Topics

N4 cabin car


Bruce Smith
 

Folks,

I'm getting started (or restarted?) on my N4! As some of you may know, the single N4 was an experiment to upgrade the 4-wheel ND bobber to a trucked cabin car. The car retained the ND cupola, and simply had length added to each end. Bob Johnson copied the car records for me so I have lots of information. 

July 31, 1907 – Class ND cabin car No. 486684 was built at Verona Shops 

December 7, 1915 – The car was rebuilt as eight-wheel class N4 No. 488251 at Altoona. 

May 13, 1920 – The car was renumbered to 478215 at Olean, NY.

November 7, 1925 – Two combined alarm whistles and brake valves and one air brake pressure gauge were applied at Buffalo.

June 23, 1927 – A hopper toiled was installed at Buffalo.

May 25, 1941 – At Pitcairn the Old Style couplers were replaced by ARA Type D.  The old style brake pipe end cocks were replaced by end cocks with extension rods and drop handles.  The end hand rails were extended to 48” height.  The Type D4 Westinghouse draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A22XB.  And, the class 2A-F1 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F2.

December 14, 1945 – At Pitcairn Freight Shops the KD 1012 air brakes were replaced by Westinghouse AB 1012 air brakes.  The window guards were removed.  The Miner Type A22XB draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A-2-XB.  The Type D couplers were replaced by Type E.  And, the class 2A-F2 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F5.  

April 1957 – The car was retired from freight service, renumber to 492415 and placed in work equipment service.  It was photographed in such service between 1962 and 1968.

By 1976 the car had been retired from work equipment service and was sold to a private individual, repainted, numbered 475289 and placed on display near Hollidaysburg.  It never had this number in PRR service.  The car was resold to a restaurant in State College, Pa, and subsequently sold to a private individual in State College who, to date, maintains the cabin in his back yard and I was able to visit and photograph the cabin about 12 years ago.

The advent of the F&C ND/ND​kit raises the possibility of using the kit to bash the N4. My plan is to use 2 NDA kits get all the pieces needed. Given the 2 for 1 prices that Sharon usually charges at shows, this is not all the expensive!

My plan is shown in the attached photos. Cutting begins tonight! Be aware that the underframe has bolts on the end so aligning it in the True Sander will require shims. The underframe needs to be 3.995" long (yeah, 4"), so making that out of 2 pieces will be perfect. The truck centers are 5' from the ends, just like the NDA frame, so we only need to gain length in the middle. The roof basically needs an additional section, and I have yet to figure the precise amount of side to add, but by cutting the very end off the side and then adding back a longer piece should get what we need.

Regards,
Bruce 
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


Rich C
 

Bruce, Great plan and a great start!

Rich Christie

On Sunday, November 15, 2020, 08:07:42 PM CST, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:


Folks,

I'm getting started (or restarted?) on my N4! As some of you may know, the single N4 was an experiment to upgrade the 4-wheel ND bobber to a trucked cabin car. The car retained the ND cupola, and simply had length added to each end. Bob Johnson copied the car records for me so I have lots of information. 

July 31, 1907 – Class ND cabin car No. 486684 was built at Verona Shops 

December 7, 1915 – The car was rebuilt as eight-wheel class N4 No. 488251 at Altoona. 

May 13, 1920 – The car was renumbered to 478215 at Olean, NY.

November 7, 1925 – Two combined alarm whistles and brake valves and one air brake pressure gauge were applied at Buffalo.

June 23, 1927 – A hopper toiled was installed at Buffalo.

May 25, 1941 – At Pitcairn the Old Style couplers were replaced by ARA Type D.  The old style brake pipe end cocks were replaced by end cocks with extension rods and drop handles.  The end hand rails were extended to 48” height.  The Type D4 Westinghouse draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A22XB.  And, the class 2A-F1 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F2.

December 14, 1945 – At Pitcairn Freight Shops the KD 1012 air brakes were replaced by Westinghouse AB 1012 air brakes.  The window guards were removed.  The Miner Type A22XB draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A-2-XB.  The Type D couplers were replaced by Type E.  And, the class 2A-F2 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F5.  

April 1957 – The car was retired from freight service, renumber to 492415 and placed in work equipment service.  It was photographed in such service between 1962 and 1968.

By 1976 the car had been retired from work equipment service and was sold to a private individual, repainted, numbered 475289 and placed on display near Hollidaysburg.  It never had this number in PRR service.  The car was resold to a restaurant in State College, Pa, and subsequently sold to a private individual in State College who, to date, maintains the cabin in his back yard and I was able to visit and photograph the cabin about 12 years ago.

The advent of the F&C ND/ND​kit raises the possibility of using the kit to bash the N4. My plan is to use 2 NDA kits get all the pieces needed. Given the 2 for 1 prices that Sharon usually charges at shows, this is not all the expensive!

My plan is shown in the attached photos. Cutting begins tonight! Be aware that the underframe has bolts on the end so aligning it in the True Sander will require shims. The underframe needs to be 3.995" long (yeah, 4"), so making that out of 2 pieces will be perfect. The truck centers are 5' from the ends, just like the NDA frame, so we only need to gain length in the middle. The roof basically needs an additional section, and I have yet to figure the precise amount of side to add, but by cutting the very end off the side and then adding back a longer piece should get what we need.

