Intermountain HO Kit question

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by jtbterri, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    I may have met my match with this kit. It's their USRA Composite Gondola and the Grab Irons have stopped me! They place a note in their instructions to say;
    "NOTE: this step is the most tedious portion of building your USRA Composite Gondola............." Major understatement!

    It's not only that the pieces are tiny, their attachment, called "locators" in the instructions, to the body of the car are very short. Being plastic, they're also extremely fragile. This combination has made it almost impossible, at least for me, to insert the "locators" into the holes, called "locator holes", on the body; too short and not rigid enough. Tried and broke one right off the bat, after about a 1/2 hr trying.
    Is their a supplier of detail parts that sells HO grab irons in wire or other metal, i.e. castings? These are called Type W and Type X Grab Irons by Intermountain.
    If not, has anyone developed a technique for attaching the plastic ones? Tried tweezers, clamps, pliers, but not winning this one.

    George :confused:
  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    there are several manufacturers of wire handgrabs; Detail associates, Details west, A line, Tichy. Your local Hobby shop should be able to help you with this.
    Pete
  3. jdscales040

    jdscales040 Member

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    Like the man said, there are lots of maufacturers and many different types. A visit to your local HS should help you out.

    I never use the plastic grabs or stirrup steps. Always use metal/wire grabs and delrin stirrups. The plastic just doesn't make it.:curse:

    Wish you luck on the kit,:wave:

    John D.
  4. kjd

    kjd Member

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    If it is a painted kit, the holes may have paint in them and need to be cleaned out with a small drill. I have built only 3 intermountain cars because they take so much time but I remember cleaning out the holes for grabs.
  5. pdt

    pdt Member

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    If you've only built three, then you haven't gotten into a rhythm yet! They are a bit time consuming, but like a Cannon cab kit, everything goes together easily.

    You can use thick CA to apply the grabs if MEK isn't giving you any success. I generally put them in place with MEK, let them dry and if they pop off later under a bit of pressure, I attach them again with CA. However, I only deal with their covered hoppers (cylindrical and 18 rib PS hoppers) so my results may vary if there was any design changes between the gons and hoppers. Still, the same concepts apply.
  6. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    Thanks for the information. I hoped there was an alternate to the plastice grab irons. I tried again yesterday to use them with no success again. Broke another one.

    The LHS around me (30 mile radius) are hobby oriented, not too heavy into trains. When I checked to see if either one carried detail parts the reply was "come on in and we'll look in the Walther's catalog and order what you need."

    I do travel quite a bit on business here in So. Cal. so I checked on a good train shop in the LA area, and they advised they have parts in stock. I'll check them out on my next trip up north.

    I agree about the detail on these Intermountain kits; great! Is there a surefire way to remove the small plastic details from the sprue? I've always used an Xacto knife on other kits, but when I started on this kit found that too much downward pressure caused the piece to break unevenly from the sprue, sometimes at a point away from the Xacto knife's point of contact.

    Again, thanks for the advice. Will keep on trying!

    George
  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    If you don't want to wait, you can easily make your own. I make mine as opposed to driving across town. You can take some appropriate diameter solid wire, lay it perpindicular across the jaws of some needle nose pliers, position to a point on the jaws that is the desired width (you might mark that point), and bend to 90 degreesish. Then snip to length. Make all the steps a girl could ask for in 15 mins. :D
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    George,
    Reed's, in La Mesa, used to have all the detail parts you could ask for! Have they reduced their stock that much? just curious,
    Pete
  9. jdscales040

    jdscales040 Member

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    Invest in a good sprue cutter. Available in a well stocked hobby shop or at Micro-Mark. www.micromark.com They're invaluable!:thumb:
    John D.


    I agree about the detail on these Intermountain kits; great! Is there a surefire way to remove the small plastic details from the sprue? I've always used an Xacto knife on other kits, but when I started on this kit found that too much downward pressure caused the piece to break unevenly from the sprue, sometimes at a point away from the Xacto knife's point of contact.

    Again, thanks for the advice. Will keep on trying!

    George[/QUOTE]
  10. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

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    Reed's, in La Mesa, used to have all the detail parts you could ask for! Have they reduced their stock that much? just curious,

    Pete
    They still have a great selection. Not too local about 40 miles away. I was down that way a couple of weeks ago but wasn't aware of this need.

    george
  11. pdt

    pdt Member

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    When I was building P2K Mather stock car kits for my Grandpa, the instructions suggested heating a hobby knife blade over a flame and using the hot razor to remove the part from the sprue, leaving a bit of the molding gate attached to the part to trim later. I found this method to be very effective. Of course, the blade I'd been heating was pretty much shot and worthless after all this heating and reheating. I also used a brand new blade in a different knife handle to do the trimming of the molding gates from the delicate parts after they were removed from the sprue. When I trimmed the molding gates from the grabs, I simply pinned the grab between my finger and a legal pad (I like using legal pads for doing trimming work for some reason) and carefully dragged the point of the blade across the gate where I wanted to trim it. Very little pressure is the key. Let the blade do the work for you, but it has to be a sharp blade!

    Personally, I think wire grabs look okay, but these molded grabs look better with their nut/bolt/washer castings. The Intermountain kits I've built come with several extras of the delicate parts. In a few cases, my first attempt used all the spares and some from other identical kits before I got the hang of it, so don't feel bad for breaking several of those parts.

    There's definitely a learning curve associated with kits of this skill level, but good technique makes them go together easily. You might want to get two or more similar kits and build them. You'll get better as you go and you can rob the extras you won't need from the other kits. And you'll end up with a cut of cars rather than a single.

    Good luck.