Wednesday 10 April 2024

Resin kit learnings

Resin Kit Learnings

I have built a few of these kits and used resin detailed parts that I have cast or bought. I find these equally as challenging as any scratch built projects I have completed. There are some beautiful kits out there. I recommend that you start by buying one of these at a swap meet and put it together it will increase your modeling skill and problem solving. If you are not happy then you buy another and learn from that. These skills will build your confidence for when you want to scratch build an item.

 As some of you may know there can be some special challenges that are unique to resin. There are different types of resin you may want to know about.  I will go over how to to fix some problems that may come up with kit parts. I will cover the different types of glues that can be used. There are also steps to prep the resin for painting and additional things that have to be done when painting. 

Resin kits are created because they are cheaper to produce.  They do not require the expensive molds that are needed for injection molding and they can be produced in smaller runs. A lot of these kits would never be produced as injection molded kits. So they are special in this way. As with ALL kits it is very important to read all the instruction carefully then read all the instruction carefully again. You need to handle the parts with more care than injected molded kits as the parts can be brittle and will break if too much force is applied. Resin is easy to file, drill and even tap. They will also be covered in mold release which is used so the rubber molds do not get damaged when removing parts. This extends the life of the rubber molds. I will cover mold release later. 

The more modern kits use what we will call white resin, while some of the older kits were made using a yellow resin that is more brittle and harder to work with. If you are just starting out I would stay away from the yellow ones unless you get them really cheap and use them to learn on but maybe not keep in the end.

You will also may come across parts that have weak spots caused by air bubbles or are slightly warped and have flash that need to be removed. The directions will  instruct you on how to handle this. The parts need to be checked for flash and this can be filed away. When you come across a part that has a thin spot on the back that looks almost opaque or is a hole this doesn't mean the part can't be used. I use autobody filler to fill and reinforce these spots just gently apply it so you do not push it through to the front. Let it dry and sand it smooth. If you come across a part that is warped which usually happens on larger parts like walls or longer pieces then this can be fixed by using a hair dryer or a heat gun. You need a perfectly flat surface to lay the part on.  I use the glass that is on the top of my bench. Lay the part on the glass and evenly heat it with the hairdryer. As it gets hotter it will start to lay flat. Once you think it is flat place something on top of it to hold it down while it cools. This will work about 90% of the time. If it is a thicker part or it is being stubborn I will use the heat gun. You can also place the part in water that is 100C for 2-3 min. Then take it out and lay it flat. Once it has cooled it should hold it's shape. Of course that is not a hundred percent foolproof  as you can see below.  I bought this car  at a swap meet. Then the roof bent up in the middle. It had been heated 3 times both the frame and the roof. I was keeping it just as reference to scratch build a new one someday. 

It is now in the garbage some things just can't be fixed. This rarely happens so do not let it stop you from buying any of the resin kits that are out there.

Here is a picture of a Sylvan CN caboose model built from a kit that some have thought was a brass model. That was an oh baby I got it moment. The one stack has a small tilt from handeling

Mold release is like spraying Pam or silicone on your hands.  It will impede your glueing and painting so you must wash the parts first to remove the mold release.  This is a process you should be doing with all your kits no matter what they are made from. You can use  dish soap or  hand cleaner.  I use an old toothbrush to scrub it clean and then rinse it and allow it to air dry. 
For glueing you do not have many choices AC and epoxy glues are about the only ones that work reliably. AC is fast but epoxy is stronger.  

Now you have it put together and are ready to paint. You should, as with all projects inspect it for fingerprints and oil from your hands and spot clean those areas and let it dry. You just have to be careful with the details. You can chose the type of paint you want to use. I have used acrylic, lacquer and enamel based paints from different companies and all work well.

   Have Fun

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Farm Details IH 3 bottom plow

This is another GHQ kit. It was a nice kit to build and comes with some spare parts.  It's necessary to take the time to look at each part and ensure you understand the build.  The instructions are well done. I used CA to glue the parts on.  It is quite a delicate build so you must be gentle as you get further into the build.  It took me about 4 hrs to complete the kit.

      Here is a picture of the real thing 

 I painted it IH red using an airbrush and then hand painted the rims and tires. My model is seen as a new item at the dealership so I left the plow shears red. There is also no weathering on it.

 Can you see the difference between the first two pictures and the last two pictures?

