HOn3 Annual 2011 How to guide for HO Narrow Gauge Railroading Soft Cover

HOn3 Annual 2011 How to guide for HO Narrow Gauge Railroading Soft Cover

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HOn3 Annual 2011 How to guide for HO Narrow Gauge Railroading Soft Cover
HOn3 Annual 2011 How to guide for HO Narrow Gauge Railroading Soft Cover 114 pages
As model railroaders, we have a bit of freedom in the methods and equipment that we replicate. One approach is to model as closely to our chosen prototype as is possible, pulling no punches when it comes to locos, rolling stock, structures and the like. The other extreme is total freelancing which usually involves doing whatever comes to mind. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of these two poles, trying to create a realistic setting with equipment that is plausible and authentic, but with a little leeway as required. This article illustrates that concept, and hopefully the purists won't get too worked up. This adventure started with, as far as I can tell, a model of a freelanced prototype, so from the get-go, we're a little off target.
The model in question showed up in a local hobby shop here in Maine as part of an estate buy-out. As I was nosing through the cartons, the bright yellow box caught my eye. It was an E&B Valley kit for a Colorado and Southern "type" baggage car. Now, when I was seriously into H0n3 for a number of years, I had some C&S equipment including a couple of bobber cabooses and both a Westside 2-8-0 and a Lambert 2-6-0. However, my passenger equipment was largely based on D&RGW prototypes.
I had built and kitbashed a number of the E&B kits and was reasonably happy with the results. (For those who have been around a while, see my Railroad Model Craftsman article in the June, 1996 issue.) So, when this modeled surfaced, I figured I could have some fun. And as I opened things up, the instructions even supported this idea.
When I unfolded the sheet accompanying the plastic parts, I read the following: "This little car is based on a Colorado & Southern baggage car that we first saw while leafing thru some books and old photos. Each kit we come out with in this spin-off series is based on standard Jackson & Sharp plans. No two cars were
ever the same and since modeling is a hobby, we feel the various pieces of rolling stock that we come out with makes out (sic) little hobbt (sic) more fun." Save for the spelling errors, I couldn't agree more, so here we go.
The kit was made up of a cast styrene underframe and roof, some Grandt Line baggage doors, quite a bit of white, scribed wall material (Evergreen?) and several sprues of detail parts. The original owner had begun the assembly, and the sides were essentially complete. The work was done pretty well, although I did add some bracing the straighten out some uneven areas along the sides. I added the ends, drilling them for and adding the problem. They were sometimes warped and misshapen and needed some heavy bracing to even them out. The roof on this car was no exception. I cut a couple of lengths of 1/2" x 3/32" basswood strip to length and glued them down each side of the clerestory, using copious amounts of cyanoacrylate glue. These took care of most of the warpage. I then installed the clerestory window inserts and glued in place trim pieces on each end formed from 1/32" styrene strip. I added three lamp vents and a smoke stack from a Grandt passenger car detailing set and when these were set, I sprayed the completed roof with a coat of Floquil Engine Black. After cleaning the airbrush, I applied a coat of Floquil Pullman railings before gluing them in place. In addition, while I still had the pinvise out, I used a divider to mark holes and then drilled those holes for the handrails on each side of the baggage doors. Brass wire was formed to size and glued in place. This essentially completed the car body. Next came the underframe.
I glued the queenpost/needlebeam castings in place, threaded turnbuckles onto the mono-filament fishing line included to represent the trussrods, and then worked the line through the various locating holes, securing it when finished with drops of cyanoacrylate glue. When the truss rods had set up, I added the brake cylinder and rodding, bolsters and an air tank from the parts sprue. Though Spartan, these details are visible and lend some realism to a side view of the car. As a last bit of underside detail, I bent steps for each side door from flat brass wire and glued them in place.
I chose not to use the kit's end railings. From my previous modeling days, I had on hand a pair of what I believe are Tomalco cast brass end beams and railings. They lacked grab irons, so I bent and soldered in place handholds formed from brass wire. I then glued the kit's end platforms and steps into position and then carefully placed and glued the railings to the platforms. To complete the end details, I used Walther's G00to fasten Kadee#714 couplers in place. The kit's trucks are pretty well detailed, so I decided to use them rather than try and find replacements. On my previous passenger cars, I favored MDC/Roundhouse passenger trucks but they are very hard to find now, and I didn't keep any. The new, separately available
Blackstone passenger trucks would obviously work as well. I assembled the kit trucks and installed Grandt Line wheel sets. The modified trucks roll extremely well and mounted directly to the bolsters, the coupler height matches a Kadee gauge perfectly. The car was now ready for its roof.
My memories of previous E&B passenger cars were that the roofs were often a bit of a
Green to the carbody, and when this had thoroughly set, I brush painted the end railings, steps and platforms with Polly Scale Engine Black. The trucks got a coat of the Pullman Green. Now I had to decide how to letter the painted car.
Knowing that this car was not a D&RGW prototype, I didn't want to letter it as such. I did, however want the lettering to be consistent with how the Rio Grande decorated their cars and I also wanted a plausible car number. I thumbed through several books in my Colorado narrow gauge library, and in one of Robert W. Richardson's excellent volumes, I solved the number issue. A table of narrow gauge passenger cars showed that the Rio Grande's baggage cars didn't include a #123. Perfect! I wouldn't have to cut apart little numbers since the lettering I had, an old Champ set, featured a sequential 1-2-3. I applied the numbers to each end of the car and also added the remainder of the lettering in typical D&RGW fashion, centered on the car's side between the baggage doors. A spray coat of Testors Glosscote, after scribing the lettering into the siding grooves, blended the decals with the paint and provided a nice sheen. I weathered the car with light applications of chalks, glued in clear styrene pieces for the glass in the doors and attached the roof, using cyanoacrylate and holding the roof down in place while the glue set to minimize gaps between the roof and the body. This completed the model.
In the end, my scenario for this car is that the Rio Grande found itself in need of a baggage car on short notice and discovered an ex-C&S that was available. A quick rehab and the addition of an unused number filled the gap and everyone was satisfied, especially me. This is a possible turn of events and allows me to justify running this car, along with my newly acquired Blackstone coach, on my as yet to be constructed 110n3 switching layout. And in turn, there arises yet another chance for freelancing; model railroading life just keeps getting better. Stay tuned!

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25 years of the Slim Gauge Guild
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Thoughts on couplers
D&RGW 4th division & RGS Extension
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Modeling early EBT locomotives
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