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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI,
I have been thinking of building a rail car for a while now. Everytime I look at what I want to do all I see is a massive amount of rivets and I get too discouraged to start.  I am at a crossroads here...  One minute I think about giving up again, the next minute I think about building the railcar minus rivets.  Has anyone built a model (car, engine etc.) without rivets and still have it look right.  Any pics???  I keep thinking that at more than 5 feet away they don't show up much anyway.
Is there a quick and easy way to make many many rivets?  This model will be built out of clear acrylic.  I think it is too thick to dimple from behind - if that is even possible with this material.
Also, how do I build a curved roof like this: http://www.h-l-w.com/Birney.htm
thanks,
Matt
 

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You could take a punch or awl something blunt and small tiped and slightly punch it in to make  rivets on the other side (dimple). It worked well on my K-27 build pic below.:rolleyes: And check out the Masterclass section for some of the archived subjects from David Fletcher, they will help for sure.
 

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Matt, find some pins with the right size heads to match your rivet size and use them. I would suggest using a drilling jig or drill press to help maintain spacing. If the interior walls won't be seen drill through your acrylic and insert the pins and glue from the back.

Steve
 

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The rivet press I wrote about some time ago is still the best way to do this, in my experience. Drilling and soldering (or gluing) thousands of rivets will make you crazier than you already are. (I don't know you, but since you brought up the topic, I am making an educated guess. :)

With a punch and die set up in your drill press, you can knock out about one rivet a second, which is 3600 an hour, which should do several cars. With an adjustable fence, you can keep the line absolutely straight, and a second hole in your die will lock a completed rivet to give you exactly uniform spacing.

If you use .005" shim stock (6 x 100 inch rolls available at Grainger and elsewhere, cheap), you can not only punch lovely rivet heads, you will also get a bit of "oil-can" rippling in the surface, which is much more realistic than a perfectly flat surface. And the stuff can be cut with ordinary scissors or on a guillotine paper cutter.

I've tried many methods and this combination is the tops, for me.

Here's the URL: http://www.nmia.com/~vrbass/models/rivetpress/rivetpress.htm
 

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I can vouch for Vance's punch. I've tried various methods, which all mostly evolved into his. Works on styrene as well as brass. Just laminate that on top of the acrylic sheet and you're all set. I'd use a spray adhesive such as 3M's #45 or #77 to laminate it. Solvent cements and .005" styrene don't really play nicely together. The cement will dissolve the styrene. The spray adhesive will stick the brass to the acrylic quire nicely.

If you're still not up to punching all those rivets (really, it's strangely therapeutic), then you may try actually indenting the acrylic sheet with a sharp punch to simulate them--or at least give the appearance of them. A friend of mine did that to a kitbashed rail car a number of years ago, and from a few feet away it didn't look too bad. If you're a purist, it's not the same, but otherwise it's at least better than smooth sides.

Having said that, smooth sides wouldn't necessarily be out of the question, either. Welded construction wasn't the norm before the 40s, but it was done on occasion.

Later,

K
 

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Hi,

Vances' spring loaded punch idea works great. I've been using it exclusively since I first saw it described. I use a cheap GENERAL brand punch and I get good rivets even in .025 half hard brass. Try it, you'll like it.

Mike McCormack
Hudson, Massachusetts
 

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A couple of suggestions. A friend of mine used a sewing machine to make consistent and excellent rivets in HO scale. Back up the thin plastic or brass with cardboard strips. For rivets next to an edge, punch in a row of rivets on an oversize sheet, then trim next to the rivets. Don't see why it wouldn't work in larger scale.

Saw on the internet somewhere where a modeler did nice rivets by dipping a small dowel (cylinder) in thick craft paint and daping the rivet one at a time.

Terl
 

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I used a ball point pen. Had a bruise on my thumb for days.


Somehow, it's appropriate the Phill Dipple makes strips of rivets that way/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif
 

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I was faced with the same problem when I built my "steel" boxcars.    Using any sort of punching tool just seemed like it would take forever; I wasn't sure it would be possible at all on the "z" angles I was using.

So, being naturally lazy, I wanted to come up with an "easy" way to make rivets. 

After a lot of experimentation, I settled on textured paint.   The paint has a built in dropper that's very tiny and with practice yields consistent round blobs that could look like rivets.


Once painted, it looks even better
.


It's very quick.   Any mistakes you make can be quickly wiped off.

Does it look as good as using a riveting tool?   Probably not, but most of the time, you're a lot further away  then the close up above, and they are hard to notice.


Or even further...
 

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Another alternative is to use a pounce wheel.  Micromark has them in a few sizes, but you can also find them at your local fabrics store.   You'll want a large wheel.



I used one when I built my boxcab.   I cut individual panels out of .010" styrene and ran the wheel along each side, then glued the panels in place.


Again, they aren't all that visible when running...
 

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Matt,

I use the quick and dirty method.  A hammer and a center punch with the material on a hardwood block.  Since my road is a short line with limited operating funds, my roster is full of old, hard worked locomotives.  I always stress and weather them anyway, so I don't need 'fresh from the factory' perfection.

Here's my Porter build.  This method used on the Smoke and Fire boxes.


Here's a close-up of the firebox.  Crude but quick.  Ten foot rule :D


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bruce!
My hero! I have to admit that I envy your work greatly. Your models are always great and because you model E.B.T. stuff I like them even more. That is the exact method I was looking for because the material I am using is very thick and I was dreading punching from behind.
Everyone else, thanks for the advice and your methods will come in very handy on future projects!
Matt
 

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And if for some reason you cannot emboss rivets, try Peco track nails. Lotsa work, but great results. There are other track nails that you might use as well, and Atlas track nails, for instance, have heads that are a bit larger than the Peco, so tht makes two rivet sizes that are available for this method. I have made rivets both ways, and if at all possible I emboss rather than drill every hole and insert a nail. However, sometimes inserting them one by one might be the only way. ALWAYS have fun!
George
 

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Having used pins,homemade rivet press, paint etc what I now use for rivets in styrene is styrene rod.Basically mark the spacing of the rivets on the piece of work and then drill each hole against the side of a steel straight edge as this way you get a nice straight line.Next cut short lengths of rod and press into the holes.Once you have done a line wipe over with a quick wash of solvent and let dry.
Once the line of rivets is dry cut off flush the rear of the piece and finish flat, turn the piece over and cut off the excess from the face side,I find that a pair of side cutters held close to the piece leaves the right amount of rod protruding.
Last of all carefully use abrasive paper rubbed in all directions to finish off the tops of the rivets, care is needed here so as not to obliterate all your work.
Advantages are that this is surprisingly quick,for example one side of a railcar completed in under an hour including drying time, mistakes can easily be corrected, just sand the offending rivet flat and drill and insert another,cheap!!!!!! and once painted the results are very good.
Regards
Bunny
 

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Evenin', Bruce - V impressed with the box-cab!  If you look over the modelling forum you'll see that I am contemplating a GN Y-1 build.  So tell me where you obtained the excellent-looking louvers?  Or did you make them? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif

Best wishes

tac
www.ovgrs.org
 

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tac,
Thanks for the nice comments.    Your project looks quite interesting.


As far as the louvers go, they came with the Bachmann 45 tonner - they were on the end of each hood.    I'm sure that they wouldn't be much fun to make!
 
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