Regards,
Bruce 
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


O Fenton Wells
 

Interesting project Bruce will anticipate the finished product. And I thought I was the razor saw kinda guy
Fenton 


On Nov 15, 2020, at 9:35 PM, Rich C via groups.io <rhcdmc@...> wrote:


Bruce, Great plan and a great start!

Rich Christie

On Sunday, November 15, 2020, 08:07:42 PM CST, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:


Folks,

I'm getting started (or restarted?) on my N4! As some of you may know, the single N4 was an experiment to upgrade the 4-wheel ND bobber to a trucked cabin car. The car retained the ND cupola, and simply had length added to each end. Bob Johnson copied the car records for me so I have lots of information. 

July 31, 1907 – Class ND cabin car No. 486684 was built at Verona Shops 

December 7, 1915 – The car was rebuilt as eight-wheel class N4 No. 488251 at Altoona. 

May 13, 1920 – The car was renumbered to 478215 at Olean, NY.

November 7, 1925 – Two combined alarm whistles and brake valves and one air brake pressure gauge were applied at Buffalo.

June 23, 1927 – A hopper toiled was installed at Buffalo.

May 25, 1941 – At Pitcairn the Old Style couplers were replaced by ARA Type D.  The old style brake pipe end cocks were replaced by end cocks with extension rods and drop handles.  The end hand rails were extended to 48” height.  The Type D4 Westinghouse draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A22XB.  And, the class 2A-F1 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F2.

December 14, 1945 – At Pitcairn Freight Shops the KD 1012 air brakes were replaced by Westinghouse AB 1012 air brakes.  The window guards were removed.  The Miner Type A22XB draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A-2-XB.  The Type D couplers were replaced by Type E.  And, the class 2A-F2 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F5.  

April 1957 – The car was retired from freight service, renumber to 492415 and placed in work equipment service.  It was photographed in such service between 1962 and 1968.

By 1976 the car had been retired from work equipment service and was sold to a private individual, repainted, numbered 475289 and placed on display near Hollidaysburg.  It never had this number in PRR service.  The car was resold to a restaurant in State College, Pa, and subsequently sold to a private individual in State College who, to date, maintains the cabin in his back yard and I was able to visit and photograph the cabin about 12 years ago.

The advent of the F&C ND/ND​kit raises the possibility of using the kit to bash the N4. My plan is to use 2 NDA kits get all the pieces needed. Given the 2 for 1 prices that Sharon usually charges at shows, this is not all the expensive!

My plan is shown in the attached photos. Cutting begins tonight! Be aware that the underframe has bolts on the end so aligning it in the True Sander will require shims. The underframe needs to be 3.995" long (yeah, 4"), so making that out of 2 pieces will be perfect. The truck centers are 5' from the ends, just like the NDA frame, so we only need to gain length in the middle. The roof basically needs an additional section, and I have yet to figure the precise amount of side to add, but by cutting the very end off the side and then adding back a longer piece should get what we need.

Regards,
Bruce 
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Bruce,
 
Sounds good. Thanks for posting the detailed records for the car. I lettered my model with the road number 488251, I now know that this is NOT correct for my chosen 1929 era! Oh well, I'm not going to change it now!
 
I've had trouble in the past when grafting together two cast resin items because there are often minor dimensional variances between the two parts involved - minor enough that on their own they don't really matter, but when two different parts get attached to each other problems develop. This is especially true with respect the the casting thickness, which can have variability that is difficult - but not impossible - to compensate for.
 
That plastic figure in the attached image represents me 'working on the railroad' beside my 1:160 N4 cabin, while an L2s waits in the background.
 
Claus Schlund
 


Bruce Smith
 

Claus,

Nice work, as always!  Knowledge is definitely 2-edged sword.  

I'm going to have to figure out how to model the 2A-F2 trucks, since the nice Bowser 2A-F5 wouldn't be correct until the end of 1945. I also know that I have to model the K brake arrangement, not the AB.

As for the resin parts, thickness is an issue. I did buy both kits at the same time, so they likely came from the same mold (for folks who don't know, latex rubber molds for resin kits typically last about 20-30 "pulls" and then new molds have to be made from the masters. That's why "molds" have very little value). The underbody looks to be exactly the same thickness, so we're good there. The sides are pretty close and can be sanded on their backs if needed. The hardest would be the roof, because F&C cast it in two-piece mold, so the bottom is also arched, and even has board detail! 

My current plan is to join the roof parts with something that will allow me some "grace" like Barge cement, and then finalize the joint with ACC. 

The underbody/floor really presents very little challenge as most of it is hidden. 

The challenge I see with the sides is to make sure that the gap between boards is accurately recreated at the joints. 

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: PRRPro@groups.io <PRRPro@groups.io> on behalf of Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...>
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2020 9:36 AM
To: PRRPro@groups.io <PRRPro@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [PRRPro] N4 cabin car
 
Hi Bruce,
 
Sounds good. Thanks for posting the detailed records for the car. I lettered my model with the road number 488251, I now know that this is NOT correct for my chosen 1929 era! Oh well, I'm not going to change it now!
 
