kitbashed headend equipment

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by doctorwayne, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    kitbashed headend equipment-blah-blah-blah

    ----With several newer pictures added....

    I posted a couple of these pictures on the Model Railroader site under Prototype Info. The thread is titled Best approach: Building heavyweights for the 30s. If anyone is interested, I give a more detailed account of how these cars were built. And to save wear and tear on your keyboard fingers, I figured out how to move the applicable part of that post here. It's pretty long, so if you just want to see the pictures, I won't be offended if you scroll right by it.
    Here it is:

    For anyone wanting easy to build wooden baggage cars, the Rivarossi coach is a good starting point: remove the roof, then with a razor saw, make cuts in the sides near the ends, right down to the floor (but not through it). Then, working from the inside with an X-acto knife, score along the juncture between the floor and sides and snap off the sides. The CNR cars that I model have metal-sheathed ends, so I use a file to clean up the cuts made to remove the sides. Make suitable end doors and plate over the windows if required. I use a large mill file to remove the remnants of the sides remaining along the edge of the floors, taking care to not file any deeper than the thickness of the new sides to be made next. For many CNR cars, I leave this material in the places where the new doors will be located, since it is a good representation of the metal doorsills.
    I make the new sides from layers of styrene. First, reassemble the roof to the floor/end assembly and measure the height for the new sides. Be sure to measure the lengths of both sides, as they may differ slightly. Make each side, using .020" plain styrene, long enough to fill the space between the rivet battens on either end., then cut out the sill area where you have left the original car sides. Trim and file to obtain a good fit. Using a small square and a sharp blade, scribe a vertical line on the new side at each end of each doorsill - do this very lightly on both the inside and outside faces of the sides. These lines represent the portion of the doors that will be visible on the completed car.
    Working from the back (inside) of the sides, lay out the desired window and lower door panel design, then cut it out carefully, using a sharp blade. Dress with files and sandpaper as required.
    Working on the outside of the sides, use .030" x .125" styrene strip to represent the letterboards - this should fit exactly from the ends of the car to the verticals scribed at eachdoor and then continue from the one inner door vertical to the next. The top edge must be flush with the top of the .020" subwall. Cut and glue .030" x .040" strip on edge below the letterboard to form a slighly raised trim strip. Cut and glue .030" x .030" strip as a header above each door, flush at the top.
    Using .030" thick styrene passenger car siding, cover the remainder of the subwalls. Use scraps of this same material, applied from the inside, to represent the lower door panels. Glue the completed sides to the floor/end assembly, using appropriately sized bracing at the corner joints with the ends. Do not add bracing at the side/floor joint.
    Trim the window area of the Rivarossi roof to provide clearance for the
    changes you have made: at the ends to clear the corner bracing and where there is interference with the scribed material representing the lower door panels. If you're adding wire grabirons, remove the "glass" where required. When you are done, the roof should fit as on the original car. Add weight and details as appropriate to your prototype, and of course, paint and lettering.
    Any Rivarossi car can be used with this technique, since the main components retained are the ends, roof, and floor. Cars may be shortened with the usual methods. I've done everything from 60' express cars, to a six door horse express car and 80' truss rod baggage cars. Grandt Line outfit car windows are suitable for this type of car, where required. The same general techniques can also be used with Athearn passenger cars, although a little extra work is needed at the glue joint between the sides and roof. Also, a new floor needs to be built and this offers an opportunity to detail this area as much as you wish. These shorter cars also look good with four wheel trucks: I have some old Central Valley ones on hand, but I think Walthers offers a good version nowadays.
    I must apologise for going on at such length, but I feel that this is an easy way to get head-end equipment that is otherwise unavailable.



