SW1200RS Project: End of the Wire

Having completed the front handrails on 8152 this evening, all of the handrails on both of my SW1200RS units are now installed.  This marks the end of all the wire bending for this project.

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In my previous post, I mentioned that the step, or riser, on which the front drop step is mounted was not included in the kit.  I had to build those out of bits of styrene.  I started by  measuring the height of the step on the rear walkway with a digital caliper’s depth gauge. I then cut a strip out of a sheet of .010″ styrene that matched the height.  I cut four pieces of styrene HO scale 4″x4″ stock and attached them across the strip with plastic cement. The spacing was determined by the etched piece for the two stanchions that are fastened to the riser.  Here’s what it looked like:

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I chopped the excess 4×4 from the top and bottom of the strip and trued the edges with medium and fine sanding sticks, using a precision square to check my progress.

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Once I had the top and bottom trued, I cut a piece of .010″x.080″ styrene strip the same width as the space between the inside edges of the middle stanchions.  I used the precision square to hold everything together while the cement dried.

IMG_2685Once the cement was dry, I chopped off the extra length of .010″ styrene strip to free the work piece.  The extra styrene made handling such a small piece much easier during the fabrication process.

With the extra plastic trimmed away, I sanded the workpiece on all faces to smooth out the seams.  I scraped away some paint on the front walkway and used CA to attach the piece.

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Once the riser was in place, I was able to proceed with the rest of the handrails, starting with the centre stanchions.

I think I’ll turn my attention to window glazing next.  Stay tuned.

 

SW1200RS Project – Still More Handrails

Wednesday evening is our weekly work night at the WRMRC.  I couldn’t make it out to the club tonight, and I haven’t been there for a few weeks in a row now, because of other commitments.  However, I was able to make more progress on the SW1200RS project this evening.

Predictably, 8152 now has rear handrails.  I also bent the wire parts for the front, but I didn’t get around to installing them.  I’m one step closer to putting these units on the rails.

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SW1200RS Project – 8159 has handrails

I finished the handrails on the front of 8159, which completes all of the handrails on this model.  Here are a couple of photos to show off all the wire bending I’ve done over the past week.

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These locomotives have a step in the middle of the rear walkway upon which the drop set is mounted.  The drop step on the front of the locomotive had to be raised to an equal height in order for them to line up at the same height on m.u.’ed locomotives.  The kit has a part for this step on the rear platform, but the step for the front platform was not included. I scratch built these out of some pretty small pieces of styrene shapes.

There are some very small details that I still need to add, but I think I’ll do the end handrails on 8152 next.

TH&B 70 Ton Hoppers Part 6 – Trucks

In his response to my previous post on this topic, Chris Mears asked about the trucks that came with the Stewart model I used for my TH&B hoppers. I’ve put together a short post in response to his question.

Because I mentioned the ill-fated attempt at using True Line trucks in my previous post, I want to expand on this first.  True Line has had their fumbles, and the masses have subsequently beaten them with suitable vigour.  I think it’s safe for us to leave that debate to the various online fora.  I’ll celebrate the fact that they’ve survived the lashings, and they continue to make a go of it.  I own a number of their models and I especially like their slab side covered hoppers.   I’m in line for a pair of their upcoming SW1200RS models, and I’m hoping for another run of their CP and CN vans and the slab sided covered hoppers.  My experience with their freight car trucks was a disappointment.  They should never have let those parts get into a package and onto store shelves.  One pack of bad trucks would be a fluke, but I bought two packages and both were unusable.  In the end, I was refunded my money, but I that’s beside the point.  It’s inconvenient for me to get to a store that has the parts I need for the hobby.  I want to support bricks and mortar stores, but when I get there and put my money down, I should not be performing quality control for any product I purchase, especially if that product carries a premium price, and is not labelled as a factory defect or second.  There; I can move on.