                                                                        These are the final pictures

I saw the paint on the rim still showed red through the white, the wheel on the left side was cockeyed and the red still showed on the left tire. The steel look on the front shear is just a refection it is painted. The camera lets you see things that your eye doesn't pick up. This is why I take so many pictures of my models.  It is necessary for you to decide what you can fix and what you can live with. I also adjusted the left wheel without breaking any thing😊

Thursday 21 March 2024

Farm Details GHQ IH manure spreader

This is a kit from GHQ of a red ( IH model 200) manure spreader. It is a very nicely done kit which took almost no prep work to the castings. You do have to take your time to figure out which pieces go where from the instructions. It is not hard, you just have to take your time.

Here is what a real one looks like.

 Here is the Model

Farm Stone Boat

Here is a little 1hr project. It is called a stone boat because they used to haul stones on I guess. It has 2 4x6" skids and 2x6" planks on top of the skids. There is a chain attached to the end of the skids and could then be hooked up to a tractor or a horse. We had one and it was also used to haul manure from the barn to the field. You forked it on and you froked it off. My grandfather used to haul water in the winter in barrels which worked until you hit a snow drift and tiped them. This usually happened in the last few hundred feet from the house and so back you went so I was told. It had 2 posts on the front with a a board attached to the top of them. You stood behind this if you were driving horses. It was removed when there were no more horses being used. You can haul all kinds of  awkward pieces around the yard. It finally rotted away in the 70's

Sunday 3 March 2024

Refurbished old passenger car

 This was car was bought second hand for $10 and is 60' long.  I use it as my way freight train on the branch line. It only serves two towns with 24" radius curves. It is not intended to be a model of an exact CN car but it is correct for the era. It needed to be repainted on the outside and touched up on the inside. I then added older square CN decals to age it a bit. I also added LED lights to the inside that get power from the axels. The roof was always removable so that helped when I refurbished the car. 

Here it has been sanded to remove paint runs and brush strokes. The glass for the windows was glued in as a single piece on the inside so I cut out masking for the windows on the laser. It only took 40min to draw, cut and install the window masking.

This shows the end view of the masking. I didn't have to mask the door because it is all black along with the diaphragms.

This is the inside of the roof with the 2 lights installed with a connector.

This is the string of LED lights that you would stuff in a jar. They are cheap and about 3' long. I cut 2 bulbs off the end and the spacing worked out well. They are a nice warm white 3000k

Here the car has been painted CN green #11 on the outside and you can see the male plug that comes up from the axle.

 Once it was painted I removed the plastic as best as I could and repainted the diaphragms with a brush.

The repainted ends

In this shot you can see the old glue that holds the clear plastic in place. It was too much work to try and take this off without making a bigger mess so I just painted grey over the inside where there was any glue.

In this shot I have finished painting the inside, added some shades and have added the decals to the outside. 

Here you can see the interior after the glue marks have been painted over. I also added a few more blinds on the windows.

This shows the lighting in the car. 

This shows the connection I used to get power from the axles. The trucks are Central Valley with axles that are  insulated on one side. I cleaned the wheels and axles as they had paint on them. They conduct and run really nice. There is no flicker in the lights. I thinks it is nice looking car.

Friday 2 February 2024

Track Cable Hoe My Toughest Build Ever

 This kit is from Woodland Scenics which is not the best made kit. It required a lot of filing and filling to make it fit together. The best part of the kit are the tracks and the bucket. I suppose you get what you pay for. This kit requires alot of adjustments. I invested a great deal of time in this build... there were hours worth of filing and fitting it together and once I started I could not let it go. I did put it away 3 or 4 times and would go back to it. It requires lots of bending and straightening of parts and the body to get it to fit together. You fit bend, file, fit bend file until you get it to fit. You do need to paint the inside of the cabs and motor first. I had to file the seat so you could get the cab on and in the end I put the seat in by  going through the door. I added the operator the same way through the door. I weathered it with chalks after it was painted. I would buy another one but only to acquire the tracks, bucket and motor for other projects. It will be far enough back in the layout you will not be able to see some of the flaws.

Here are some pictures of the final model

IH Model H Tractors

 Here are some variations of the different models of the model H tractor. They all started out from the tractor on the left, I used the wheels from the tractor on the right to give me duals for the center tractor. I think they all look really good. This all took about 2hrs. Just used styrene tubing for the packer wheels. The packer tractor is the only one that is weathered, the other 2 are for sale at the dealership. I need to see if me decal guy and print these decals they are tiny.


