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Author Topic: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level  (Read 3501 times)

hazegry

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looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« on: April 29, 2009, 10:26:45 PM »

Hi guys I have been looking on here for a while and I am amazed by the detail and quality of work. I would like to find a mentor that can help me out. I would like to start with brass work I am currently working on a billings african queen I am going to rename the boat after my wife(another trick I learned here lol) so we have a bit of leeway on its looks and design. I am on a budget and I build onboard an aircraft carrier so large tools are out I do have a nice bandsaw lathe and drill press at home. the lathe is a wood working lathe. I would realy like to make this model impressive as my last few I shelved because I did not like the level of detail I was getting. I hope somebody is willing to teach me and help me out if not thanks for looking anyways.
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gribeauval

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 11:05:03 PM »

You don't need a mentor, all you need to do is to ask the question on the forum!  8)

That will normally get you many different ways of achieving the effect/detail you are looking for, then all you do is use the indicated method that best suits your situation.

Oh! and by the way, remember that it's YOUR boat and as long as you are happy with the results then ignore the nit pickers and just enjoy yourself.  {-) {-) {-)

Mike
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hazegry

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 12:51:43 AM »

well I just discovered my boat is missing one whole sheet for parts anyone have experience dealing with billings on a matter like this  {:-{
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bogstandard

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 04:36:39 AM »

Just send Billings an email or letter to their customer service department, and you will find them very helpful. Over the years I have had to contact a lot of major suppliers about missing parts, and the bits usually arrive very quickly. All free of charge of course.

I have to disagree slightly about internet mentors and discussions on forums.

I have had an internet apprentice for nearly three years, where I taught him to become a very good model engineer, using the email sytem, but there is nothing like one to one instruction to get the teaching just right. You just can't describe the nuances and feel of doing a job, but let them feel it for themselves, and you are onto a winner.

I have an open workshop setup, where people can just drop in and get one to one instruction, at no cost, and they even get free coffee. You can show someone how to do it in minutes, but it would take hours of discussion to achieve the same thing, and maybe not get the final required result at the end.


Bogs
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Admhawk

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2009, 06:59:39 PM »

I assume you are in Norfolk? Do you belong to any groups? IPMS Tidewater would be a good start. Lots of great modelers, including many Navy and Ex Navy types. They are normally static small scale, but the skills you can learn are universal. Charles Landrum would a good contact there. Does some great soldering on 1/350 masts. http://www.ipmstidewater.org/

Otherwise, there are others in The Elite fleet of Virginia RC boat club that meets at Mt Trashmore. http://elitefleetofvirginia.multiply.com/

HTH's
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hazegry

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 01:04:43 AM »

Sadly the Elite Fleet has split into 2 clubs and there is allot of bad blood between the 2. I do belong to one of the clubs but I dont see the level of detail there I do here. There are a few guys who do very nice work just not allot of brass work. The other problem is allot of the guys are retired officers and I am enlisted hanging out one on one is not allowed. I will look into the other club and thanks for the help guys. can anyone recommend what tools to start with?
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Proteus

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 02:29:41 AM »

I think your best way you can go is to look around the site at some of the work being done and send a PM to any member who does the type of work that you like at the standard you want to go to , it is better than someone comming forward and you don't like the standard of there work , most people who post there work on hear do so to give examples of how to do things so they will most likely help you out.
tools are a preference thing some people need loads of tools and some people turn out fantastic work with just basic tools, a few different soldering irons seem to be the big expense, again it depends on the type of brass work and ow big the parts are you want to solder, you need to be able to heat a small area fast to temperature without getting everthing hoy and melting old joints.

Proteus
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oldiron

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2009, 04:01:17 AM »

I agree, there are some phenomenal modelers on this site. I'm sure any one of them would guide you through various steps in whatever medium you choose. An excellent thread for brass work done with the simplest of tools is by Gerry George. Look under the thread: http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=13720.0
  Gerry is more than willing to share his know how, as a others on this site.
  In my own humble way I can some pics of the tools I use for simple brass work. I'll take the pics tomorrow and post them then.

John
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nhp651

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2009, 09:08:07 AM »

well. Hazegry, don't procrastinate....give is a shot and your first question.
Neil. :-)) :-)) :-))
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andrewh

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2009, 11:30:13 AM »

Fire the question now, and leave the procrastination till tomorrow :}
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hazegry

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 02:59:00 AM »

well I didn't procrastinate I went to the IPMS tidewater meeting tonight. All I can say is wow it was a great meeting lots of high detail models. I met some nice guys and learned some new techniques like I said it was a good time. I also sorted the missing part problem with my boat so we are all good and on track when I get to the boiler or to a area I want to up the detail I will let you guys know. My basic questions are what should I get as a bare min to start doing brass work? I don't want to buy tools twice dad taught me to buy a good tool once rather than 4 bad ones. I was looking at resistance soldering tools today does anyone use them? or do they just use regular soldering irons and guns? does anyone know a good source for sheet brass stock?

