Author Topic: Resin shells  (Read 1927 times)

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eja

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Resin shells
« on: April 30, 2013, 08:12:35 PM »
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Seems like there is a lot interest in resin shells and many nice new resin products available lately.

I have never used, seen, or touched a resin shell.  However, over the years, I have read about all sorts of problems with them from warping, bubbles, filling, trimming, sanding, painting, etc.

Can some of you familiar with state of the art products comment on these product and compare them to current molded plastic ones for the curious amount us.


Thanks,


eja

 

Philip H

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 08:46:58 PM »
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I haven't sampled every resin shell currently on the market, but the few recent one I have seen seem to be vastly improved in quality over prior offerings. There's still a very occasional small dimple or void, but otherwise they are often well done with very good parts and detail fidelity. I think some of the resin guys have gone to pressure pot casting, which seems to make for a better shell.
Philip H.
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BCR751

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 09:36:30 PM »
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I don't like resin shells.  I find them very brittle and hard to work with. Many I've worked with have "pock marks" in them which require filling with body putty or something similar.  Also, everything attached to them requires using CA which I don't like working with.  I will continue to buy them if they represent something I need but I do it under duress <g>.  I'll take styrene any day.

Doug

Scottl

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 09:43:09 PM »
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I have worked with a number of Kaslo resin shells and have found them very nice.  They are not quite as smooth as injection molded shells, but they are easy to work with, hold paint well and have opened the market to a lot of small companies.  They are certainly not all of equal quality, but they can be very good.

LV LOU

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 10:27:29 PM »
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 With good molds, a pressure & vacuum pot,and good technique,you can,in fact,make consistent,perfect castings..


eja

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 12:09:34 AM »
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..... but the few recent one I have seen seem to be vastly improved in quality over prior offerings.


Details, please!

I am trying to understand what was wrong with the old and what is better now !


Thanks

Denver Road Doug

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 12:56:35 AM »
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I feel like the reason they are better is the aforementioned improved techniques and the outstanding work from some very talented individuals, mostly.  But I also think it has to do with the desire for better quality, increased demand overall, and a willingness to pay for a good quality, unique piece...and, the fact that the bar is higher all around.   In other words, whereas before it was "any old shell will do", now the quality of surrounding products has increased to the point where it has to look pretty good to even fit in.

I have two locomotive shells and one resin freight car.   One loco and the car are made by Kaslo, and they are pretty outstanding.  Only complaint is that the loco was not designed to fit any particular mech, and nothing I have tried thus far is even close.  I have a couple more options to try but suffice to say I wouldn't buy another locomotive until I confirm that it will work with an available mech without major surgery.

The other locomotive is pretty rough, but I'm still glad to have it.  I'll put in the work necessary to try and make it look good.  All of the models I have benefit from excellent etched metal details included, so that is another improvement that makes a difference.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

Alwyn Cutmore

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 01:36:14 AM »
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Quote
I don't like resin shells.  I find them very brittle and hard to work with.

This was the case in point in the past but as time has marched on we have had better products produced from which to make moulds and the finished product. When I started making castings I only had epoxy available. Drop the kit and you played 52 pickup. Now I use urethanes of differing hardness and flexibility to produce models. I also use a vacum chamber to extract bubbles from the urethane. One of the urethanes I use you can throw at a concrete wall and you will have trouble even putting a mark on it. So while I can understand your feeling things sure have changed a lot in the last 26 years.

Regards

Al
Al Cutmore
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Hyperion

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 01:49:27 AM »
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I'm no expert on making the kits for sure, but the impression I get isn't that there's much (if any) new technologies that have improved the resin casting process (but there is on the master creation, thanks to 3D printing), but rather that the quality of the kits people are buying are improving.  And I really think it may simply be more what we're exposed to that's better -- not necessarily so much that it's 'getting' better, just that the internet allows consumers to get information on what is a good or bad product quicker, and discuss their niche 'good' products moreso than in the past.  This not only allows people to more easily sell niche resin products but also means that your market could quickly vanish if you release garbage, forcing people to do the necessary quality control to keep the consumer happy.

