Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Poor Man's MLW M420 Kitbash - Part 6

Many years ago, when I was in college, I did attempt to scratchbuild my own ZWT trucks for this actual M420 project started 15 years ago.

The result wasn't that back, but making one truck was quite painful since I only had a dull X-Acto blade and very hard plastic sheet to work with. After one truck sideframe, I gave up.

Now, I'm using the very nice Kaslo Shops resin parts for the project. They make life much easier, but without instruction, finding a way to glue them together on Atlas trucks isn't exactly a walk in the park.

On my first try, I followed someone's WIP on Diesel Detailer forum. While well thought, the assembly required altering the copper pickup and solder the wire directly on it. I'm not very fond of soldering and thought there was probably another easier way to glue the sideframes without too much effort. The only thing I kept from his WIP was drilling holes to clear wheel axles.

First try with modified copper pickup.

After looking closely at Efram's M420, I finally got an idea. Keep the pickup as provided by Atlas and modify the resin brake show and spring part. Resin is much more easier to cut to lenght than copper.

One hour later, I had four sideframes perfectly assembled. The spring was cut from the brake assembly and thinned down to fit against Atlas copper tab (connecting the wire). The brake parts were shortened and hollowed in such way I can easily add alignment pins later. Brake shoes were also shortened for the same reason.

Everything was assembled with trusty 5-minutes epoxy after parts were cleaned. Small details like cylinders and air lines will be added later prior to painting. I'm glad I found an easy way to make assemble the sideframes. It means the last big challenge is now behind me. From now on, nothing impede the project.

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