Monday, August 13, 2018

Q Connection CB&Q NE-10 Modernized Waycar


Longer ago than I'd care to admit, friend Al Hoffman asked if I would paint, decal, and lightly weather a model of a Burlington waycar that he had built. The model is a Q Connection resin modernized NE-10 Waycar.


Al is a talented builder. I agreed, hopeful that I wouldn't diminish his finely detailed model. The model as turned over to me is as seen in the in-progress" photos shown herein.


I blasted all of the metal, wire, and engineering plastic surfaces with 220 grit aluminum oxide in preparation for painting. I followed by cleaning all surfaces using dishwashing liquid and a soft toothbrush. I thoroughly rinsed the model and allowed everything to air dry.


For painting, I began with a coat of TruColor primer on both the interior and exterior surfaces. For the main body color, I used a mixture of TruColor Daylight Orange and MEC Harvest Yellow. I masked the areas that would remain orange and sprayed the remainder of the model, including underframe and trucks with Tamiya XF-1 flat black. Imagine my horror when I removed the masking tape and peeled up large strips of the orange. A closer examination revealed that there were many areas of the car body that had a decidedly glossy sheen.

After an outburst accentuated with many colorful bits of verbiage, I put the model aside. After several months, I came back to it. I took it to the blasting booth and hit every area that I could see that might pose problems with 220 grit aluminum oxide. I repeated the washing procedure. I sprayed the orange areas using a mix of Tamiya paints, about 80% X-6 orange, 10% XF-59 Desert Yellow, and 10% XF-19 Sky Grey. I again masked the areas to remain orange and sprayed the rest with XF-1 flat black. With great trepidation, I removed the masking tape. Success!

The orange areas were glossy already so I applied the decals without any extra gloss coat. The model was lettered with Microscale 87-1197 for CB&Q Way Cars in the orange scheme (1954-1970). At this time, I also drybrushed orange on to the top surfaces of the running boards. I sealed everything with Tamiya XF-86 flat clear.

I lightly weathered all surfaces with Bragdon's weathering powders. Soot gray powder was applied to everything including the trucks and wheelsets. Grimy black was applied to the roof and truck sideframes. The powders were sealed with the same Tamiya flat clear. Small black rectangles were added to the car along with white repack stencils. These were also sealed with flat clear.

The final detail was to add window glazing. The glazing is 0.010" clear styrene cut to shape. To affix these pieces, I dipped them in Future (now Pledge) floor polish and nested them into the back of the window frames. I added a little more Future from the back, which served to "glue" the glazing in place.

I assembled the car body to the frame and screwed the Tahoe Model Works trucks in place. I then met Al at Pepe's Pizzeria in New Haven to receive my reward - a pepperoni pie.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The state of the art 30 years ago


As many of you are aware, over the past few years I have been digitizing my photo collection*. With that mostly done except for maintenance as I acquire new images, I have continued the process by doing the same with drawings and magazine articles. It has made finding articles a simple process. 

As I have been scanning, I have found some long forgotten articles and also some other treasures. This product notification from Mainline Modeler, November 1988 struck many chords. The most visceral was that it reminded me of the late Richard Hendrickson, the founder (along with his wife Sandra) of WestRail. Richard was a mentor and source of inspiration to me, as well as countless others. I thought that this post would be a fitting tip of the cap to that legacy.

However, it also serves as a marker or yardstick of where we were 30 years ago. Westerfield, Storzek/Des Plaines, and Funaro & Camerlengo were just beginning to sprout, Sunshine was several years in the future, and plastic models were Athearn, MDC/Roundhouse, and the mix of nicer offerings from Front Range, Ramax, E & B Valley (predecessor of Eastern Car Works), et al. Like his modeling, Richard's WestRail venture took the available tools of the day to make something out of nothing. Interestingly, I built one of his WestRail flat car kits last year** (pictured above). It was as enjoyable as anything else I have built recently and it fits in with my love of kit and resin bashing projects. Thanks for the memories and inspiration, Richard (and Sandra)! We are where we are today because of the efforts of you and others back then... we were able to climb on the shoulders of giants.

