Detailing freight car frames with styrene strips

I have recently continued working on the frame of the PIKO Tds926 and wanted to give a quick status report. Here is how I added missing beams to the frame’s structure.

Required tools and materials

  • jeweler’s saw
  • X-Acto knife
  • styrene strips 1.0 mm x 1.5 mm and 1.0 mm x 2.0 mm
  • plastic cement

Preparing the frame

Prepare the frame by carefully removing the NEM coupler mechanism using a jeweler’s saw. Clean out any excess material with a sharp X-Acto knife.

Adding the styrene strips

Measure the spaces that need to be filled with the strips and cut the them to the appropriate length. Start with the two thicker (1.0 mm x 2.0 mm) beams in the center. Once these are in place and the cement has cured, add the diagonal beams (1.0 mm x 1.5 mm).

PIKO Tds926 frames comparison.

PIKO Tds926 frames comparison.

Here is the detail of the finished frame before airbrushing. This one already features Udo Böhnlein’s UIC steps, a Weinert brake hose and Weinert spring-loaded buffers.

PIKO Tds926 frame detail.

PIKO Tds926 frame detail.

I am aware that the profiles are not perfectly to scale but I am going for the overall appearance with this one.

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