Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Technical, Techniques, Hints, and Tips => Detail Work, Rigging, Fittings, Figures Etc. => Topic started by: 785boats on July 30, 2007, 04:08:27 PM

Title: Bismark handrails
Post by: 785boats on July 30, 2007, 04:08:27 PM
Greetings to all.
I'm scratch building a 1:144 scale Bismark. The handrails have got me stumped. Can any one advise me on an effective way to make the railings?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards,
Title: Re: Bismark handrails
Post by: malcolmfrary on July 31, 2007, 02:06:48 PM
A lot depends on just how true scale you want them.
I have made strong reliable railings from tinned copper wire by making a jig. 
This was a piece of aluminium sheet with a line scribed on, one hole drilled for each of the rails and one for the foot, spaced appropriately.  The holes were 0.8mm diameter, partly because it looked about right, mostly because that was the size of bit, and because that was the size of the piano wire. 
A short length of the wire was bent into a staple shape and pushed into the rail holes.
A length of the TCW was laid along the staple legs, wrapped once round the top one, back down to the lower one and wrapped, then back past the foot hole.
Another length of TCW was then bent double and pushed through the foot hole, trapping the ends of the wire already laid.  This was then twisted at the rear.
The first wire was then pushed into place, tightening and tamping down.
Solder was then run over the entire thing, fairly sparingly, but quickly.  The solder will fail to stick to the aluminium, and will be most reluctant to stick to the piano wire, especially if it has had a rub with a pencil.
Remove the "staple", pull thefoot wire out and trim the surplus off.
You will have a strong stanchion with the holes and foot perfectly aligned for all of its mates that you will make, and a bifurcated length for mounting with epoxy into the mounting hole that you will drill in the deck edge.
The trick is to remember to make much use of the pencil to prevent soldering the wire to the jig.
When painted, and from a safe distance, these are good looking, cheap and reliable to the extent that you will probably be able to pick up the end of the model by them.
When mounted with the holes facing the correct way, you can thread either more wire through them, or thread as you want.  Only the end ones need to be glued or soldered.
Just a few minutes each.
Title: Re: Bismark handrails
Post by: 785boats on July 31, 2007, 02:53:37 PM
Thanks for your response. Very clever idea. I'll have to modify the process for three rails. Bear in mind, also that at 1:144 scale the stanchions are only 7mm high with three rails & about .35mm thick. The fact that there are going to be over 450 of the little blighters has always made me quiver. I'll see how we go.
Title: Re: Bismark handrails
Post by: malcolmfrary on July 31, 2007, 05:01:56 PM
Thats the problem with a small(ish) model of a big ship.
Alternatives are to make a ladder type jig to lay wire in and prefabricate strips, then try to mount that, buy PE brass if anybody does it, or mortgage the house and buy in lots of pre-made stanchions. 
Depending on the appearance you want, there is also the method that I have seen explained somewhere of using clear acrylic or styrene strips with the posts and rails scribed on, then flood the scratches with paint.