“You can salvage that vintage Polystyrene N scale clear jewel case!
If you have ever been frustrated by both the beauty, and frailty, of those vintage Rivarossi and similar N scale polystyrene jewel cases, this might offer a solution.
All too often they are crushed, corners snapped, split, or broken and crumbling. It was a cruel fate offered to the poor one that sat at the bottom of the box which housed all those trains in jewel cases. The usual remedy was to tape it with some poor choice alternative. Masking tape which either turns to crystals or mush, depending on the day of the week, or clear cheap tape that dried to stone. That, or you ended up buying that odd lot to get the one good lid, nesting liner, and the locomotive identification card that was saved and spared because of a case that did not suffer some cruel fate or damage.
But I have found a partial remedy. PVC and CPVC clear cement can work wonders. The Oatey brand, available in the states is a good example, although I am sure there are others.
If you have all the pieces, carefully place them together. If needed, support the joint beneath and underneath with wax paper and then some blue painter’s tape. Grab a couple flat toothpicks and carefully apply a few thins wipes of the glue. Thin is better. It won’t shrink, dries quicker, and is easier to work with. Don’t pull more than once or twice, as it sets quickly. And it will start to get ugly. Like a choppy sea, instead of a smooth lake on a still day.
I have found that three or four thin applications over several hours is best. Don’t place it on the inside edges where the case lid meets the base upper edges. And if you get too much, very careful scraping with a sharp X-Acto blade can remedy that.
Will it have the beauty of the original? No. Will it look as good as it did the day you brought it home? No. Will it have the original dimensional stability, it never really did? No, and I would not drive the family sedan over it or support your favorite two-wheel with it either.
But, it will keep it together. It can prevent further deterioration, and help secure that valuable (or invaluable) gem and its contents. Besides, there is nothing like a snoot full of tetrahydrofuran and acetone to get you going on those cold mornings. (No, not serious, do work with good ventilation and avoid breathing the stuff.)
I hope this helps. And to all those other contributors, thank you for your wonderful ideas.
All the best.
“Hi Al, progress on my friends two stall engine house. (54 hours of work so far).
Putting and positioning the painted details inside. Castings from my “bits box” all painted and weathered.
Then to mount all the interior lighting.
Next step is to weather it and make it look well used (weathered). Note the distressed siding on the walls and the “nail heads” all ready for the weathering process.
All the best and keep up the excellent work.
From a golden key subscriber.
Cape Town South Africa”
I am working with my 7 year old son on our first railroad layout (I never owned a train either). The layout is 4’8″x11′, One section is 4’8″‘x8′ and the other section is 3’x4’8″ that is the only way I can get it up the stairs to the attic.
I find your e-mails very useful. Right now I have the layout in my wood shop but I finished a room in our attic complete with finished wall, floor insulation, and heat, where I will soon put it. I plan to do some painting in the wood shop before I bring it up stairs to lay the track and slowly do the scenery.
I have attached a couple pictures of the layout. If anyone has any suggestions for me I would appreciate hearing (or reading) them. Driving cars and trucks are just as important to him so those will not be stationary, or at least not all of them.
I do have one question which is “how do I make the pink foam board look like rocks? Do I use carving tools or something else? And how do I paint them to make them look real? Ok. that is more than one question!
Can anyone help Larry? I do enjoy reading the different suggestions and approaches. I’m looking forward to see what comes in.
That’s all this time, folks. Please do keep ’em coming.
And if you haven’t taken the plunge yet – you can get started here.