Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Have any questions or tips and advice on how to build those bits that don't come ready made.
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Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby guinnesskid » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:02 pm

Have just made my first attempt at a Metcalfe low relief shop kit. I found it very fiddly and am having problems getting things to stick. I'm using the glue pens and brushes my wife uses for card-making but the smaller parts don't seem to have enought surface area to give a good bond. Has anyone got any recommendations at all? (Apart from buying Lyddle end ready mades)
I'm thinking of becoming an alcoholic - It's cheaper than N gauging and not quite as taxing on my brain.

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Re: Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby Son-1 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:38 pm

I know what you mean, I'm part way through doing the factory (with added internal lighting). I found some parts are to small for gluestick or glue pen and had to use superglue. I now have so many different glues for basicly the same use, sticking paper.

They are easier than print your own though. I have done a Scalescene small warehouse, and didn't use thick enough card, so I now have a platform to narrow for the top. :( Time to reprint and customize the first one.
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Re: Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby ChrisWV10 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:41 pm

I use Hobbycraft Tacky Glue for metcalfe kits (love 'em) it's just runny enough to allow you to slide bits about into the right position but sticks pretty quickly and nothing has fallen apart yet. For the fiddly bits, I use a cocktail stick with a blob of glue on the end. They're also useful for scraping the excess that squidges out into window frames when you're sticking in windows and I also use them for the 'roll up' chimneys. In fact, they're an essential in my modelling kit, wasted on cheese & pineapple or sausages. :lol:


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Re: Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby Ribsey » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:18 pm

I always use PVA, applied very thinly with an old flat bladed screw driver.

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Re: Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby guinnesskid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:05 pm

Thanks for the replies. Still working on my first kit but patience is being sorely tested. Will stick at it!
I'm thinking of becoming an alcoholic - It's cheaper than N gauging and not quite as taxing on my brain.

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Re: Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby Bigglesof266 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:41 pm

Hey it's your first attempt. Cut yourself some slack. :lol: With practise, you'll get better at it. Here are a few tips which might help hasten finding your way along the path.

Like most things on life, using quality materials and the right tools helps. I haven't built Metcalfe in N, but I have built Metcalfe, Scalescenes and Superquick -who use thing card- in OO, now achieving what I'd consider "very satisfactory" results viewed with a perfectonistic eye.

Not all glues are equal. Avoid PVA. It takes a long time to 'tack' for want of a better word. Find and use an aliphatic resin typee glue or one of the specialist quality card glues like Rocket Glue. I use Weldbond, which is an aliphatic based glue AFAIK. It looks similar to PVA in the bottle but behaves like an aliphatic yet dries clear. It isn't anywhere near as runny as PVA and tacks rapidly to form a super strong joint which doesn't stay forever flexible and susceptable to atmospheric moisture in the future as PVA does all of its life. Weldbond should be available in the UK/EU.

Get yourself a small fine tipped injection applicator to apply just the right amount of glue to the surface, and only to the surface you want it on.

When you join a joint, press lightly, but not so hard as to squeeze all the glue out. Whilst Metcalfe are made of porous cardboard, the surface does need some glue remaining between the joint to cement the joint. Same as building a plastic or balsa model, use sufficient glue but remember sufficient is usually less that you'd think. Do support/hold the joint together long enough to allow it to bond.

Use different glues for the different tasks for an optimum result. Whilst you can use one good glue like Weldbond or Rocket Glue overall, using glues with different application properties will result in an easier build and better looking overall end result. For instance, I use model aeroplane canopy glue for glueing the building's windows in place. Just like Plasti-ZAP is useful for applications where Tamiya ultra thin polystyrene glue isn't when affixing fine detailing parts to locos for instance, each does the job they were intended for particularly well. If you have a range of glues on hand and the right tools, with a little perseverance and practice you'll soon achieve very satisfying results.

Perhaps one of the biggest secrets is choosing to apply a couple of light finishing coats of artists matt finishing spray on the entire coloured side of the kit prior to punching it out for assembly. After that, sticky fingermarks can just be wiped off with a damp cloth, and overflow of glue from joint seams etc wiped away with a spatula without damaging the surface finish. Metcalfe's printed surfaces damage and smear particularly easily IME.

Do keep a damp cloth handy to wipe unavoidably sticky fingers often, or anywhere you spill or overapply glue during the assembly.

Don't rush it. Triple check and adjust as necessary fit before glueing. Do have sufficient patience to build a part or section, and wait for it to tack dry sufficiently prior to handling it if that's required to continue assembly with the next section or part. Use tweezers for fiddly bits. Tamiya make superb angled tweezers perfect for this kind of modelling assembly.

Most of all, enjoy the build. If you don't, then it'll be difficult to achieve a truly consistent AAA result. Hope some of that helps. GL & HF.

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Re: Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby bassman308 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:54 pm

Some really good advice there.For metcalf kits i would recomend rocket card glue
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Re: Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby Vigo » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:48 pm

I gave up on card kits for N gauge a while ago, there's not enough realism or detail in them for me but when I did them, it was with a choice of PVA, UHU or double sided sticky tape for the awkward bits.
Happily spending most of my spare time in the garage with my trains and a glass of Spain's finest :D

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Re: Metcalfe Kits in N Gauge

Postby guinnesskid » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:08 pm

Thanks once again. Still struggling - still not sticking. I'm gonna make a few mods to help with the really fine edges and if that don't fix it the other two shops will be getting a final mod with a pair of pinking shears!!
I'm thinking of becoming an alcoholic - It's cheaper than N gauging and not quite as taxing on my brain.

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