Thursday, 7 February 2019

Barber S-2 spring plankless trucks 50 ton

Today I received an order from ExactRail for their Barber S-2 spring plankless plain bearing trucks in a 50 ton rating..  I am really excited because this is such a prolific truck used on many prototype cars.  These used to be available from Branchline but with Atlas taking over, they are much harder to find.  I ordered every set I could from Atlas a couple of years ago in fact.  My supply was getting low so when a friend told me Exact has these I ordered a couple of sets right away.

These are very good representations of the Barber S-2 spring plankless truck with plain bearings.  It’s more finally detailed than the Branchline offering and the brake pads are in the correct location,  in line with the wheels.

Tahoe Model Works makes the earlier version S-2 trucks with spring  planks in 50 ton as well as a version with lateral motion devices instead of the spring wedges.

Rapids Trains produced the Barber S-1 that was fitted to the 37’ meat reefer they offered a few years back, but  unfortunately the tool is no longer available for producing further copies.

I’m going to use them on a Yarmouthmodelworks CN Boxcar with 8 foot door. Next to to the venerable ASF A-3 ride control truck these are the next most popular truck of their era.


Thursday, 27 December 2018

GT Wheel Car part 2

This post details the construction of the wheel rack and finally details of the GT wheel car I have been working on.

To construct the wheel rack I started with strip styrene, which I cut to length, stacked and clamped together. I then used a ball end mill in the milling machine to create the grooves for the wheels to rest in.


The next step was to replicate the sheet metal lining the wheel grooves.  This was done with 0.005" styrene.  I came up with a method to form it into the semi circle grooves.  The pictures pretty much explain the method.

First glue strip into circular groove(I used an Xacto knife handle to push them down in the groove.)

I then clamped the remaining strip portions with a couple pcs of wood.

Four of these wheel groove parts were assembled into the rack with various sizes of sheet, strip and angle styrene. Resulting in what can be seen in this photo.  Rivets harvested from an Athearn boxcar and NBW's were used to detail the rack.  The NBW's are not yet installed in this photo.


The car was painted with True Color Freight Car Red.  I pieced together decals from sets I had on hand.  Unfortunately none of the  'CAPY', 'LD LMT' or 'LT WT' decals I had would fit. I will look for a N-scale set to see if I can make that work.   The car number is made up and some of the decals don't perfectly match the CV prototype car, but the number chosen is consistent with other GT service cars of the time.

Weathering was my normal routine of Ak Enamels and Pan Pastels.  

The deck wood was simulated by first spraying it with Tamiya Sky Grey.  I then mixed up four different washes using Valeo Acrylics. A couple of greys and a couple of browns/sand colours.  The wash is very thin.  I would guess 80% water and 20% paint.  Individual boards are then painted with the washes using a micro brush.  After letting it dry for an hour or so, I use Hunter Line Cordovan Brown stain and give the entire deck a light wash.  I applied two light washes in this case. I think it simulates old grey wood. This is by far my best effort yet at simulating old grey wood and it is mostly covered up - figures it would work out that way.....

The wheel sets are from Tichy.  I wanted them to look like wheels that just came out of service and are on there way from a remote RIP track, back to the wheel lathe in one of the online shops.  After assembling the wheel sets I dipped them in Pledge and let them tack up.  When ready I dusted on powders to simulate rust.  The treads were then painted silver. (If Idid it again I would use a silver Sharpy marker instead.)  The finally step was a AK enamel wash (Dark Wash in this case.)

This was a fun project and will ad an interesting freight car to break up the string of endless boxcars in a consist.



  



Thursday, 13 December 2018

CV / GT Wheel Flat Part 1

   I am always on the look out for photos, of interesting company service freight cars.  When I came across this photo, at Bob's Photos I new I had to build one for my layout. The picture was taken in 1955 at New London Connecticut.

New London Connecticut - Bob Photos

   The GT and CV had very similar freight cars in company service.  Most likely similar, if not exact copies were rebuilt from older cars at the same time, for both roads. I don't have a photo of a GT wheel car, but this CV photo was enough proof for me to consider building a GT version.  The length of the car is stencilled as 36' 10". I am not sure if this is the overall length, or inside measurement between the two bulk heads.  The CV and GT both had 40' flat cars of this design. Never the less, I think a kit bash of a 40' Tichy flat car can make for a reasonable facsimile.

    The changes I made to the kit are as follows.

- remove all cast ribs on each stake pocket(6 per).  I cut and sanded these ribs away.  The rivets were removed in the process, so I also installed 4 rivets per pocket. I also filled the small holes in the stake pockets.
- replace kit sill steps with ones from Yarmouth Model Works.
- remove various rivets from the side sill.
- add a small piece of styrene on each side sill corner, to represent how the end plate wraps over onto the side sill.  Add three rivets per corner.
- make a brake staff base, from a bent up A-Line sill step.
- add air hoses and small 'U' shaped attachment strap.
- detail the brake rigging with wire and chains.
- trucks are Kadee HGC Arch Bar. The extra mass of the HGC trucks really helps to get this very light car up to spec. some extra lead will also be added between the fish belly center sills.
- coupler cut bars attached with Yarmouth eye bolts.




