Re: Building Stock Cars vs. Tank Cars

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

Wow! This thread on resin sanding and relative kit difficulites has been immensely interesting, reassuring and informative. I have learned how large expanses of thick flash can be removed- made to disappear even- in several minutes (seconds?) with a belt sander, 90 grit, 220 grit and even 320 grit sand papers (this latter a real stunner, I must admit). A lot to mull over.

Personally, I had briefly considered the use of my 12" bench disc sander, but thought that it might be "cheating" to use such a powerful instrument.

I do agree with those who opine that the resulting appearance of the fully-sanded and cleaned-up resin stock car resin sides can be and is truly extraordinary ("the stock cars are probably the most attractive of all my resin models"). At the moment, the latter statement holds promise to be true for me as well.

I would repeat what I said earlier, as well as joining others who have found the same thing, that a very sharp Xacto #1l blade seems to be the best tool for cleaning the flash between the boards, once the backs have been thinned. Use the knife edge to trim away most of the flash, but then use the back of the blade to scrape away the shards and hanging shads. This flat edge with sharp square corners serves much as the cabinet maker's and boat-builder's traditional "cabinet scraper" (usually made from fine handsaw blade material) , where fine surface scraping occurs without any possibility of the "digging in" that can occur with any sort of knife or planing blade. I ensure the sharpness of both front and back of the #11 blade by at-will honing on a fine Arkansas stone.

This same scraping technique with the back of a #11 blade also works well in the general tasks of scraping flash from both resin and styrene.

TANK CARS: My first completed summer project was/is a GOULD new old-stock (1982) 10000 gal. USRA tank car kit, perhaps the very finest styrene kit I have ever encountered. There was no flash; everything (that is, everything!) fit. The instructions were complete, clear, logical with good illustrations, and did not presume that you were a dummy. I felt no need to substitute aftermarket details anywhere except for trucks (Accurail Andrews) and wheels (Reboxx 0.088"), and the addition of a chain connecting the manual brake rod . I added short-shank Kadee #152 scale couplers (clipped glad hands), and easily added PSC shaped brass air hoses.

Before assembling this kit, I considered the controversies surrounding the purported absence of a real prototype for this model tank car, concluded that it was not a moral issue, and subsequently had a great time both constructing it, and then delighting in the completed model. How I paint and decal it is yet an open question, however.

What other products did Gould produce prior to Tichy purchasing their patterns? The 1982 high price on the box of $14.95 is telling as to its relative place amongst the relatively low prices of the time, perhaps the reason why it was apparently not on the market very long.

Thin-wall tubing for handrails: the stainless thin wall tubing that Ted obtains from Small Parts (as do I) , and uses primarily to connect handrail pipe-ends is NOT flexible (not even close), but essentially is that same rigid tubing used to make hypodermic needles. It is great stuff, but difficult to cut (death on fine saw teeth) except with a Dremel cutoff disc.


Denny S. Anspach, MD
Okoboji, Iowa

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