*I have presented a clinic about the software that I use to manage all of these digital files. It has proven to be nothing short of a miracle for me. The clinic presentation may be accessed via this link. While there is certainly a lot lacking by not seeing it live, there is enough in the file to give an idea of the software, Adobe Lightroom. To facilitate the quick scanning of magazine articles, I am using a Canon imageFORMULA P-215II document scanner. It scans both sides of the pages at the same time.

**that model and others of the AAR 50-ton design flat car were profiled in Prototype Railroad Modeling, Volume Four.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Kitbashing a Litchfield & Madison Gondola


The presentation file for the clinic I moderated at the 2018 St. Louis RPMKitbashing a Litchfield & Madison Gondola, can be accessed via the linked clinic name. The file will be updated as I complete the model.

Friday, June 15, 2018

"The Jack Burgess Files" no. 3: GATX 60379 Type 30 Tank Car

All photos -- Newark, California, September, 1968, Jack Burgess photo, except where noted
The lighting and angle at which this photo was taken resulted in a perfect shot of the trademark feature of the Type 30 underframe - the round push pole depressions nested in the diagonally-oriented faces of the body bolsters. See this feature beautifully captured on the body bolster above the left truck in this photo. As this car was 6,579 gallons capacity, it had only a single safety valve on the dome.


By the time of the Type 30 design (1928 through World War Two), GATC had settled on a single, center tank anchor, visible below the ladder and behind the running board, securing the tank to the underframe. This car was built in March, 1930. Note that it used only two tank bands, one located at each bolster. Also, note the fairly long dome step.



GATC designs traditionally eschewed side and end sills, unlike their American Car & Foundry counterparts (see below), in favor of simple supported running boards and a modest steel angle under the running boards at the ends, plus the steel angle spanning the corners of the running boards and angling down to pass under the draft gear, as shown here. Also, note the geared staff-style hand brake.

Collection of Ted Culotta
Contrast the GATC style end arrangement to the AC&F design shown here on a Type 27 tank car, with channel section end sills and side sill sections between the bolsters and the end sills.


This photo provides a great view of the trademark bolster with circular push pole depression on the angled face, as well as the route card board and air release rod, both at extreme left below the running board.


This photo by Jack affords an excellent view of the main brake components, including reservoirs, AB valve mounted directly above the reservoirs, and cylinder with its mounting arrangement clearly visible, as well as the ladder, a portion of the tank anchor, and the placard holder.


I consulted the reprint of Freight Tariff 300-H offered by Ian Cranstone, originally issued September 13, 1955, for tank car capacities. I found a group of 17 cars in the series GATX 60374-60391, with capacity of ~6,580 gallons and dome capacity of 225 gallons. Those cars are highlighted in the relevant page, copied herein. I highly recommend this resource, as well as the earlier 1936 edition, also offered by Ian Cranstone.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Oddball 40' PS-1 Box Cars


I presented a clinic this past weekend at the New England/Northeast RPM titled "Oddball 40' PS-1 Box Cars." A .pdf version of the presentation file may be accessed via the linked clinic title above. Feedback is welcome! Thank you to Tim O'Connor for furnishing some valuable additional information.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

New England/Northeast RPM 2018

Mal Houck brought this impressive model of the NYO&W SX Tower that controlled joint trackage with the Lehigh Valley
I had the pleasure of attending the New England/Northeast RPM this past weekend in Enfield, Connecticut. This is the third year at the current location and the meet has become more of a "super-regional" event as opposed to the local flavor it had at the old venue in Collinsville, Connecticut. I suspect that it will continue to grow. That should be in no small part to the quality of the clinicians as well as the large display room full of excellent models covering the gamut of eras, excellent facilities, and a variety of vendors offering items to scratch the prototype itch. Lastly, the hotel has an area to socialize after the conclusion of events each day (including adult beverages), which I believe is an extremely important component for an RPM site. It's the people that make the event. What follows are a few images of the models that were on display...
Hunter Hughson had a nicely weather D&H PS-1 in the display room
Ryan Mendell brought several models, including this beautifully finished CN baggage-RPO
Mike Evans displayed this extremely cool model of a rebuilt D&H box car
Here are the details behind Mike's model
Mike Redden created CAD files for the New Haven's pesky low-profile roofs of their early Alco switchers. These are 3D prints of his efforts and can be ordered from Shapeways. His seller ID is NE Model Works
Another view of Mike's efforts
Jeff English brought his model of an S scale CGW 1937 AAR box car completed with the aid of the gift parts set for attendees at the 2017 Chicagoland RPM
Brian Carlson chronicled his efforts to complete a Tichy box car as a P&LE rebuild
The end view of Brian's P&LE project
Dave Oppedisano brought several BNSF covered hoppers, including this one with an interesting paint job

