Re: Drop Grab Irons

Bryian Sones

I only upgrade hoppers with brass wire. Drop grab or straight grab? It depends on the prototype. I've been doing it since the Kato and Bowser 70 ton ACF covered hoppers first hit the market many years ago. I've upgraded them both with successful results however, for me the Kato is the only one worth upgrading between the two. It's much easier to work with. The plastic is very delicate with the Bowser. You need a sharp bit at all times and wood support behind the area you are drilling. Starter holes are a good idea to reduce the chance of cracking. If you are lucky or very skilled you can complete one without any breakage but you must be careful and patient. The Kat is much more forgiving. The plastic is softer and easier to work with. When finished the Kato can look as good as the Intermountain. Its almost hard to distinguish which is which. If you are modeling U.P. hoppers accurately. The Intermountain, Kato and the Bowser all need some modifications to the latch detail. I redo the whole latch details with brass wire but that's just me.

Bryian Sones
Union Pacific Prototype Modeler
Murrieta CA 

On Tuesday, October 10, 2017 8:55 AM, "Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC]" wrote:


I agree with Ben - very low BENEFIT/WORK ratio for replacing the Bowser
grabirons on their covered hoppers. They'll never look as good as Intermountain
kits but for the price and amount of effort, they look just fine.

Tim O'Connor

Honestly?  There aren't any on the aftermarket.  Besides, think of all those broken Intermountain/Branchline/Proto 2000/etc. grabs and detail parts down at the club - I've never been satisfied with either durability or appearance of drop grabs on higher end styrene kits.  You'd be better off keeping the Bowser parts as-is, which are actually quite nice.

Ben Hom

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