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hazegry

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2009, 02:50:28 AM »

lol well I guess I killed this thread  :D
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Proteus

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2009, 03:53:43 AM »

I think your last post is difficult to answer as most of the members are uk based and postage would be expensive,  K&S do brass at most model shops prob in USA as well as it comes from there , it is a handy source for fittings, I have a selection of most of what they supply,and find it very handy. it solders well cuts with a Razor saw.if you want uk supplies I can do a list but it will be very expensive to ship.

Proteus
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oldiron

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2009, 10:14:28 AM »

K&S comes out of Milwaukee, so would be very easy for someone States side to get. They carry far more shapes than most hobby stores carry too.
  Yoy were asking about resistance soldering tools. They are very good, but not the be all of soldering tools. As with all tools they have better uses in some areas than others. My personal favourites are butane torches in various sizes. Properly used they will solder most anything we do in modeling and are more reasonably priced than resistance soldering units.

John
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Bartapuss

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2009, 12:48:11 PM »

As you've seen the standard of work at IPMS Tidewater its probably best if you pick the brains of the members there to find out what tools they use to achieve the work you're impressed with and go from they're expert advice. I find a Smith's little torch is a nice little tool for fine brass work along with Bakers fluid and a good quality solder from Carrs (however I can't be sure if these are available in the US). Have a look at say a jewellery supplies store for some inspiration for tools and solders.
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hazegry

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2009, 02:24:09 AM »

Thanks guys I will look into all of that and get back to you guys.  :-))
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Admhawk

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2009, 05:30:29 AM »

How much sheet brass are you looking for? Shim stock can be purchased or you can find a local metal wholesaler that can sell you large rolls. If you want a large amount, I would find a chemical milling place and ask where they get their materials.

If you haven't soldered before, you should start off with a simple plug in iron. You need to get the hang of how it works before you start getting fancy, and they are cheap. Butane torches are nice, but can be tricky. I have a nice little Weller pyropen that has changeable tips, you can have an open flame, a solder tip or a hot air blower. All 3 come in very handy for various things. If you have a Harbor Freight tools nearby, they should have something similar. If you really want to be an expert, buy an expensive variable unit with a sucker and resistance terminals. It'll cost a few thousand, but can do anything.

As with anything, you'll have to practice to be good. Since you are in the Navy, can you try and get into a Mil Spec soldering course? Or even just the training materials? You might find it online. You'll also find a lot of tutorials by searching 'soldering'.

I think the best thing you can do is be specific in what you want to know. For instance, what on the African Queen are you soldering? Some railings? With specific questions, you will get detailed answers/suggestions.

A couple of important things to know, clean the metal, use liquid flux and good quality solder, don't cheap out on the materials. Isopropyl alcohol cleans up the carbon on the joint nicely and decent dispensers are helpful. You can buy materials at any electronics store. Also, joints that look nice don't always have strength. Have a few alligator clips of various sizes handy for heat sinks. Clean the solder iron tip before use and leave dirty when not in use(the carbon will keep the air from getting to it to oxidize it). Clean/wipe the hot tip on a damp sponge (not drenched) or damp paper towel before use(quickly) and never sand or file the tip, you'll damage the plating. If the plating gets pitted, the iron will still work, but won't give you good control, spend a few bucks on a new tip. If solder gets too hot it won't flow well. if it is hot too long it won't flow well. If you have the iron contacting the metal too long, waiting for it to heat up, your tip is too small and you won't get good flow. Have a selection of tips/irons for different size jobs. use fresh solder, not old solder that has been heated several times. Only put on what you will need. Having to file off solder may break the joint. Thin joints are weak.

For complex pieces, use a jig. Wood and nails/screws/pins work well, although it will burn and stink. plan your joining to try and keep the item from getting too hot and remelting previous joints. Not easy on 1/350 lattice masts!!  :D

A short flow of work would be, measure/cut/clean parts. Set up in a jig. Heat iron to operating temp. Add flux to joint. Apply solder to iron tip so that it starts to bulge, but doesn't drip off. wipe tip quickly onto damp sponge, rotating to get the whole tip clean. add a little more solder to tip. apply iron tip to joint, wait for a second or two, flux will burn, solder should start to wick into joint. Apply a little more solder, if req'd, if joint is large, you can slide iron along it slowly adding more solder as req'd. remove iron and let cool. Check to see if joint is filled, apply iron again with a little more solder if it isnt. Remove tip from joint within a couple of seconds. put iron in back into metal holder, never place on table a table top to roll around. set up for next joint. That's how things should work, but don't always for various reasons. With practice, you should be able to come close most times.

These are just some of the things that pop into my head. There are plenty more and lots I don't know.

HTH's
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hazegry

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 03:03:51 AM »

I have actually taken the mil spec soldering course and I used to solder at Basler electric so I guess that part of it is the same just different use for the end part. I am really after forming machining and making my own parts. I think I am going to get the AQ out tomorrow and start posting pics as I go and encourage people to give me ideas on how to improve it as I go along. I am looking for a nice display boat I want it to look nice maybe a bit of weathering but not to much.
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Admhawk

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Re: looking for a mentor to raise my building to the next level
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2009, 09:46:48 AM »

Well, there you go! Now we're getting somewhere.

If you are going to be building the whole model from brass, how about a nice little electric welder? Spot welding would give you a lot better control over applying larger frame works and sheets for plating.

Me thinks you could teach us a thing or two!   :-))
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