Saturday, February 9, 2019

Austrains FS cars, the roofs.

Hi all,

I share quite a lot of my modelling work onto a facebook group which one of the members recently asked me, how do I do Malthoid roofing on FS carriages, in particular the Austrains ones.

I decided to dedicate a blog post to not just that, but some other improvements that can be made to the carriages for running reliability etc.

The Austrains FS cars were a welcomed addition into the RTR rollingstock availavle for HO scale modellers when they hit the market. The carriages were of a different assembly and detail standard to the common Trax/Powerline cars. Separately applied roof vents, handrails, interiors, detailed underframes and some other refinements made them well received. However, unlike the Powerline carriages they do not have removable roofs. This presents an issue when detailing the roofs of these cars as it makes it a little bit trickier to do the roofs neatly.

Anyway, let's get into it.
We will need
Tamiya 10mm masking tape
Steel ruler
Lead pencil
Exacto knife
Cutting pliers
Appropriate paint for the roof (I use Testors silver spray paint)
And more masking tape.

I begin by removing the roof vents. I use some cutters to remove them, just to lever them out of the roof as shown in the photo below.

Firstly, I measure 7.5mm in from each end of the car body. I will mark where that 7.5mm is on each end of the roof, and from that mark is where I commence laying my masking tape.

The Austrains cars are 22.5cm long roofs. The 7.5mm leaves 15mm out of the roof, leaving 21cm to play with. I would also suggest that you can measure to the centre of the roof, find it and add 5mm either side. It'll give you a similar result to what we do here.

From here it is as simple as taking strips that will fit across the roof and laying them down. You don't have to overlap them, and they should sit together with very little gap between them. Lay them across til you have a complete roof covered.

Once the roof is covered you can begin to cut the strips back flush with the gutters on the roofs to give it a clean look. I very carefully hold the ruler up against the gutter and gradually score the masking tape to give a clean cut edge. This is done on both sides.

Once that is complete, I refit the roof vents. To clear the holes out, a quick jab through the hole with a sharp blade will make clear room for the vent to reseat where required.

To finish up, I take some more 10mm tape and mask on the car body hard up against the roof line. That prevents overspray from creeping under and ruining the paint. I then will mask the ends of the cars to leave the navy sealed ends the 'right' colour and mask the rest of the body with 40mm masking tape to prevent overspray.

Hit it with silver paint, remove your masking and that's that.

This car has had AR kits 2BS bogies fitted and some light weathering added. I would like to fade to candy red a little bit but that's for a future post.

Take care all,


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