Monday, December 21, 2015

Wrecking Crew

I continue to espouse the fun I am having building Tichy Trains kits as I work to fill in a few holes on my "need to have" freight car list.  I have in another post showed some work I started using their 40' flat car as a stand in for the F40 style flats and PE tank car.  While at a small hobby shop out of town that has a great supply of craftsman style kits I was able to pick up the Tichy 120 ton crane kit.  Pound for pound, this is a very challenging kit with lots of fussy parts and will require about three Model Rail Radio podcasts to finish assembly :)   I have become addicted to on line podcasts over the past year and find it fun to listen to folks talk about their modeling while I am doing mine. 

Anyway.  PE had steam crane kinda like the kit which given my time right now, is close enough.  I have the article out of a recent Model Railroad Craftsman magazine (will post once I get my hands on it again) that outlines the steps to make it more authentic.  I hope to give that a go some other time, but first I need a couple of cranes that were built in converted boxcars first. 

Here is the crane dry fitted together.  I learned a lot on this kit especially with the rigging...learned to read the instruction 5 or 6 times to figure it out.  I will be modifying a Tichy flat as a boom support car even though they offer the kit.  I need it to look more home built so this gives me the best option.  Brass trucks of assorted lineages were added for extra weight on the cars and two "fine" scale trucks on top of the flat.  Currently researching ways these were affixed to the car for transport.

The plan at the moment is to make a short MOW train with the crane, two flats, one take car for water and a converted boxcar to serve as a crew car.  I may even use a 90 ton depressed flat car to carry the Jordan Miniatures Steam shovel kit as part of the consist. 

Next, paint and decals...

Again, having spent most of my hobby model building putting aircraft and armor kits together, working with the Tichy products is like coming home again.  So much so, that I am gathering up most of my ready to run cars and putting them up for sale at the club to get more of these kits.

Here is the crane painted and ready for service.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hart Convertable Gondola for the PE

I was musing over the SP Hart Convertable Gondla model I picked up at a show a few years ago and lamented the fact that I was using a 40 year old Train Miniatures wood kit to stand in for a very important prototype on the PE.  While not common on the Orphan Spur I can surmise some made their way there to drop some fill or provided rock for a building project.  I was checking in on Robert Bowdidge's Blog Dry Creek to see how his Rapid Prototype projects were doing and like a bolt of lightning...Robert was offering exactly what I was needing.

This is an amazing example of what can be achieved with Rapid Prototyping today:

First, the kit parts.

I lifted this shot from Robert's site, I got so focused on working with the parts I didn't get a component picture.  As you can see, the printer did all the hard work for you...glue a few pieces in place and install grab irons and stirrups , paint and off you go.  As for surface texture, it is pretty smooth but there are a few bits of debris here and there and a quick swipe with a sanding stick and things clean up nicely.

Here is a picture from a CBC showing you how the gondola could be converted for different loads.

Out of the box pre-primed.  I drilled holes for brass grabs and stirrups and installed them.  Brass rod is not included with the kit.  I also installed the brake hardware at this time 

You can see some of the clean up on the deck, holes filled and sanded.  Ready to paint.

Finished...almost.  I primed the model and sprayed the model with Tamiya Nato Brown XF 68 which is pretty close to actual PE colors in that range.  I then did some highlighting with thinned washes.  Decals were applied over gloss coat, allowed to set and then recovered with more gloss to seal them and get rid of the film show around the markings.  The decals are stark white so I gave the whole model a very thinned down coat of the base color to age everything a bit.   I'll allow this to dry out a few days before doing washes.

Here the finished car is at the quarry picking up a load of ballast for some repairs.

Side view showing some of the weathering.  

Overall, a great kit and well worth getting a few on your layouts.