This week I’m covering the next part of my step-by-step build of a set of N Scale A-B-A ready-to-run Alco C-855 locomotives. You can find part one of the build here. This step is window glazing and fitting window wipers.
Now that the decals have all been applied, with the exception of the number boards, I can sort out the window glazing.
This wasn’t done sooner as some of the paint needed to be finished by hand, such as the red lining over the front wwindows. I do this by hand as there are four holes for the windscreen wipers and it’s easier to paint the stripe than cover the holes with a decal and try to find them again.
If the glazing was fitted first there would be a risk of getting paint on it.
The glazing, only required for the C-855 A units, consists of 5 parts; a center section which covers the four forward windows, two side sections for the pairs of side windows and two door sections for the doors at the rear of the cab. I cut my window glass from clear acrylic sheet.
The main section is 18mm long and 6mm deep. The cut out at the bottom is 10.5mm long by 1mm deep; this is to avoid the chassis. The side window sections are 6.5mm wide by 5.5mm deep. They are shown in the wrong orientation in the photo and fit into the cab turned by 90°. The door sections are 3mm wide by 4.5mm deep. These sizes are rough but allow the window hole to be totally covered giving enough space all around to fix the glazing in. So if your slightly off it’s okay.
I tend to start with the main window section. As with anything like this I always do a test fit first. With the shell resting so the nose is at the bottom I’m able to drop the window in using a pair of tweezers. If it’s a good fit I take it out, but if it’s not a good fit I trim it down where needed and try again.
To fix the glazing I use a very small amount of superglue. The reason I only want to use a tiny amount is because of the reaction superglue fumes have on fingerprints. As much as I try not to I still get fingerprints all over the glazing, then, if a lot of superglue is used, the fumes stick to the prints and they show up on the glazing, turning it hazy. So to prevent this I put a drop of glue onto a piece of card; something glossy is great so the superglue won’t soak in.
Then using a pin I put a dot of superglue in each corner of the windows, and as this is a set of four windows I also put one above and below the middle. Then using the tweezers I place the glazing back in. As the glazing and shell are made from acrylic and so is superglue they all bond quickly together with no fumes when the glazing drops into place. In the picture below you can see the front glazing stuck in place.
This is then repeated for the side windows and rear doors. As long as the glazing isn’t any bigger than the given dimensions it will not interfere with the fitting of the cabs and crew. Once fitted the glazing gives a much better look to the cabs.
Now I can fit the windscreen wipers. They are located in the etched brass fret on the right hand side, one for each of the front windows.
In the picture below I have cut out the right hand pair. (Right hand as you are looking at the loco, not from the driver’s perspective).
About 1mm in from the left hand side of the arm is a half etch section on the rear of the etch; this is where the wiper arm needs to be bent in order to attach it to the shell. I use a flat pair of tweezers to hold the wiper and push the arm over with my finger. Because of the half etch the arm will bend in the right place.
Now I do a test fit. The holes on the cab for the wipers are the right size and they should fit well but it is possible that the holes have filled with paint. If that’s the case a 0.5mm drill can be used to reopen the hole.
I use a pin vice for small drills like this.
With the holes open the arms can be test fitted; you can see the first arm test fitted below.
Once you are happy then it can be fixed in. Again I use superglue for this but not applied directly to the model. I put a fresh drop on to my piece of card and using the tweezers lightly dip the bent arm into the superglue then put it back into the hole. You have a few seconds to position the arm where you want it before it sticks. The main windows the engineers look out from are the deeper outer windows.
The C-855 shells are almost finished. They still need the sand boxes adding, as well as the handrails, crew and a few other details such as the lights which I know a few readers are waiting to see how to do. This will all be covered in next week’s post.
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