Nose Hand Grabs

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by SeriousSam, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    Whats going on everyone? Has anyone ever made any top of the nose grab irons for a Dash 8, either the C or the CW locomotives? I am impressed with the detail the Spectrum Dash 8s have. But the nose grab irons bother me because they are so thick. I have just gotten a hold of some brass wire. the only thing is that I have no idea how to bend it into that "bowl" shape . The Atlas Dash 8 locomotives have different handrails (they use the Dash 9 type) that use the six piece set instead of the four, so they are of no help. The first picture shows what can be done to the Bachmann locomotive to improve their grab irons. The ATSF unit is the Dash 8. The SP unit is the Dash 9. The Dash 8 handrails look fine but are way too thick. i wish to take it a step further and make it a bit more prototypical.

    The Conrail Dash 8s are Atlas models, and I believe that if I can bend the brass wire to accomodate the wide cab unit, i can use the same wire to fit the nose grabs on the standard cab unit.

    Attached Files:

  2. mooreway

    mooreway Member

    I have bent grab irons by shaping a peice of wood into a jig the shape I wanted and then drilling a hole on one side to insert a wire bent an 90 degrees in and then wrap the wire around the jig. you may need to sand the jig to get the radius right. with a little trial and error you can make many similar parts.

    I have found that brass, holds up the best, craft wire doesn't hold up to handling.

    I wish I had a picture of one of the jigs I had, if I find one I will post it.
  3. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Nice diesels! What modifications did you do to the Bachmann's to make them look so good? That BNSF unit really looks great. Is the SP unit a Kato? And it looks like you've been modifying the Atlas Conrail unit too - did you add a lot of extra items or was some of them already there in a more corrent production run from Atlas?
  4. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    thanks. never thought about using wood as a jig. i hope you do find a picture,
  5. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    The BNSF unit, all I did was "pull up" the nose hand rails. they are included with the model but are painted black (white on conrail units). All I did was insert a small flat screwdriver and yank them upwards from the nose. Once they were at that height, they were painted with the ATSF red. All of the other parts (MU hoses, sunshades etc...) were factory installed by Bmann, including that grab iron on top of the cab. the Espee is a Kato. All ive done to it is add grab irons on the front of the nose, top of the nose, and the ones on the back of the locomotive.

    That Atlas Conrail is a stock picture from the BLMA website I believe. I have a couple Atlas Dash 8s just like that and those are the types of modifications Im trying to make on em'. Sorry, I meant to post that but I forgot :mrgreen:
  6. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Nice! My BNSF B'mann Dash 8 must be an older Spectrum. It didn't have the lights and I had to install the plow and hoses, as well as take off the rapido coupler and install a microtrain. Clearly, I need to do some repainting where there was too little paint applied on the nose as well.

    Attached Files:

  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

  8. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    yeah, those handrails on yours are from the older run. They are the ones with the truck mounted couplers that you had to cut out to replace with the 1168s (I think). Nice job on that one. It looks nice.:thumb:
  9. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

  10. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I've had pretty good luck bending my own out of brass wire. I find the finer, the better. If the hole is too big for the wire, I use styrene rod to fill the hole, then re-drill for the wire. I'm not always accurate enough on my spacing or hole size (read, rarely) so a little thick CA glue goes a long way.
  11. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    I always mess up while drilling the holes on the shells. A lot of times they come out misaligned.
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I guess I have an unfair advantage on this one. My wife is a registered nurse working at a local hospital. The best center punches for locating small holes for grabs is a hypodermic needle, but if you don't have a medical professional contact or are not diabetic, you can't get them legally.
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    They hand 'em out for free to the drug addicts here, but of course, in truth they're all actually model railroaders, busy trying to detail their locomotives.:rolleyes:;)

  14. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Good one, Wayne:mrgreen:

    You made me laugh!sign1
  15. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    lol @ us addicts. I love the BLMA drill jigs that come with their details. But they are difficult to tape to locomotives and make em stay in place

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