A nice Atlas wood reefer ???

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by modelsof1900, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    With this thread I would like to open a discussion with regard to few modelling projects which I started in last months.

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    In this case I purchased three Atlas wood reefers models of 1900.
    The model bodies are very good detailed. There are opening doors, ice hatches and a lot of more detail features. They have further a very fine lettering - although not all data are correctly.

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    Sorry for the quality of this picture. I should reduce the contrast so you will be able to see much better the details of the black frame.
    However, on top okay but the quality of the under floor is miserable!
    With what for type of frame is this model equipped? A centered steel frame without steel profiles and without the typically steel girder bars and there is not an only rivet to see. On the contrary this frame is equipped with queen posts and truss rods which are mounted on undefined crossing bars. Has a steel frame had ever possessed truss rods?
    Or should be this a wood frame without side and center beams which is equipped with two U-shaped steel profiles where truss rods are bent to the under-body and end there? Turnbuckles which are looking like filled steel blocks?
    No, I was not really lucky with this and my other two Atlas reefers.
    So what could I do to improve and correct the model?
    In detail - remove all details of the underframe and renew all them including a well looking wood frame! Furthermore to equip with KadeeĀ“s arch bar trucks - or Andrews - and Kadee couplers no.58 and through improvement of a few smaller details.

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    First step: All original parts are removed and a cast center rip is filed down. I glued the original bolsters on the frame and I added four small curved styrene blocks which are responsible to avoid the typical swing of all American freight car models. Is there someone who knows a line where their models do not swing? One pair of white styrene blocks are spaced and lengthened so that the roller bearings of Kadee truck can slide on them. The other pair is filed a little bit shorter so that the second truck is free swivelling to all directions. Thereby I have got a very well working three point equalization like I have done to all my other models.

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    A first test with mounted Kadee couplers - coupler height is exact to Kadee ruling.

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    With ACC glue I added all the wood beams to a new wood frame that looks are very close to original wood frames. In a last step the outer end-parts must be added as they would hang a bit above the end of frame.

    Next steps follow in a few days.


    Bernhard
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Nice work! Looking forward to more pictures.

    Andrew
  3. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

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    Wunderschoen! :thumb:
  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

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  5. 2slim

    2slim Member

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    Bernhard,
    I am not an expert on turn of the century equipment, but a steel center beam with truss rods seems like overkill to me! I wasn't aware that the Atlas cars had the opening doors you mentioned, it's a shame they missed the boat on the under frame. Perhaps there were cars of this type, but I don't think they were common. Perhaps Atlas plans to release a later era of reefer and was trying to save some cost by adding the center beam, hoping no one would care, (guess you fooled them!!).

    2slim
  6. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Thanks for compliments and I hope to get a really nice reefer. I want to act what I can do.

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    Small advances:
    A new K-brake cylinder (Red Caboose part no. RP-1000-01) is glued on frame strips and it is "connected to brake pipe". I added also a smaller pipe to pressure-retaining valve, sorry it isn't visible here in shot. All queen posts are on place now, so I can plan details for brake installation.

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    Brake is ready for installation. The short rod at right lever is part of brake cylinder and the thin rod connected with the chain is part of hand brake.
    All the connections of rods with the levers are really riveted and they all are flexible as long as the ends are not fixed. And I must say, it isn't a really complicated job. But I like to do it.

    Bernhard
  7. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Next step is done - brake is installed

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    Brake could work as in the reality - but all rods are fixed on at their ends now.

    Bernhard
  8. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

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    Excellent work 1900, I have to get some like that for my N Scale layout.
  9. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

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    I would be seriously impressed if you did that in N...

    Go for it Will!
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    Bernhard,
    That's........................beautiful! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
    I can't do that!........................at least not yet! The shackle that holds the chain is sweet! Very nice detail!
    Pete
  11. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

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    Tillsbury, I don't know if I could get that much detail in N.
    I will have to work up to it. :D
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Very nice work, Bernhard. To answer one of your questions, Canadian National rebuilt quite a few of their nineteenth century wooden truss rod passenger cars with steel underframes and kept the truss rods. There were probably more examples of this sort of engineering overkill: probably the same kind of cautious thinking as when many companies started using computers but still kept copies of everything on paper.
  13. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Thanks again for the appreciative threads.
    Like all my other models I'm modeling only in HO scale. And I must say that N-scale modeling is too small for me. In example the mentioned shackle is made from 0.3 millimeter wire (in decimal inches 0.012) with an outer eye diameter of around 0.035 and length over all from .09 to .1 inches. Unfortunately lenght varies always somewhat, since I do not use a jig. But these parts are so small that I must always build the double number. They jump away and nearly never regain I them. Sorry I can't modeling in N scale!!!
    But I know also that there are such specialists and I have the all-largest respects to these people.

