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TOM: Making simple valve covers

HERE AT THE T&T WORKSHOP, we love techniques that offer great results while remaining within the grasp of the average modeler. Kevin Murray’s method of making valve covers using simple hand tools and a few pieces of styrene is a golden example:

You’re going to need pieces of plastic that are the length and height of the valve covers, but a little wider. Measure the width of the cylinder head and draw lines on the styrene block as shown. Drill holes down the lines on each side depending where you want the bolt locations. Make sure the holes are along the lines.

Next, cut off the excess plastic, making sure to cut down the center of the drilled holes. Don’t cut the holes completely off! Sand and file the edges on the top of the valve cover until you have nice round edges. Sand the sides flat, too.

Finally, cut a rectangular piece of thin styrene and glue it to the bottom of your new valve covers. Trim the bottom piece as close to the valve cover as you need for your cylinder head, then glue it into place.

Thanks for the tip, Kevin. As a finishing detail, you could add model railroad nut/bolt/washer castings, and maybe a breather, to the covers for a bit of extra detail –KH


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