I've had trouble in the past when grafting together two cast resin items because there are often minor dimensional variances between the two parts involved - minor enough that on their own they don't really matter, but when two different parts get attached to each other problems develop. This is especially true with respect the the casting thickness, which can have variability that is difficult - but not impossible - to compensate for.
 
That plastic figure in the attached image represents me 'working on the railroad' beside my 1:160 N4 cabin, while an L2s waits in the background.
 
Claus Schlund
 


Paul Alphonse
 

Bruce,

In my efforts to understand the differences and find a wide variety of trucks I've found a lot of resources for getting the right "look".  Do you have a reference photo for your 2A-F2 trucks so I can check and see if I might be able to find them for you?  I suspect I might have a suggestion for you but I haven't done much research on cabin car trucks.

Best,
Paul Alphonse.


Bruce Smith
 

Paul,

The 2A-F2 was a cast steel side frame truck with a 5' wheelbase. There is a tracing on line at Rob Schoenberg's wonderful site: http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiagrams.html?diag=2A-F2-E89596.gif&sel=ftk&sz=sm&fr=

I believe that this was a "30 ton" truck (in reality 15,000 lbs per axle, 15 tons per truck, 2 trucks).

The challenge is in finding the 5' wheelbase. The single spring 2A-F5 (bowser) comes close with a 5' 3" wheelbase and I could substitute a multiple spring package.

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, Al


From: PRRPro@groups.io <PRRPro@groups.io> on behalf of Paul Alphonse <paullalphonse@...>
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2020 10:44 AM
To: PRRPro@groups.io <PRRPro@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [PRRPro] N4 cabin car
 
Bruce,

In my efforts to understand the differences and find a wide variety of trucks I've found a lot of resources for getting the right "look".  Do you have a reference photo for your 2A-F2 trucks so I can check and see if I might be able to find them for you?  I suspect I might have a suggestion for you but I haven't done much research on cabin car trucks.

Best,
Paul Alphonse.


Benjamin Hom
 

Paul Alphonse wrote:
"In my efforts to understand the differences and find a wide variety of trucks I've found a lot of resources for getting the right "look".  Do you have a reference photo for your 2A-F2 trucks so I can check and see if I might be able to find them for you?  I suspect I might have a suggestion for you but I haven't done much research on cabin car trucks."

2A-F2 diagram here:


Ben Hom














Paul Alphonse
 

Bruce,

Precision Scale makes a brass casting "PRR Caboose" [wrong terminology, I know ;) ] truck set.  Look up SKU 32228.  You may need to correct the spring package but the wheel base is advertised as correct.  Looks like only one provider has it on eBay at this time but they are a solid seller, I have ordered A LOT of modeling supplies through them.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Precision-Scale-HO-32228-Trucks-PRR-Series-Caboose-Single-Coil-Spring-Brass/383059019640?hash=item593018c778:g:BFEAAOSw4e1dMibc

Paul Alphonse


Brian Carlson
 

They are the owners of precision scale, that’s why they have a lot.

Brian J. Carlson


Bruce Smith
 

Paul,

I’m well aware of that truck.  It is a 2A-F5.  Just like the Bowser truck, only the Bowser is arguably a better model. ;)

Regards,
Bruce

On Nov 16, 2020, at 12:24 PM, Paul Alphonse <paullalphonse@...> wrote:

Bruce,

Precision Scale makes a brass casting "PRR Caboose" [wrong terminology, I know ;) ] truck set.  Look up SKU 32228.  You may need to correct the spring package but the wheel base is advertised as correct.  Looks like only one provider has it on eBay at this time but they are a solid seller, I have ordered A LOT of modeling supplies through them.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Precision-Scale-HO-32228-Trucks-PRR-Series-Caboose-Single-Coil-Spring-Brass/383059019640?hash=item593018c778:g:BFEAAOSw4e1dMibc

Paul Alphonse


Jeff Pellas
 

Bruce: I live in State College and have seen that car many times but have never had a close up look. It's mostly hidden by trees in the gentleman's back yard. Great kit bash plan!

Jeff
jppellas@...



-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Smith <smithbf@...>
To: PRRPro@groups.io <PRRPro@groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Nov 15, 2020 09:07 PM
Subject: [PRRPro] N4 cabin car


Folks,

I'm getting started (or restarted?) on my N4! As some of you may know, the single N4 was an experiment to upgrade the 4-wheel ND bobber to a trucked cabin car. The car retained the ND cupola, and simply had length added to each end. Bob Johnson copied the car records for me so I have lots of information. 

July 31, 1907 – Class ND cabin car No. 486684 was built at Verona Shops 

December 7, 1915 – The car was rebuilt as eight-wheel class N4 No. 488251 at Altoona. 

May 13, 1920 – The car was renumbered to 478215 at Olean, NY.

November 7, 1925 – Two combined alarm whistles and brake valves and one air brake pressure gauge were applied at Buffalo.

June 23, 1927 – A hopper toiled was installed at Buffalo.