    Bernhard
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Bernhard,
    I would imagine that you probably enjoy doing the detail work on the various brake parts, especially the clevises. However, for others out there perhaps not so skilled, acceptable clevises can be fashioned by cutting a turnbuckle in half. Plastic ones are available from Tichy and Grandt Line, and brass ones from Precision Scale. Keep up the good work.
  15. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Hello doctorwayne,

    I am sure that my modelling procedures are not the only way to get well looking models.
    Therefore I am convinced that there are a lot of many other possibilities to design, rebuild and to improve models. Furthermore I have seen many other models with the same or higher quality level which I would like also to reach for myself but I know that I cannot get this.
    Especially I mean brass made models with soldering where I have largest problems to implement exact these details. For this reason I like to modelling car models from the 1900 era - a time with many wooden models. I have tried also to model with Tichy brake sets but I have not reached what I would like to get. In the last moment parts which were already glued these were fallen apart again and so I glued and I glued until I had to build all once more. Because of my metal constructions which are only parts of my models I have got complete pieces without a glued connection which are better fixed than each metal-plastic combination.
    However I said already: I know modelers building in plastic only and they have built models with a non-reached quality.

    Here now next pictures.

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    Truss rods are ready and mounted.
    With this step frame and underbody is completed. But I'll modify a few parts at car ends also.

    Bernhard
  16. ross31r

    ross31r Member

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    thats a very nice model but TBH, i dont see the point - the only time someone is ever going to see the full underside is when the car rolls over.

    Can see why you`ve put more prototypical truss rods on and put the brake cylinder in the proper place but i operate under the rule of if you cant see it when the car is on the track and you look at it from the normal veiwing angle it doesnt need to be there!
  17. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Hi ross31r,

    In fact I agree with you.
    However I think model railroading is a hobby with many aspects. Perhaps you are interested in running model trains ... and it is right, nobody will see finest differences of various models. But who can see all the differences of a caboose with a super detailed interior when it runs at the end of a train? Have you ever seen super detailed interiors of an engine shed or buildings where you have to remove the roof to see all the fine details? In all these cases you can say it is not necessary that there are such special features. I say all these models are very excellent done jobs. Nevertheless there are a lot of modelers who like to do such a fine work and I like to do it also.
    Please compare first and second picture of this thread and you will see the mistakes of the Atlas model. Especially the bent truss rods and turnbuckles which look like filled blocks! An U-shaped steel profile used on a wood frame? And again and again - a swinging model car fresh from the box! I know that I can do it better and so I rebuilt such a model until I was satified through that what I have done with my model. I believe that all modelers like to do their own modelling jobs even if one can first see essential differences by a second look.
    With next model I will replace oversized hinges at doors an I will try to replace four hinges through correct six hinges. However I hope that I do not to have to repaint the whole model after my little replacements. Picures will follow - later.

    Bernhard
  18. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

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    Also depends on the height of the railroad. On a dual level layout I bet you will see a lot more of that undercar detail. I like it and think it is a great job! That car sitting in the foreground on a siding is great also because someone else has time to look at it and can change heights to see all the details if needed.
  19. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Bernhard,
    You are absolutely right, each modeller must work not only within his or her capabilities, but also within his or her own interests. Or perhaps I should say as far as one's interests takes them. Simply because a detail will normally be unseen is no excuse to not include it if you wish to. For many, the deciding factor for including this "extra" detail is an intention to enter the model in a contest: in my opinion, your work would fare well. However, when you started this thread, it was obvious to me that you took great satisfaction in this kind of work and that this is your method of improving all of your modelling skills. These "unseen details" will translate into better craftsmanship in the parts of all your models that are visible. Those of us who attempt this kind of modelling, to whatever degree, understand why you do so. This is not to impress anyone other than yourself; and even at that, probably only for a moment. We do this, this pushing of our capabilities, because this is how we wring that last ounce of enjoyment out of this hobby. After the accolades of others have faded, the ultimate goal of this hobby is to enjoy ourselves and it seems to me that you're enjoying yourself thoroughly: keep up the good work.
    Wayne
  20. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

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    Reefer rebuilding is finished - for the moment anyway!

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    First model of my serie received a very dusty finishing seeing better the new detailing under the framework. And also from the side it is now clearly visible that the model possesses a correctly arranged detailing.
    In the direct comparison - new and old ends.
    I set brake rod closer to the body and I added at lower end of rod a brake mechanism. Unfortunately it was not possible, the small chain to wind around the brake rod. But I think it looks reasonably realistically. I reduced also outer dimensions of coupler box faces and I replaced original coupler levers by news one. New coupler levers are made of straight wire without an elbow around the brake rod and they have got a very short chain at coupler end. And last of all I added still brake hoses and nut-bolt-washers as ends of truss rods. Did I forget something? I would like to hear your ideas or criticisms!
    I did not change the single steps by ladders on rebuilt model, these are variants so as Atlas delivered originally their models.
    With which I am however not yet completely content, that is the weathering under the floor of the car. I sprayed with idustrieal color cans and thus I did not get the best result. But I want to still change that with the help of a friend.
    And how I already wrote in my last reply, I want to change hinges at the doors with the next model rebuilding also. I think the four oversized hinges must be replaced by six correct sized hinges in order to get a really nice model for 1900 era modelling. And that will be definitely the last step at these models - however I would implement aging and weathering with a model built from wood still much more strongly.

    Compare my next threads that will follow in next time.

    Supplement:

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    A last picture to this thread - all four cars are rebuild however without changing the door hinges. Color demage would be to large so that I relinquished to correct these wrong details. Models would look better with new hinges and I regret this.

    Bernhard