In the last blog post, I shared an image of fine detail parts. I made those from thin strips of matte Mylar film. There were a few good guesses among the comments, but no one was correct.
I was making these to use as the stamped stake pocket details found on many composite gondolas.
It’s a small detail but they are a noticeable piece of hardware. You can see a few on the Lackawanna mill gondola image above. I had formed a couple dozen pieces by pressing thin strips of matte Mylar in a styrene jig to get the shape. The inside of the stake pocket is formed around a styrene 4×4.
Installation did not progress as I had hoped. A main issue is the tiny size of the parts. I’ve used Mylar for other detail parts, but I was able to over-fold at the critical bends. I was unable to do this with the stamped stake pockets. I can’t square up the folds.
I installed several parts on one side of a gondola model with limited success. The Mylar also retains a springy characteristic. If the parts aren’t folded just right, then one leg will lift away from the model. I even held the ears in place three to four minutes so the canopy cement would set, but the inevitable would happen.
I also tried attaching them with Loctite 496 adhesive. Bill Welch had recommended this product for gluing metal parts to resin. IIRC, it’s a CA with some rubber and flexing qualities. It worked okay, but the slightest nudge or bump would knock the stake pocket free.
I used Evergreen styrene channel (part #261) to represent the stake pockets on the other side of the model. The channel is as tall as a 4×4 and just a bit wider. Sadly, a 4×4 doesn’t fit inside the channel. I wanted to add 4×4 load stakes (or portions of them) on some of these stake pockets. I formed the Mylar parts around a 4×4 so that could have worked.
To recap, I have used thin strips of Mylar for other detail parts. Those had one or two simple folds separated by some distance on the Mylar strip. The four folds on these stake pockets are too tightly spaced on such a small detail part. Possibly an etched metal part could be developed for these details, but it will have to wait for another composite gondola kit.
Not everything we try ends up as a success, but we learn and move along to the next challenge.
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