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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Getting Started With Milliput

Getting Started With Milliput

Milliput is a trade name for epoxy putty. There are five grades: Standard Yellow/Grey, Silver Grey, Superfine White, Terracotta, and the latest addition - Milliput Black. Each grade is presented in similar packs containing 2 x 56·7gm. sticks and the general instructions for preparation and usage are the same.
The two sticks have a long shelf life but once mixed the resultant putty is at first soft and highly adhesive and then gradually hardens. Speed of hardening is dependant on temperature and at normal temperatures (20-25ÂșC) Milliput becomes rock hard in three to four hours. By the application of heat the setting time can be reduced to a few minutes.

After setting hard Milliput continues to cure and is fully cured after an elapse of time equal to the setting time at the same temperature. Once fully cured Milliput can be machined, drilled, tapped, turned, filed, sawn, sandpapered and painted. Milliput can be sandpapered and painted immediately it has set. (it is advisable to wear eye protection during this process).
Milliput is an excellent adhesive and will bond any of the following to itself or to any of the others - wood, brick, cement, metals, concrete, plastics, glass etc, but note that Milliput is not intended as a thin layer adhesive and should not be used where a paste, mucilage or thin glue is indicated. Milliput will set under water and is heat resistant up to 130°C.
Shelf Life:
We recommend Milliput is stored in cool, dry conditions. Please reseal bags after use. Stored correctly this product should remain workable for about 2 years.

Black Milliput was introduced in response to user demand and can be used for Repairs to antique clocks, Guttering, Ebonised wood, Marble, Slate, Cast iron, Basalt ceramics and black plastic parts in cars (such as bumpers, small handles, buttons and knobs).

Yellow-Gray Milliput The epoxy putty with a thousand uses in modeling D.I.Y and industry. (Car repairs, military models, Marine craft repairs, household repairs like gutters)
Silver Grey Milliput was introduced as slightly  finer filler and is widely used for modelmaking, sculpting, taxidermy and for the repair of garden ornaments. (porcelin restoration- dolls & plates, Military Modeling, Domestic Repairs, ).
Superfine White Milliput For the restoration of porcelain and other ceramics for the repair of antiques, objects d'art, Victorian dolls, picture mouldings, etc. For sculpting and modeling. For the repair of white domestic chinaware and for filling scores and dents in white domestic equipment e.g. washing machines, refrigerators, etc. (porcelain restoration- dolls & plates, Military Modeling, Domestic Repairs, ).
**It is very important when using this grade of Milliput, because the sticks are virtually the same colour, that you mix the two parts for at least five minutes.**

Terracotta Milliput used for the restoration of terracotta and other ceramics. Also for the repair of garden urns, pots, Statuettes and damaged brickwork, etc. Also for sculpting and modeling. (Earthen wear pots, Quarry Tiles, Statuettes, damaged brickwork)

Use Milliput to add features for realism to models and figures or to customize.

A "Cool" Tip!
If you are interrupted while you are mixing Milliput, you can put the Milliput into a deep freezer until you can get back to work. This will keep the product at approximately the same state of setting at which it was frozen for up to 36 hours. Simply remove the now frozen product from the freezer and warm in the hand and it is ready to use. If stored immediately on mixing it retains its sticky nature.
Milliput crusting cure
Tom Sime - Epoxy 101
There are differences between brands of epoxy putties but they all have very similar properties.

I have used Milliput, AB as well as Magic Sculpt and if Milliput is used, as a “base line” AB is a little firmer in texture and Magic Sculpt is a little softer as well as having a surface “sheen” that (I find) makes judging depth a little more difficult than with Milliput.

One of the big problems when you purchase Milliput is that you don’t know how old it is. The darker stick has a tendency to “crusting” on its outside surface if its kept in storage for to long. If this is not dealt with then when you mix the two components you will have small pieces of the crust in the mix that will not cure properly as the Milliput hardens.

The cure for crusting is as follows-
1) Warm an oven to 200 Centigrade/Celsius.
2) Place the encrusted stick on a piece of foil and put into warm oven.
3) Make a cup of coffee/tea and drink it. This should take you 20 minutes.
4) After 20 Minutes carefully remove HOT Milliput from oven remembering that its HOT and STICKIE and if you touch it will STICK to YOU and BURN.
5) Allow the Milliput to cool till it is warm to the touch (don’t let it go cold) and you can handle it without burning yourself.
6) Now simply mix it well with itself thoroughly, this will take at least 3-5 minutes.
When the mix cools completely you will find that the lumps have been reconstituted and are no longer a problem.

