Friday, 15 September 2017

Grand Trunk Tool Car part 2

I made good progress on the Grand Trunk Tool car this week.  Its now painted and the decals are done.  I used True Colour CN Freight Car Red.  The decals are pieced together from and old Steam Shack Kit for a Central Vermont Single Sheathed Boxcar, which also had GTW decals included - the rest are cobbled together from a Microscale lettering set.  In my previous post I forgot to mention I removed the sill from the window to the right of the door to better simulate the flush frame as on the prototype.  The car needs weathering and brake line hoses, but I will hold off on the weathering until I get the MoW train complete as I plan to weather them all at the same time.
 


The Picture was taken in my new Photo Box.  My son and I put this together last weekend.   Its based on an article found in the April 2017 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman Magazine.  Basically it's a cardboard box with cut outs and tissue paper applied. The light fixtures are clamp on units from the hardware section at Lowes.  For bulbs I used LED's.  I can't remember what Kelvin, but I purchased them to match a White Balance setting available in my Camera.  Total cost was around $50.  I took these blog pictures with my iphone.  I've taken a bunch with my camera but couldn't remember where the cord was last night to download them to my computer.  The photo box really helps in taking higher quality photos.  My son loves taking photos and he spent a hour or two doing just that on the weekend.  I'll share some of his work in a future post, when I track down that cord..........





Monday, 11 September 2017

Grand Trunk Tool Car

My current project is another piece of rolling stock for a typical Grand Trunk (NEL) work Train.  Inspiration came from a picture I purchased from Bob's Photos at the New England RPM in Enfield a couple of years ago.  It's from 1971 and is taken at St.Albans Vermont. 


My friend and fellow modeller Pierre Oliver suggested scratch building the sides and ends from styrene car siding, and using Accurail's fish belly under frame.  Tichy Train Group work train doors, windows, and  wood boxcar doors make up the basic assembly.

Just need a roof then.  I could not find a suitable roof in my stash or on the internet.  I could substitute a different roof, but roof's are so visible on the layout, so I wanted to get it right.

 I put the project back in my stash and then about a year later by surprise Pierre presented me with a resin casting of the correct Murphy flat panel roof.  He had just purchased the masters for the line of Canadian prototype resin detail parts formally marketed by Sylvan scale models and this roof is one of the offerings.  Pierre's Yarmouth Model Works doesn't yet have these parts ready for market but I'm sure it wont be to long.

After a evening and an afternoon of modelling here is where I'm at.


It has my usual level of detail, K-brake and all associated rigging/plumbing, wire grabs, nbw's, laser cut running board and some rivets for the bolster connections to the side frames. The vents are from Grant Line and City Classics.

I painted the window frames and surrounding areas, before adding the window glazing and gluing on the roof.  I will now just mask off the window frames and paint the rest of the car.  I don't like just masking the glazing as pushing to hard can send it into the car while masking.  I learned that lesson on a previous project......

I'm not sure what the car actually was used for though.  Is it a tool car or something else?  The three roof vent stacks sure are interesting.  The label on the door in the prototype photo says "Flamable"  -  "keep lights and flames away".  Hopefully one the blog's reader will know?




Friday, 31 March 2017

GTW Woodchip Hopper and Southern Flat

  I finally finished up the GTW wood chip hopper project.  These cars were loaded at Wilner Wood products of Norway Maine and billed to the Brown company in Berlin, NH, a pulp and paper plant.  I painted it with True Colour CN red #11.  I had the decals custom designed and printed by Precision Design Company.  As usual their service and decals are top notch.

  There were 21 cars in the series consisting of  #'s 454001 - 454021.  The first 14 were constructed during 1964-66, with the remaining cars built in 1971.  They were originally American Car and Fundry built 70 Ton offset side triple hoppers.  Wood extensions were added to increase the capacity.  My son made the load for it using foam and saw dust from our table saw.

    The Southern flat car is a resin kit available from Mask Island decals.

   It came with a laser cut wood deck, unfortunately the pocket holes didn't line up very well with those on the body, so I made a new deck from 0.060" V-Groove Styrene sheet. I scribed individual board lines on the edges to make them look like separate boards.

  The load simulates hydro poles made from Southern Yellow Pine logs.  They are 3/16" Poplar dowels stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. I also dusted them with some Bragdon powders.   The stakes are brass rod, turned down to fit in the stake pockets on one end and drilled on the other so they look to be made from steel tubes.  The Brass stakes and poles add much needed mass to this car.  The poles are glued together by flowing some thin CA on the end of the pile and are secured to the deck with metal strapping made from black construction paper.

  I gave the under body a full set of brake rigging, you can't see it but I know its there.

  The car  is painted with Scale Coat Oxide Red and decalled with the fine Mask Island Decals supplied in the kit.

  Both cars are fitted with Rapido's 70 Ton Barber S2A trucks.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Rebuilt PRR X29's

  I finished up these two X29 rebuilds last night.  An X29B and a X29D.  Both are F&C kits.  I upgraded them with Yarmouth Model Works stirrups, Tichy wire, Kadee grabs and Plano etched metal running boards.

  The kit decals were not very crisp, but overall I am happy with them.  About a week after I put the decals on, Speedwitch Media announced new decal sets for the X29B, figures....

  As for weathering I went for a less is more approach. Dirty but not abused.  The X29D is on the left with the eight foot door, the X29B sports a seven foot door.





Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Canadian Style Youngstown Doors

  A couple of months ago I started on five Postwar 40'  boxcars.  3 CN, 1 CP and 1 TH&B.  The base model I used was Intermountain Railway's 10'6" AAR Cars with 6' door openings.  These kits come with 5/5 Dreadnought ends or 4/4 Improved Dreadnaught ends and Murphy Raised Panels Roofs.

  The cars I wanted to model either had PS-1 style or diagonal panel roofs and NSC 3 style ends, save for the TH&B car which required the 4/4 IDE end.  I ordered some PS-1 car kits from Intermountain and stole the roofs from them for the CN cars.  The other three needed diagonal panel roofs so I ordered Branchline parts from Atlas.

  As for the NSC3 ends - I could have used Sylvan Scale models NSC3 ends, but I have never been happy with the pattern work, as its missing the rivets and weld lines between the panels and the shape of the ribs don't seam right.  To my eye they look like a compromise based on the available styrene shapes used to make the patterns. 
  
  So I designed my own 3D models and had the ends printed on a 3D printer.  I took measurements and pictures from an actual NSC built 40' boxcar,  at the West Coast Railway Museum in BC, a few years ago.  One of the models has Sylvan ends on it.  I had a set, so I decided to use them up.

  I added Archer weld beads to define the separate stamped panels that the prototype ends are built up from.  Archer rivets needed to be added on the sides of the part because, the 3D printer puts  support material on the side of the part to print rivets sticking out - this messes up the face when the support material is removed.   I elected not to put them in the 3D model.  The support material leaves a different texture on the part that would show up after painting.  The rest of the rivets are in the print, but do to the colour of the plastic they don't show up in pictures.



   The project stopped when I got to the point where I needed to add the doors.  The kits come with Youngstown doors with early roller fixtures. Youngstown doors with late style fixtures are available, but they do not have the correct rib pattern and the panels are not riveted in the valleys between the ribs - as on the Canadian version of the Youngstown door.

 These are available form Sylvan Scale Models but the moulds are old and need to be redone, so the parts don't come out very good anymore.

 The solution was to cut and spice two of the American version of the door into a Canadian version. Add Archer rivets, then make a Silicone RTV mould.  Something I have never tried.

  I made a trip out to Sculpture Supply Canada in Etobicoke with Doug Currie and the nice folks there helped us select the products I needed to make the mould and cast some parts.  Here's what they recommended.  The mould release is an extra thin version, which works better for highly detailed parts, The Smooth Cast 320 is an off white colour that they said would tint easier. 



  I glued the new door into a Styrene box and followed the instructions to make the Silicone Mould.  Doug came over to help out with the poor etc, and having an extra set of hands was very helpful.

  The silicone I used is a platinum cure type that mixes 1 to 1, and doesn't require degassing.  The mould turned out great. It has a few air bubbles on the back side but nothing on the part face.  It cures quick also, 30 minutes per the instructions.  I left it a bit longer just to be safe. 

   Casting took some practice.  I managed to make 8 good doors in about 14 attempts.  I poked the air bubbles out using a toothpick and slid a backer plate onto the back of the mould, but on top of a sheet of thin slippery plastic - rather than dropping it face on.   Using these tricks I had good parts coming out of the mould.  I ended up not using the tint. It was much easier to find air bubbles in the clear resin.  The resin turns off white as it cures.  I only needed 8 parts as the TH&B car will use the earlier style door included in the kit.

Here's what everything looks like.



I actually glued on the kit doors and let this project sit, while I came to the eventual realisation, that I would not be happy with the wrong doors on these cars.  I managed to get them off with little damage.

  In the end this project was pretty easy to do and a lot of fun, I should have just got on with it from the beginning.

At this point I have no interest in laying out a whack of Cash for Vacuum pots/pumps or pressure vessels to make full car bodies etc. 

Now I can get back to finishing these cars.  More to come....

Monday, 6 February 2017

1932 ARA Boxcars

Over the past few months, neighbour and fellow modeller Doug Currie has joined me in the workshop on Monday nights, for what we call Modelling Monday.  The project we undertook is the construction of 1932 ARA Boxcars.  We both picked up an F&C kit while attending the New England RPM in Enfield, CT.  Doug built a CP car while I built a MEC Car.  We finished them up a couple of weeks ago.


The cars were constructed according to the kit instructions, but with a few detail part upgrades.  We used Tichy wire in lieu of the floral wire in the kit for the air lines and brake rodding.  Yarmouth brake levers along with Tichy turn buckles cut down to resemble clevises and Moloco rubber air hoses completes the under body replacements.  Up top we used the excellent Yarmouth laser cut wood running boards and Kadee bracket grabs on the sides and formed our own cut levers attached with Yarmouth eye bolts..





Doug used the supplied kit decals, while I used a Microscale set to model a rebuilt MEC car in the pine green scheme,  representing a car in my 1966 time frame.

Weathering was done with Pan Pastels and artists oils using prototype photos as a guide.  We are both very happy with the finished models.  I had a great shot of the roof of the MEC car, so I went all out trying to recreate the rusted look on the raised panels.  After the photos were taken we cut off the trip pins on the couplers and painted the couplers and air hoses a rust colour and black respectively.





Doug has been involved in the hobby for a long time now, but he admitted that this is the first model he has built in over 25 years.  I'm happy that I was able to get Doug out of the arm chair and back into doing some actual modelling.  We've already started our next project, so I guess I didn't drive him too crazy!!