Butch Eyler displayed this impressively weathered CN covered hopper
Schuyler Larrabee brought his completed kitbash of this Erie auto car from the Prototype Rails 2018 "Shake 'n' Take project.
Ray Muntz showed his scratchbuilt model of Gram's Duck Farm, to represent a Long Island prototype
Bruce Castle is working on what I believe is a BAR wood chip car, converted from a box car
Ric Hamilton showed his in-progress kitbash of a CN hopper. I appreciate seeing in-progress models to understand the direction a modeler took to achieve the desired end
Will Lawrence had a variety of models including this combination door CN box car
Steve Solombrino had a number of fine flat car models with lumber loads from a variety of commercial providers, plus this load created from pieces of dimensional wood
Steve also showed this very interesting Southern box car kitbash
Bill Chapin displayed this beautiful in-progress scratchbuild of an New Haven 3800-series baggage car

Monday, May 28, 2018

"The Jack Burgess Files" No. 2 - Santa Fe Bx-12 ATSF 212368

Santa Fe Bx-12 rebuild photographed at Richmond, California in June, 1969. Jack Burgess photo
From 1929 to 1931, the Santa Fe added 6,500 box cars in three classes based upon the ARA design for single sheathed cars. However, the Santa Fe's cars were taller and wider, with inside height and width of 9'6-3/4" (~9'7") and 9'2", respectively. The cars were also delivered with tensioning rods at the lower corners of the sides, as opposed to the steel straps on most ARA-design cars. All cars had recessed 3/4 Dreadnaught ends and Youngstown corrugated steel doors. These cars were also equipped with Ajax power hand brakes, the first Santa Fe box cars to be built new with these geared hand brakes. See table below for details.


Between 1941 and 1944, the Santa Fe rebuilt the vast majority of the Bx-11 and Bx-12 box cars. Initially, the program involved raising the roof by eight inches through the use of sheet steel "inserts" between the original tops of the sides and the eaves of the new roofs, as well as sheet steel "extensions" on the ends. At this time, the roofs were also replaced with Murphy rectangular panel roofs. The initial rebuilding was entirely Bx-11s, except for 51 Bx-12s. The resulting cars had an inside height of 10'0" and a cubic capacity of 3,712 feet, the same as the 1937 AAR box car.

The rich, flat afternoon light evenly illuminated the details that make single sheathed cars so interesting. Of note are the transversely mounted AB brake reservoirs, the side sheathing boards, the roof extensions, and the Dalman one-level trucks, to name a few. Jack Burgess photo
In 1943, the program was altered to achieve an inside height of 10'6" and an increased cubic capacity of 3,898 feet. This necessitated adding five small pressed steel sections to support the side extensions. On the ends, instead of sheet steel, a section with a single Dreadnaught corrugation was added at the upper portion of the end.

In 1945, all of the taller 10'6" inside height rebuilds were renumbered into the 210000-211049 and 211051-214549 series. The maximum number of cars in these two combined series was in 1951, 952 and 3,213 cars, respectively. This put the number of tall rebuilds at approximately 4,200. ATSF 211050 was a lone plywood rebuild. 

There are additional details about these cars beyond what is presented here. For more information, consult, "Santa Fe Extended-Height Box Cars," authored by Richard Hendrickson (Railmodel Journal, May 1995, pp. 45-47) and Santa Fe Boxcars 1869-1953 (Santa Fe Railway Rolling Stock Reference Series -- Volume Four, currently out of print), John C. Dobyne III from the SFRH&MS.

Westerfield offers excellent kits for the entire family of Bx-11/-12/-13, including the extended height rebuilds.

Note the oddly-shaped grab iron at the top of the side and the separate extension for the top segment of the ladder, as well as the method for the attachment of the support strap for the latitudinal running boards. Jack Burgess photo

This "portrait" of the end of ATSF 212368 illustrates the extra Dreadnaught corrugation in the extender panel at the top of the end. Jack Burgess photo.