May 25, 1941 – At Pitcairn the Old Style couplers were replaced by ARA Type D.  The old style brake pipe end cocks were replaced by end cocks with extension rods and drop handles.  The end hand rails were extended to 48” height.  The Type D4 Westinghouse draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A22XB.  And, the class 2A-F1 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F2.

December 14, 1945 – At Pitcairn Freight Shops the KD 1012 air brakes were replaced by Westinghouse AB 1012 air brakes.  The window guards were removed.  The Miner Type A22XB draft gears were replaced by Miner Type A-2-XB.  The Type D couplers were replaced by Type E.  And, the class 2A-F2 trucks were replaced by class 2A-F5.  

April 1957 – The car was retired from freight service, renumber to 492415 and placed in work equipment service.  It was photographed in such service between 1962 and 1968.

By 1976 the car had been retired from work equipment service and was sold to a private individual, repainted, numbered 475289 and placed on display near Hollidaysburg.  It never had this number in PRR service.  The car was resold to a restaurant in State College, Pa, and subsequently sold to a private individual in State College who, to date, maintains the cabin in his back yard and I was able to visit and photograph the cabin about 12 years ago.

The advent of the F&C ND/ND​kit raises the possibility of using the kit to bash the N4. My plan is to use 2 NDA kits get all the pieces needed. Given the 2 for 1 prices that Sharon usually charges at shows, this is not all the expensive!

My plan is shown in the attached photos. Cutting begins tonight! Be aware that the underframe has bolts on the end so aligning it in the True Sander will require shims. The underframe needs to be 3.995" long (yeah, 4"), so making that out of 2 pieces will be perfect. The truck centers are 5' from the ends, just like the NDA frame, so we only need to gain length in the middle. The roof basically needs an additional section, and I have yet to figure the precise amount of side to add, but by cutting the very end off the side and then adding back a longer piece should get what we need.

Regards,
Bruce 
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


Bruce Smith
 

Folks,

N4 progress!  I cut the roof, floor, and ends as marked in the previous post. My suggestion is to cut a little wide and then use something like a TruSander to square the cuts and slowly sand back the right amount.

Floor/underbody - I sanded the two pieces square and then slowly sanded it back until the piece measured 3.995" (29 feet) total length and then glued the two halves together with ACC on a very flat surface. There was no issue with the parts being different thicknesses. I did use a tiny bit of putty on the center sill to fill some slight mismatches.

Roof - I cut outside the 2nd roofwalk support from the cupola on one roof and inside the 1st on the other, basically adding a section on each end. Then I slowly sanded the part with the cupola back so that the support was flush with the sanded end, Then I sanded each end back, being careful remove the same amount from each until the overall length of the roof was 3.780" (27' 5.25"). I did spend some time shaving down the groove where the sides attach to make sure all the resin casting gates were fully removed. There was a slight bit of difference in thickness between the roof pieces but not so much that it couldn't be fixed with shaving and sanding. I butt glued the ends on with ACC. I was a little less careful than I could have been on one end and so there was a noticeable "step". In looking at the roofwalk supports, they were not evenly distributed so I shaved them off. I puttied the joints between roof pieces and then sanded it down. A light coat of Tamiya Fine Grey Surface Primer showed defects, so I used more putty, more sanding, more primer, more putty, and finally more sanding, to make it seamless. 

Sides - I did some experimenting here, and I'm here to say, do as I say, not as I did! 🙂  First, I figured out how long the side needed to be. The body of the N4 measured 34' 1.75" or 3.327" in HO. However, the thickness of the ends (0.050") is included in that, so the side pieces measure 3.227". To begin the process, I cut the ends of the side I was keeping off, just to the inside of the middle attachment for the curved grab iron (5 boards in). Then I cut the ends off the second side just outside the window. This was actually overkill in terms of having enough material. BTW, when I say "cut", I tried both a very thin razor saw and many passes with a hobby knife. The latter is probably better. Ultimately, what you will want is the end piece to be 11 boards, and the center piece to extend 7 boards from the window, or a total of 18 boards from the window to the end. I got too excited and cut the pieces above down directly to the correct length. DO NOT DO THIS!  Cut the sides one board too long on each piece (Cut the end pieces 12 boards long, and cut the center piece 8 boards from the window... or vary this so that the cuts are not the same on each end to help hide them!) and the use the TruSander to sand back one board. Do this carefully, so that you leave a little of the "gap" between boards. On one piece (which you can see in the photos), I had to recreate the "gap" by gluing in a piece of 0.010 x 0.030" strip styrene, puttying, and then rescribing the groove. Note, you'll also want to trim away the grab iron mounting points under the windows as these will not be used. Here, I did have issues with the thickness of the pieces. My ends were thicker than my middles, so I just sanded the ends down until they were the same thickness as the middles. Then I glued the pieces together with ACC. Spraying with primer helped identify issues, which I touched up with some sanding and rescribing of boards. Overall, I am happy with the sides. They may not be perfect, but I think I can make this work.

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL



O Fenton Wells
 

Looks good Bruce, keep going!!! 


On Tue, Nov 24, 2020 at 10:02 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Folks,

N4 progress!  I cut the roof, floor, and ends as marked in the previous post. My suggestion is to cut a little wide and then use something like a TruSander to square the cuts and slowly sand back the right amount.

