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The State Tool and Die Open Top Hot Metal Car
Last updated on: Oct 07 2005
State Tool & Die (ST&D) has released a new variation on their very popular Pollock Hot metal Car (CMA-720). The latest variation (CMA-725) comes with an extension that raises the height of the ladle that completely changes the appearance of the car, and a set of wings which convert it into an excellent replica of a car use in pig casting service.
Old Timers in the hobby may remember the original Pollock Hot Metal Car that was made of Zamac by GMC Models. ST&D has released the same car but in styrene, much to everyone’s great pleasure. (Drilling small hole in Zamac for hand grabs and cut levers was never fun.) In appearance the cars are identical except that the ST&D car does not have the raised “Pollock” lettering on the side of the ladle.
Assembling the ST&D car is not difficult but does require some care. All of the plastic parts fit nicely, and the parts go together quickly. The time consuming part of assembly is installing the hand grabs, chains, air line and cut levers. The hand grabs are formed from .012 brass wire and this means you must drill 36 #80 holes. There are no locating marks on the frame, so you are on your own to measure and drill accurately. I used a Dremel with a speed reducer and was able to drill all of the holes without breaking the #80 drill (a first for me!). Fitting the air line looked like it could be tedious, but the soft wire supplied in the kit was very forgiving. The trick is to use one of the exotic glues, (Cyanopoxy or Sinbad) to glue down one end of the wire , bend, fit and glue in a step by step process. These glues allow you to quickly secure metal to plastic, something I’ve only ever been able to do with epoxy. I drilled all the holes for the hand grabs BEFORE I assembled the car. It just made handling easier. There is an assembly on one end of the car that which has a wheel on either side of the car. If you want to be sure that the wheels on both sides of the car are aligned properly, I suggest that you dry assemble the control box to the frame, start a #80 hole from either side of the car into the control box and then remove the box and drill through. The reason for doing this is that once the box is firmly attached to the car, the #80 drill will not be long enough to drill the through hole. Installing the end chains and hooks will test your manual dexterity. The instructions call for drilling two holes in the end of the car frame for each chain assembly, cutting a link in half and inserting the two end of the chain link into the holes and gluing. I’m simply not tough enough to do it that way, so I took a short piece of .016 brass wire, made a small loop, attached it to the chain and inserted it into a hole in the frame end. I attached the hooks by cutting a link and then slipping the hook onto this cut link. Tedious.
The trucks that come with the car appear to be heavy duty Andrews, a good choice. I replaced the plastic wheel sets with Kadee 33” ribbed back metal sets. (Kadee #533) I just like metal wheels better. The car also includes Kadee’s new #58 couplers.
The two variations of the car are a most welcome addition to the ever growing
supply of HO models for the steel
mill modeler. With an extra set of wings, it would be very easy to make
this into a double sided car similar to the Trix
#24060 pictured in the steel mill kits section of our web page. See the
photo of our variation with the extra wings. The CMA
-725 ladle car sells for $18.95.Check out the photos of the original
GMC car and the assembled
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