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gavino200

M-497 "Black Beetle" - Jet powered train

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cteno4

Yeah you could put a stick on the sheet further back where it would make the file or sanding block attack the edge at the right angle, then put some masking tape over the end of the file where it would rub on the angle stick so only cuts on your stryene edge you are tapering (or just don’t have sanding paper up there on the sanding block.) you may ge ok results just freehanding this as I doubt you will notice imperfections past a couple of inches away! Even then it would be like the small buckles and imperfections in sheet metal skirts like this.

 

i would glue sandpaper to a block of flat wood to keep it as flat as possible and get the most even results. Useful to have around anyway on the bench to rub little parts on easily when needed.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200

I don't fully understand a few things about the model Jet engine "Resin" piece. It's pictured below from all angles. The casting is of good but not perfect quality. The base isn't trimmed, but rather left blobby as it came from the mold. The plan, also below, seems to suggest leaving a small, very thin rectangle of "resin" around the jet support. I'm assuming this is for more gluing surface area. But it's very little extra area. I'm not convinced it's worth it. Any opinions? It also wouldn't be easy to be in any way accurate down to  0.002- 0.005 inches. It would be more of a 'flim' at that thickness. I'm tempted to just cut down to the 'wing shaped' jet support footprint. 

 

He suggested putting a screw into this from below. Presumably he means using lag technique. He's a weird guy and not easy to communicate with btw. I'll probably try to do that. 

 

I don't know what this "resin" material is. Any guesses? I'd like to have a blob of it to practice on before cutting into the real piece. In any case I can use the leftover from the jet base to practice on. That's one of the reasons I'd like to decide on the footprint issues early. 

 

I'm quite tempted to try cutting this thing into three pieces to insert LEDs. That might be madness, but I'm about 60% heading in that direction. 

 

I've checked to see if there are any airplane models in 1/160 that I could used as back up. I only could find one of a B-52 but the detail is terrible. Just eyeballing this one, the scale seems right, but I haven't measured it out exactly yet.

 

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gavino200
13 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 you may ge ok results just freehanding this as I doubt you will notice imperfections past a couple of inches away! Even then it would be like the small buckles and imperfections in sheet metal skirts like this.

 

 

Excellent point. I think the jets will be a bigger challenge. 

 

Also, on the plan, I've no idea what he's talking about with regard to the "Roof AC Unit Blast Deflector". As far as I can see the roof AC unit is identical on both the Beetle and the RDC. In any case I'm sure I can't model anything this thin. I'm just going to ignore that.

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gavino200

I'll have to make some 'glass' pieces for the front headlight, and the small light (or maybe camera installation) at the bottom of the face shield. Likely, I'll carve those out of Kato decoder boxes or something similar.

 

The stock Light guides will work for the headlight. The second LED that was meant for the reverse lights could be rerouted/relocated. Maybe to the jets. On the other end, both can be left in place, as the Beetle prototype retained both. 

 

The rumor/legend at Kato/USA regarding this model is that it was made as a special request for old man Kato. Their belief is that the RDC model was made essentially with this custom in mind. I don't know if that's true, but Kato seem to have gone the extra mile with this mode. For a US model (btw, I'll transfer this thread back to worldwide models when it's no longer a project) this loco has a few unusual features. It's very DCC friendly. There's a special under-floor compartment to hide a decoder. Also, there is a special decoder made just for this loco. And it seems to have exactly what's need for the M-497. I found out from Kato-USA that a second separate Decoder was used for the sound. I have a feeling that the clues to how to do this right are right there on the model if I study it enough.

 

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gavino200
2 hours ago, cteno4 said:

 

Ah, 1/144! I hadn't though of that. The scale difference may not be enough to notice. It would be fun to build the plane too. I haven't built one of those since I was a kid. 

 

Edit: I bought one. Woo hoo! My first model plane in 35 years!!

Edited by gavino200
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cteno4

But will it be missing a couple of engines?