   I've been waffling back and forth, on priming of freight cars before top coat.  I've decided to prime all my cars in the future.  Before priming, I also used a mini grit blaster I borrowed to blast the entire car, except for the deck.  I think, I'll get one of these as I really like how it prepares the surface. Here is a photo with it in primer.  I used a new to me product from Tamiya, their surface primer in a bottle, thinned with lacquer thinner.  I actually failed to read the bottle and thinned it with Tamiya acrylic thinner, right in my airbrush paint cup.  Opps.....well that made a gooey mess that took about an hour to thoroughly clean up. 


   In my next post I will show the construction of the wheel rack.  No commercial decal set for CV/GT MoW or flat cars exists.  I will be piecing the decals together from letter sets again unfortunately.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

CN 1929-1931 built Single Sheathed Boxcars

   My latest project is two, CN Single Sheathed Boxcars.  These were built by CC&F, NSC and Eastern Car between 1929-1931.  Over 9000 cars were constructed with both wood and steel doors.

  The cars are built similar to the ARA Alternate Standard Design of 1924.  For further reading, I recommend Ted Culotta's Essential Freight Cars #8, in the November 2003 issue of RMC and Stafford Swain's article in the June 1994 issue of Rail Model Journal.

Photo found on the Internet photographer unknown.

 I started with Kits from Sylvan Scale Models but these are also offered by Kaslo, and F&C. I assembled the kits per the instructions, with upgrades to the brake rigging, ladders and lower door tracks.  The wood doors in the kit are incorrect for the prototype, but the steel doors provided are correct. I dislike using resin door tracks, they seam to always warp and easily break.

  I constructed new door tracks by combining stand offs made from strip styrene and tracks made from 0.006" phosphor bronze strip. Trucks are Dalman Two Level from Tahoe Model Works. I replaced the kit supplied ladders with offerings from DesPlaines Hobbies, their 8 rung version with attached stirrup.

  The car was painted with True Color CN freight car brown. The decals are from Black Cat and the chalk marks are from Speedwitch Media. Weathering is a combination of an oil wash, Prisma Colour pencils and Pan Pastels.




Tuesday, 15 May 2018

GTW Caboose Part 2

  I finally finished painting and weathering GTW 77964.  The first of at least 6 or more Cabooses I will need, for operations on the new layout.

  I used True Colour Paint. CN Morency Orange for the body and CN Freight Car Brown for the underframe, roof and end platforms.

 Weathering was done with AK washes and Pan Pastels.  Then everything was sealed with Testors Dull Coat.

 The decals are Microscale from the GTW Caboose Set.


The windows are microscope cover slides, cut with a diamond scribe and glued in place with Kristal Klear.

I added a Woodland Scenics figure who is waving to some one......






Wednesday, 4 April 2018

A visit with the Model Railroad Enabler

  Last Evening I visited with the "Model Railroad Enabler" for his assistance in developing my new Grand Trunk Layout Plan.  I kept my guard up as I wanted to make sure I didn't come away convinced to model a different prototype.  A visit with the Enabler is sort of like meeting the Great Gazoo. 

Hey Dum Dum you really should be modelling "The prototype you never thought of"

Now don't get me wrong, the Enabler has other Worldly powers in layout design, but others have been known to come out of the experience selling all their stuff and changing prototypes.

I had to my advantage that he was the one to suggest the South Paris switcher in the first place. I guess that means he enabled me almost two years ago and I didn't even know it then. 

We went over may details of the benchwork and the operation of the trains and he brought up many things I hadn't even considered.  So now I wait, while he sharpens his pencil and puts it to graph paper. 

Stay Tuned...

Monday, 2 April 2018

Center Cupola Cabooses

The Grand Trunk (NEL) rostered three centre cupola cabooses, all wood sheathed.

Numbers:

77964
77965
77971

Jim Parker Photo, Portland Maine1968

They were leased from the Grand Trunk Western(GTW) in 1934.  Built by GTW's Port Huron shops in 1927, as part of the 77958-77977 series.

In 1953 they were officially transferred to the Grand Trunk (NEL).  They all wore GTW white lettering on Morency Orange bodies until the late fifties, when they received Grand Trunk within a horizontal green leaf.  In the sixties they were repainted into the GT version of the CN noodle scheme.

I decided to model 77964 for my Caboose fleet.  This will be primarily used on the South Paris Switcher.  Being a centre cupola design, it lent itself for better branch line use, as it would not need to be turned.

A Walthers Grand Trunk Western wood sheathed, offset cupola caboose was used as the starting point for a kit bash.

First, I corrected the well known issue of the trucks hitting the end steps while swivelling even the slightest amount.  This was accomplished by cutting the bolsters from the under frame slightly inward of the bolster.  Then turning them 180 degrees before reattaching them.

I cut the roof in three parts and moved the cupola opening to the centre.  The pieces were glued back together in a jig to keep the new roof square.  The cupola had the windows muttons removed all around. New muttons were constructed from strip styrene for the front and rear.  The cupola side window muttons were created using Tichy muttons from one of their work car window sets.



I removed the sides using my milling machine and made new ones from V-groove styrene sheet.



Tichy work car windows were spot on replacements for the side and end windows.  Openings were cut in the ends and the new sides to accommodate them, by first drilling holes and using my nibbler tool to finish up.

The sides were attached and the roof fitted.  The roof was sheathed in 0.005" styrene to cover up the grooves of the kit roof.  The prototype was covered in some sort of roofing material.


The end ladders also looked bulky so I fashioned replacements from strip styrene and phosphor bronze wire. The wire grabs from the Walthers kit were reused and mounting holes drilled where needed.  A Stove stack from Custom Finishing was fitted.