Adapting diecast 1/43 models for railway modelling use

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Adapting diecast 1/43 models for railway modelling use

Post  Gauge 0 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:06 am

While I assume most die-hard diecasters look for unblemished perfect models for their collections - and wonderful those collections are (and I'm sorely tempted to start one myself) - there are collectors who use their 1/43 models differently. Railway modellers want their diecasts to 'sit in the railway landscape' as realistically as possible and here we come to our problem with the showroom shined, concours level models beloved by most diecast collectors. In reality vehicles, especially commercials, can be very grubby and have visible damage to panels etc. I personally model the late 1940's early 1950's period when very little was available to keep vehicles even to a 2011 level of cleanliness. Given also the widespread use of coal in industry and in homes and the constant plume of dirt in the air - smog in London etc - a brightly shined cleaned period vehicle would have stood out like a sore thumb and certainly does look rather silly on a well weathered railway layout. In modelling its really a case of chacun a son gout. We all have our own areas of preference and that's healthy. We can also share skills where appropriate - which comes to the reason for this post.

I recently bought these 1/43 vehicles from eBay - removed a quantity of Police stickers from the two vans (very odd) and this is something of how they will look in a 1940/50 railway setting

In my opinion they need to be flatted down. I've experimented with T Cut and Ciff with only minimal success. Does anyone know any other method to achieve a flatted bloom on diecasts?

Similarly while I'm fairly experienced altering plastic vehicles I have little or no experience when it comes to diecast. Is it possible to convincingly represent panel damage and scratching without ruining the model?

Any other wrinkles, short-cuts etc appreciated. Also happy to try and answer questions the other way should a collector wish to say set up a diorama etc.


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Re: Adapting diecast 1/43 models for railway modelling use

Post  Marty B on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:54 am

You could use a similar technique to weathering locos, even cuting a mask of a wiper arc on the windscreen..For small dents, wrap the model in paper towels or put a bit of masking tape over the areas where you want to have dents, and use something like a centre punch, and small hammer, and add rust effects with a reddish brown humbrol/thinners/railway weathering powder mix..Just a thought mate:)

Also a layer of acrylic clear matt varnish with a bit of weathering powder mixed in might do the trick..
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Re: Adapting diecast 1/43 models for railway modelling use

Post  Marty B on Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:42 am

What I would love to make is a diorama based on a 1970's/early 1980s small used car dealership. Metcalfe Models do a great 00 scale garage which would be great if they made it in o gauge....Harrumph
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Re: Adapting diecast 1/43 models for railway modelling use

Post  Gauge 0 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:25 pm

I have heard whispers that they are possibly thinking of moving into 0 gauge. I certainly hope so. I love their 00 models.
Will try those tricks too

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