Floor/underbody - I sanded the two pieces square and then slowly sanded it back until the piece measured 3.995" (29 feet) total length and then glued the two halves together with ACC on a very flat surface. There was no issue with the parts being different thicknesses. I did use a tiny bit of putty on the center sill to fill some slight mismatches.

Roof - I cut outside the 2nd roofwalk support from the cupola on one roof and inside the 1st on the other, basically adding a section on each end. Then I slowly sanded the part with the cupola back so that the support was flush with the sanded end, Then I sanded each end back, being careful remove the same amount from each until the overall length of the roof was 3.780" (27' 5.25"). I did spend some time shaving down the groove where the sides attach to make sure all the resin casting gates were fully removed. There was a slight bit of difference in thickness between the roof pieces but not so much that it couldn't be fixed with shaving and sanding. I butt glued the ends on with ACC. I was a little less careful than I could have been on one end and so there was a noticeable "step". In looking at the roofwalk supports, they were not evenly distributed so I shaved them off. I puttied the joints between roof pieces and then sanded it down. A light coat of Tamiya Fine Grey Surface Primer showed defects, so I used more putty, more sanding, more primer, more putty, and finally more sanding, to make it seamless. 

Sides - I did some experimenting here, and I'm here to say, do as I say, not as I did! 🙂  First, I figured out how long the side needed to be. The body of the N4 measured 34' 1.75" or 3.327" in HO. However, the thickness of the ends (0.050") is included in that, so the side pieces measure 3.227". To begin the process, I cut the ends of the side I was keeping off, just to the inside of the middle attachment for the curved grab iron (5 boards in). Then I cut the ends off the second side just outside the window. This was actually overkill in terms of having enough material. BTW, when I say "cut", I tried both a very thin razor saw and many passes with a hobby knife. The latter is probably better. Ultimately, what you will want is the end piece to be 11 boards, and the center piece to extend 7 boards from the window, or a total of 18 boards from the window to the end. I got too excited and cut the pieces above down directly to the correct length. DO NOT DO THIS!  Cut the sides one board too long on each piece (Cut the end pieces 12 boards long, and cut the center piece 8 boards from the window... or vary this so that the cuts are not the same on each end to help hide them!) and the use the TruSander to sand back one board. Do this carefully, so that you leave a little of the "gap" between boards. On one piece (which you can see in the photos), I had to recreate the "gap" by gluing in a piece of 0.010 x 0.030" strip styrene, puttying, and then rescribing the groove. Note, you'll also want to trim away the grab iron mounting points under the windows as these will not be used. Here, I did have issues with the thickness of the pieces. My ends were thicker than my middles, so I just sanded the ends down until they were the same thickness as the middles. Then I glued the pieces together with ACC. Spraying with primer helped identify issues, which I touched up with some sanding and rescribing of boards. Overall, I am happy with the sides. They may not be perfect, but I think I can make this work.

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL




--
Fenton Wells
250 Frye Rd
Pinehurst NC 28374
910-420-8106
srrfan1401@...


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Bruce,
 
Bruce wrote: "I butt glued the ends on with ACC. I was a little less careful than I could have been on one end and so there was a noticeable step"
 
I too have used ACC for this type of work. There are, however, two major down sides to ACC. One is as Bruce described - any misalignment causes problems later once the ACC is fully set.
 
The second problem is that, in my experience, the solidified ACC is harder than the resin it is glued onto. This makes sanding any errant ACC difficult to do, because the resin sands away before the ACC does!
 
So I have found the rule is, be super careful when using super glue!
 
Bruce, great work, it is all looking good!
 
Claus
 
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2020 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: [PRRPro] N4 cabin car

Folks,

N4 progress!  I cut the roof, floor, and ends as marked in the previous post. My suggestion is to cut a little wide and then use something like a TruSander to square the cuts and slowly sand back the right amount.

Floor/underbody - I sanded the two pieces square and then slowly sanded it back until the piece measured 3.995" (29 feet) total length and then glued the two halves together with ACC on a very flat surface. There was no issue with the parts being different thicknesses. I did use a tiny bit of putty on the center sill to fill some slight mismatches.

Roof - I cut outside the 2nd roofwalk support from the cupola on one roof and inside the 1st on the other, basically adding a section on each end. Then I slowly sanded the part with the cupola back so that the support was flush with the sanded end, Then I sanded each end back, being careful remove the same amount from each until the overall length of the roof was 3.780" (27' 5.25"). I did spend some time shaving down the groove where the sides attach to make sure all the resin casting gates were fully removed. There was a slight bit of difference in thickness between the roof pieces but not so much that it couldn't be fixed with shaving and sanding. I butt glued the ends on with ACC. I was a little less careful than I could have been on one end and so there was a noticeable "step". In looking at the roofwalk supports, they were not evenly distributed so I shaved them off. I puttied the joints between roof pieces and then sanded it down. A light coat of Tamiya Fine Grey Surface Primer showed defects, so I used more putty, more sanding, more primer, more putty, and finally more sanding, to make it seamless. 

