Wednesday, February 17, 2010


In lieu of scratchbuilding the eight goggle valves that I need for the precipitator complex, I am trying the new laser cut acrylic and cardstock kit from Alkem Scale Models.   These kits run about $10 a piece and I had a bit of internal debate over whether to buy them or stick to scratchbuilding.  The design of  the Alkem valve is a bit different than the prototype at Bethlehem, however, my overriding concerns were speed in building, so as not to get too bored building this element of the steel mill, and consistency, as the valves will be close to each other - they need to look identical.  If I held the three valves that I already built elsewhere in the mill, there would be subtle but noticeable variations in each one.   I also liked the delicate gear teeth on the curved rack drive of the Alkem valve.    I still haven't worked out all the details but I will need to make some modifications.  I will need to add internal .030 shims to the valve pieces so it will fit tight on plastruct TB-24.  These shims are visible in the one photo - they are just a .030x.100 strip of styrene curved to fit the inside of the valve components.    The other area of modification will be the drive mechanisms.  I will probably deviate from the plans on this, but just don't know exactly how yet.

No comments: