Friday, March 23, 2018

Swift Refrigerator Line 14950

Another finished Sunshine Models freight car is ready for service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company.  The car is a Swift Refrigerator Line, Kit 46.17, numbered 14950. Sunshine Models Prototype Data Sheet, #46B, tells us General American Transportation Corporation, GATX, which had purchased the Swift refrigerator car fleet in 1931, began building these all-steel refrigerator cars in late 1949 with Dart-Not ends and Duryea underframe. On these refrigerator cars the sides have four steel sheets laid horizontally with a pronounced horizontal seam, or overlap, midway up the car side.  A vertical rivet pattern of alternate center rivets tied the side sheet to the internal vetical posts. A special feature of the cars was the brine tank release rod located on the right side on both ends of the car running from the valve on the bottom of the car to the handle at the roof level.  The cars received the red with white lettering paint scheme and were placed in the series 14950, 14960, 14970 with four cars in each.

Doug Harding Collection

Since this was a flat kit, I first built the box, the car body,  consisting of the ends and sides with interior bracing cut from Evergreen, #165 .080x.100" strip styrene added. The bracing included a ledge for the floor to sit on.  Next the roof was fitted and installed.  Finally the floor was fitted; however, not glued until the underbody work was finished.

On the underbody I now added the Duryea couple boxes with kadee, #148, "whisker" couplers. I continued the build with the underbody work.  The underbody was built following kit instructions with the following changes.  I added the sill plates made from Evergreen,#9009, .005" sheet styrene with rivets made with RB Productions rivet tool. Brake levers were made from Evergreen, #8108 1x8" and #8106 1x6" strip styrene. A train line, .020" flora wire was installed.  Brake pipes from air reservoir to control valve made using Tichy Train Group (Tichy), #1100, .010" dia. phosphor bronze wire (PBW). Brake cylinder pipe to control vale and all brake rodding was made with Tichy #1106, .0125" dia. PBW.  Tichy trunbuckles, #8021, were used for clevises on the brake rodding. Chain is A-Line, #29219, black 40 links per inch chain.  A dirt collector from Tichy, set #3013, was installed.  The pipe from the dirt collector was connected to the train line with a tee made with MEK Goop (plastic melted in MEK). Tahoe Model Trucks, TMW-006, ARA cast Buckeye with spring plank with InterMountain 33" metal wheels were installed.  Car was weighted to 3.08 oz. and the floor was now glued in place.

Click or tap on photos to enlarge

I continued the build by adding the kit provided roof details with only a few exceptions.  The Plano latitudinal running board was installed with Formula "560" glue followed by the latitudinal running extension brackets, ice hatches, InterMountain hatch levers, and roof grab irons.  For the roof grab iron corner brackets, I used Yarmouth Model Works, YMW 355, eyebolts.

Now to a much more exciting portion of the build, the "B" end. Before adding the "B" end details, I add the side ladders first to allow the end ladder rungs to line up with those on the sides. Once the ladders were installed I added several "B" end items not in the kit. A Precision Scale, #31796, retainer valve and retainer line fabricated from Tichy, #1100, .008" PBW were installed.  Next the kit brake housing with a Kadee, #2030, Ajax brake wheel were installed. Attached to the brake housing, an A-Line, #29219, black chain, 40 links per inch, attached to a brake rod made with Detail Associates, #2505, .015" dia. brass wire with a clevis made using a Tichy, #8021, turnbuckle to allow attachment to the bell crank. Next, uncoupling lever brackets made from Evergreen, #291, .060" angle and uncoupling levers, Tichy, #1106, .0125" dia. PBW were installed. Now the brine tank release tank release rods which I had never installed on a refrigerator car before.  A rod, .019" brass wire, was attached to a kit provided resin valve, drilled to accept the rod, to mount to the bottom of the car.  On the other end a handle I made from scrap sytrene and a brass handle to mount above the edge of the roof.  I made the handle to replace the resin one in the kit as it was I felt too fragile to have on a car on an operating railroad.  I used Detail Associates kit provided eyebolts for brackets to install the brine tank release lever. The brine tank release lever, a really neat feature, provided a new modeling and learning experience.

