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Rotating wheels on models......but why ?

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  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: nottingham,england
Rotating wheels on models......but why ?
Posted by arcturus on Saturday, May 18, 2019 1:54 AM

Am I the only one, but I always try and insist that the wheels rotate on my models. But why ? 
I don't play with them, but apart of me thinks, thats what cars do....they roll fowards and backwards , and not having that basic function to me, isn't a car. It's silly really because sitting on a shelf you wouldn't know if the wheels rotate or not. 

Some would say that kids build them and possibly play with them, and if that was the case then why did kits like the AMT 70 Impala and AMT 68 Shelby have fixed front stub axles that you glue to the wheel.
And also expensive 1:18 models like the BoS models have rotating wheels as well , and definately not aimed at being toys.

Because unlike some Robin hoods,I can speak with an english accent...
  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: East Bethel, Mn
Posted by midnightprowler on Saturday, May 18, 2019 5:33 AM

I glue mine solid. No point in having them roll off a shelf or if you take them to a show roll off the table.

1 Corinthians 15:51-54
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Saturday, May 18, 2019 6:54 AM

For the last several years, I have been gluing my wheels solid onto my models.  Like midnightprowler, I don't want my models rolling off the shelf or the contest table.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-'1965 Buick Riviera; 1953 Studebaker Starliner

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Lower left side
Posted by vettecote on Saturday, May 18, 2019 8:52 AM

When I was a child I always tried my best to make them roll. Cause I did play with them on the floor or wherever. When I hit my early 20's, when I did build some thing it wasn't as big an issue making them roll. So if they did they did, and if not I didn't care. In my 30's, I had a few incidences when rolling was a problem cause a few had rolled off the table only to hit a scale 50 MPH on the way to the floor! So now if any of them roll, I make sure at least one of them is glued just to prevent me having to call my scale insurance company(my wallet) to cover the cost...Joe

"I never met a model I didn't want to modify!

"People, their a menace to society!" JL

  http://public.fotki.com/vettecote001/

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by Plowboy on Saturday, May 18, 2019 9:48 AM

I only have a handful (maybe five) models that the wheels don't roll. The way I look at it, that's how they were designed. So, that's how they should be. Especially if it's an old metal axle kit.

I've never had a model roll off of a shelf. But, I do mount my shelves level. Plus, I now have them displayed in the Carney display cases.

It's like anything else. Everyone has their own preferences and reasons. Neither way is right or wrong.

  • Member since
    April 2019
Posted by Uncle Billiam on Monday, May 20, 2019 4:13 PM
I remember a time that the neighborhood got together and built a 1/24th/1/25th scale pinewood derby track and raced our built models. It was the mid 80's and it's one of the few times I wish we had cell phones to record it all since it was so fun! Had trophies for best looking and fastest cars. Other than that reason, I don't like mine to roll for the fear of them flying off a table or shelf.

On the bench: 77 Pontiac Trans AM Somkey and the Bandit, 69 Dodge Daytona Superbird, Jolly Roger Ship Tamiya Ford GT40, 67 Mustang fastback. 69 Dodge Charger. See my work here https://photos.app.goo.gl/QCSGAYV9MXvJvZwJ6

  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Wild Bill 426 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 9:36 AM

Something I try not to think about.  Bill's Third Corrolary of Car Modeling:  If a model car CAN roll, it WILL roll, off the workbench.

Wild Bill "Plastic cars are better than real cars cuz' they're a lot cheaper to fix. You don't even need duct tape and wireties"
  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:38 AM

I glue the wheels in place for two reasons, and neither of them has to do with the model rolling off the shelf. I originally started glueing the wheels as a means of keeping them mounted square. The solutions that many model manufacturers engineer for a rolling wheel often makes them loose and wonky. The wheels do not need to roll, so no need to put up with wonky wheels, and glueing them in place makes them stronger, too.

The other reason for glueing in place is to allow flat-spotting the tire tread at the point it contacts the table. This gets rid of the 'tippy toes' look of the model riding on the 'edge'  around the middle of the rounded tire profile. It gives the model the appearance of weight and greatly improves its overall look on the shelf. If you build for realism, this is a must do.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    October 2008
Posted by oldcarguy on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12:16 PM

Hi;

 I have to say that since the fifties and Revell's autos that shattered if they did an off shelf dive .I glue my wheels .When A.M.T came into my life along with M.P.C. and Johan I put the metal axles on as tight as I could and made sure they didn't pull out without a driver !I also used a dot of glue to gaurantee that .

    To me it isn't important .I had some that rolled and turned right and left on a cable .My most remembered was the Easter I got a 56 Plymouth Fury and Lincoln Mark 2 with driving units .They turned with the squeeze of a bulb in the control .

