Monday, September 7, 2020

C&O 1013 Covered Hopper Upgrade

I received a RTR Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) covered hopper, C&O 1013, a Kato 70 Ton 2 bay, painted black with white lettering from Ron Christensen along with a pill bottle filled with foundry sand from Michigan.   Ron was aware I used a mix of unused white and used black foundry sand for my ballast.  The large pill bottle had enough sand to make a sand load or ballast a siding on the railroad.   The upgraded hopper will be used to deliver sand to Randolph Anchor Glass Plant, a new customer in Randolph, Minn. serviced by the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company.

When I asked for information regarding C&O 1013, class LO, on website  Ed Hawkins provided this comprehensive response:

"All C&O LO’s of the 1958 cu. ft. design built from 1937 thru 1953 were painted entirely black with white stencils. Builders included ACF, GATC, Ralston Steel Car Co., and Pullman-Standard. Data & selected builder & in-service photos were published in RP CYC Volumes 27 (ACF), 28 (GATC) and 30 (RSC, P-S). 

The model of C&O 1013 is intended to represent a prototype car from series 800-1299, 500 cars built ca. 12-48 to 2-49 by Ralston Steel Car Co. (lot 2575). A Ralston builder photo of C&O 1143 was published on p. 239 of the 1949-51 Car Builders’ Cyclopedia. It shows the car painted “builder gray” that was done by some car builders to better illustrate the car’s details, rather than the production scheme painted black that tended to make the details more difficult to discern. In-service photos of C&O 823 (original paint, 3-54 reweigh) & 1211 (6-57 repaint) were published on p. 91 of RP CYC, Volume 30.

Regarding the decoration of the model, the final three orders of C&O’s 1958 cu. ft. LO covered hopper cars built in 1948, 1952, and 1953 (the last two series from Pullman-Standard as shown on pages 36-38 of RP CYC Volume 30) came with the C and O for Progress monogram with steam trail. Whereas the model has the later straight-line version of the monogram, which would represent a repainted car circa 1955 or later. Missing on the model to the right of the Lt. Wt. line are stencils to identify the reweigh station symbol & date stencils that could reflect where & when the car was repainted - perhaps something like RA 9-55 to represent the repainted car weighed at C&O’s Raceland, Kentucky car shops. This is easily lettered with decals as well as some journal box repack stencils that the model also lacks. 

While I don’t have an exact date when the “For Progress” monogram change occurred, photos of new cars denote it was between 2-54 & 9-55. Hope this helps."

Mont Switzer Collection, Bob's Photo
(click on this or any photo to enlarge)

I began the upgrade by disassembling the hopper and adding 1/4 oz. tire weights to the interior to bring the hopper weight to 3.6 ounces.  While trucks were removed for disassembly, the bolsters were tapped for 2-56 screws.  When I assembled the car to continue upgrade I used Fastenal 1/4 inch screws to attach trucks.

I continued with two easy upgrade items.  After removing the Kato running boards, I installed Kadee hopper Apex Tri-Lok running boards after cutting off the mounting pins on the running boards and on the end support brackets.  Next the Kato Ajax brake wheel was replaced with a Kadee Ajax brake wheel.

Kadee running boards.

Kadee running boards and Adjax brake wheel installed.

C&O 1013 hopper upgrade continued with the more difficult items.  I carved off all the grab irons with a custom shaped number 17 Xacto blade in a Xacto Number five handle.  I also like to use the Micro-Mark mini scalpel blades and handles for this task. 

Xacto handle with custom ground #17 blade
and Micro-Mark mini scalpel blades and handles.
(click on this or any other photo to enlarge)

Close up of blades.

I installed straight or drop grab irons I bent from Tichy Train Group (Tichy) #1101, .010” diameter phosphor bronze wire (PBW).  All ladder rungs were removed with a side cutter, single edge razor blade and the custom shaped number 17 Xacto blade.  I replaced the ladder rungs with drop type grab rungs again bent from Tichy #1101 .010” diameter PBW.

Grab irons and ladder rungs installed on left side.

Grab irons and ladder rungs on right side and "A" end.

The Kato non-see through brake step was replaced next.   The Kato brake step was pulled off.  The brackets were cut off from the back and glued to a new see through brake step cut from a Kadee Apex running board.  The new Kadee brake step with Kato brackets was installed.

New Kadee brake step
with Kato brackets.

Another view of new brake step.

Every hopper upgrade needs to have the very visible train line on the right side added.  I installed the eye bolts brackets bent from Tichy #1101 .010” PBW to hold the train line.  A train line using .017” green flora wire for the train line was installed.  In addition, the tow loops, bent from Tichy #1101 .010” diameter PBW were installed.  

Train line and tow loops installed.

The final upgrade item on the hopper was the uncoupling levers. Uncoupling lever brackets, eye bolts bent from Tichy #1101, were installed.   The install of uncoupling levers bent from Tichy #1106, .0125” PBW followed.

Uncoupling levers have been installed.

With upgrade items completed, C&O 1013 was ready to have upgrade items painted.  All upgrade items were hand painted Vallejo Black, 70.950.  I was not happy with the way the running boards looked.  Therefore, running boards and roof as the ends were sprayed Vallejo Black, 70.950, after the sides were covered with 3M Scotch blue Painter’s Tape.  The Vallejo Black was thinned 50% with a custom mix of distilled water, Vallejo air brush thinner,71.161 and Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver,71.562.  When the Black was dry C&O 1013 was sprayed with Vallejo Matt Varnish, 70.520 since I did not apply additional decals with reweigh data or journal box repack stencils that the model lacks.  I may go back later and add them.

Roof spayed and weathered.

And, when the Matt varnish coat was dry, weathering using Pan Pastels was applied.  Pan Pastels used were as follows:  Black, 800.5 and Payne’s Extra Dark Grey, 840.1. The weathering may be too heavy for some modelers.

Side view of weathered hopper.

3/4 view of weathered C&O 1013.

After weathering with Pan Pastels  C&O 1013  was ready for service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company, “Serving today, Shaping tomorrow.”  A car card was made for C&O 1013,  the final step to put it in service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company Railroad.

C&O 1013 sitting on Randolph Anchor Glass Plant
unloading track.

Another view of C&O 1013 waiting to be spotted
on unloading grate at Randolph Anchor Glass Plant.

I want say, “Thank You” to several people for their help with this build.  A “Thank You” to Ron Christensen for the hopper.   A “Thank You” to Ed Hawkins for help with the prototype and model information provided  in this blog post to help with the build of this car .  And, a “Thank You” to Mont Switzer for his photo help and information regarding this build.

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 sign your comment with your name if you choose to leave one.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.

Lester Breuer