Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cleaning up and Detailing the Stack

Editorial Comment:  In my years of model railroading, I remember how much I enjoyed the HO MDC Loco kits. I could remove the flash, correct the fit, and do a re-detail job as I was assembling the loco.

Hmmm... I have never asked any model railroad manufacturers to produce ready-to-run models. In fact, I don't know anyone who has. Starting with a ready-to-run model just makes re-detailing and customization a harder and definitely more lengthy process.

What do you think Bachmann would say if I told them I wanted to buy an ON30 loco from them in parts?... No paint, no glue, no instructions.... hmmm......I would say perfect!

All this being said...let's move forward solving the problems at hand in our less than perfect world...
Doesn't instant gratification take about 6 months? (Grin)

Mogul Smoke Stack:

But before I get too far, it was Glenn's idea to detail the 2-6-0 stack, I just put my own wing to it.

After his suggestion, I looked at the stack closely and thought...Love those casting lines!.... right where you can see them!...hmmm, the stack needed more Q.C. .......and Q.C. Means.... Quit Cussing!

The first thing I did was wiggle the stack to crack the superglue that is holding it to the boiler.

I would tell Bachmann to use screws! (among other things.....)

Warning:  In case you are ever tempted, and unless you are really lucky, superglue remover will dissolve the paint, the plastic, and the superglue. I think in that order.. My friend Glenn was successful removing some parts with a gel type superglue remover...but I attribute it to his skill and Irish heritage.

If the wiggling of the stack doesn't work, the shell needs to be removed. Then from inside the boiler, you need to cut through the superglue where the stack protrudes into the boiler to help facilitate its removal. Then back to more wiggles and gentle twists...

If all of the above doesn't work, get out your Dremel and gently grind off the stack base. Then get your O Scale Precision Scale catalog and order a new stack. I would suggest the bear trap cinder catcher and stack P/N PSC-7512 pg 278. Precision Scale's Phone number is 406-642-3901. If you order Precision Scale parts from Walthers, be careful!!! The Walther's parts numbers and descriptions and the Precision Scale parts numbers don't always match... They have some of the part descriptions and part numbers swapped around. Check out the air pumps....I called Precision Scale about this.... It might get fixed....

Another thought to try...I have soaked a Mogul Cab in 91% isopropyl alcohol to try its virtues on the superglue holding the windows in. After 36 hours the superglue softens enough that it gets a bit rubbery like hardened white Elmer's glue. Then gentle prying can tear it loose and some scraping reveals that the superglue is definitely softer and there is no plastic damage to windows or cab. (However, some glue remains to be scraped away.)

Based on this, a 48 hour boiler soak might loosen a stubborn stack. (Remove the boiler from chassis first and plan on repainting everything.)

Once the stack was finally in my hand, I took some suitable brass or copper K&S tubing and chucked it into my cordless drill. I then applied some masking tape to the tubing to make a snug fit with the inside of the stack.

Spin it up, apply fine file, then wet and dry sandpaper until well done. (400 then 600 grit.)

I then take an Atlas track saw and add parting lines to the sides of the base in line with the cast and parting lines in the front and back of the base (so it looks like a real stack and maybe we can add a bolt-on base).

I then take a .031" drill which is super-glued into an almost 3” piece of K&S 1/16" brass tube and then chuck it into a pin vice to drill holes in the stack base (from to top) for the nut bolt washer castings. I used the Kadee HO #439... Cut them to length and press fit into the holes (no glue needed).

To finish up, I repaint the stack with Tamiya Color Acrylic Paint Flat Aluminum XF-16, it matches the other silver nicely!

Put a little acrylic paint on the end of the stack where it goes into the boiler. That should hold it in place and still allow for safe removal....

"Never put anything together so well... that it can't be taken apart..." Vance

As I have looked at the C&S #22 stack close-up, I wonder if we can get a bit closer? See below...

I wonder if a little dremel work will yield some good results...

I'll experiment and get back soon...

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