All that I needed to get the car ready for the paint shop was to add the side details.  The plastic kit ladders, already added, were extended to the roof level with MEK Goop to match prototype photo.  Kadee, #2250, bracket grab irons were added.  A trust plate, cut from scarp Evergreen, #9009, .005" sheet styrene was added. Finally, kit sill steps and placard board were installed.

The car was now ready for the M&N paint shop.  In the shop the car had the underbody sprayed Vallejo Model Air, 71.054, Dark Grey Blue. The white fascia strip was painted Vallejo Model Color, #70.951, white.  Tamyia tape, cut to proper width,  was used to cover the white painted fascia strip. Once tape was in place, the car body was sprayed Vallejo Model Color, 70.951, Flat Red. After a few minutes of drying time, aided by a hair dryer,  the tape covering the white fascia strip was removed. The car body was now sprayed with Model Master, 4638, clear gloss acryl to provide a decal base.  The white lettering decals were applied with Micro Set and Micro Sol.  The decals were allowed to dry overnight prior to a sprayed protective coat of Model Master, 4636, flat clear acryl.

Car sitting on Swift plant siding after icing at Kool Ice

I wish to thank Bob Miller, Ted Culotta, and George Toman for providing references to allow me to gain an education regarding the brine tanks and release lever.  Doug Harding and Nelson Moyer provided photos to aid assembly, painting and especially lettering.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.
Lester Breuer

Friday, March 9, 2018

Duluth, Shouth Shore & Atlantic Box Car 17065

The Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic box car, numbered 17065,  series 17000 to 17099, built in 1940 by Pullman Standard Manufacturing Company was added to my equipment roster in 1984  after purchase from the Soo Line Historical & Technical Society (SLH&TS).  This Athearn box car represents a car with an inside height of 10’6” and 5/5 square corner dreadnaught ends. The Athearn box car was painted and accurately lettered for the SLH&TS by Bev-Bel.  Therefore, an upgrade of the car was definitely worth the effort to bring it closer to the prototype. I have reworked this car several times to accomplish this goal.  I have summarized the upgrades below.

The underbody had the following upgrades done.   First, the under-frame and floor were removed from the car.  On the floor the mounts that hold the floor car to the car body were cut-off and replaced with new mounts made from Evergreen, #131, .030x.030" strip styrene on the opposite side.  Moving the mounts to the opposite side allows the interior floor to face the bottom of the car and the weight side to be moved to the interior of the car.  Additional weight was added to bring the car weight to 3.08 oz. and the floor was installed.  The under-frame has the brake components attached to it located in the wrong location so they must be cut-off.  I cut them off, drilled the air reservoir and control valve for piping and reinstalled them in the proper location. I used a Tichy Train Group (Tichy) brake cylinder and cylinder piston with clevis, set #3013, to replace the Athearn one.  Brake levers fabricated from Evergreen #8108 1x8” and #8106 1x6” strip styrene were installed.  Brake lever hangers are Tichy, #3021, 18” straight type, grab irons.  Piping from air reservoir to control valve is Plastruct, #90850, .010” diameter styrene round rod and pipe from brake cylinder to control valve is Tichy, #1106, .0125” dia. phosphor bronze wire (PBW). Brake rodding is Tichy, #1106, .0125” dia. PBW.  Chain is Campbell black 40 links per inch.  Train line was made using .020”floral wire.  Finally, the dirt collector is made with wire and scrap styrene.  Trucks are Athearn ASF A-3 50 Ton provided in the kit with Kadee 33” metal wheels installed.

Click on photo to enlarge

A roof upgrade started by removing the Athearn running boards, cutting off the mounting lugs and gluing them back into the roof holes.  A longitudinal resin running board from the parts box was installed with extension supports made from Evergreen, #8102, 1x2” strip styrene.  The latitudinal running boards (laterals) are InterMountain plastic laterals narrowed and mounted on support brackets made from Evergreen, #101, .010 x .030” strip styrene.  I now use Detail Associates flat brass with the same dimensions ,which  in my opinion, is easier to work with as it will not break when ends are bent to go over roof sides.  Roof grab irons were made from Tichy, #1106, .0125” PBW with Yarmouth Model Works, YMW #355, eyebolts for corner brackets.

