Building the MTH HO scale, 60' wood deck flatcar with Diecast Masters 1:87th (previously Norscot) Caterpillar D9T Tractor load.

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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#1
I will start this thread outlining the dismantling of the Tractor. Diecast Masters are now the producers of this model and have made upgrades to the packaging (and price), and added an operator figure to the cab, the last adding an unknown as yet degree of complication to this task.
The first photo is of the tractor as it comes from it's tin (yes, tin)
IMG_5596.JPG

The noticeable differences from the Norscot model is the black paint on the motor hood, the hydraulic rams and the back of the blade, which may be the latest color scheme, or not, because there is a y/tube video with both types on the same train.

Begin the dismantling using a small end pincer cutting pliers. I modified mine by grinding the end so that the cutting blade's edge was flush at the end. Hopefully you can make that out
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Now pull the pin holding the side arm to the tractor's track carrier, with the pliers (try not to cut the pin head off, so don't squeeze hard, wriggle it out)
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Repeat with the other arm to finish up with both free
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To be continued.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#3
Thanks Mike, I omitted to mention the main reason for trying to get those arms pivot pins out in one piece, is because of the "nub" that is on the track carriers. The prototype doesn't have them, only a flat spot with a hole, so this time, I'm going to try to drill it off and the hole the pin came out of will help to center it and look realistic. I have had 1 attempt to do that on the ones already mounted, but it's tricky. Will get them done, but because I left the residue of the pins in their holes, not so easy to get a center point.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#4
Next step. Remove the 2 screws in the base of the body. Pop the sideways movement control arm between the body and the blade, at the front, where it attaches to the little link on the blade, leaving the link still on the blade. Then pull the blade/arms assembly downwards, away from the body until the ram rods of the large rams disengage from the rams, and that blade assembly comes away.
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Unhook the rubber tracks from the front and rear wheels, and push the top part of the track rearward to disengage from the top sprocket
IMG_5619.JPG


Lift (may need to prise it with flat end screwdriver) the base plate at the front to release the cross arm from it's hole (the part on the arm gets clipped off and the arm gets refitted to the blades link. It stays on the blade. But leave it off for now.
IMG_5622.JPG


Place all bits not being worked on into a container, with a lid.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#5
With the front of the base raised slightly, pull, wriggle it forward till it dislodges from the back and lift it off
IMG_5626.JPG


Inside the main frame you will see another screw that holds the motor cowling on, unscrew that and lift the cowling off
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Now we get to the cab and how to release it (not resolved yet) once the motor cowl is off, at least it appears the plastic cab isn't attached with a screw, but that isn't the great news it might seem. What actually holds it onto the main frame is the rollover bar, seen in earlier pics. This part looks like it is held in position by thin pegs, formed onto the bottoms of the "legs" of the rollover bar and pressed down through holes in the frame/fenders over the tracks. In the next pic it shows the end of one of those pegs (highlighted with a black pen spot) just protruding through on the underside of a fender.

IMG_5633.JPG

Theoretically the two pegs will need to be driven out and up to release both the bar and the cab, so hopefully the "operator" can be got rid of. As I mentioned, this was not a problem with the original Norscot models. Just how I will do this without damaging the paint or ruining something, or even if it's possible, is the next task. Fortunately the bar is not attached to the cab in any other way, So if all else fails, it might be best to just cut/break off the legs at the base and glue the bar back in place, there, and onto the cab roof. See Ya.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#6
Well, that went better than expected, if not quite as well as hoped. Got it out with the very small pin punch (about 1mm, .040" or a tad smaller) that I had used to knock out the pivot rivets on the other joints of the blade etc. but not without a small disaster. Because the parts were painted before the original assembly, the pins were stuck in, so I hit the first one just a bit harder to make it move. It came out but all the way, consequently snapping the other one off. No big deal, I'll just use CA gell glue to not only stick it together again, but also between the bar and the Cab's roof.
IMG_5642.JPG


Having freed the cab it was just a matter of tilting it back and unhooking it from the tractor, revealing the driver. He was a bit more unhappy about getting sacked from his job and being unseated. He clung on so tightly to the control levers, he ripped them out of the console and departed with them still firmly gripped in his 1:87 hands. Suffered a dislocated shoulder unfortunately.
IMG_5654.JPG


Next in the process will be pulling the blade and it's associated bits apart, then reassembling as much as is needed for the display. I'm expecting the Indian Ink on thursday and am keen to see how it performs on enhancing the appearance of the flat car decks, especially the grooves between the "boards".
 
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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#10
I next reassembled the cab and motor housing to the main body, This was fiddly trying to hold the bits together while gettin the screw into the motor cover, which then holds them.. Before I did this though I spotted a drop of fast acting CA onto each pivot of the front rams, up inside the cover from it's open bottom, positioning them quickly slightly angled forward (not much, and they don't have to be even, because they aren't always so on the flat cars) and let them set. It may even be advisable to glue the cab into position on the body and clamp it, or press it down at the front till set. Once done, then fit the motor housing. The screw, even though it has a normal thread was originally fitted like a self tapper i.e. it cut the thread into it's hole, this makes it a bit stiff to get back in. you need to grip the body firmly, but be careful of the bits on the cover (exhaust and intake filter). Note the direction the rollbar sits, if you're lucky enough to get both pins out unbroken. In the end I just used quick acting CA AFTER fitting it back in place, a drop at the base of each leg and a thin bead across the roof at the bar's front. There is too much gap at the back, unless you use a thicker glue. If you have it, it is the preffered place to put it.
IMG_5666.JPG


