Lackawanna boxcars part 2

The last blog post focused on upgrading a pair of Accurail plastic HO scale 36-foot boxcars to follow Lackawanna prototypes. One of the details to remove are the door braces. In the lead image, I used an X-Acto #17 chisel blade to carefully remove the bulk of the molded on brace. Use a new blade, apply slow pressure, and wiggle the blade slightly to keep cutting the detail.

The chisel blade won’t remove all the material.

A fellow modeler and dentist gave me a bunch of dental tools years ago. One was this scraper that I use in removing remaining detail to level the area.
After leveling the area of the removed detail, it’s time to scribe grooves for the wood sheathing. I use the #17 chisel blade to make the first impressions. This makes it easier for scribing tools to follow.
Dental tools have various shapes and sizes. I used this curved pick with a wide point to scribe the grooves through the area of the removed detail. Take your time with this so the pick makes a straight groove.
I clear the accumulated plastic from the point after scribing six to eight grooves.
I use an old X-Acto #11 blade to scribe the grooves again for width. I use this blade upside-down as the worn tip is about as wide as the model grooves.
After scribing, clear the plastic dust with a stiff bristle brush to get a clear look at the work.
I used the scraper one more time to level the sheathing surface. Sometimes plastic will build up adjacent to new grooves. Fine wet/dry sandpaper can also be used to level the surface.
Here’s the finished appearance after paint and decals have been applied. You can see the area where the detail was removed in this close up. It looks better than the last image and is hardly noticeable viewing from a normal distance.

I use similar tools and processes to remove all sorts of details from plastic models. The key is to use more than one tool to make the grooves. Use narrow tools to establish the path and wider tools to add a groove similar to what is on your model. Don’t forget that final touch up with a scraper or fine sandpaper to level the sheathing surface.

As you can guess, these two Lackawanna boxcars are almost complete and ready for the weathering factory. Another update will follow.


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2 thoughts on “Lackawanna boxcars part 2”

  1. I’ve never had that kind of result trying to restore the boards after carving away the details. I’ll have to give it another try sometime. Thanks for the tutorial.

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