I've got extremely good quality resin kits (both railroad and other, larger, scales) that are 10-20 years old.  So I don't think it's necessarily that things couldn't be good before.  Likewise, any glance at eBay will show many sellers of obvious resin garbage that people are apparently buying.  It was just that, as with anything else, people are more vocal about the bad things -- especially when communication is less frequent.  So when people were burned by $100 resin kits that were garbage, they were quick to broadcast it.  Now that people use the internet to regularly share everything that they're doing, good or bad experiences, you're getting a more balanced perspective on resin.

As for comparing them with the plastic stuff on the market... Well, I said it best with Brigg's Models M420 -- and that was that, if I could buy every locomotive in that medium with that quality, I would.  The detail was at least as good as plastic, the kit came with all the necessary detailing parts that I'd have to go buy separate from plastic anyways, and it was made in such a way (and included the necessary parts) to allow all the variants from a single kit.  Yes, it did require some assembly, but the clean-up and assembly of the parts really wasn't that bad, and probably didn't take much longer to prep, assemble and paint, than it takes to disassemble, strip, paint, and reassemble the plastic stuff out there.  Especially the newer stuff that's getting kind of a pain to take apart and put back together.

Compared to ready-to-run plastic stuff, of course the plastic is easier -- take out of box and run.  But if you're gonna detail your stuff anyways, and especially if you find yourself stripping and painting a lot of stuff anyways.  You may as well just go with a resin kit that could provide you the exact prototype model that you want very easily.

Quote
I don't like resin shells.  I find them very brittle and hard to work with.

I've got some older Kaslo stuff, that while extremely nice, would fit into this category.  But the newer stuff, if anything, suffers from the opposite problem.  The stuff is hard as a rock.  It literally reacts to sanding and cutting almost exactly like dried CA glue.  I find it to be really great as long as the parts are well prepped so as to minimize the cleanup.  Brigg's stuff I barely even had to pull out a knife for.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 01:58:10 AM by Hyperion »
-Mark

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 10:43:35 AM »
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I just finished my Skytop Models CB&Q Jeep conversion shell for the MT troop sleeper.  I am very pleased with it.  I did do a couple of E5 shells a few years back.  They were the end of the run and needed some clean up.  However when Kato came out with their E5's my shells got benched and the mechs went under an IC shell and undec shell that will soon be repainted.
Brian

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peteski

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 11:14:05 AM »
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I have the Schnabel car kit from Elgin Loco Works.  While I haven't assembled it yet, the quality and detail is amazing!  Same goes for any resin offerings from NZT Products.

I know that these examples aren't specifically shells, they are N scale items. If either of these manufacturers made resin shells, I fully expect the quality to be the same as any of their other kits.
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Catt

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 11:56:31 AM »
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I have two Kaslo F45 shells they are about as close to perfection as you can get.I also have several of the Dash 9 widecabs and the safety cabs for the geeps and SDs.They are great .
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
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mmagliaro

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 12:19:57 PM »
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With good molds, a pressure & vacuum pot,and good technique,you can,in fact,make consistent,perfect castings..


Wow.  Folks, do you see that K4 shell?  I would be hard-pressed to tell that thing isn't a Trix styrene shell.

DKS

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 03:46:24 PM »
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I'm no expert on making the kits for sure, but the impression I get isn't that there's much (if any) new technologies that have improved the resin casting process... but rather that the quality of the kits people are buying are improving.

It's a bit of both. New resin materials have been released in the last several years that offer a range of properties that have not been available before. But you are right in that techniques have also improved, if only to improve quality. You can pretty much tell these days who is using vacuum/pressure, and who is still just pouring them and letting them sit.

I would be hard-pressed to tell that thing isn't a Trix styrene shell.

Make that a white metal shell.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 03:50:43 PM by David K. Smith »
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LV LOU

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Re: Resin shells
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2013, 05:56:33 PM »
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Make that a white metal shell.
Don't think I ain't messing with it,LOL!! This was just a quick experiment right in the mold,I'm really planning on lost wax.Only problem at the moment,every type of real casting wax I try sticks to the mold like I poured it with Crazy Glue..Strange..