Craftsman level train
modelers utilize many detail parts. After
all, to be considered craftsman its all about the
details. We are limiting this search to only
suppliers who offer a wide variety of detail
parts. Our reviews will primarily focus on HO scale
details of the "craftsman kit" type; that typically
are made with wood,
paper, metal, plastic and other textures. We will
start with castings formed in white-metal and resin.
Commercial castings has been a hobby standard for
Today, we will review new source (new
to us) for
white-metal detail castings. We are only looking at
their HO scale details, even if they manufacture
WISEMAN MODEL SERVICES INC.
Services' casts and sell their
white metal details as a
"bulk-unfinished" product. They
arrive grouped together in clear
plastic zip-style bag. No
separate packaging. While this
keeps costs down the trade off
is more time spent checking the
order. Our order included
a total of 8 different products.
The castings arrived promptly (3
days from purchase). Upon
checking the order we found that
one item was short one piece and
two items where missing from the
order. After contacting Wiseman,
they shipped the missing parts
promptly. We communicated with
Wiseman via email, they where
prompt in their replies, and
corrected the order with
replacement parts in record
time. When the replacement parts
arrived we discovered that they
had sent the missing items and
extra pieces. The replacement parts also arrived very promptly.
In customer service we would
rate Wiseman "exceptional"; we all
know that issues in life occur,
and that's just part of life.
It's how someone deals with the
issues that really matters, and Wiseman
dealt with our issues
professionally, with speed, and
they provided a little extra to
correct the issues.
Example, we got 3
hand-trucks (vs the two advertised)
when they sent the missing
parts. The little extra goes a
long ways. We did not expect any
additional quantity, but it sure
felt good when they arrived.
HO/HOn3, WISEMAN DETAIL PARTS
#HO116 HAND TRUCKS
Purchased on April 18th through
their eBay store, at a fixed
price of $3.00 for a pair.
The castings required, some
minor removal of typical amounts
of flashing/waste material.
This was followed by a warm
water and dish soap cleansing
to prep them for a finish. The
wheels are separate and required
gluing in place after cleaning.
We will apply/use Blackin (3 min. bath) air dry then
buff to a shinny finish on the tongue for the final
finish. We use "Jax Pewter Black" (Jax chemical
company, $12+SH per pint) for this
technique. Blackin is a chemical solution that will
produce a black antique finish on pewter, lead,
brass, bronze, copper and tin alloy metals. Even if
we are going to paint the metal we often Blackin
first, this allows a great surface to paint to and
when paint is chipped away the black is a natural
looking finish underneath.
Above picture is casting before any finish. Image
provided by Wiseman website store.
Now that the Hand trucks are blackened
we worked to buff the tongues. Then while I
was hand buffing the tong, the metal castings
chipped, so I worked on another part and it too
We began to wonder if these white-metal castings
are too fragile for hand buffing? Seems very
odd that they will not hold up to a light buffing.
We have used this technique successfully with many
other white-metal castings over the years. And here
too, on the third hand truck it worked out fine.
After a shinny finish is achieved on
the tong, I panted the wheels black and handle
ends to resemble hand-grips also black, using craft acrylic paints (we like to
use "Creamcoat" tube paints by Delta for most of our model building
projects. However this is just a preference, any
acrylic paint should wok well when painting white
metal castings. We also brush paint vs airbrushing.
But again this is a preference as both work fine. We
finished the project with a light coat of a flat
finish (satin) from a spry product. Any commercially
available dull finish spry-can product will provide
a sealer for your casting. We like a product from
Lowes called "DEFT clear wood finish lacquer" in
satin, recommended for wood and metal products. On
small projects a 12oz can lasts a long time as only
thin coats are required as a final sealer. If we use
pastels or weathering caulks we use this same
product as a final project sealer. It can also be
used to prep in replacement of a primer before
applying a finish.
At this point our hand trucks are
considered layout ready.
(click on image to enlarge)
We think the product offers a
good grade of detail, is reasonably priced, comes
support with great customer service.
writing this review we contacted
Services and shared our experience and
this article. Wiseman felt that their metal castings
are more popular due to their more accurate
"thickness" in their casting dimensions, and we
fully agree. They shared that to achieve this they
use an alloy that is comprised more in "lead and
tin" verse the industry typical lead-free pewter
castings. And that this could have been responsible
for weakening the part at the "cross
section of the bottom of the part"
the soaking process of our technique. They
recommended that we try using another technique for
blackening their castings. A technique that using
common household vinegar, and they sent replacement
parts for the two that chipped. We felt an
obligation to give it a try so we have amended this
review to include their recommendation.
the replacement parts and followed the above process
replacing the blacken product with vinegar. We
soaked the parts for 12 hours and found no
noticeable blackening of the parts, so we continued
to soak them for another 36 hours. and they blacked
very little. We dried them and found the vinegar
did create a nice "tooth" to the metal for
holding paint. But the tongue was very shinny and
not blackened. We soaked the tongue again in our
blacken and they held up fine when we hand polished
recommendation would be to soak the white metal
castings in vinegar for 12 hours, to add "tooth",
then blacken for visual effects. The two soak
process will give your a nicely finished white metal
detail. As for the "chipped" items, We think the
first batch of castings had some kind of defect in
the metal mixture, because we have since used our
blacken process on many other castings from
Services with no chipping after hand polished
them. The process is very effective, and Wiseman Model
Services customer service is outstanding as are
their detailed castings. We highly recommend them to
all modelers, because ...
..."during our adventures in life problems will
occur, this is just part of life.
However, its not
the problems that matter, what matters, is how
people handle the problems."
The following white-metal
castings by SierraWest where done using our
Blackin technique described in this review.
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