    CNR 8907 is a horse express car built on the Rivarossi coach. The new wood sides, including the doors are scratchbuilt from styrene, underbody is stock with the addition of a generator and a couple of steam traps. All of the steps are built-up from brass strip. The diaphrams on all of these cars are from American Limited.
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    CNR 8520 is an express car built on a shortened Athearn Pullman. The wood sides are built up the same way on all of these cars, as are the steps and grabirons. The underbody is completely scratchbuilt, with the exception of the UC brake valve and cylinder. The Pintsch gas tanks are made from styrene tubing and brass strips. The trucks are from Central Valley.
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    CNR 8355 is constructed on another Athearn Pullman. The smokejacks are scratchbuilt as is the floor and underbody, with the exceptions as noted for CNR 8520 and the MDC queenposts, and Grandt Line turnbuckles. The trucks are stock Athearn metal ones with Kadee 36" wheelsets. Rolls like a brick.
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    Grand Valley 2070 is another express car built on a shortened Athearn coach. The underbody again is scratchbuilt with Athearn trucks like CNR 8355. The Baker Heater details on the roof are also homebuilt. All of the cars are painted with SMP Accupaint CNR Green, with the roofs and underbodies in Floquil. The horse car is lettered with C-D-S set #9, the Grand Valley car is C-D-S alpha-bets and passenger car data. The other two CNR cars are lettered with decals from Microscale set 300-006, CNR Classic Era Passenger Cars.
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    Here are a few more cars that I've just added to this thread, and the reason for bumping it up.

    This is Grand Valley combine "Willowglade". This car started out as a Rivarossi diner. The car was shortened, and several windows were plated over. Working baggage doors were added, along with a detailed underbody, interior and American Limited diaphrams.
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    EG&E combine "Onteora" is a Rivarossi combine, with windows from New England Rail Service. The usual details added, including grabirons, steps, underbody detail and interior.
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    Not exactly head-end equipment, business car "Rockhaven" is an Athearn observation car, severely shortened. New floor and underbody, along with interior details, and scratchbuilt air conditioning ducts.
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    GVC combine "Willowpoint" is a Roundhouse kit. Upgrades include a new floor with steel underframe, along with full brake detail, and an interior.
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    EG&E 2050 is an express car, built from a Rivarossi coach. Scratchbuilt baggage doors, with the windows plated over with sheet styrene. All the usual upgrades.
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    GVC 2066 is a mail storage car. Originally an MDC RPO, the windows were plated over and new, larger, baggage doors added. The roof ventilators are the exterior component of large leatherworking rivets.
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    NYC 4748 started life as an Athearn Pullman. Roof and ends are original, the sides are Evergreen siding, with scratchbuilt doors. All new floor and detailed underbody.
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    EG&E 2054 is built from the (large door) ends of two Athearn baggage cars. The windows are from an Athearn coach, with an all-new underbody.
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    CNR 11078 and CNR 11085 are both Accurail cars fitted with Athearn express trucks. Both cars have UC brake systems added. Paint is by Accupaint and the lettering is from C-D-S.
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    Finally, a shot of EG&E solarium "Tuscarora". This car started life as a Rivarossi 12-1 Pullman. New windows are from NERS, with the end railing by SS Limited.
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    I hope you enjoy viewing this stuff: I have lots more not yet photographed, and if I add to this post, I'll try to show a variety of cars.

    Wayne
  2. ross31r

    ross31r Member

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    hum, given me inspiration to actually start work on my WP Steam generator car for the club`s California Zephyr when my U30B is in charge!

    Superb work there!
  3. Tad

    Tad Member

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    Nice work.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Another wow! Thanks for posting this stuff Wayne. Not only is it my era, it is also (almost) my road... :)

    I got my hands on a double sheath boxcar that is lettered for Grand Valley - what is the origin of Grand Valley on your express car?