Now I proceeded  with a more difficult upgrade on this car, the sides.   The molded on door guides were cut-off with a fine tooth saw blade mounted in a mandrel in a Dremel Tool.  New door guides were fabricated from Evergreen, #8102, 1x2” strip styrene.  A door stop bent from Detail Associates, #1102, .015" diameter brass wire was installed at the end of the new lower door guide. Doors, cast from resin in the M&N Shops, were installed.  The master used to make rubber mold for the doors was Branchline Trains AAR box car doors with molded on placard boards.   Archer, AR88026, resin 5/8” head diameter rivet heads cast on clear decal film were used to complete the rivet line above the lower door guide.  MicroScale Micro Sol was used to apply the rivets.  Kadee bracket grab irons, #2250, were installed.  Molded on sill steps were cut-off and replaced with A-Line, #29002, style C.  Finally, I carved off the ladder rungs leaving the stiles.  New ladders rungs bent from Tichy, #1100, .010” dia. PBW were installed.

Normally I would have done the “B” work prior to the sides; however, I did not do this upgrade until recently when the needed Klasing brake gear became available.  I began the “B” end upgrade by carving off the molded on ladder rungs, brake rod, retainer line and cut-off the brake step, brake wheel and brake housing.  New ladder rungs bent from Tichy,#1101, .010” dia. PBW were installed.  A retainer line fabricated from Tichy, #1100, .008” dia. PBW was installed. I cut a new brake step out of a Kadee Apex running board and made the brackets from Evergreen, #8102, 1x2” strip styrene.  Since the brake housing and brake wheel need to be Klasing, I replaced the incorrect cut-off  brake gear with Resin Car Works Klasing brake housing and wheel.  A new brake rod was made with Tichy, #1102, .015” dia. PBW attached to a Tichy, #8021, turnbuckle for the clevis to attach it to the Tichy, bell crank, set #3013.

With the upgrades finished, I moved the car to the paint shop.  The underbody I sprayed with solvent based  Floquil Grimy Black, R13, in 1985.  When I added the train line and dirt collector later, I brushed the under body again with Polly Scale, F414140, Tarnished Black.  To match that today, I use Vallejo Model Air, 71.054, grey black.  The ends were brush painted with Polly Scale, F414290, engine black which can be matched using Vallejo Model Color, 70.950, Black.  The added details on sides and roof were brushed with Polly Scale,F414200, Wisconsin Central Maroon, of which I still have half a bottle in the paint drawer, so I did not have to find a Vallejo match.  Car was weathered with Pan Pastels, eye-shadow makeup, and Bradgon weathering powders.

Setout on the Little Chicago Team Track

After a recent “B” end upgrade, DSS&A 17065 went back into service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model
Lester Breuer

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Duluth, South Shore And Altantic Box Car

I have added another freight car to my fleet, the build this time a Duluth, South Shore And Atlantic Box Car, DSS&A 17077, series 17000 to 17099, built in 1940  by Pullman-Standard.  The car is 10’ 6” in height with 5/5 square-corner ends.  Resin Car Works (RCW) offered this kit, 3.02, and one for the Soo Line which also owned cars with this design.  Photos for the build are in the “Prototype Data and Modeling Notes” provided in the kit.  I call this a composite kit rather than a resin kit as the kit contents include an InterMountain 1937 AAR plastic body with false ends, resin ends, and other plastic and resin parts.  If you think you may have previously read some of the details that follow for the build of DSS&A 17077, it may be the case, as I built the Soo Line Car kit and described the build with photos on the RCW blog.

Click or tap on photos to enlarge

I begin each build by assembling the car body box, made up of the sides and ends, if needed and fit the roof and under-frame.  This kit contains an InterMountain molded car body box with sides and false ends. Therefore, I began the build by installing the under-frame. I continued the build by fitting the InterMountain car body box with the supplied Red Caboose roof rather than the InterMountain roof, also in the kit.  To accomplish this task, you have to cut a notch out of each body false end  to fit the Red Caboose roof.  I cut the notch with a fine toothed saw blade mounted in a Dremel tool and fitted the roof; however, I did not glue it yet.  Next, I installed the resin square-corner ends over the false ends making sure to align the top with the roof eaves and the bottom with the couple pads on the under-frame.  I now went back to the under-frame to install Accurail trucks with InterMountain 33” metal wheels and Kadee #262 coupler boxes with Kadee #148 “whisker” couplers. Finally, I removed the roof, added weight to bring the car weight to 3.8 oz., reinstalled and glued the roof in place. The car body was now ready for adding detail.

