Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Private Name Home Road SS Box Car 1536

I have completed a private name home road single-sheathed box car 1536 to add to my Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company (M&N) home road freight car fleet.  The box car was a 1950 rebuild special run car produced by Accurail in 2013 for the Soo Line Historical & Technical Society.  The car I found was a foot taller than the Wisconsin Central prototype and had a Hutchins rather than a diagonal panel roof.  I decided not to attempt to make the necessary changes to match the prototype.  Instead, I decided to turn the car into a home road car for my private name Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company to bring the current home road roster to 95 cars.

Car finished and ready for weathering.
(click or tap on any image to enlarge)

I began the conversion on the under body.  I tapped the coupler pockets and bolsters for 2-56 screws.  I installed Kadee #148 whisker couplers, coupler pocket covers and Accurail trucks with InterMountain 33” metal wheels with 2-56 screws.  I weighted the car to 3.8 ounces with the kit weight and electrical outlet box punchouts.  The under body was inserted and glued into the car body.

I continued the under body work making a new center sill made using Evergreen #136, .030 x .125” strip styrene and Evergreen #8104 1 x 4” strip styrene for flanges and installing it to replace the fishbelly underframe (supplied by Accurail) used on the car when built.  Next, the kit brake components were drilled for piping and installed.  The remaining details followed: 

- brake levers made from Evergreen #8108, 1 x 8” and #8106, 1 x 6” strip styrene
- brake lever hangers bent using Detail Associates #2503, .010” diameter brass wire
- slack adjuster, scrap styrene with #80 holes drilled in it
- brake rods, Tichy Train Group (Tichy) #1106, .0125” dia. phosphor bronze wire (PBW)
- turnbuckles to attach brake rods, Tichy #8102
- chain, A-Line #29219
- brake pipes from air reservoir to control valve, Detail Associates #2503, .010” diameter         brass wire
- brake cylinder pipe to control valve, Tichy #1106, .0125” diameter PBW
- train line, .018” diameter flora wire
- dirt collector, casting made in M&N shops with MEK tee to connect to train line

Under body with details installed.

With under body complete, I  continued the conversion by removing the Soo Line lettering including road name, reporting marks and herald with a scratch brush with fiberglass bristles (more information available under "Labels" and "scratch brush" on side bar).  Next I carved off molded on grab irons, ladder rungs, door handles and cut off molded on sill steps.  Holes for wire grab irons and ladder rungs were drilled with a #80 drill bit.  Any areas that required paint touch up were hand painted with Vallejo Model Color #70.982 Cavalry Brown, an excellent match to the Accurail applied paint.

Car body before Soo Line lettering removed.

Car body is painted and ready for side details.

Once touch up paint was dry I added grab irons on sides and ends fabricated from Tichy Train Group (Tichy) #1101, .010” diameter phosphor bronze wire (PBW).  One exception, the grab irons on the end sills had Tichy #3015, 18” drop grab irons installed.  Door handles were bent from Tichy #1101, .010” diameter PBW using a Xuron wire bending pliers.  A-Line #29000, style A, sill steps were installed.

Side details have been added.

On the “B” end, the brake step (platform) had the slant mount cut off prior to install.  Brake step brackets were made from Evergreen #8102, 1 x 2” strip styrene with MEK Goop used to make the bracket fasteners.  A parts box retainer valve install was followed by install of a retainer line and two brackets fabricated from Tichy #1101, .010” diameter PBW.  The  closed molded on brake shaft step was opened with a drill and broach.  Now, the brake shaft, Tichy #1102, .015” diameter PBW, brackets, Tichy #1101, .010” diameter PBW  and kit brake wheel were installed.  Finally, an uncoupling lever, Tichy #1106, .0125” diameter PBW and eye bolt brackets bent from Tichy #1100, .010” diameter PBW were installed here and on the “A” end.

The "B" end details have been added.

Roof work was next.  The running boards were milled from .040” to .020” to gain proper thickness.  I did the milling of the running boards with a Dremel #199 bit mounted in a Dremel tool mounted in a Dremel drill press stand.  Molded on corner grab irons on the latitudinal running boards were carved off.  New corner grab irons were bent from Tichy #1100, .010” diameter PBW.

Running boards being milled to proper thickness.

Roof after milled running boards installed
and Pan Pastel weathering applied.

Now the car was moved to the paint shop.  I hand painted the trucks with Vallejo Model Air #71.055, Black Gray RLM 66 and the under body added details with Vallejo Model Color #70.982, Cavalry Brown.  Once dry, I sprayed the car body Model Master 4638, Gloss Clear Acryl for a decal base.  Champ Private Name decals used for lettering and my old style herald, printed on an Alps printer, were applied with Microscale  Micro Set and Micro Sol. Once dry, a final application of Walthers Solvaset was used.  After drying overnight, car body was sprayed with Vallejo #70.520, Matt Varnish Finish to protect decals and provide a dull finish for weathering.

After letting the car sit to let paint day for a several days, the car was weathered with Pan Pastels using sponges for general coverage and micro brushes for areas such as areas in-between ladder rungs.   I used the following colors:  Burnt Sienna, 740.5 was applied to sides, ends and roof, Red Iron Oxide, 380.3 was used with micro brush to fade lettering, Paynes Grey Ex. Dark, 840.1 applied very lightly with sponge on sides, ends and roof, and Neutral Grey, 820.5 lightly on trucks.  I do not use any product to protect the weathering.   I have found no need to do it as weathered cars have held up well to handling in operation on my Minneapolis & Northland Company Railroad.  Once I was satisfied with the weathering, I created a car card  for M&N 1536 to place it in service.  

Weathered car sitting in  Minneapolis Chestnut Street Yard

Weathered car sitting in  Minneapolis Chestnut Street Yard

I would encourage everyone to have a private name railroad even if you model a specific prototype.  The private name railroad allows you to have the cars that you like; however, are not prototype or stand ins.  A good use for the "foobie" that was purchased.  

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