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.



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.

Friday, 26 January 2018

RPO Part 5

Well here it is CN RPO #7810.

I used ScaleCoat CN Olive Green Paint for the body. Tamiya Flat Black for the roof and under frame bits.  The decals are from Microscale, the CNSIG set in particular.

The rivets are a combination of MicroMark and Archer.  There's at least 2500 of them on it!

It sounds like a lot, but it was only three evenings work to put them all on. One evening for the ends and then one for each of the sides, spending about two hours or so per.

The Mail room windows are Tichy Work Car frames, with the sill removed.  Using 0.010" x 0.030" styrene, a frame was added to the top of the outer portion to make these into single hung windows.  The Tichy muttons were not used. Clear styrene representing glass, was slid between the new upper framing and the rabbet in the Tichy window frame.  It would normally receive the muttons.

The Bars are brass wire held in some styrene blocks that I milled grooves into. The grooves space them correctly. The assemblies are then simply glued to the inside of the car.  The mail room windows, got a coat Testors Dullcoat to frost them.

The roof is held on with magnets, a method I will be using again.

I am very happy with how this car came out. It's the first passenger car I have modelled and I can't wait to get started on some more.  It really pushed my modelling skills up a notch. Here is my lessons learned.

Being a more complex build, it forced me to slow down and put more into the planning before each step was taken. 

At a minimum I have new found skills in working with styrene and decal rivets.  I also have a better understanding of passenger car details, and figured out a method to reproduce roof panel lines.  

All of these new skills will make tackling other projects easier while resetting the bar for what I can achieve.  

I even spent some time figuring out the white balance settings on my camera, so I can take better pictures.  Hopefully this has removed a road block, in me submitting a magazine article in the future.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

RPO Part 4


The Branchline under frame is designed to work with the kit supplied 3 axle trucks.  ACF built these RPO cars with short wheel base, 2 axle trucks.  The Walters 8'6" passenger car truck was selected as the closest to the prototype.  In order to mount these trucks, the under frame was modified in the following manner.

1. Mill off the bolster even with the surounding material.

2. Install a block of styrene for the truck to rest on, that provides for the correct coupler height.

3. Drill the truck mounting screw on center and the correct distance from the car end.  To ensure the screw is centered, I coloured the block with some pencil graphite and then used my dividers to scribe two arcs using the moulded holes near the end of the car, on either side of the coupler.

4. The smaller piece of styrene helps to keep the Branchline swinging coupler box wiskers,  flat against the under frame, improving the coupler mounting box angle.

5. The openings were filled with sheet styrene from the inside.

The trucks were modified by adding a small washer to fill in the large hole to size it for a 2-56 screw.  These were glued using ACC.

The underframe was detailed the best I could figure from my reference photos and a photo supplied by one of the blogs readers, of his Bethlehem Car Works kit of this car.

The Sill steps were formed from Details Associates flat stock in a simple wood jig and soldered together.

The roof was sanded of all detail including the panel lines, as they were in the wrong location for this car.  The panel lines were recreated, by first priming the roof, then masking off the half of the panels, followed by adding 4 more coats of primer.  The masking tape was removed shortly after the last coat, while the paint was still soft, so that it would not chip.

The roof was detailed with Custom Finishing Vents, brass bar stock for the drip rails above the doors and a brass wire with mounts for the Gas Lighting Pipe.

In the next installment I will show the final car so Stay tuned.....

Saturday, 23 December 2017

RPO Part 3

These CN RPO's feature an Arch Style roof with rounded ends.  An Athearn 70' Round Roof Coach was sacrificed to provide the roof.

First the roof was separated just below the upper rivet strip using a large razor Saw.

Next I scraped and sanded the roof even with the rivet strip.

It was determined that this point the roof was too wide to mate with the RPO body.  I calculated the point at which the roof narrows along the arch profile where it would be the correct width.  I used my height gage and scribed a line around the roof at this point.

Then I used a small modelling plane and my plexiglass mounted sandpaper to remove this material.

I now had an Arch roof of the correct profile and width to match the car.

The forth step was to shorten the roof to the correct length.  A razor saw and miter box were used to cut out a section from the middle of the roof.  I then used my milling machine to end mill the roof sections to the correct length to match the RPO body.   These were glued together using Testor's model cement, as it has a slow cure time compared to MEK.  I used my machined gluing jig to keep things lined up.

The final step was to reinforce the joint from the inside with some sheet styrene.

Next steps will be to detail the roof correct for the 7810-7812 series RPOs.