 

jeff

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gavino200
9 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

But will it be missing a couple of engines?

 

jeff

 

I can make it a crash kit!! Use a burner or a lighter to melt the wing a bit where the engine was "shot off". Then I can paint it with smoke streaks on the wing. 

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gavino200

I did a bit of work on the turbojet tonight. I cut and filed the base down close to the 'recommended' dimensions. I also cut it for LED installation. This was probably a foolish enterprise, but luckily it went well. It was very difficult. The hard part wasn't getting the line right as the piece had little indentations. The hard part was actually cutting this mystery material. There was too much friction between the knife and the material (resin?) to use a cutting motion. Instead I had to press down and sort of rock the blade. It only works for a short while before the blade gets dull. I must have used at least 20 blades. 

 

I need to decide what kind of LEDs to use and how to wire them before I go ahead with hollowing out the rear and central pieces. The Kato LEDs look like maybe 3 mm warm white dome type LEDs. Anyone think otherwise? Larger, smaller, different type, different color? 

 

Also, I need to decide how to wire them. Two wires only, through the jet footprint. Resistors in the loco below. I usually wire LEDs in parallel. But in this case series may be easier. Any ideas would be appreciated. 

 

Below are pictures of the reduced base, the sectional cutting, and the last picture shows the jets temporarily reconstituted with rubber cement so I could assess how they look.

 

My styrene sheets arrived today, so I'll probably have a go at the skirting next.

 

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Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

Looking closely at the various RDCs I realize now there are 4 different Kato RDC body types available. My Western Pacific RDC is an RDC-2, whereas the M-497 was based on an RDC-3. Fortunately KatoUSA sells the RDC-3 Body shell for $10 and glass for $5. I ordered a set. My bogies are the right color. I should have been more careful, but this is actually good, as it gives me a spare body shell to practice masking and painting before I work on the final piece.

 

Looking back at the decal purchase, they only cost a few dollars. I may get a second set to practice with. I realized that the decals on both sides meet at the middle of the front piece. If I'm not very precise about how I finish and fix the nose piece, the decals won't come together right. Sure, I could brush paint any imperfection but it would be better to avoid it altogether.

 

I also looked closer at the Kato M-497. See the old ebay auction below. On the Kato model you can easily see the sound decoder and speaker through the window. It doesn't look great. Given, advancements in decoder and speaker technology in the last 10 years or so, this may actually be something I can improve upon. 

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/152983952186

 

 

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

Picture 7 in the link below shows a close up of some beautiful craftsmanship that went into the Kato model. You can see they made little jet exhaust flaps. A tiny yet very impressive detail. 

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Kato-JET-POWERED-RDC-Kobo-Custom-Exclusive-NYC-DCC-with-SOUND-VIDEO-/152983952186?nma=true&si=MZHu8RcPwkR1ZMuKOul8q1roliw%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

 

Funnily enough, while this detail on the Kato model looks amazing, the little nubby bits on my jet are closer to the prototype.

 

https://oldmachinepress.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/nyc-m-497-front.jpg

 

Kato also improved on the prototype by adding LEDs to the jets. As @Kiha66 pointed out, the original turbojet is dark from behind. 

 

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gavino200

Some amazing closeups of the Kato model on this Buyee auction (it's a steal at just less than a grand).

 

http://buyee.jp/item/yahoo/auction/s589493376

 

Some interesting things.

 

1. See Picture 9 and enlarge. The Kato turbo jet is not very well fixed to the roof of the RDC. You can see space between the rear section and the jet support fin. It may only be fixed at the middle segment. I'd love to see under the shell, if it's fixed by a screw. 

 

2. See picture number 8 and enlarge. The sealed back door on the Kato model is offset from the frame and very obvious, whereas the prototype had the space welded shut and the seams polished down. a smooth finish wouldn't be too hard to achieve. See the picture third from the top on this link to see the prototype door. https://oldmachinepress.com/2015/04/29/new-york-central-m-497-black-beetle/

 

3. Picture number 9 again. If you look closely at the center dark grey stripe you can see that even the Kato paint and masking job isn't perfect. This gives a cocky novice some hope!