Now the blade, the tricky bit. I can't show all the action, so I hope the instructions do help. First, the pins have to come out of where the arms attach to the blade. They have to be driven out from the outside towards the center, meaning the heads have to come off the pins by either drilling them off or filing them off, filing being my choice of method because it's hard to get a center point on the ends to start the drill. Paint will get lost doing this, and all of the head has to be removed so as to move the pins. They don't usually take much effort to do so.
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The straight part of the pin driver needs to be fairly long in order to get through to the inner holes, once the long arms are off. I made one up from an old screwdriver and grinding it down.
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When I did the first 5 of these tractors, I made up a little frame out od wood bits to sit the blade in while tapping out the pins, this time I was lazy and just clamped a vise grip onto the edge for a stop. Not the best for holding it steady
IMG_5682.JPG
 
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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#11
Now to get the rams off, and here you can drill with a bit that is as close to the pin size or just a tad bigger, because these pins have been fitted from the opposite direction, or you can file the spread ends of them. I got lucky with this cheap OZITO 12V drill which not only takes very small drils, but has the slowest soft trigger speed I've ever seen, goes as slow as a pin drill turned by hand (I have put a pin drill in it's chuck (10mm/3/8") and used it to drill #76 holes in soft metal.
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Do the same at the other end and drive the pins out by passing the pin punch through from the same direction. Retain the long pin because it will be replaced to hold that little yellow piece to remount the cross arm that goes back onto it, and you finish up with this after retouching the paint. Fix the cross arm into postion as shown with glue.
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In case you thought, I just cast our friend the operator, adrift on the scrapheap of unemployment, he is recovering well from his injuries (and hurt feelings, but still clinging onto those control levers) and keeping a watchful eye on proceedings. He is of course intent on rejoining his machine (where's it gon'na go without those levers anyway) when it reaches it's destination (I haven't the heart to tell him it will only do roundy-roundies for the foreseeable future)
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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#12
I did succesfully remove most of those nubs on the side carriers with a drill just a bit smaller than it's diameter, clean it up with a file and touch it up with some paint I mixed together (shear luck that it matched, (I hope i did enough)
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All the parts together, ready to hoist into position
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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#13
Preparing the flat cars:
The decks have been removed and rust applied to the underframes and chain channels. Decks have had the grooves between "boards" scored with the tip of a modelling knife to enhance them and prepared for staining/painting.
IMG_5711.JPG
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#15
I had hoped to have the car finished enough to mount everything on before this Sunday's running day, but that mouse that always causes men's plans to 'auft go awry', did so. (and is bashing my ears as I write this) I got the Indian Ink and for some reason it wouldn't mix with the 70% isopropyl I had, but did so fine with water. I dicovered anyway, that to get the darkness down to near what I wanted, I had to brush it on neat, let it dry a bit, then wipe it almost off the tops of the painted "boards" with a paper towel. It will still need gray paint dry brushed on to the tops for the effect needed.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#16
Here was the result of using Indian ink on the MTH flat car decks, as described in previous post (ignore the winge). The middle decking is OEM.
IMG_5738.JPG
with flash

IMG_5740.JPG
without flash and a bit of shadow.

The upward curve in the decks is the result of scoring the grooves between boards, will press out once glued back down (multiple spots).
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#17
Got onto these again tonight. Applied Battle ship gray paint over the Indian ink and discovered that although dry, the paint softened it, May have been the isopropyl alcohol I had added to the paint previously. A applied it with a brush with strokes in the same direction as the boards. Thought it had made it a bit lighter than I wanted, so once it dried, went over them again with more ink and started to wipe it off but changed to patting it off with a piece of damp paper towel. This helped to not only leave more of the ink in the grooves but gave an uneven splotchy effect to the surface as well.

The grooves/joints in the center boards hadn't shown up very well so I picked them out with the brush's fine edge. Once they were all dry, I glued them back onto the car decks. Here is how they looked after that. Figured it might be too dark.
IMG_5770.JPG


So, I gave them three light coats of the rattle can "Frosted Glass" to lighten them up and finished with dullcote to flatten the slight gloss from that paint. (2 views from slightly different angles)
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IMG_5776.JPG


Waddya think?
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
#18
Here's "waddya think" from this bloke!
In your finished? photos - they look very good to me; however, it seems that you have muchly (is that a word?) complicated the process. Could you not have simply put on a thin grey wash and then wiped a whiter wash and then wiped a darker wash over it -letting it settle onto the grooves?
Disclaimer -- I am thinking back of the days that I used thinned Floquil paints / Dio Sol - and I may have no idea of what I am talking about!
I do like the "splouchyness" - gives a used look as if stuff was spilled before.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#20
Thanks Sherrel. I'll try your suggestion on the next ones, I'll try anything to simplify the process. As you can see from the series of pics where the outer board strips are loose and the middle one is still ixed to the car, the base color they have put on them is a cream shade. I've found that the grooves between the boards are a bit too shallow as supplied and they don't show up too well once painted. The silly thing is, the plastic they use for these boards is a lightish gray and would be a much better base to work from. As you can see in post #16, even applying the full strength indian ink, didn't overcome that cream paint entirely. I did try a thinned wash of the ink at first, but it made virtually no impression at all.

The reason for detaching the outer strips is threefold so I can score the grooves without risking damage to the tiedown channel
sre highly detailed to the point of having the notches in the top edges where the tiedown saddles would lock into on the prototype. You might be able to just make them out in the last pic. The second reason is so, when painting across them, that excess paint won't also get down into those channels. The 3rd reason is to make it possible to do damage to individual boards too.

Yep, muchly is a word.Muchly is defined as a very informal way to say very much. An example of muchlyis when you really want something.
 



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