Here is a picture of the real steel wheel packer

Here is a picture of the model H with duals only with a wide front wheel spacing

Here is a picture of the real orignial model H narrow front

The next one I will do is this tractor with the wide front wheels. So come back to this page if it interestes you.

Saturday 21 January 2023

Scratch Built Car models part 2

This is a  models of a  CN Boom Aux. car to go with my crane. 

This picture looks in from one side of the car. That is a bunk bed, pail with real coal and the stove.

This look in from the other side showing cables and chain on the walls. Tools in the corner, a desk with paper work and a pinup poster above the desk. There are safety signs on both doors. The floor of the whole car is done with a wood plank texture scaled and printed on paper. The hardest part of this is finding the right texture and getting scaled to size. All the details on the deck are scratch built. The tool box hides the crew for the coupler. The cable is just coloured thread

This shows the stove and coal pail. The stove has a lever on the door and a lever on the dampener. I made the stove on my lathe and added legs to it. The sides fit into the stake pockets so they can move a bit and may look crooked but they can also be removed.

You can see the caboose truck under the bunk end 

This shows the underside and all the bracking and piping. There is lead between the 2 center siles for weight. The floor on this side is scribed styrene.

This shows the inside of the roof with a plywood texture added to it.

CN Boom Car

1. Construction

The car was built from my own scale CAD drawings and some parts were cut out on a laser. The entire car was scratch built except for the purchased parts. The walls for the cabin, end sill, and bolster were cut on the laser. This car also has an interior. It follows the pictures of prototype cars but not exactly as I took certain features that I liked from different cars.

2. Detail

I used semi scale couplers and wheel sets. air hoses, brake system, fish belly under frame. The interior has tools, bunk bed, desk, stove, pin up girl on the wall, safety warnings signs, notes and instructions on the wall and chains. I have added blocking, spreader bars, cable, tool box, pieces of rail to the deck. The under frame has braking and all the bracing. There is a kick plate on the bottom of the door front door.

3. Conformity

The building of this car closely follow but not exactly the CN type car that was built from a converted flatcar from CN. I did not have diagrams of the under frame or the interior. The car has a fish belly under frame. The sides of the cabin have 3.5 in vertically spaced boards on the walls and ends. The floor is 5in boards on the inside and out. The brake system is AB with a rising stem brake wheel. The exterior colours and lettering are correct for CN car pre 1959. The roof and the top of the end walls are plywood. It has a wood roof walk. The trucks are Bentendorf on one end and caboose truck under the cabinThere are no boards going up to the roof walkway in the pictures I had.


The top of the floor, and interior of the roof are finished with scaled and printed wood textures on paper. The inside of the roof is plywood texture. The floor is 6" boards. These textures are scaled then cut out and glued to the styrene roof and floor. The interior of the car is then weathered. The exterior and underside of the floor is scribed styrene. The car was air brushed a CN red #11 and weather with chalks. The lettering is a custom decal set I had made.

5.Scratch Building

The car is scratch built from my own CAD drawings with the exception of brake parts, trucks, wheels, coupler and box. The walls, roof, frame, bolsters were built from plain or scribed styrene. There is lead added between the fish belly sills to give weight. The spreader bars, deck boxes, stove, doors are also scratch built. The low sides are built using board by board.

Commercial Parts

-Tichy AB brake parts, grab irons and stake pockets

-Tichy grab irons

-Kadee air hoses, semi scale couplers, coupler pockets and 088 wheel sets

-Accurail Andrews trucks

-Trueline CN #11 red paint

-Custom made decals

-scale chain

-weathering chalks

Building Materials

-.04 scribed and plain styrene sheet

-.06 plain styrene sheet

-.005 clear sheet

-styrene 1x2, 1x4, 1x6, 2x2, 2x4,2x6, 2x8, 4x4, 4x6

-styrene round rod

-lead sheet .02

-cut wood for blocking

CN/GTP Horse Car

 CN168108 Horse Car

It is the oldest built car I have on my layout it was GTP in 5/1889

1. Construction

This car was built from Cad drawings that I made from some pictures I have of this car and data from Ian Cranston's Canadian Freight Cars site. Styrene was used for just about all the construction. My main concern during this build was that this car would run properly as it will be a working car on my layout. Some parts were cut on the laser and lathe.