All epoxy putties change in consistency between mixing and curing. At the time of mixing epoxies are soft and pliable, as time passes they tend to firm up and are less easy to work with sculpting tools. This knowledge can be used to your advantage.

Putty that is freshly mixed is soft and therefore ideal for sculpting and shaping with dental tools, toothpicks and homemade tools designed to meet your personal needs. I use Milliput for figure sculpting and use a selection of various sized needles that have been epoxy glued into the handles of old paintbrushes. A paintbrush moistened with a little water can be used as an aid to sculpting, blending and smoothing out the surface of whatever you creating. 

Putty that is no longer soft and malleable need not be discarded. If it has started to firm up it is perfect for rolling out and being cut and shaped for clothing, tarps, blankets, bedrolls etc. To roll out the putty simply dust it with a little talc place it on a flat surface and use piece of dowel/plastic rod to roll it out. Use a moist paintbrush to remove the talc before “fastening” into its final place.

There are few things more satisfying than creating your own sculpture/conversion. I hope the forgone helps you to do just this.

Another customer adds - A quicker method that I use is to place the "crusty" one on a glass dish and microwave on full power for approximately 10 seconds (depends on m/w output), then mix with itself.  just remember it is HOT when it comes out of the micro.

The info in this article is from & Tom Sime a customer

Friday, 25 January 2013

Atlas #57 Product Alert

January 23, 2013

It has come to our attention that some of our customers experience a sticking button on some of our number #57 Deluxe Switch Controllers.
If you are currently using the #57 Deluxe Switch Controller please return it to Atlas for repair or replacement. If we can repair your #57 Deluxe Switch Controller, we will return it to you within a week.  If your #57 Deluxe Switch Controller needs to be replaced, we are expecting a new shipment of them with a modified button to arrive in May.  For dealers or distributors returning new product in the package, your replacements will also be sent in May.
For return purposes we ask that you call us first at 1-908-687-0880 and ask for a customer service representative who will issue you a return authorization. There is no charge for either a repair or replacement of your #57 Deluxe Switch Controller.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and will do our best to expedite the replacement or repair of your controller.

Thank you for your continued support,
Paul Graf, COO
Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

January is National Hobby Month!

At the beginning of every New Year everyone has a list of Resolutions. Some are common like losing weight or getting more organized; some are unusual* such as learn a new party trick.  Why not be different this year and try a new hobby or rekindle your childhood hobby?

Here at Chinook & Hobby West all of our staff participate in at least one hobby that we sell. Jim loves building and airbrushing model kits, Tyler is creating a new HO layout**, Valerie is delving into painting/customizing 1:32 and smaller figures, and a couple of our guys are taking a break from their hobby to look into something new.

                         Tyler                                 Jim                                     Valerie

So how can you find a hobby? Here are a few tips:
  • Think about what interests you. Are you looking to do something outdoors or inside? Something active or quiet? Something to do alone or as a family? Make a list and you may find you can combine two hobbies into one. (i.e- love of photography and trains = railfanning)
  • Think about cost/time/space. For Example- Many get intimidated when thinking of building a train layout. They believe they need a huge room, lots of time and a bucket of money. That is not so. You can start with a 4x6 board for HO scale and a starter set and build it up and add to it as you can. 
  • Ask questions! When you find a hobby that interests you go to a source that will be able to answer your questions. A store that specializes in what you are interested in, The library, the internet, or someone that may already have the hobby you are looking into. 
  • Get started on your hobby! Once you have decided which hobby best suits you in every way and you have bought or borrowed the equipment, clothing, tools and anything else you need, it is time to get it happening. Expect to start slowly at first, while learning, so have patience. You might even find a club to join and meet others with similar interests. This is a great way to make friends and to exchange ideas.

Need some ideas? Model Railroading, miniature figure painting, toy collecting, rocketry, dioramas, window box display, scratch building bridges, Remote Control vehicles, woodworking, Train spotting(fanning), reading, the list goes on and on.....

So come down to either of our stores here in Calgary or email us and we will do our best to match you to a hobby! (even if we may not sell it - lol)

* Reference the article: 10 Unusual New Year's Resolutions

**Follow Tyler's progress (Thompson River) on our blog -

~~This article is the opinion of Valerie Gale, Owner of Chinook & Hobby West

Monday, 7 January 2013

Thompson River Canyon Blog Edition 3

Thompson River Route~ Blog 3

So far in this series I have gone over my planning process followed by the benchwork construction, mountain forming, and lastly the shed creation and plaster work. This third blog will go over the shed and rock painting process, as well as some trackside details that I have been adding. As much as I would have liked to have the plaster work complete before this blog, it will take some time yet to finish.

