Durable Stirrups?


reporterllc
 

I've been communicationg with a manufacturer recently about the delicate HO stirrups on their freight cars. He is of the opinion that there is no alternative and still keep them to scale size. It seems to me that after market parts are much more durable and we do have some flat wire versions that are scale and durable. And I believe Details Associates makes some out of a flexible plastic material? He is going to send me spares on a sprue but I think in the long term I would rather replace them with something more durable.

Folks what are your thoughts on this?

Victor Baird
Fort Wayne, Indiana


Bill Vaughn
 

A line brass steps work great.

--- On Tue, 11/9/10, wabash2813 <reporterllc@...> wrote:

From: wabash2813 <reporterllc@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Durable Stirrups?
To: STMFC@...
Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 9:15 AM







 









I've been communicationg with a manufacturer recently about the delicate HO stirrups on their freight cars. He is of the opinion that there is no alternative and still keep them to scale size. It seems to me that after market parts are much more durable and we do have some flat wire versions that are scale and durable. And I believe Details Associates makes some out of a flexible plastic material? He is going to send me spares on a sprue but I think in the long term I would rather replace them with something more durable.



Folks what are your thoughts on this?



Victor Baird

Fort Wayne, Indiana

























[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Nov 9, 2010, at 9:15 AM, wabash2813 wrote:

I've been communicationg with a manufacturer recently about the
delicate HO stirrups on their freight cars. He is of the opinion
that there is no alternative and still keep them to scale size. It
seems to me that after market parts are much more durable and we do
have some flat wire versions that are scale and durable. And I
believe Details Associates makes some out of a flexible plastic
material? He is going to send me spares on a sprue but I think in
the long term I would rather replace them with something more durable.

Folks what are your thoughts on this?
Victor, all of my HO scale rolling stock is designed to operate on a
diorama and to be handled periodically for maintenance, etc.
Mercifully, I don't have to deal with the ham-fisted bozos who seem
inevitable on most club layouts, but in my experience plastic sill
steps that are molded on or cemented in place are either grossly
oversize and out of scale or so fragile as to be vulnerable to even
reasonably careful handling. For that reason, my long-standing
practice is to replace them wherever possible with A-Line metal steps
(which, incidentally, are less expensive if purchased in bulk than in
individual retail packages). I heat each step to a dull red with my
resistance soldering tool and then quench it in water; this makes it
easy to bend the step to whatever exact configuration may be required
without breaking it. I then blacken it with a chemical blackening
agent before installing it, as the black coating takes paint better
than bare metal and tends to prevent unwanted shine from the metal if
the paint gets rubbed off. The A-Line steps are slightly over-scale,
but not much, and look quite realistic as well as being resistant to
any damage that might result from a derailment, etc. Worst case
scenario is that they get bent, and - having been annealed before
installation - they can easily be bent back into position and touch-
up paint applied if necessary. FWIW -

Richard Hendrickson


Tim O'Connor
 

I've used A-Line stirrups in cases where I wasn't too particular
about the prototype, or where the prototype definitely used a
bottom-mount sill step.

But some steps were side-mount, or a combination of side-bottom
or even side-end mount. And that's where the tough plastic steps
from Detail Associates, Tichy and others do a good job. They are
not so likely to break as they are to fall off, as they resist
most glues!

I'd had very good luck with metal steps in Westerfield kits, and
you can do neat things with them like correctly tilt them outwards
which you can't do with the molded plastic steps.

The 1937 AAR box cars had very distinctive sill steps, so I always
use the plastic kit steps for my Red Caboose/IMWX box cars. Then as
Richard says, I keep 'em away from the club. ;-)

Tim O'Connor

Victor, all of my HO scale rolling stock is designed to operate on a
diorama and to be handled periodically for maintenance, etc.
Mercifully, I don't have to deal with the ham-fisted bozos who seem
inevitable on most club layouts, but in my experience plastic sill
steps that are molded on or cemented in place are either grossly
oversize and out of scale or so fragile as to be vulnerable to even
reasonably careful handling. For that reason, my long-standing
practice is to replace them wherever possible with A-Line metal steps
(which, incidentally, are less expensive if purchased in bulk than in
individual retail packages). I heat each step to a dull red with my
resistance soldering tool and then quench it in water; this makes it
easy to bend the step to whatever exact configuration may be required
without breaking it. I then blacken it with a chemical blackening
agent before installing it, as the black coating takes paint better
than bare metal and tends to prevent unwanted shine from the metal if
the paint gets rubbed off. The A-Line steps are slightly over-scale,
but not much, and look quite realistic as well as being resistant to
any damage that might result from a derailment, etc. Worst case
scenario is that they get bent, and - having been annealed before
installation - they can easily be bent back into position and touch-
up paint applied if necessary. FWIW -

Richard Hendrickson


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Nov 9, 2010, at 7:45 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

I've used A-Line stirrups in cases where I wasn't too particular
about the prototype, or where the prototype definitely used a
bottom-mount sill step.