As I wrote in my previous post, I wanted to move the project forward.  Chris’s question was whether the Stewart sideframes are good enough to keep if the wheelsets are replaced.  Let’s go through some photos and figure this out.

Here’s a photo of a truck on the prototype car.

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Next is a series of photos of the stock Stewart trucks from my models.

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You’ll have to ignore the compression that took place when I took the prototype photo with a telephoto lens, and the expansion that took place when I took the model photos with my iPhone set to wide angle.  The Stewart model appears to have the correct proportions, despite these distortions.

The Stewart part is missing some finer details on the journal doors, the openings at the ends of the frame, and the insides of the bolster openings.  The lip around the opening in the truck frame is too pronounced.  The overall dimensions seem appropriate for a 70 ton truck.  The detail that bugs me the most is the area under the springs on the frame.  That looks different from the prototype.

I suspect that Stewart was aiming at representing a 70 ton capacity ASF A-3 Ride Control truck (with solid bearings, obviously).  I don’t know the origin of the trucks on the TH&B car.  Maybe they were cast by National Steel Car themselves, and are therefore going to be slightly unique from the ASF trucks.  Maybe my spotting is off.  I’m hoping someone can enlighten me on this.

Tangent Scale Models builds a much nicer model of a truck that represents the same prototype as the stock Stewart truck.  This is still not an exact match to that on the TH&B car (again, my spotting could be off).  Here’s the Tangent model (image is from their website).

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There are some other quality representations of the ASF truck available in HO scale, but the photo of the Tangent model illustrates the improvement in quality that’s taken place over the past two decades.  My options, as I see them, are to equip the stock trucks with replacement wheelsets, or buy something like the Tangent trucks.  The stock trucks with replacement wheelsets will certainly work.  Whether they match the level of detail on the car the way I’ve modified it is a question I’ll wrestle with over the next while.  I’m leaning toward the Tangent truck with semi-scale metal wheels.

Thanks for the question, Chris.  What would you do?

TH&B 70 Ton Hoppers Part 5

It’s been a while since I posted about these cars.  I started this project as a way to take a break from the CP ore car assembly line.  I bounced back over to the ore car project until I got them to the point that they’re stored at the club, and now I’m back onto these cars.

In the previous post on this topic, I had sprayed both cars with Polly Scale Engine Black that I toned back a bit with some white.  When that had cured, I applied about five or six coats of Microscale Micro Gloss.  I find this product takes quite a few coats to build up a good shiny surface to take decals.  When the gloss coat was cured, I applied the superb Aberdeen Car Shops decal set  THB-8710.

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After my considerable break from these cars, I managed to get the couplers attached.  I used Kadee #58 couplers in their own pockets and screwed them in place with a short 2-56 screw.  I installed Details Associates stirrup steps on all corners of both cars.  These are not exactly correct for this car because they are mounted below the frame sill, whereas the actual stirrup steps are bolted to the side.  I’ll live with these until I find the part (if it exist) and I’ll switch them over as time permits.

Last week, while I was stocking up on supplies for a number of different projects, I bought two sets of True Line trucks with metal wheels to use for these cars.  I have some True Line cars and they roll OK, so thought these would be worthy.  When I took them out of their packages this morning, I discovered that each truck had at least one wheel that was incorrectly mounted onto its axle.  That was frustrating, so they went back to the store.  Without anything else on hand, I used the trucks that were supplied with the kit.  The wheels are plastic on brass-ish axles… dodgy at best.  I might look for trucks with nicer detail, but these aren’t too bad.   I’d like to put some semi-scale wheels on these cars.  At a minimum, I’ll replace the wheelsets with a metal ones.  I kept the dodgy ones from the kit on the car for the photos.

Speaking of photos, it was a beautifully sunny afternoon, so I took them outside to get some pics in the daylight.

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Overall, I’m pleased with the way that the cars look with all of the cast-on details replaced with finer parts.  I’ll post back here with an update once I get them weathered.