Sides - I did some experimenting here, and I'm here to say, do as I say, not as I did! 🙂  First, I figured out how long the side needed to be. The body of the N4 measured 34' 1.75" or 3.327" in HO. However, the thickness of the ends (0.050") is included in that, so the side pieces measure 3.227". To begin the process, I cut the ends of the side I was keeping off, just to the inside of the middle attachment for the curved grab iron (5 boards in). Then I cut the ends off the second side just outside the window. This was actually overkill in terms of having enough material. BTW, when I say "cut", I tried both a very thin razor saw and many passes with a hobby knife. The latter is probably better. Ultimately, what you will want is the end piece to be 11 boards, and the center piece to extend 7 boards from the window, or a total of 18 boards from the window to the end. I got too excited and cut the pieces above down directly to the correct length. DO NOT DO THIS!  Cut the sides one board too long on each piece (Cut the end pieces 12 boards long, and cut the center piece 8 boards from the window... or vary this so that the cuts are not the same on each end to help hide them!) and the use the TruSander to sand back one board. Do this carefully, so that you leave a little of the "gap" between boards. On one piece (which you can see in the photos), I had to recreate the "gap" by gluing in a piece of 0.010 x 0.030" strip styrene, puttying, and then rescribing the groove. Note, you'll also want to trim away the grab iron mounting points under the windows as these will not be used. Here, I did have issues with the thickness of the pieces. My ends were thicker than my middles, so I just sanded the ends down until they were the same thickness as the middles. Then I glued the pieces together with ACC. Spraying with primer helped identify issues, which I touched up with some sanding and rescribing of boards. Overall, I am happy with the sides. They may not be perfect, but I think I can make this work.

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL



Bruce Smith
 

Claus,

You make an excellent cautionary point! I have had similar experiences with sanding ACC, but the military modelers often use it as a substitute for other fillers. Care is certainly warranted. One thing I try to do is to use as little ACC as possible, trying to get capillary action to wick the glue into any joints. That leaves less to interfere with sanding.

Regards,
Bruce


From: PRRPro@groups.io <PRRPro@groups.io> on behalf of Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...>
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2020 9:18 AM
To: PRRPro@groups.io <PRRPro@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [PRRPro] N4 cabin car
 
Hi Bruce,
 
Bruce wrote: "I butt glued the ends on with ACC. I was a little less careful than I could have been on one end and so there was a noticeable step"
 
I too have used ACC for this type of work. There are, however, two major down sides to ACC. One is as Bruce described - any misalignment causes problems later once the ACC is fully set.
 
The second problem is that, in my experience, the solidified ACC is harder than the resin it is glued onto. This makes sanding any errant ACC difficult to do, because the resin sands away before the ACC does!
 
So I have found the rule is, be super careful when using super glue!
 
Bruce, great work, it is all looking good!
 
Claus
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2020 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: [PRRPro] N4 cabin car

Folks,

N4 progress!  I cut the roof, floor, and ends as marked in the previous post. My suggestion is to cut a little wide and then use something like a TruSander to square the cuts and slowly sand back the right amount.

Floor/underbody - I sanded the two pieces square and then slowly sanded it back until the piece measured 3.995" (29 feet) total length and then glued the two halves together with ACC on a very flat surface. There was no issue with the parts being different thicknesses. I did use a tiny bit of putty on the center sill to fill some slight mismatches.

Roof - I cut outside the 2nd roofwalk support from the cupola on one roof and inside the 1st on the other, basically adding a section on each end. Then I slowly sanded the part with the cupola back so that the support was flush with the sanded end, Then I sanded each end back, being careful remove the same amount from each until the overall length of the roof was 3.780" (27' 5.25"). I did spend some time shaving down the groove where the sides attach to make sure all the resin casting gates were fully removed. There was a slight bit of difference in thickness between the roof pieces but not so much that it couldn't be fixed with shaving and sanding. I butt glued the ends on with ACC. I was a little less careful than I could have been on one end and so there was a noticeable "step". In looking at the roofwalk supports, they were not evenly distributed so I shaved them off. I puttied the joints between roof pieces and then sanded it down. A light coat of Tamiya Fine Grey Surface Primer showed defects, so I used more putty, more sanding, more primer, more putty, and finally more sanding, to make it seamless. 

Sides - I did some experimenting here, and I'm here to say, do as I say, not as I did! 🙂  First, I figured out how long the side needed to be. The body of the N4 measured 34' 1.75" or 3.327" in HO. However, the thickness of the ends (0.050") is included in that, so the side pieces measure 3.227". To begin the process, I cut the ends of the side I was keeping off, just to the inside of the middle attachment for the curved grab iron (5 boards in). Then I cut the ends off the second side just outside the window. This was actually overkill in terms of having enough material. BTW, when I say "cut", I tried both a very thin razor saw and many passes with a hobby knife. The latter is probably better. Ultimately, what you will want is the end piece to be 11 boards, and the center piece to extend 7 boards from the window, or a total of 18 boards from the window to the end. I got too excited and cut the pieces above down directly to the correct length. DO NOT DO THIS!  Cut the sides one board too long on each piece (Cut the end pieces 12 boards long, and cut the center piece 8 boards from the window... or vary this so that the cuts are not the same on each end to help hide them!) and the use the TruSander to sand back one board. Do this carefully, so that you leave a little of the "gap" between boards. On one piece (which you can see in the photos), I had to recreate the "gap" by gluing in a piece of 0.010 x 0.030" strip styrene, puttying, and then rescribing the groove. Note, you'll also want to trim away the grab iron mounting points under the windows as these will not be used. Here, I did have issues with the thickness of the pieces. My ends were thicker than my middles, so I just sanded the ends down until they were the same thickness as the middles. Then I glued the pieces together with ACC. Spraying with primer helped identify issues, which I touched up with some sanding and rescribing of boards. Overall, I am happy with the sides. They may not be perfect, but I think I can make this work.

