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May 2008 - Page 22


By M . R . Snell
Custom Finishing offers kits t o recreate the most common modern-era maintenance of way (MOW) equip ment. These techniques will m a ke it easier and quicker to assemble the kits and to add the details to match the intricate prototypes. There's more information on superdetailing the Custom Finishing kits by David W. Davis in the May 2005 issue. There's also an index of articles on maintenance of way equipment on our website at under Modern Freight Cars.


very spring, as many of us return trackside to watch and group photograph prepares to passi n g begin trains, a n ofte n-underrated

flat cars, usual l y in the company of trailer style hous i n g for the gang, also mou nted on mod i fied flat cars. Upon arrival at the work s i te, the track eq u i pment can be u n loaded down a ramp d i rectly t o the rai l . Anyone who has seen a gang train o r gang at work can attest that i t is a fascinating sight to see. While most of us have no need for track gangs on our m i n iature rai lroads, they can be used to m ake eye-catching scenes, as we l l as enhance operations. Track equ i p ment can call attention to spec i fi c scenes, and operations around design ated work areas require Form D permits and other spec ial operating rules.


man ufacturer,


F i n ishi ng,

has spec ialized in produc i ng track gang equipment and offers a l arge selection of gang and MOW to HO scale modelers. Custom Finishing k i ts are cast i n pewter, w i th brass and wire parts. The k i ts vary i n complex ity and can b e classified as crafts man k i ts. While assembl i ng these kits may look l i ke a daunting task, w i th a li ttle patience they can be made i nto m i n iature show pieces and w i l l defin ite l y be eye catchers on your layout. We ' ll look at the Custom F i n ishi ng kit n umber 7074, a Nordco Tie Spacer, which i s a med i um-complexity k i t.

theil' work season . Mechanized MOW gangs, often called "production gangs," are charged with repairi ng the right-of way. At scheduled i n tervals, each rail l i ne will see tie or rai l rep l acement, performed by a mechanized production gang. A production gang has many u n i q ue piec es of sel f-propel led on-track equ i pment, each designed to perform a spec ific task, from l i ft i ng ties to shaping bal l ast shoul ders. Machinery is transported from work site to work site using specially mod i fied


The instruction sheet provided with the kit will list several sizes of drill bits, shown on the instructions by letters on the corresponding parts. Once the holes have been drilled, replace the parts on the diagram until you are ready to install each one.

Prior to beginning assembly of any model kit, you should lay the parts out and familiarize yourself with the instructions. When building a CF kit, this is a necessity, due to the parts and the format of the instructions. Identify each part on the exploded diagram, then remove each part from the sprues and clean any flash using a file. Begin test fitting all the parts so you will be familiar with how the parts go together. You will notice small dimples on some parts, and these dimples are locations where holes will need to be drilled for installation of pins or hydraulic hoses. These holes should be drilled before you begin assembling the model, since some locations may be inaccessible once you have begun assembly.

The first step in assembling the kit is to add the rail wheels.


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