But some steps were side-mount, or a combination of side-bottom
or even side-end mount. And that's where the tough plastic steps
from Detail Associates, Tichy and others do a good job. They are
not so likely to break as they are to fall off, as they resist
most glues!
A good point, Tim, but you're correct that those tough plastic steps
tend to fall off, even when affixed with CA, and I regard a step that
falls off (probably to never be seen again) to be as bad as one that
breaks off. However, I have a solution which I should have mentioned
in my earlier post. With side-mounted steps, I cement the kit steps
securely in place and then cut them off flush with the bottom of the
side sill. I then drill holes for the A-Line steps as close as
possible to the outside edges of the side at the locations of the
step attachment points and at an angle such that the steps are at
about a 30 degree angle. Then after the metal steps are secured with
CA, I bend them so they extend downward vertically, or at the same
angle as on the prototype (remember, I annealed the steps so they
bend easily). The result is a metal step which will neither break
nor fall off, and comes close enough in appearance to the prototype
that I'm satisfied. YMMV, of course.

Richard Hendrickson


Tim O'Connor
 

Good idea, Richard, I'll have to try it!

Tim O'Connor

A good point, Tim, but you're correct that those tough plastic steps
tend to fall off, even when affixed with CA, and I regard a step that
falls off (probably to never be seen again) to be as bad as one that
breaks off. However, I have a solution which I should have mentioned
in my earlier post. With side-mounted steps, I cement the kit steps
securely in place and then cut them off flush with the bottom of the
side sill. I then drill holes for the A-Line steps as close as
possible to the outside edges of the side at the locations of the
step attachment points and at an angle such that the steps are at
about a 30 degree angle. Then after the metal steps are secured with
CA, I bend them so they extend downward vertically, or at the same
angle as on the prototype (remember, I annealed the steps so they
bend easily). The result is a metal step which will neither break
nor fall off, and comes close enough in appearance to the prototype
that I'm satisfied. YMMV, of course.

Richard Hendrickson


Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

GUYZ,
 
I've had good luck using WKW Goo applied with a pin to the mounting lugs.
Haven't had a step failure in operation. so far, so good.
 
Fred Freitas

--- On Tue, 11/9/10, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


From: Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Durable Stirrups?
To: STMFC@...
Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 10:45 PM


 



I've used A-Line stirrups in cases where I wasn't too particular
about the prototype, or where the prototype definitely used a
bottom-mount sill step.

But some steps were side-mount, or a combination of side-bottom
or even side-end mount. And that's where the tough plastic steps
from Detail Associates, Tichy and others do a good job. They are
not so likely to break as they are to fall off, as they resist
most glues!

I'd had very good luck with metal steps in Westerfield kits, and
you can do neat things with them like correctly tilt them outwards
which you can't do with the molded plastic steps.

The 1937 AAR box cars had very distinctive sill steps, so I always
use the plastic kit steps for my Red Caboose/IMWX box cars. Then as
Richard says, I keep 'em away from the club. ;-)

Tim O'Connor

Victor, all of my HO scale rolling stock is designed to operate on a
diorama and to be handled periodically for maintenance, etc.
Mercifully, I don't have to deal with the ham-fisted bozos who seem
inevitable on most club layouts, but in my experience plastic sill
steps that are molded on or cemented in place are either grossly
oversize and out of scale or so fragile as to be vulnerable to even
reasonably careful handling. For that reason, my long-standing
practice is to replace them wherever possible with A-Line metal steps
(which, incidentally, are less expensive if purchased in bulk than in
individual retail packages). I heat each step to a dull red with my
resistance soldering tool and then quench it in water; this makes it
easy to bend the step to whatever exact configuration may be required
without breaking it. I then blacken it with a chemical blackening
agent before installing it, as the black coating takes paint better
than bare metal and tends to prevent unwanted shine from the metal if
the paint gets rubbed off. The A-Line steps are slightly over-scale,
but not much, and look quite realistic as well as being resistant to
any damage that might result from a derailment, etc. Worst case
scenario is that they get bent, and - having been annealed before
installation - they can easily be bent back into position and touch-
up paint applied if necessary. FWIW -

Richard Hendrickson







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]