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Discussion Starter #1
How difficult are etched brass kits to build?

The kits in mind are for small wagons freight rolling stock kits (Goods vans, 5 or 7 plank open wagons, etc.) Wagons typical of 1:19 or 1:32 UK, Europe, Austrialan, etc. railways. From the look at the kit parts on web sites the body is etched brass and the under carriage parts are white metal, some in brass (and wheels).

Directions say they can be built with glue or low temp solder. What works better?















 

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Chris,
LIke Dwight I have built the Backwoods Miniatures kits in OO9 , the K1 , NGG16 and the Fowler 0-4-0t . Soldering is very easy, and won't come apart when you go clean it up for painting. Super Glue works too, but more fragile when done.

Charles M SA#74
 

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Chris,

The brass bits can be soldered, but the white-metal will melt if you are not careful. Get a 'motor speed control' and use it on your soldering iron - it will control the temperature so you can solder the white-metal. [If you are quick and careful, you can solder with ordinary temp - but you risk melting the whole detailed piece!]

The kits come flat, so there are some interesting corners to be bent. The detail is usually outstanding. You can buy a kit of materials for making your own etched brass models - I posted a link a few months ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the info. A MR mag website has a tutorial on etched brass kit building (with embedded video clips). It mentioned using a very low temp solder (140degree for brass, and 70degree for white metal). I thinking a low temp tool like that (infomercial) cold solder tool would work (it's actually a low wattage resistance solding tool.)



I have a MicroMark resistance soldering unit (250W) that dials from 1W to 250W. So at 1W is that cold enough ? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Posted By Semper Vaporo on 05/30/2008 5:51 PM
"70degree"????? That'd fall apart in June.




Not to mention the NSS, Sacramento in July? 2006 it was 113 in the shade! Got down to a chilly 95 at night.


But remember, it takes more heat to melt solder a 2nd time than the first. Right!


I guess I'd need 1 or 2 solders each slightly above one another starting at (maybe) 140; so joints near each other don't desolder?
 

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I have a MicroMark resistance soldering unit (250W) that dials from 1W to 250W. So at 1W is that cold enough ?

I suspect that at 1w it's just as hot except there isn't as much total heat to spread around.

In theory it should handle the white-metal-to-brass joints without destroying the white metal (like the axleboxes on that wooden wagon on the last photo. In practice, I'd try it first on a piece of scrap!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pete:
Interesting about that last wagon, here is its description:



"13 Ton end door china clay wagon:

This kit has 3 thickness' of brass to simulate detail on the interior as well as on the exterior plus the correct 'plank' thickness"



Great looking wagon and no wood. I think I would get a bunch of them, polish the brass and lacquer them. Not very prototypical but they shure would be pert'tee.



Agree, try it first - particularly in my case! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

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Posted By Semper Vaporo on 05/30/2008 5:51 PM
"70degree"????? That'd fall apart in June.




Guessing that's gotta be Celsius, right? Otherwise it would be like trying to solder with mercury!
 

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Hi,

I used to build wagons (in HO gauge size) and used bothe solder for the main bodywork, and glue for the detail work. That is the best of both worlds!

For white metal work you really need a temperature controlled iron and a special flux, otherwise you can melt the 'white metal' not the intended idea! On method of getting the low heat foer the stuff is to used a wrap of heavy section wire around a normal temperatute soldiering iron, and use that for white metal; the flux is 'messy' stuff, and you do not want it on your normal high temperature (for soldering brass - clean it just before soldering, and again use a flux.


Here in the UK there is a 'hot tape' that can be used to temporarily hold sides to ends for example - there may be a similar product in the USA. Otherwise use aluminum clamps so they don't get soldered to the parts!
 
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