Need help on shaving molded on details

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Chessie1973, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    I have searched the academy as well as the rest of the site but havent found any details on techniques for shaving off those out of scale molded on details we find on so much rolling stock and Locomotives out there.

    I am wanting to superdetail some of my things but I am a bit worried about carving away at my 100 dollar stewart F-7 A/B set without first getting some help in the way of tips and ideas for techniques that some of our modellers here use.

    ANy suggestions for ways to shave these details such as grab irons and such off the shells and how to properly smooth them so they blend in to the model so I can put wire details in the place of the molded on ones?
  2. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    Hey, Chessie!

    I think that there is a certain number X-Acto blade purposely made for shaving molded on grabs. It is designed specifically not to scratch up the surface of the shell. Now, I don't know the number, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that someone knows exactly the blade to which I refer, and will provide the part number for you.

    I'm thinking that there will be other tips and tricks showing up soon here for you, too...and I'll be taking note as well. :)
  3. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    I have a chisel blade that is acyually a sort of crystal type sbstance of some form I picked up somewhere.

    It doesnt work all that well though it acts like it doesnt have enough bite to cut the plastic. I will keep my eyes open for those blades. Maybe someone will post that blade number here though to make the search a bit easier for me.
  4. Goattee

    Goattee Member

    Micro-Mark has what I think you are looking for.
    In the latest flier on page 33 top right is a plastic modeler's chisel.
    part # 80893 $12.95
    and a norrow version with 2mm wide cutting edge
    part #82709 $12.95
    boath are on sale for for $10.95
    I have just ordered boath.
  5. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    The point about those MicroMark chisels is that (if they are the ones I think they are) the tip of the blade is slightly convex so there is less likelyhood of gouging the smooth side panels around the details on your models than there would be with a square headed chisle blade in a hobby knife.
  6. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I have an old set of jewelers screwdrivers, the ones with the shaft/blade, held in a collet. I've sharpened them to a razor edge, and replaced the swivels with wood balls.They double as chisels, and scrapers, specificly for removing cast on detail. They also work very well for cutting circular openings in sheet styrene, and for window and door openings.
  7. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I use a 1/4 wood chisel I keep honed and used for nothing else. Fred
  8. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I'll shave the grabs with the chisel x-acto and finish off with a curved sanding stick for a smooth finish
  9. pdt

    pdt Member

    Before you do anything, prepare the surface. Use ordinary clear tape, such as Scotch Magic Tape, to cover the area surrounding the part to be removed. This is especially helpful when removing parts from a decorated model. It also works well for applying putty, too.

    Next, take an ordinary X-acto chisel blade and modify it like this:

    This way you'll remove the source of the gouging: the edges. I use ordinary 400 grit then 1000 grit sandpaper to shape the blade and to keep it sharp.

    Handling the chisel properly makes a difference, too. Position it so the bevel faces up away from the surface you're cutting. Apply light pressure in the direction of the blade and equal light pressure away from it at the same time with your other hand, allowing the blade to move by letting up on the pressure from your opposing hand. This helps you control the blade in the event of a slip. If more than light pressure is required to make a cut, take a smaller bite and work your way down.

    Once you've removed the material, finish the surface with 600 or 1000 grit sandpaper. If the tape you applied has been damaged by the chisel, replace it. You can use your finger to sand the surface, but that tends to create a less than flat surface. I use small sanding blocks I made out of ebony. Ebony is an extremely hard wood, so it retains its shape very well. Any fine-grained hardwood will work for this kind of tool, and they're easy to make with a bandsaw and a bench grinder. The best part is you can cut them to fit the shape of your hand and your grip.

    Any of the methods mentioned above work well, too. It's through several years of removing end ladders from Athearn dreadnaught ends that I came up with this method. I should also mention that every single part of my method is something I learned from someone else. So, hopefully you got the answer you were looking for!
  10. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Thanks for all the great help guys.

    We keep this up and we will end up with an academy thread with all the info and help on shaving details in here :D
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I have one of the Micro Mark chisels, and it is great for carving off details.
  12. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Actually one of you could start by posting these tips in the tips and tricks sticky in the scratchbuilding and kitbashing forum.(Scratchin & Bashin)
  13. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Well I decided to start small.

    I brought my CSX caboose with me to work tonight as well as my x-acto and some extra blades. I have successfully shaved off all the molded on handrails with little extra to be touched up.

    I also picked up a few hundred Tichy brass wire grab irons at my now closed LHS. He sold them to me for half the marked price which made them 1.50 a pack so I bought him out of stock on them.

    As soon as I can get the time and some more CA glue I will be outting finescale grab irons on this little bachmann silver series caboose for my first ever fine scale detail job on a car.

    It should look real nice with my Atlas SD-35 in the lead of the train.
  14. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    I discovered a handy little technique for getting the spacing from the car body on the wire grabs on my caboose that may prove useful to others.

    I put a spare x-acto knife blade under the handrail between it and the car body before applyng the CA glue on the inside of the shell. I hold it there for a few seconds until the glue begins toset then carefully pull it out from under the grab iron. It gives a nearly perfect spacing from the body.
  15. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Well I now have wire grab irons on my soon to be repainted CSX caboose and an Atearn 4 truck flat car. Once I get home from work I will tkes some pic s and make a thread on it.

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