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL



Bruce Smith
 

Folks,

Some more N4 Progress! It’s looking like a cabin car!

Roof - I added pieces of styrene 0.030" square strip, 0.27" long, evenly spaced, to the roof as new roofwalk supports. A light sanding on the top leveled these. I also drilled the holes in the end of the roof and cupola and added the grab irons. The grey primer makes it a lot easier to see the places to drill than looking at white resin! The 18" straight grab irons that came with the kit had weird crimps in them so I threw them away and used Tichy. When adding the cupola grab irons, I cut the legs pretty short so that they woiuld not be visible below the roof. Finally, I cleaned and glued on the shades on the sides of the cupola.

Sides - I drilled the holes for the grab irons and cupola braces. I had to locate a new hole for the bottom end of the curved grab iron. That was about 10 boards from the end of the car. I used Tichy curved grab irons. I fashioned the middle support with 0.012" wire bent at a 45 degree angle and then trimmed nearly flush with the grab iron. After taking the attached photos, I realized that I needed to add rivets to the bottom end of the grab irons. I'll do that with an Archer rivet after grit blasting.

Ends - I cleaned the flash off the ends and dusted them with some weathering chalk to better show the drill points. I drilled for the end grab irons, and drilled a hole directly below the retainer valve. The "L" shaped grab irons were bent from 0.012" brass wire and the corner supports were made the same way as those on the curved grab irons. I bent a piece of 0.010" brass wire for the line to the retainer. It needs a slight bend to get around the grab iron. 

Assembly!  This was actually pretty straight forward. Before assembling the pieces, I cut all of the ends off of the grab irons on the back side and then filed everything flat and smooth. I used Coffman Engineering Right Clamps to glue an end to each side, and then to make the "box". Make sure that the ends of the sides fit into the cutout on the ends and that the sides and the bottom extensions of the ends are flush on the inside so that the floor can fit in. I test fit the floor at this point... but no glue!  My floor will be removable, at least for now, to allow me to glaze the windows after painting. When the box was done, I centered it on the roof. I had to so some trimming of grooves in the roof to make it fit, but not much. I then glued the roof to the body, trying to keep everything reasonably square. 

Once everything was assembled, I added the cupola braces with 0.012" brass wire. In looking through my 2 kits, there was no smoke jack, so I fabricated a base and stove pipe from styrene and brass wire (0.14" and 0.063" respectively) and then fashioned the cover from some pie-plate aluminum. 

The body is ready for grit blasting and the paint shop! (but that will wait until the underbody is done)

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


O Fenton Wells
 

Really coming together nicely
Fenton

On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 8:55 AM Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:
Folks,

Some more N4 Progress! It’s looking like a cabin car!

Roof - I added pieces of styrene 0.030" square strip, 0.27" long, evenly spaced, to the roof as new roofwalk supports. A light sanding on the top leveled these. I also drilled the holes in the end of the roof and cupola and added the grab irons. The grey primer makes it a lot easier to see the places to drill than looking at white resin! The 18" straight grab irons that came with the kit had weird crimps in them so I threw them away and used Tichy. When adding the cupola grab irons, I cut the legs pretty short so that they woiuld not be visible below the roof. Finally, I cleaned and glued on the shades on the sides of the cupola.

Sides - I drilled the holes for the grab irons and cupola braces. I had to locate a new hole for the bottom end of the curved grab iron. That was about 10 boards from the end of the car. I used Tichy curved grab irons. I fashioned the middle support with 0.012" wire bent at a 45 degree angle and then trimmed nearly flush with the grab iron. After taking the attached photos, I realized that I needed to add rivets to the bottom end of the grab irons. I'll do that with an Archer rivet after grit blasting.

Ends - I cleaned the flash off the ends and dusted them with some weathering chalk to better show the drill points. I drilled for the end grab irons, and drilled a hole directly below the retainer valve. The "L" shaped grab irons were bent from 0.012" brass wire and the corner supports were made the same way as those on the curved grab irons. I bent a piece of 0.010" brass wire for the line to the retainer. It needs a slight bend to get around the grab iron. 

Assembly!  This was actually pretty straight forward. Before assembling the pieces, I cut all of the ends off of the grab irons on the back side and then filed everything flat and smooth. I used Coffman Engineering Right Clamps to glue an end to each side, and then to make the "box". Make sure that the ends of the sides fit into the cutout on the ends and that the sides and the bottom extensions of the ends are flush on the inside so that the floor can fit in. I test fit the floor at this point... but no glue!  My floor will be removable, at least for now, to allow me to glaze the windows after painting. When the box was done, I centered it on the roof. I had to so some trimming of grooves in the roof to make it fit, but not much. I then glued the roof to the body, trying to keep everything reasonably square. 