With the rock work I have completed I will begin the painting process. The paint I like to use is bottled acrylic. These are often cheap, thin, and can go a long way. The thin consistency is important as it helps the paint flow in and around the rocks. The colours I  use are burnt umber, raw sienna, red, and yellow. Black and white are also staples of my painting process. I use a large and cheap paint brush for applying paint to my rock work. I say cheap because the brush will have to endure a grueling treatment against the rocks which could leave you less than impressed if using a nice brush. The last thing I like to have on hand is a spray bottle full of water, this will be used to thin the paint and let it run down the rock face. This spray bottle technique is great for eliminating brush strokes and randomizing the colour applied to the rocks, creating a realistic look. 

To paint the rock work I like to keep away from any sort of common pattern. I start with the variation of earth colours applied in small areas at a time, working quickly so I can spray the small area with the water bottle and get it to run into the rock. Repeating this process of small paint applications followed by the spray bottle will eventually leave the rock face with a basic colouring. From here, the darker colours like black can be applied in small points and then quickly sprayed heavily with water to get the black to run down and into the cracks. Letting the darker colours run through cracks in the rock will bring out those details and give the rock depth. Now depending on the region your rocks are supposed to be in, the overall tones will be different. The rock along my route is mostly grey with some very slight reddish tones throughout. At this moment in painting the rocks, they are earth toned with black definition. I now want to work some grey into them to get the overall colour closer to that of the real rocks. To do this I start with white and bring in different amounts of black to get constantly different shades of grey, applied to the front faces of the rock and sprayed with water. Once the overall shade is how you would like it, a few last runs of black down the cracks will bring out the rocks as best they can. The rocks are now very similar to those in nature however they could use some highlights to make them appear more dramatic and represent light hitting certain parts of the rock. To apply the highlights, put some white on your brush and then wipe most of it off onto a paper towel. Quickly take the brush with minimal white left and send the brush across the front of the rocks. What little white left on the brush will lightly apply to edges, points, and sometimes even the larger faces that should stand out. This method of “dry brushing” ensures that the white does not come out too strong and starts to look like raw plaster.

With the rocks painted, it is time to paint the snow sheds. The concrete of the sheds is very close to one single shade of grey so I simply created that shade and applied it evenly to the sheds. The only variation in colour I found was some light weathering from water washing minerals down the sides of the sheds. To represent this, I thinned down shades of brown and, using a thin brush, put streaks straight down the wall wherever I saw it in my photo of the shed.

With painting complete the project is starting to take on a far more realistic look. It is nice to have half of the rock work completed, however, I like to take a break every once and a while to apply some smaller details. The following points are some of the details that I have added to my project.

  • Flange Lubricator
This is a device located on the outside rail just before a tight corner to reduce wear on the flanges around the corner. They often colour a patch of the track black from grease, this is an interesting detail that stands out and isn’t often modeled. 

  • Dragging Parts Detector
This detail is more common and is certainly interesting to see. They consist of a series of plates between the rails and outside the rails which will sense when they are hit by equipment hanging too low and send an automated warning to the crew. They are often placed before points in the track that those dragging parts could do damage, such as grade crossings and turnouts.

  • Block Signals
Signaling can add a great element of realism to a layout, especially if it can actaully tell where your trains are. Regardless if you want to set up detection and use the technology available to properly operate the signals, having signals placed along your layout will look great. There are many different specifications for the placement of signals but the basic principle is the same, when a train is sitting in a block, the signals within that block are red, the previous block is yellow, and the one before is green. This keeps trains a safe distance from each other and warns them when one is ahead. 

  • Maintenance Sheds
These little structures create some variation in the mountain scenery. Often being the only structures along the tracks they were usually used to store tools, handcars, and speeders.

  • Switch Stand
Using scale switch stands can also improve the look of turnouts and goes well with the fine detail of the maintenance sheds. With an under table turnout motor used, the non functioning switch stand can be used, avoiding bulky above table turnout motors or functional stands. 

That concludes my third blog of this project, next time I will explain ballasting, ground cover, and construction of a fictional small town at the bottom of the hill. ~~ Tyler Fedoroshyn