2. Detail

All the brake piping and parts have been added. The roof vents. The top boards on the wall. Trim around the small vents. Roof grabs. Custom decals. Cut levers. Queen posts are made from stick pins and .015 wire for the tension rods. I had queen posts but could not find them until I was done!!! Water tanks. Air hoses. Screen on doors, end doors and vents. Supports for roof walk, stalls, straw, feed and feed containers for the horses I know the cross brasses are not like the ones pictured because I could not make them work and have dependable support for the car due to the delicate nature of the parts that would have been required. So the design was changed. All the doors are glued on with tacky glue so the doors can be positioned open or closed.

3. Conformity

The building of this car closely follows the pictures of the proto type but not exactly. Some data was used from other types of horse cars. The car was built for GTP in 5/1889The car was rebuilt 1930 then renumbered in the series 168100-168122. These cars were retired between 1961 and 1966. It received an all steel under frame in 1930I did not have diagrams of the under frame or the interior. This car is IL 48’, IW 9’, IH 7’8”. The car has a fish belly under frame. The sides have 3.5 in vertically spaced boards on the walls and ends. The floor is 5in boards on the inside and out. The brake system is AB with a rising stem brake wheel. The exterior colours and lettering are correct for CN freight car per 1959The roof and the top of the end walls are plywood. It has a wood roof walk. The trucks are BentendorfThere is 1x4 strip added on the top of the sides and ends and metal on the corners where the ends and sides meet. It has 18”grabs, cut levers and roof vents. This car has no boards from car edge to walkway, when this car was built plywood was not yet standardized to 4’x 8’ sheets. The stalls are built to a common design that could be folded up on the inside of the car.


The floor, is finished with scaled and printed wood texture. These texture is cut out and glued to the styrene floor. The interior of the car is then weathered. The car was air brushed a CN red #11 and weather with chalks. The decals for this car were custom made. Straw has been add to the floor and a pile of feed for horses. Screen was added to the small vents, doors and end door opening using used plastic tea bag material.

5.Scratch Building

The entire car is scratch built with the exception of brake parts, trucks, wheels, coupler and box. The walls, roof, frame, bolsters and stalls were built from styrene. I drew the car in CAD. There is lead added between the sides of the fish belly frame to give weight. The walls, doors, centre sill, bolsters and braces are laser cut. The water tanks under the floor and the roof vents I made on my lathe. The wall and door board lines were rastered on both sides of plain styrene sheet, then the parts were cutout. The centre sill is laminated together with a layer of styrene on the outside and pieces of lead sheet in between to add weight to the car, then a trim was added to the bottom. The slots and holes for the brake lines were drilled and then used my Dremel to mill the slots. The bolsters were laminated together and drilled and tapped. The coupler boxes were placed and the floor was drilled and tapped for a 2-56 screw. This way they can be removed to replace springs if needed. The roof interior braces were laser cut. The roof was built and the braces in stalled. I manged to cut the walkway supports with the lathe, they are so tiny. These were glued on to the roof then 1x6 boards were glued to them. Due to the delicate nature nail holes were not applied. The trim around the small top vents was also laser cut. Door tracks, handles, supports, and small parts were added.

The 2 larger vessels are the water tanks

This shows the inside of the roof and the roof brackets that hold the roof panels and slides in against the walls

        Here is a picture with it loaded with horses. The stalls are made from styrene strip

The doors are held on with tacky clue so they can be put in the open position if I want. The window screen on the doors is from nylon tea bags. It is an old car at this point and is weather acordingly. The decals are custom made, it has a pylwood roof and was built before plywood came in 4x8ft sheets.

Materials Used


-.06 plain sheet

-.04 styrene .03 grooved

-.04 plain styrene sheet

-.02 plain styrene sheet

-.01 plain styrene sheet

-.005 clear styrene sheet

-.02, .04 styrene rod

-.06 styrene tube

-.04 half round styrene

-1x2,1x3, 1x4, 1x6, 1x8, 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 2x10, 2x12, 4x4, 4x6 6x8, 8x10 styrene

-.02 lead sheet

-.012 music wire

-.016 music wire

-straight pins

-1/8”, 1/4” wood dowel

-printed wood texture

-used tea bags for screen

Purchased Parts

-Accurail trucks

-Tichy AB brake parts

-Tichy 18” grabs

-Tichy stirrups

-Kadee air hoses

-Kadee semi scale couplers and boxes

-Kadee semi scale wheels