 

4. Picture 8 again. The Kato skirting is made differently than the plan supplied by my 'resin' guy. The kato skirting is a single thickness piece with a fold, rather than a strip with a tapered thickness. It looks like you can see a groove cut to allow the plastic to bend. Elegant but maybe too delicate? 

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

I got the 1/144 model plane B-47 today. The difference in engine size is more than I'd expect for the difference between 144 and 160 scale, although I haven't measured and done the math yet. These aren't exactly the same engine. The B-47 used a J-35 turbojet while the B-36 and the M-497 used a J-47-19 turbo jet. The J47-19 jet was older, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was smaller. 

 

In any case I now have a model airplane, which I'm quite looking forward to building and maybe painting. 

 

jDn2cfy.jpg

 

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gavino200

The correct body shell arrived. It's the one on the left that still has the AC unit on the roof. I'll use the other to practice masking, painting, and bodywork.  I was going to start hollowing out the jets tonight, but installing this decoder took a lot longer than expected, so there's no more time.

 

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gavino200

I installed the LEDs in the jets tonight. I had to put a massive resister in to take this picture. I used a combination of drill bits, broaches (thanks Kiha), files and blades. The soldering work was actually quite difficult. I was able to get the wires out through the central support, so they aren't visible. Lightproofing this thing is going to make painting it a challange. The assembly is temporarily held together with rubber cement for the picture. 

 

That's all the progress there'll be until next week. I have to leave in the morning for a work trip. Better go pack now. 

 

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Edited by gavino200
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cteno4

Nice. Foil line the chamber? The heavy baking foil is easier to manipulate.

 

jeff

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kvp
2 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Nice. Foil line the chamber? The heavy baking foil is easier to manipulate.

That's usually conductive. I would say just paint it black on the exterior after masking the leds.

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gavino200

I think both of these suggestions are good. I'm considering a combination of both. Let me explain a little bit what's going on inside the jets. The front part is left solid, so I'm not mentioning it. I'll refer only to the center piece and the rear piece. The LEDs are dome shaped 3mm pieces. 

 

1. The rear piece has two round cylindrical channels cut into it. Each is approx 3mm at the front end and slightly narrower at the back (to be continuous and smooth with the modeled details). The entire center support is left intact in this segment. The LED has a small "ledge" at the base, so there's a corresponding shallow indentation cut in the rear jet piece to fit this. The LEDs fit perfectly in this piece and the flat plastic base of the LED is perfectly flush with it's front surface. With the LEDs in place the front end of the rear jet piece is completely flat with the LED leads sticking out. There are no exposed wires in the rear piece. All the wiring is in the center piece.

 

2. I used a micro pliers to shape the led leads. The positives of both LEDs are soldered together. The negatives of both LEDs are soldered together. Each pair of soldered-together LEDs  is shaped like a pitchfork. Or a stirrup. Or a curved 'Y". A fork basically. The forked part is bent 90 degrees and is flush with the LED bases. The converged part is bent 90 degrees again to point straight back to the center jet segment. They are cut then at a length of about 2mm. Tiny wire leads taken from a pre-wired LED were then soldered to the ends of the soldered leads. I basically soldered both LEDs together so that they can be wired like one single LED. 

 

3. The center piece has two approx 3mm channels. I also took about 2-3 mm of the center support at the rear, so it could accommodate the LED leads, and also so I could drill a tiny hold up through the lower central support for the wires to pass. 

 

Theoretically I could add foil lining to the rear piece of the jets without any fear of short circuit. I couldn't add foil to the center piece for two reasons. First there are wires, but even if they were insulated, the shape is very irregular. Basically the inner hollowed out space of the central piece is the same shape as a pair of pants (trousers). Trying to surface it would be a nightmare. Perhaps the only problem adding foil to the rear piece would be the thickness of the foil. Everything is perfectly snug.

