To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sunset NSL Silverliners #8A – Ends & Sides

In this post on the sides and ends, work will be done on the 2 coaches as well as 415. It’s easier this way. When working on 415 you will not have to recall what and how the reworking was done.

There are some deficiencies in the side of the Sunset models which will not be corrected. These relate to the profile of the sides of the cars. If you run your fingers over the sides of the cars you will notice the sides are relatively smooth from the top of the letter board to the bottom of the car sides. The prototype cars are not like this. There is a small “drip rail” at the bottom of the letter board. The windows have more depth from the outside. The storm sash “clips” are missing. If you desire to see these take a look at pages 34-35 of the Spring 2009 issue of First & Fastest.

The Silverliner NSL plaque on the sides of the cars was painted silver and red, not the gold and red on the Sunset models. These will not be changed. However, Eric Bronsky at one time had plaques made of tooling epoxy to attach to Silverliner models.

To attempt to add the drip rails, screen attachments, plaques, etc. involve painting the additions. Also, trying to add the items might cause problems and damage to the models. The additions will probably not increase the “WOW factor” of the models. The decision was “not to go there”. There are enough other items to take care of to increase the visual effects of the models and the 3-car train.

Now is the time to choose the lead and rear cars of your 3-car train. You can do this by deciding which of the two coaches has the best castings for mounting the rear markers for the train.

On the end post and on the belt rail just below the end windows you'll notice some brass castings added to the ends of the cars. The castings on the end post are the flag holders used for marker flags. The castings on the belt rail below the end windows are for the marker lights (kerosene lighted). In this casting should be a small vertical 0.020" hole. Test this hole by inserting a piece of 0.020” brass wire. Pick the coach with the best castings for the rear markers to be mounted on to be your rear coach of the train.

The headlight has to be removed from the trailing coach of the train. The headlight on my rear coach didn't come off easily by twisting the headlight. Don't try to pull it from side to side. You might ruin the entire end door.

Instead, pop out the headlight lens and push out the LED used for the light. Save the LED and its electrical board for other uses. Using machinist numeric twist drills, clear out the hole where the LED was mounted starting with the next size larger than the hole. Once the hole was cleaned out, the next larger size drill was used to clean out the hole. Continue the cycle of larger twist drills until the headlight casting comes loose.

This photo shows the headlight still mounted on the door before starting to use twist drills to remove it.

This is how the door looked after the headlight was removed.

The panel in the door has to be filed out and made square using larger and larger mill files. Mill files can be obtained from jeweler supply houses. Clean out the rectangle for the panel. This is the door after filling the door panel out.

A new panel has to be made to fill in the panel with the hole. My panel was made from 0.020" thick styrene. Two of Q-Car brass cast headlight mounts were glued to the styrene.

Paint the styrene with Humbrol #220 gloss Ferrari Red with 3 drops of Humbrol gloss black added. This color is the same or extremely closes to the color the manufacturer used. You may have to try different numbers of drops of black. Not all drops contain the same volume.

Glue the panel in place when dry. Please excuse the poor photo work. The paint I initially chose doesn't seem to be the correct shade of red. I didn’t discover the Humbrol paint until later.

The North Shore used kerosene pots to light their markers. The only exception is the Electroliners which originally had kerosene pots but changed to electric markers. On the NSL markers 3 lenses were used, 2 green to the side and 1 red to the rear. The brass markers available from Precision Scale Co (PSC) #40229 are best. The PSC markers have 4 lenses. This means one of the lens openings has to be removed and covered over.

The bottom pieces for PSC castings have a stud which is normally used to install the markers onto a model. However for the NSL installation this stud is not appropriate for the installation on the Sunset cars. Instead a piece of wire sturdy enough has to be soldered to the bottom casting. I was able to use 0.019" nickel silver wire. The same wire as the trolley wire on my layout.

Once the wire is soldered to the bottom, the PSC mounting stud can be filed off. The mounting wire is bent 90 degrees and cut to the appropriate length. When you test fit the wire-bottom casting to your model you'll notice they stick out away from your model. This is a rather fragile arrangement. Since there are more things to be done to the exterior of the models, it is prudent to wait for the final mounting of the rear markers.

A hole for the wire of the bulb inside of the marker needs to be drilled in the dash below the windows and just below the marker casting. A hole about 0.060" in diameter will do.

The body of the marker needs to have one of the holes taken care of. Pick the hole that seems to be too small/large, odd formed, etc. Solder a piece of 0.005" brass inside of the marker body. The excess solder will be used to fill in the hole. Next file all remnants and the excess solder off the exterior of the marker body.

The little notch you see in the body of the marker lamp was an imperfection in the brass casting. It will be hidden with paint and proper positioning of the casting on the base.

Place all of the parts of the rear markers in a save, secure location for mounting later.

It's time to take a break. The next post will finish the ends and sides.


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