Sunday, April 28, 2019

Forty-foot PS-1 12-panel Box Cars

San Diego, California, December 27, 1956, Col. Chet McCoid photo, Bob's Photo
In my various clinics on 'oddball' 40' PS-1s I have touched on the 12-panel box car variants (link to presentations). I have wanted to model a couple of them and will start expanding upon that here with the two prototypes I intend to replicate in HO scale. One is a Mississippi Central car and the other is a Nickel Plate prototype. The Mississippi Central has been released by Intermountain using their PS-1, which is not accurate for this car, but offered nonetheless, no doubt due the the attractive scheme and the sales it could generate. The Mississippi Central had 100 cars, nos. 5000-5099, delivered in June, 1949 by Pullman-Standard. Nickel Plate received 1,000 12-panel PS-1 box cars, nos. 6000-6999, delivered by Pullman-Standard in early 1948.

courtesy of Al Hoffman
The starting point for the Mississippi Central car is the original Kadee PS-1 with six-foot door opening. The biggest consideration aside from the specialties of the prototype (hand brake, running boards, etc.) is the 12 panels. More on that in the post on modeling the cars. It's a relatively easy car to model, though.

Until late 2018, the Nickel Plate car would have required a more formidable effort. However, the recent release by Kadee of the early version of the PS-1 makes things considerably easier. The main thing to be addressed, assuming one chooses to, is the underframe (aside from the number of panels, of course.) For the earlier cars Kadee opted to leave the underframe tooling from the original kit unchanged, even though it is not technically accurate. Early PS-1s used what was in essence a welded AAR underframe, while the Kadee model uses the later proprietary PS-1 underframe. I will cover my efforts to address that in the subsequent posts on modeling these cars.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Symington-Gould Chrysler Design High Speed Trucks

Vancouver, BC, December 11, 1950, Walter E. Frost, City of Vancouver Archives
In the early 1950s, Symington-Gould Corporation produced trucks to a design licensed from Chrysler. The trucks incorporated design features to mitigate the effects of lateral motion, as well as snubbers to smooth the ride at high speeds. The trucks saw limited adoption, with perhaps the most notable cars to be equipped with them being the 350 cars built by General American in 1950. Not only did the cars use the Chrysler trucks, but they were also equipped with the Duryea Cushion Underframe and Evans 'DF' (damage free) loading devices. After being used in lease service, many were sold to several railroads. GAEX 108025 is illustrative of one of these cars, with green sides, yellow band and stenciling, and black roof and Chrysler trucks. 

1953 Car Builders' Cyclopedia
1953 Car Builders' Cyclopedia
circa 1953, my collection
In late 1952 and into 1953, PFE converted 50 R-40-10 steel refrigerator cars for express service. Upgrades included steel running boards, electric air circulating fans, steam and signal lines, and high speed trucks (the trucks were secondhand from a Union Pacific test on stock cars). The cars were assigned to class BR-40-10. Twenty-five cars, nos. PFE 901-925, were equipped with Chrysler trucks, as shown above on PFE 913.

Replicating these trucks in HO scale is not all that easy. Twin Star Cars (website is no longer available) offered resin castings of the spring portion that nests in the sideframe (shown in the center of the photo above... not that great an image, but they weren't the main subject of the image and it's all I have). Tony Thompson profiled them on his blog. I was fortunate to acquire a couple pairs of Overland brass versions over a decade ago, which, of course, I cannot lay my hands on at this moment after my recent move. However, for those of you who do not have the Overland offerings or Twin Star Cars castings, American Scale Models offers a similar if not identical offering for the steep price of $39.95 (or in O scale for $69.95).  I plan to use my Overlands to model one of the GAEX cars. I will profile that build on this blog. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wordy Wednesday - Santa Fe Composite Gondola Ga-22 ATSF 175218

Col. Chet McCoid photo, San Diego, California, November 6, 1955, Bob's Photo
Like many Western roads, the Santa Fe had a large fleet of GS gondolas with drop doors that could haul loose aggregate materials as well as "standard" gondola loads. The Santa Fe had 11,000 Caswell gons built between 1906 and 1926 as well as 300 taller Caswell gons added in 1927. In 1929 and 1930, the Santa Fe added an additional 875 composite GS gons total in three classes. The GA-20 (nos. 170600-170849) and GA-26 (nos. 169000-169199) were 50' cars from Standard Steel, while the GA-22 class (nos. 175150-175574) was comprised of 40' cars from AC&F. They all used corrugated drop doors with Wine door locks.

ATSF 175218, a GA-22, effectively illustrates the wear and tear that gons absorbed, especially composite ones. Note the damage to the wood as well as the dings in the steel on the sides.

HO scale modelers were fortunate to have resin kits available for these cars from Sunshine Models. I have a model for a 50-footer that I will build and chronicle here in the near future.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Great Northern Stock Car - a question

It has been a long time since I last posted, at least by my reckoning. My move to Brooklyn is mostly complete... I still need some additional furnishings and other things, but I have a place to come to, including a furry wagging tail to greet me. Being a new Brooklynite, I am reviewing tattoo artwork, nose rings, and handlebar mustache styles (ok, that last sentence is made up... for now).

I received a query about the crossmembers on the Great Northern stock car kit (there are actually some people out there who build these things!) I thought I'd share the answer for any others in a similar situation. The question is how do the crossmembers sit so that the bottom (closest to the rails) is flat. The answer is that the stringers closest to the center sills should be notched. See photo. I hope this helps.

P.S. I have no more castings for these kits and am uncertain if I will have any more in the near future. My apologies if you were looking for one. The last ones went a few weeks back.

P.P.S. I expect to get back to more regular postings in the very near future. Stay tuned.