Monday, October 1, 2018

M&STL leased URTX 4685 Wood Refrigerator

Union Refrigerator Transit Lines wood refrigerator car, URTX 4685, assigned to series 4675-4699, was leased to The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway.  A photo of URTX 4697 in the 1937 paint scheme appears on page 106 and a photo of UTRX 4975 with the 1930’s paint scheme as on URTX 4685 is on page 107 in Refrigerator Color Guide by Green Green (Morning Sun Books Inc., 2005).  I used these photos as a guide for my build and upgrade of this plastic kit purchased from 5th Avenue Car Shops  who had Accurail  produce the car using their 4800 series wood refrigerator.  The car was painted and lettered except for car numbers which have to be applied by the modeler  using decals provided in the kit.

I began the assembly and upgrade of this car on the underbody by installing the brake components after drilling them with a #79 drill for piping  to be added later.  The kit provides plastic pins to attach the trucks and molded on pins on coupler pocket covers to attach them to coupler pockets.  I use neither.  I cut the molded on pins from the back of the coupler pocket covers and use the remaining spot to drill and tap a 2-56 hole for mounting with screws.  Next the truck bolster kingpins were drilled and tapped for 2-56 screws.  Kadee #148 “whisker” couplers were installed in the coupler pockets and Accurail #150, 2-56x3/16” screws were used to attach the covers.  The Accurail trucks after slight modification, including removing the brake shoes, were installed with Athearn #99002, 2-56x1/4” round head screws.  Next the kit provided car weight was attached with Permatex adhesive sealant clear RTV Silicone which weighted the car to 4 ounces.  With these tasks complete, I glued the underbody to the car body.

Underbody ready to glue into car body
(Click or tap on photos to enlarge)
I now turned my attention to the car body details.  The first upgrade step was to carve off all the car molded on grab irons to be later replaced with wire ones.  I followed this step by carving off all ladder rungs leaving only the ladder side rails.  If you are interested in what tools  I use for removing the molded on grab irons please go to “labels” and click on “Grab Irons - Tools For Removing Molded On.”

Grab irons and ladder rungs removed

After the grab irons and ladder rungs were carved off, the areas were brush painted using Vallejo Model Color Light Orange #70.911 for the sides and Mahogany Brown #70.486 for ends and roof.  Both colors are an excellent match for the original paint used by Accurail.

While the car was set aside for the paint to dry, the running board was milled thinner, from .040” to .025”, using a Dennis Storzek technique described in his article, “5 boxcar improvements”, in April 1982, Railroad Model Craftsman, on page 84.  Once milling was done the milled area was scraped with a single edge razor blade to get it smooth.  You could sand it rather than using the scraping method to get it smooth.   With the back ready for install was complete I touched up the edges with the Vallejo Mahogany Brown.  Of course, there are others options for a scale running board such as scratch-building one from scale lumber or purchasing a laser cut  one.

Dremel tool with for milling running board in jig
After paint was dry, the milled running board was installed.  New running board extension support brackets were made from Evergreen #8102, 1x2” strip styrene.  I drilled new holes using a #79 drill to receive corner grab irons. The roof corner  grab irons were bent ( see bending grab irons under labels on this blog) from Tichy Train Group (Tichy), #1101, .010” diameter phosphor bronze wire (PBW) and installed with Yarmouth Model Works, 356, etched eyebolts for corner legs.  New wire grab irons  were painted with Vallejo Mahogany Brown.

Running board and roof grab irons painted Vallejo Mahogany Brown
I continued the car body upgrade by drilling new holes using a #79 drill to receive grab irons on sides and ends and ladder rungs.  The molded on rung fasteners on the molded on ladder side rails were used as a guide to drill holes next to them for wire ladder rungs.  Ladder side rails were shortened to better match prototype photo.  Next I bent straight grab irons  from Tichy, #1101, .010” diameter PBW ( see bending grab irons under labels on this blog) and installed them.   After install of straight grab irons was complete, I bent the ladder rungs which are straight grab irons installed for rungs between the ladder side rails.  New straight grab irons were painted Vallejo Model Color Light Orange on sides and Mahogany Brown on ends.  To complete the car body sides upgrade, the molded on sill steps were cut off and A-Line #29000, sill (stirrup) steps were installed and painted Vallejo Mahogany Brown.

Installed grab irons and ladder rungs ready for paint
The “B” end upgrade was next.  I began by cutting off the molded on bulge, the mounting portion of the brake step, on the bottom of the brake step off.  After cutting off the mounting bulge the brake step came off the car and had to be reinstalled.  The brake step support brackets, Tichy brackets from set #3013, were installed.  A Sunshine Models resin retainer valve from the parts box was installed followed  by installing a retainer line and bracket made with Tichy #1100, .008” diameter PBW.   Next I cut  the molded on brake shaft step off.  To create a new brake shaft step I installed a A-Line #29000, sill ( stirrup) step.   A number #80 drill was used to drill a hole in the lower portion of the brake shaft step prior for the brake shaft to go through.  A brake shaft, Tichy #1102, .015” diameter PBW, substituted for the .020” diameter kit provided brake shaft, was installed.  The brake shaft  had a Tichy brake wheel, set #3013, mounted on it replacing the thicker kit provided one.  A brake shaft bracket was made with scrap wire and installed.  Uncoupling levers bent from Tichy #1106, .0125” diameter PBW were installed with eyebolts I bent from  .010” diameter brass wire ( for bending ucoupling levers see "labels" and click on "ucoupling levers").  Again all new parts installed were painted with Vallejo Mahogany Brown.

"B" end work is finished

With car body details added, I added  the underbody details.  Piping from air reservoir to control valve, Tichy #1101, .010” diameter PBW and  pipe from back of brake cylinder to control valve, Tichy #1106, .0125” diameter PBW wire were installed. Next a train line using 26 gauge, .018” diameter, floral wire was installed.  The train line holes were drilled in bolsters and cross ties with a 4” drill made from .032” diameter piano wire.  A dirt collector, Tichy Set #3013, was now installed connecting its molded on pipe to the train line with a connecting tee made from MEK Goop.  Brake levers made from Evergreen #8108, 1x8” and #8106, 1x6” strip styrene were installed. Brake rodding, Tichy #1106, .0125” diameter PBW, was connected to brake levers by making small right angle bends at the end of each rod inserted into #80 drilled holes in the brake levers.  Where the wire entered a hole in a brake lever, it was covered with MEK Goop to simulate a clevis connection.   Chain between brake cylinder and rod is A-Line #29219, 40 links per inch.  Underbody added details were painted Vallejo Model Color #70.862, Black Grey.

The final details added were the ice bunker drains.  The drains,  bent from .040” diameter 24 gauge floral wire, were installed and painted Mahogany Brown.

Upgrade was now complete except for decals.  Time to add numbers to car sides and  reporting marks and numbers to ends with decals in kit.  First,  Model Master 4638, Clear Gloss Acryl  was applied to area were decals were to be applied.  Once  dry, decals were applied using Microscale MicroSol.  Decals were allowed to dry overnight before I sprayed the entire car body with Model Master 4636 Flat Clear Acryl rather than just coating the applied decal areas.

Wood refrigerator URTX 4685 was weathered with Pan Pastels and is now in service serving customers of the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company.

Waiting to be moved to ice platform

Waiting for icing

Weathered with Pan Pastels

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

No comments:

Post a Comment