 

I'm a great believer in black undercoating for lightproofing. I'll use black primer. "Aluminum" colored paint should also be quite opaque. But I'd like to avoid making the paint too thick (too many layers). So I think a combination of both methods here might be helpful. 

 

I'm off to the airport now. Thanks for your ideas. They're much appreciated as always!

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cteno4
13 hours ago, kvp said:

That's usually conductive. I would say just paint it black on the exterior after masking the leds.

 

Simple just put magic tape on the inside surface of the foil and a couple of coats of nail polish on the leads. Painting is tough in this tight of a situation as it may not be totally opaque and also issue that Gavin notes of heavy paint job blobbing out casting details. The more opaque paints tend to take out detail. Casting resins are not all that opaque.

 

Jeff

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gavino200

I did a trial run of the foil installation. It works very well but is quite difficult to do. Oversize and trim is the way to go. I need a glue that has some immediate stick, but doesn't fully dry for a while. Tacky glue didn't have enough stick. I used E6000. It works, but it's messy stuff. I was worried it wouldn't be stuck well enough, but actually it was difficult to remove, even intentially. The foil is delicate though. Removing the LEDs damaged it slightly. I may try some clear coat to protect it. 

 

I've decided to paint the sections also (inside and out). That way if there's any slight damage to the foil, either during installation or later, the shinethrough won't be so obvious. 

 

I also filled some imperfections both from the molding process and from my cuts, with plastic putty. Tomorrow I'll file them down, and maybe apply some black airbrush primer. 

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gavino200

The LED setup. I had to re-solder the red wire as it came loose. I decided to paint the backs of the LEDs to help with light-proofing while I was at it.

 

YEfUMvE.jpg

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gavino200

I was planning on using a 'belt and suspenders (braces)" approach of paint as well as foil. But it looks like the paint alone will do the job. Since the foil is difficult to apply and easy to damage I'm going to skip it. I'm glad I know the technique though, as it's also very effective.

 

Both the rear and middle sections have a coat of black primer and a coat of Tamiya flat aluminum on the inner surface. Both have a coat of Vallejo black primer on the outside. The same black primer was used for the rear of the LEDs. 

 

eg4QVww.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

First coat of 'flat aluminum' paint. I mistakenly left the extractor fan off. I'm worried that I created "overspray" even though I'm not sure what that is. I imagine it as all the extra aerosol droplets settling on the item. The top of the jet has a sort of dull appearance, so I thought that was it. But when It dried and I took a good look at it, it looks more like it's under- painted. I can still see the black primer through it. I'm going to give it another coat tomorrow. (with the fan on). I'm also planning on a "pearl" finish clear coat. 

 

I ordered some scarlet red for the front of the jets. That's going to me tough. I think it's too small to mask and airbrush. So I'll brush paint it. Loupes and the tiniest brush on sale at the art store, I think.

 

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gavino200

I had a go at the back door of the loco tonight. This was my first time "cutting styrene". I was especially intimidated by it, partly because the plans I have, give measurements to three decimal places. I thought I could never cut that accurately. Well, I took forever with a capillers, loupes and a fresh blade, cutting and checking until it was EXACTLY the right dimensions. Hilariously the dimensions were way off. Not even close. Maybe accurate to one decimal place at best. 

 

So I did it again. This time over-sizing and filing down. I used E6000. I'll use styrene cement for the final version. Here it is before (actually the other end), during and after a coat of grey primer. 

 

I'm reasonably happy but would like to improve my technique quite a lot. The prototype is smooth and seamless. I'm not overly worried about prototypical correctness. But I'm trying to get closer to actually achieving something close to what I'm aiming for. 

 

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Prototype

 

nyc-m-497-rear.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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