Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oh, the (Grab) Irony: Island Model Works South Shore Car Project Update

Another busy Autumn with lots of work and fun travel slowed--but didn't stop!--progress on the IMW South Shore car build. Check out some grab iron and railings that recently went on the car:

The end grabs and entrance door railings are press fittted in
for easy removal, as this car will get some serious manhandling
 when the lenses and glazing are installed.
I used a 2mm detail removal chisel from Micro Mark to remove the original molded-on grab iron and railing detail. While there was still a shadow of the original details remaining on the model, I marked the holes for drilling with an awl to eliminate any guesswork about where to drill and mount the new railings. Sanding sticks were used to finish and smooth out locations. Masking tap over the corrugations/flutes on the side protected those details from getting scraped or sanded off

For the end grabs, I could have used some pre-formed wire grabs but I wanted to try something new and craftsmanlike, so bent  I my own end grabs and railings using .015 brass wire and Micro Mark's Grab Iron Bending Gauge. (Yeah, I went on a little Micro Mark buying frenzy, which is easy to do when you're out on the road, late at night in a hotel thinking about model railroading and you have a good, reliable Internet connection . . .) Takes a little practice, but that gauge let's you make uniformly shaped grab irons of pretty much any size.

Expensive but worth it: Micro Mark wire bending gauge (top)
and 2mm chisel
The grabs and railings are press-fitted in for the moment, because there will be some more rough handling as I fit the window glazing, drill out and fit lenses for the headlights and marker lights, and I add final details such as windshield wipers and ditch lights. I also anticipate employing a plastic modeling technique to prep this model for final painting, which is to use a special primer called surfacer to find, fill, and sand any flaws--thus my avoidance of actually attaching many of the smaller details such as horns, bells, grabs, etc.

Meanwhile, another one of these IMW South Shore kits has found its way on to my workbench, along with another Walthers RDC drive. The second time around ought to be easier (and better).