Once everything was assembled, I added the cupola braces with 0.012" brass wire. In looking through my 2 kits, there was no smoke jack, so I fabricated a base and stove pipe from styrene and brass wire (0.14" and 0.063" respectively) and then fashioned the cover from some pie-plate aluminum. 

The body is ready for grit blasting and the paint shop! (but that will wait until the underbody is done)

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL



--
Fenton Wells
250 Frye Rd
Pinehurst NC 28374
910-420-8106
srrfan1401@...


Rod Clifford
 

Bruce,
Thank you for the building steps and progress photos. Some useful modeling tips as well as seeing how quickly you seem to work!   Rod Clifford

On Nov 25, 2020, at 7:55 AM, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

Folks,

Some more N4 Progress! It’s looking like a cabin car!

Roof - I added pieces of styrene 0.030" square strip, 0.27" long, evenly spaced, to the roof as new roofwalk supports. A light sanding on the top leveled these. I also drilled the holes in the end of the roof and cupola and added the grab irons. The grey primer makes it a lot easier to see the places to drill than looking at white resin! The 18" straight grab irons that came with the kit had weird crimps in them so I threw them away and used Tichy. When adding the cupola grab irons, I cut the legs pretty short so that they woiuld not be visible below the roof. Finally, I cleaned and glued on the shades on the sides of the cupola.

Sides - I drilled the holes for the grab irons and cupola braces. I had to locate a new hole for the bottom end of the curved grab iron. That was about 10 boards from the end of the car. I used Tichy curved grab irons. I fashioned the middle support with 0.012" wire bent at a 45 degree angle and then trimmed nearly flush with the grab iron. After taking the attached photos, I realized that I needed to add rivets to the bottom end of the grab irons. I'll do that with an Archer rivet after grit blasting.

Ends - I cleaned the flash off the ends and dusted them with some weathering chalk to better show the drill points. I drilled for the end grab irons, and drilled a hole directly below the retainer valve. The "L" shaped grab irons were bent from 0.012" brass wire and the corner supports were made the same way as those on the curved grab irons. I bent a piece of 0.010" brass wire for the line to the retainer. It needs a slight bend to get around the grab iron. 

Assembly!  This was actually pretty straight forward. Before assembling the pieces, I cut all of the ends off of the grab irons on the back side and then filed everything flat and smooth. I used Coffman Engineering Right Clamps to glue an end to each side, and then to make the "box". Make sure that the ends of the sides fit into the cutout on the ends and that the sides and the bottom extensions of the ends are flush on the inside so that the floor can fit in. I test fit the floor at this point... but no glue!  My floor will be removable, at least for now, to allow me to glaze the windows after painting. When the box was done, I centered it on the roof. I had to so some trimming of grooves in the roof to make it fit, but not much. I then glued the roof to the body, trying to keep everything reasonably square. 

Once everything was assembled, I added the cupola braces with 0.012" brass wire. In looking through my 2 kits, there was no smoke jack, so I fabricated a base and stove pipe from styrene and brass wire (0.14" and 0.063" respectively) and then fashioned the cover from some pie-plate aluminum. 

The body is ready for grit blasting and the paint shop! (but that will wait until the underbody is done)

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL
<IMG_0732.JPG><IMG_0731.JPG><IMG_0730.JPG>


Paul Alphonse
 

I should have been more explicit.

Yes, it is not a correct model out of the package.  However the cast side frames appear to have the correct profile, and in this case they expect you to assemble the bolster and spring package to the cast side frames.  You can fabricate your own bolster and leaf spring instead of having to hack up the plastic Bowser trucks which will be more difficult.  Trying to keep the bolster openings and related geometry in the plastic side frames will be finicky and even minor differences on how you hold that shape will probably be noticable from looking at the model in a museum setting.  You will have to do that four times too and then also fabricate a bolster and spring assembly for both trucks.  If you mess up one modifying even one side frame you are already matching the cost of the brass truck as well considering shipping.

If you are active at all on the Facebook brass pages there is a gentleman who does his own casting of custom parts and I believe he offers it to other modelers.  I can't say want the cost of that would be, although I doubt it would be much since it just seems like a pastime to him.  In this route you would get a brass truck that can be soldered together, be strong and sturdy and have good weight to it as well.  I prefer using metal trucks when I can.  Even with good weight in the model you have probably found that trucks are light themselves may ride up on one axle only.  This leaves the second axle with an opportunity to catch a turnout feature or the slightest mismatch in rail and take your car off the tracks.  Frustrating.

Ironically it looks like this truck is made in O-scale, but I think it's labeled incorrectly:

https://americanscalemodels.com/O/O_DETAIL_PARTS/O_Trucks?product_id=2563

Might be worth it to email them and ask if know of an exact copy in HO.

For what it's worth, I attack uneven surfaces of ACC and resin with a finer metal file like what Tamiya offers.  The relative hardness is minor and the rigidness of the file prevents your tool from conforming to any unwanted profile on the workpiece.

Best
Paul