     To Roll or not to Roll, I guess it's up to the Modeler !, Right !OCG

gjgeracci
  • Member since
    February 2009
  • From: Galloway, Ohio
Posted by Repstock on Thursday, May 23, 2019 11:05 AM

arcturus

Am I the only one, but I always try and insist that the wheels rotate on my models. But why ? 
I don't play with them, but apart of me thinks, thats what cars do....they roll fowards and backwards , and not having that basic function to me, isn't a car. It's silly really because sitting on a shelf you wouldn't know if the wheels rotate or not. 

Some would say that kids build them and possibly play with them, and if that was the case then why did kits like the AMT 70 Impala and AMT 68 Shelby have fixed front stub axles that you glue to the wheel.
And also expensive 1:18 models like the BoS models have rotating wheels as well , and definately not aimed at being toys.

 

 

You're not the only one. All of my kits roll, too. Even more surprising, I convert them all to the two steel axle setup. I enjoy hiding the feature so it is difficult to detect. I have no idea why, I just like 'em that way. I even have a 1/25 lawnmower that rolls. In the last 40 years I've had no incidents because of the rolling feature.

  • Member since
    February 2004
Posted by rcarlisle on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 7:49 AM

I try to put everything in a display case.   And when you or someone picks up the case, the car wants to roll unless you attach to the base, which can create its own issues.   So non rolling is fine with me, especially as I have started building for "customers".  I don't want their car to roll away and them blame me and have to repair the car again. 

I also tape the lids on the cases now so you don't lose a car that way.   A 95 Mustang will expolde into a milliion more pieces than it came with if that happens.  

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 12:58 PM

At one time it was a matter of pride to make all of the moving parts of a kit (rolling wheels, opening doors, etc) operate as intended, and still do a clean build. Today there are two reasons I glue the wheels solid, and neither one of them involves models rolling away.

I first started glueing them solid when some of the convoluted means kit manufacturers employed to make wheels roll frequently resulted in wobbly wheels. I was frustrated on a Tamiya kit once so I glued them on solid and square. Then I wondered why I don't just do that every time. Now I do.

The second reason is because I 'flat spot' the tire tread at the point where the tire touches the ground. In my efforts to improve realism, it was often a sore point to see  nicely built model standing on its tippy toes, making only point contact with the table due to the rounded tread surface. By filing a flat spot on the tire tread which is in contact with the table, the model sit as though the tires are bearing weight. It greatly improves the look of the model as it sits on the shelf.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: East Bethel, Mn
Posted by midnightprowler on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 4:42 PM

Great tip. How do you file them?

1 Corinthians 15:51-54
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    September 2008
Posted by Lil Rebel on Friday, June 28, 2019 6:40 AM

I glue/epoxy my wheels for many reasons, mainly to square them up. That said, I have been in a few contests where if the wheeles didn't roll points were deducted, and have lost to lesser models because of that. One reason I don't do contest anymore.

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, June 28, 2019 8:24 AM

midnightprowler

Great tip. How do you file them?

 

I used to clamp the tire in a vise with only a small portion of the tire sticking up above the vise jaws (don't squeeze the tire hard enough to cause the tread surface to bulge, or it won't be flat when the vise is released). I used a 8" or 10" flat file and make smooth even strokes across (as opposed to 'in line with') the exposed tread of the tire. Tires are created from various materials and compounds, and some of them do not file very well. I found that most vinyl and rubber tires respond better to a fine file rather than a coarse file. I also had an old dull file on which I glued a coarse emery board (those manicure sanding sticks women use to file their nails), which worked quite well.

It is very important to keep the file square to the tire or else a worse problem will be created whereby a tire mounted squarely to the model will not sit square on the table. That part is easy to screw up.

How much tread to remove depends on the application, type of tire, etc. In most cases just removing enough material to get a good clean line across the tread surface from outside to inside is enough. I have experimented with taking liberal amounts off, creating generous flat spots on the tread surface, and it still looks pretty good. Drag slicks and wide rear tires on street cars do good with a little extra material removed. Radial tires look good with a little extra removed whereas old bias ply tires are more accurate with less material removed.

However, I use a different method now. A few years ago I dug out my old Wen Hobby Centre (model 1900) I've had since I was a kid. It is a combination bench grinder and cable driven Dremel type hand held device which takes 1/8" shank Dremel bits. It also has a sanding wheel device which can be mounted to it with a work platform that holds parts 90 degrees to the sanding surface. It's perfect for flat spotting tire treads.

I realise this explanation would go better with photos. Unfortunately I don't have the ability right now to post any. If that changes, I'll post up a tutorial some day on this process, if there is any interest.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    October 2008
Posted by oldcarguy on Friday, June 28, 2019 3:35 PM

I always had a trick.

    When I put them on display I used clear .010 rod for tire stops .It never really mattered because I always bent the front axles to represent a turned front wheel setup.The steering wheel always reflected that too.

gjgeracci
  • Member since
    May 2012
Posted by DocWatson on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 2:52 AM

Most of my models have them on solid, not rolling. I build them to display so they dont need to roll.
There are however several that I have had them free turning. For detail accuracy on cars that have removable wheels and on these.....
Slotcars!

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