Thursday, 16 January 2020

Clinic File from Coco Beach RPM

Last weekend was the Coco Beach Rpm.  I presented my clinic on Machinist Hand tools for modelling.

Machinist Tools for Modelling - Part 1 Hand Tools - Coco Beach

This is an updated version from when I presented it at the Chicagoland Rpm.  This is a staic pdf and doesn't include the interactive portion of the live presentation.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Missouri Pacific 1932 ARA Box Car - Part 1

The Missouri Pacific rostered the largest number of 1932 ARA designed boxcars, 2500 in fact.  These totals include the subsidiary companies I-GN (International Great Northern) and NOT&M (New Orleans, Texas & Mexico) cars. The cars ran without any major modifications throughout their lives.  The one distinctive feature of the MP cars, is the choice of fixtures used on the Youngstown doors. They either came with Creco's Ball Bearing Fixtures or Railway Metal Product's Union Duplex Fixtures.  For further information about these and all of the other 1932 ARA designed boxcars, I recommend Ted Culotta's excellent book "The American Railway Association Standard Box Car of 1932".

Walter E. Frost, City of Vancouver Archives


I decided to model one of the NOT&M cars, which had the Union Duplex Doors, 4-4 Square corner ends, wood running boards, Universal Brake housing and Murphy panel roof.  The basis for this build is an Atlas 1932 ARA undecorated kit and parts kit (MK-102.6)  from my company National Scale Car. The decals were created by Ted Culotta and include MP, MI, and NOT&M reporting marks. I-GN cars did not have doors with the Union Duplex Fixtures and are not on the kit decal sheet.  The kit includes resin doors and etched door tracks.

I started by reviewing the Atlas car body, to the prototype photo.  Numerous small changes are needed, to build a more accurate representation of the car.  A prototype photo of the NOT&M car is in Ted's Book, but the cars generally followed what is shown in the MI photo above (note - the MI car has 4-4 round corner ends).  Changes are noted on the photo below.



Here is where I am at after and evening or two of work.



I will add rivet decals to the upper door track just before painting, that way I won't knock them off while working on the car.

The ends also need a few changes, as noted on the following photos.


The kit ladders are actually not too bad so I elected to keep them.  The other features noted will be scratch built.



I'm not one for New Years Resolutions but I do like "to do lists".  One of my favourite quotes is by Lee Iacocca - "The first step in accomplishing a goal, is to write it down".  So with this in mind, here is what I want to get done in the next year.

Build the following Freight Cars.

MP 1932 ARA Car (Atlas and NSC mini Kit)
B&O M26D (Speedwitch Media Kit)
D&H Oneota built modified 1937 ARR (Yarmouth Model works)
Grand Trunk Shower Car (Scratch Build)
UP Flat Car (Proto 2000 kit with Speedwitch Media decals)
Grand Trunk Western War Emergency Gondola (Ends will be offered as a mini kit through NSC)

The following Pattern Work

B&O M55 parts for Mini Kits from NSC
3 Patterns on my bench (I will let Yarmouth Model Works make the announcement)
Single Sheathed Auto Car Pattern (TBD)
Duryea Under frames (4 different versions)

A diorama of Danville Junction.

 Foam is cut, cork and ties are down.  Need to lay track and construct a crossing diamond.  I want to include the original Danville Junction crossing tower, but have yet to locate a useable photo of it.  If you have one or know of a source I would appreciate some help.  The original was torn down in 1963 from what I have learned.

Monday, 7 October 2019

CGW Shake and Take Kit

Its been quite a while since I posted about my modelling efforts.  I've been busy working on new kits for National Scale Car. In between casting, packing, and writing instructions I've managed to build a few freight cars for my layout.

Attendees of the Chicagoland RPM in 2017 received parts to create a 1937 AAR Boxcar for Chicago Great Western.  These cars used a Pullman car builder end.  The kit included resins parts, decals, and a Red Caboose Square corner undecorated kit. In 2018 George Toman presented a clinic on building his kit using the supplied parts.  Georges Clinic Can be found here.

I followed Georges Clinic to create an accurate car as I could muster.  I decided to not cut up a perfectly good Red Caboose Square corner car and instead started with an Intermountian 10' IH car instead.  The ends are separate parts so it saves cutting them off. I will let the pictures and captions tell the rest of the story.  I will be attending this years Chicagoland RPM and I'm already looking forward to George's Clinic on building the 2018 car.

Scratch built under frame, the kit under frame has diagonal corner braces where as the prototype did not. Also, the Z bar stringers are larger between the cross bearers at 4" x 4" versus the rest of the stringers at 3" x 3".




The floor from the body was milled off.  I custom made mounting brackets for the brake appliances from brass sheet and archer rivets.  The dead lever actually can rotate in the mounting bracket.

I also bent up a plate steel brake step from brass sheet.  Ladder attachment brackets were made from styrene strip and harvested rivets.  I filed the Equipco Brake Mechanism by hand, starting with and Ajax one, with some added styrene to the bottom.  The single hand grab on the end was fashioned from a partial bracket, styrene rod and harvested rivets.

Yarmouth Model Works Sill steps installed, along with one of their Wood Running Boards and brackets.

A view of the finished end with air hose bracket and cut lever installed. I cut the ladder rungs off and replaced them with 0.010" styrene rod.

Primed and ready for inspection before final paint.  The door track was also modified to match the prototype with the visible opening between it and the lower sill.

The roofs on these were painted black, while the running boards were stained and the painted, followed up by sanding off most of the paint to give a weathered look.

I weathered to match a Prototype photo using Pan Pastels and an AK wash.  Chalk marks were also added in addition to the  kit decals.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Clinic from NERPM

 I was fortunate to attend this years New England Railroad Prototype Meet. I presented a clinic on Machinist tools for Modelling.  Here is a link to the presentation.

Machinist Tools For Modelling, Part 1 - Hand Tools

For those in attendance there were videos and dialogue components which are not part of this static pdf file.  I hope to present this Clinic again at the Chicagoland RPM 2019.





Sunday, 21 April 2019

Decal Hot Tub....?

 I find applying decals easier if I use warm to hot water rather than cold.  The adhesive lossens much faster with the warm to hot water.  I would say somewhere around 75 degrees Celsius.

 It can get cold in the basement during the winter months in Canada.  Getting up every few minutes to refresh the warm water in my water bowl was getting old.  I looked for a solution such as a scientific hot water bath.  All I could find was fancy ones that cost $500 bucks or more.

 So I asked my better half if she had any ideas and not to my surprise, she had the answer right away.

 A mug warmer...  Apparently mug warmers are a thing.  In less than five minutes she had one on order from Amazon Prime and I got it the next day for the high price of $9.96 CAD.   It works great.  Here is a link.  Bonus, the price is now $9.74CAD...

My wife calls it the "Decal Hot Tub Time Machine" since I model the 1950's....

Now back to those decals....

Salton SMW12 Mug Warmer, White


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.