. Why? Can't kitbash. Well, maybe the new stuff, but it's rather expensive to take a saw to. What you've done is my meat and drink, so far as the RR hobby is concerned. Except I've never done any of it--Bondo on cars, yeah. Aluminum welding to grind down and fair in, yeah. Working models for engineers & Veeps, uh-huh. But to do something 'cool' as you've done, I'm not there yet.


Things one grows up with--and the memories connected to them--exert a powerful influence, even on a grandfather.

With your skills, O scale can be as cheap as you'd like. There is a lot of good sense in choosing O scale for outdoors. Even for indoors. S scale seems to make at least as much sense, so long as one's criteria is to be able to scratchbuild.

One attraction 3-rail has is the simplicity of wiring. Don't overestimate that, because I've got a lot of background in wiring stuff. I hate wiring, I am not at all looking forward to wiring my 'new' G scale RR.

Lionel will always twang a string in my soul.

Les
 

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The Lionel topic came up recently at my grandfather's funeral last week. He had turned 100 in September by the way. My dad is trying to clean out the old family homestead. His not grandpa's, and wondered if is was interested in his old Lionel trains? There is also some HO stuff there too I think he's willing to part with. Being the hoarder I was born and bred to be I'll keep them more for sentimental value than anything else. None of the Lionel were rare or odd they were all common sets and pieces from the local electric supply place.

Love what you've done so far with James and I agree much better than Lionel' attempt(s) in any scale.

Chas
 

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I was just wondering how you came up with the dimensions for James? Did you have drawings or a small scale loco that you scaled up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Posted By drafty59 on 12/09/2008 12:48 PM
I was just wondering how you came up with the dimensions for James? Did you have drawings or a small scale loco that you scaled up.

An orthographic wireframe rendering of a model made for Microsoft Train Simulator provided the rough proportions, while the scale was achieved by checking and re-checking head-on shots in the series (measure effective rail width at a place approximately under the buffer beam, scale to 45mm, find out what the front buffer beam width is from that, then print the wireframe renderings to that size). It took some trial and error, and even then, the final choice on the renderings was an eyeballed job.

Take care,

-Kurt
 

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remember James is not quite (none of the sodor 6) based on a paticular british engine . British rail fans say and the creators family agrees that the original drawings were based on bits of prototype engines . If the first mr awdry was a rail ceo (like webb ) and sodor realy existed like the isle of mann & manx then i could see that design being proposed ( some say that the later books and the later tv characters were based on his model railway and real prototype engines with a little bit of features to make them look talking creatures they are . Bob the builder and other britsh based tv programs and books (ernine the engineer , gumdrop etc ) are the same as well but easier to put mock faces on real enginges on prserved railways then put faces on a real jcb and say can we do it yes we can . Toby (based on l&y j70's ) and the other engines are some what easier to place on what thier designs were but thomas to james are some what hard to place there for loinel didn't have to make a true copy , probly some silly copy right mater like the bratz dolls .
 

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i can sorta back my erlier claim . this is from wikipedia

James the Red Engine
is a fictional anthropomorphic tender locomotive from The Railway Series of children's books by the Rev. W. Awdry, and the spin-off TV series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. James is a mixed-traffic engine, which means he can pull coaches and trucks. He has a 2-6-0 ("Mogul") wheel arrangement and is engine number 5 on the North Western Railway, the Fat Controller's railway on the Island of Sodor.


He first appeared in the Railway Series in 1946, in the book Thomas the Tank Engine. Two books in the series, no. 3 James the Red Engine and no. 28 James and the Diesel Engines are dedicated to James.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Posted By dana on 12/10/2008 12:48 AM
remember James is not quite (none of the sodor 6) based on a paticular british engine .

But the TV model is its own unique prototype which deserves its own recognition. Heck, ERTL was able to pin-down the general proportions with their old die-cast line.

No reason that Lionel couldn't do the same - for that matter, kids are generally less forgiving when it comes to accuracy; they'll spot the errors better then most adults.

-Kurt
 
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