Thursday, November 15, 2012

Better is easier, really!

Over time I've improved my modeling skills and techniques. Little tricks that I've gleaned from other modelers whose work I admire or detail parts that are truly superb. And as I was working on a trio of UP ACR boxcars today I couldn't help but realize that "improved" details actually are easier than compromise solutions.

Brake rods. For many years I would drill holes in brake levers, then bend little hooks in the wires to make a good mechanical connection and then add a touch of ACC to secure. Sometimes getting the rod that connected the live and dead lever right took a couple of tries. But now, by using cut up turnbuckle castings to replicate the clevis the job goes very quickly and looks so much better. It does mean  making my own brake levers from 1x6 and 1x8 styrene, but even that is faster than trying to sand resin ones down to the right thickness. Better and faster.

Bracket grabs. Kadee offers their bracket grabs as part of their detail parts line. These are the best bracket grabs on the market, period. The plastic is very flexible, to the point that you'd have to really work at it to break them. And they mount very easily. Drill four #75 holes and press fit, you don't even really need glue. The grabs are designed with a tapered square pin that really holds well.

I even went so far the other day to cut one and turn the inboard bracket horizontal, as some end brackets were and was very pleased with the results
Sure beats farting around with brittle styrene offerings.
So the object lesson is push your boundaries, you may find that it's a lot easier to get the results you didn't think you could.

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