I began the detail of the car body by installing the side ladders followed by the end ladders. I install the side ladders first as the end ladder rungs should line up with those on the sides or be within 2 inches as on the prototype.  Once I have the end ladders installed I proceed with the remaining "B" end details. In this kit build, I replaced many of the plastic parts in the kit. On the "B" these included, the brake step, a Plano Model Products,#11322, a Cal-Scale bell crank, set 190-283, Precision Scale retainer valve, #31796, retainer line made with Tichy Train Group (Tichy), #1100, .008" dia. phosphor bronze wire (PBW), chain from brake housing, A-Line, #29219, black 40 links per inch attached to the brake rod made from Tichy, #1102, .015" dia. PBW attached to the bell crank with a Tichy, #8021 turnbuckle, bracket grab iron is a Kadee, #2250 and the sill grab irons are fabricated from Tichy #1106, .0125" dia. PBW. Uncoupling levers are fabricated from Tichy, #1106, .0125" PBW.  The fine looking Klasing etched brake wheel and cast housing provided in the kit are produced by True Line Trains.

Following the "B" end I add the details on the sides and the "A" end.  Again I replaced kit parts as follows: bracket grab irons, Kadee, #2250, sill steps, A-Line, style C, #29002, and door handles are made from Detail Associate .010" dia. brass wire. Placard board fasteners were made with MEK Goop (plastic melted in MEK).

Next I proceeded with the roof details. The plastic longitudinal running board in the kit was installed with Testors plastic cement in a tube after the latitudinal running boards were cut-off. The brackets for the latitudinal running boards were fabricated from Detail Associates, #2254, .010x.030" brass flat bar and glued to the resin cast replacement latitudinal running boards provided in the kit and installed.  The roof grabs irons were bent from Tichy, #1100, .010" dia. PBW and use Yarmouth Model Works, YMW 355, eyebolts for corner brackets.  The longitudinal running board extension brackets (supports)  are made from Evergreen, #8102, 1x2" strip styrene.

With the car body finished, I proceeded to complete the underbody details.  Again as on the car body, I used parts not in the kit: air reservoir is a resin part in kit; however, mounting brackets made using plastic sill steps cut-off other plastic cars and ears cut-off Kadee coupler pockets, brake cylinder and piston, Tichy, #set 3013, brake cylinder bracket is from a Sunshine Models kit, brake levers are made using Evergreen, #8108, 1x8" and #8106, 1x6" strip styrene, brake lever hangers, Tichy,#1106, .0125" dia. PBW, brake piping, Ticy, ##1101, .010" dia. PBW from air reservoir to control valve and Tichy, #1106, .0125" dia. PBW from the brake cylinder to the control valve.  All brake rods are Tichy, #1106, .0125" dia. PBW with clevises made from half a Tichy, #8021, turnbuckle. The chain again is A-Line, #29219, black 40 links per inch.

Once underbody work was complete, I moved the car to the paint shop.  First, the car was washed with a cotton makeup swab dipped in isopropyl 91% alcohol to get rid of any grime picked up during the assembly work.  When dry, the underbody was sprayed Vallejo Model Air Dark Grey Blue, #71.054 (Tarnished Black).  Car body sides were taped with 3M blue painter's tape to avoid overspray from the ends, I sprayed Polly Scale, #F414290, Engine Black.  After ends dried, they were taped with Tamyia and 3M blue painter's tape to protect the black ends from the Vallejo Model Color mix: Black Red, #70.859, 2 parts and Flat yellow, #70.953, I used to spray the sides and roof. Again when dry, I sprayed the  car body with Model Master, #4638, Gloss Clear Acryl, for a decal base.  Decals provided in the kit were applied with Micoscale Set and Sol.  After decals were left to dry overnight, I sprayed the car body with Model Master, 4636, Flat Clear acryl to protect the decals.

The car went into service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company after leaving the paint shop.  The car joined DSS&A box car 10765, an Athearn box car, painted by Bev-Bel, issued by the Soo Line Historical and Technical Society in 1982. I have reworked the Athearn car adding some of the details added on the RCW 17077box car.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.
Lester Breuer