    Andrew
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Andrew:
    I thought that you were doing early CNR. #8907 is an ex-GTR car, the picture I used when building the model shows the car lettered as Grand Trunk 3907: I merely re-lettered it for CNR and applied the Canadian National number 8907. I didn't both to change the older style vertical handholds at the ends of the sides. I built a second car for a friend, 8909, on which these were changed to the double horizontal grabirons, since he 's modelling the late '50's. #8520 is also an ex-GTR car, #783, and CNR 8355 is ex-Canadian Northern 2117.
    As for the Grand Valley name, I'm uncertain of when I first used it. However, my records of custom paint jobs for a local hobby store show that I built a MDC two truck Shay in 1984, then another 2 truck and a three truck version in 1985, all lettered for Grand Valley. I liked the name and it fit right in with my Elora Gorge & Eastern, which is a part of the Grand River valley here in southern Ontario.
    Some time later, while going through some old issues of RMC, I came across a layout called the Grand Valley, owned by, if I recall, Harold Honious. I remembered then that I'd read the article when I first purchased the magazine, so it leads me to believe that I probably pulled the name out of my sub-conscience. I believe his railroad was in the U.S., so you could consider mine a rip-off, a tribute, or neither, since mine is Canadian. I know Johnathan's road is also the Grande Valley: I think there's room for all of us, although I use the reporting marks GVC. The "C" part was added when the New York Central had control of the formerly independent Grand Valley Railway during the late teens and early twenties. (They're the ones responsible for the grade separation project and the large station/headquarters building partially visible in the background of the photos (behind John Bertram's). My Grand Valley owns its own locomotives and cabooses, plus a handful of single sheathed boxcars, about ten stock cars, and a few gondolas. The gondolas and some of the stock cars are shown on my all-time roster as having been sold. The GVC also owns a sizeable fleet of two bay open hoppers; these run in service between Ashtabula, Ohio, via the TH&B car ferry and railway to Port Maitland on the Erie Northshore (Grand River & Northern Lake Erie). From here, they run to South Cayuga and an interchange with the GVC proper, which conveys them to a power plant at its northern terminus of Mount Forest. The GVC has never owned any double sheathed boxcars, at least none show on the roster, so there must be yet another Grand Valley out there.

    Wayne
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I am just posting a reply here to bump this thread back up to page one. I have added quite a few newer photos to the original start of this thread, and will post more as they become available. If you found it boring the first time, there has been no improvement, so please skip it and accept my apologizes. For anyone else, I hope that you find it enjoyable and informative.

    Wayne
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    That is a really impressive fleet Wayne! Put me down for vote for the latter category... ;)

    Andrew
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    One day I have got to see your layout in person. Very few model at that level, very impressive.
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks, guys, for the vote of confidence. When the pictures get put on a cd, the next installment will be on building heavyweight coaches from the Rivarossi 12-1 Pullman. Mostly photos, as the construction is pretty simple using the NERS parts, along with PSC underbody details.

    Wayne
  10. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    Thanks for the pictures and the how tos. I've been planning to re-paint my athearn passenger cars for a bit now but seeing your thread makes me want to do more.
  11. ross31r

    ross31r Member

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    hum, think my Harrimans will have to have some modifications now!

    where can you get NERS windows from on the net then?
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I'm not sure where you can buy these windows on the internet, although some manufacturers will sell direct.

    www.newenglandrail.com

    www.pullmancars.com

    The windows that NERS offer are intended for use on the older Rivarossi heavyweight cars. They may fit other manufacturers' cars, or modifications may be required to either the windows or the cars. If you want to add those small windows to a baggage car, the ones that I use are from Grandt Line, part #5059, Outfit Car Windows. They come eight to the pack, with a separate insert included to convert them from single-pane to four-pane windows. The second car shown above has the single-pane version, while the four-pane style is shown on the fourth example.
    NERS also offer A/C ducts for clerestory roof cars, along with underbody equipment for APWS, battery boxes, and ice-activated and mechanical air conditioning.

    Wayne
  13. ross31r

    ross31r Member

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    so what sort of details should i be looking at adding to my Harrimans (Baggage, RPO, Combine and Diner) and my trio of heavyweights (Athearn coach and observation and a Rivarossi rider[?] car) to make them more prototypically correct for 1944?
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I think that any of the Harriman-style cars would benefit from more underbody detail. Even if you don't get into the brake systems, all of your cars would be improved with the addition of battery boxes. Also, if I recall correctly, the MDC cars don't have a modelled underframe, so some suggestion of one would make the whole car look a little more substantial. Since my mail storage car is a free-lanced design, I added a fishbelly underframe cut from .060" sheet styrene: a straight steel underframe would probably be more correct and could be represented by a strip of .060" or .080" square styrene strip. Unless you want to do a real superdetailing job on the underfloor, add just what would be seen by a scale-size viewer at trackside. Even on my cars that have the brake system represented, most of the piping has not been modelled. Anybody who gets a good, unobstructed view of the underbodies of any cars on my layout is probably gawking at a major derailment. :rolleyes: :-D :-D
    The Athearn cars pose a bit of a problem because of the huge "battery box" cast into the floor. I usually make a whole new floor for mine, but if you don't wish to go to that length, you could still add some underfloor air conditioning equipment, complimented by the ductwork on the roof. I just checked to see if the NERS ductwork will fit on an Athearn car, and it's too big, so you'd need to make your own ducts from .010" sheet styrene. This is not too difficult, but is beyond what I could explain here. An easy underbody addition for any passenger car is what are commonly referred to as steam traps. I use smooth 1 1/4" finishing nails: drill a suitable hole in the floor, cut off the pointy end, leaving enough length so that the head extends about 3/8" or 7/16" below the floor. These are also available commercially, from Cal-Scale. You can add strip styrene bracing to the cheaper nail version. Other underbody equipment could include brake gear (specific passenger car UC brake gear is offered by PSC and Cal-Scale), air tanks (for both brake and water systems), water tanks, a/c and electrical control boxes, and tool boxes.
    With any detailing project, whether freelance or prototype, good prototype photos are a real help in making your work look realistic, even if you don't understand the function of the part that you're trying to represent. Some time ago, Mainline Modeler magazine did a series on Pullman cars, and many of the major train magazines often run prototype photos or drawings of particular cars. Even if you're not modelling that particular car, many of the underbody systems are pretty standard, varying only in layout.
    One on-line source of information, if I can do this properly, is:

    www.pullmanproject.com/

    I hope this answers some of your questions.

    Wayne
  15. ross31r

    ross31r Member

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    yes thanks wayne it does. Going to put my diner on six wheel bogies to make it look like its a heavy car compared to the other Harrimans

    was thinking my diner could be one of those ones that has been converted to eletric ranges - would this be plausible???

    Also what sort of things would the diner`s underframe carry? I am assuming that things like battery boxes, bigger (or more) water tanks, bigger (again, or more) ice boxes, linen sotrage boxes and that sort of thing - do Cal-Scale et al do things like this?

    Also would some of the NERS underframe detailing parts be suitable for the cars???

    Sorry for the lot of question but i am asking things as they come up as i move forward with detailing the cars - between them (and if i can find three or four Harriman coaches) they are intended to make up an eight car limited that is my steam roads flagship so they need to look very smart and modern - but only up to the point that a fairly wealthy regional based in New Hampshire would need / be able to afford in terms of modernising the cars.

    Ive already assumed the costs of buying a train of newer, longer heavyweights was prohibitive as it would have also required a lengthening of all the lines passing sidings etc to accomodate the longer train so it was decided to modernise some of the lines existing fleet of passenger vehicles for the train.
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Ross, I'm no expert, especially on the Harriman cars, so we'll have to hope that an SP/UP fan of that era can chip in to help us out. I'm not even sure if or how a/c was added to these cars. Underbody equipment, in addition to the brake gear (PSC, Cal Scale), would probably include water tanks and battery boxes (NERS), larger generators (PSC make several for passenger cars), steam traps (Cal Scale), and soiled linen boxes (probably scratchbuilt). I think the ice bunkers (NERS and PSC) were mainly for ice-activated a/c. Electric stoves and refrigerators might have been used at later dates, but I think that propane might have been a more common choice if coal was not used. The advantage would be better availability when the train was not moving, as I would think that an electric range would be a big draw on the batteries. I modelled propane tanks on my business car, since it needs to be self-sufficient when parked on more remote sidings. A simple way to make these is by using the air tanks (available separately) from the Athearn GP-7. Simply glue the two castings back-to-back (the castings are made to represent the ends of two tanks which would, in reality, extend across the width of the loco), then cement them to the underfloor wherever space is available. You could also add suitably-sized styrene tubing in between the two castings, creating longer tanks, or cut apart the double tanks to make two singles.
    I'm awaiting the return of a cd with some new passenger car photos, including a couple of underbody shots. I'll post them here if they're suitable.

    Wayne
  17. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    That is some great looking equipment, Wayne!
    You do good work, my friend!
    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  18. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

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    :wave: :wave: Wayne. Those are beautiful. Sure wish I could do something like that.sign1
  19. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks to all, for both the compliments and also the interest in the subject. I hope to have my cd, with fresh pictures, back this weekend, and will post more pictures if there are any that are suitable. Hopefully, heavyweight coaches, maybe a diner, and a couple of underbody views.

    Wayne
  20. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

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    here's some more of doctor wayne's works of art

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