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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sunset NSL Silverliners #13 – 415 Lighting & Assembly of Car

Lighting Stick
A custom made lighting stick was made. What is unique about any dining car or a tavern-lounge car are the kitchen, passageways, dining areas, and other areas walled off within the car. Getting the correct amount of light into each area is important.

My light stick with bulbs about 1" apart allows for each of the area to receive the correct amount of lighting. In the passageway along the side of the kitchen the individual light bulbs were glued in a way so only the face of the bulb was showing. This reduced the amount of light. It also made the individual lights look the same as the bulbs were in the actual car. With the passageway being along an outside wall, it is easy to look into the model and see the ceiling plus the bulbs.

Since the bulbs in the passageway were above the light stick and with the curvature of the roof the light stick was not level when the light stick was installed.

Constant Voltage Unit & Wiring the Car
Below is a drawing of the wiring of my 415. Photos show how the wiring was installed in the car.

The Dallee Adjustable Constant Voltage unit was glued inside the lavatory area. All the wiring was done with the exception of finishing the ground wiring to the trucks. As the car was assembled this wiring was done.

The 2 cabs should be installed. The cabs are the same as the Sunset NSL coaches.

The 2 bulkheads should be installed.

Assembly of Car
The models can be assebmled in the same manner as the 2 coaches. Be sure all the parts are secure to the floor and/or glues in place.

Before mounting the trucks, two 0.005” thick brass tabs have to be made. This is my usual way of mounting non-powered trucks to a model. The tabs are cut from a sheet of brass. Usually 2 holes are punched into the thin brass with a pointed tool. One hole is small for the grounding wire. The other hole has to be large enough for a 3-48 screw to pass through.

Any sharp corners are rounded before the grounding wire is soldered to the brass tab. A spring with some give is placed over the 3-48 screw before it is inserted into the hole in the truck bolster. The 3-48 screw is then inserted into the brass tab and screwed down enough so it clears the bottom of the truck.

The spring holds the screw tight while keeping the truck bolster in constant contact with the grounded brass tab. The screw-spring arrangement prevents the model from wobbling as it travels down the track.

The couplers can be mounted to the car. See the prior posts on how to paint and treat the couplers for use.

Wiring of Coupler
There is a short wire to go to the lead car for power to 415. The end of the wire should have a piece of brass tubing soldered to it. This piece of tubing will fit into the connection under the coupler of the lead car. To prevent any accidental grounding of the brass tubing on the 415 a piece of heat-shrink tubing should be installed on it.

If the wire from 415 is short enough there should not be any need to secure the wire to 415’s coupler.

Uncoupling Pull
The 415 was built with a series of cars whose manufacturer used a different uncoupling “lever” from the 2 Pullman built coaches. Instead a “hand shaped” pull located in the handrail below and to the outside of the anticlimber was used.

See the First and Fastest issue with regards to the coach uncouplers. The “hand shaped” pull can be made from very thin wire and glued with ACC into location. Once the ACCcures paint the wire and the ACC a weather or grimy black.

The pilots can be installed and painted a weathered or grimy black.

Whistles and Windshield Wipers
The 415 did not have horns mounted on the roof like most rebuilt NSL cars. The car retained its whistle located above the motorman’s cab position. A hole should be drilled for the pipe to the whistle in the upper right hand (as you look at the window from the outside) corner. The whistle painted a “brass” color can be installed.

The windshield wipers can be installed.

The assembly of 415 is complete. The next post will cover minor details needed to complete your Silverliner Replacement Electroliner train.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sunset NSL Silverliners #12 – 415 Roof & Exterior

After reviewing photographs of the 415’s roof, it's apparent the roof of the Silverliner model is incorrect. The vents have to be changed and the trolley boards have to be altered.

These are 2 drawings Greg King made regarding the roof of 415.
Both drawings Greg King Collection

Lavatory Vents
Just like on the roofs of the coaches the lavatory vents have to be removed and replaced with vents looking like “Darth Vader” helmets. Note the location of the vents on the prototype car in Greg King’s drawing.

At the annual March O Scale Meet held in Chicago just this past week, I discovered Keil-Line Products of Wonder Lake, Illinois has a vent #48-243 Passenger Roof Vent, Streamlined, Utility which is very similar to the style of vent use on the roofs of the Silverliners. The top of the Keil-Line vent has to be smoothed and the vent possibly made shorter.

Cooking Vents
This series of photos show the correct vents and their locations. The last photo seals how the vents have to be located and the roof boards cut or altered. The horizontal pipe mounted on the roof is how the Seashore Museum brought electricity into the car.
Curt Seeliger Jr. Photo

Eric Bronsky Collection

A cutoff wheel in a Dremel tool is the preferred method of removing the current cooking vents on the roof of the model.

This photo is a close-up of the three kitchen vents. Note the unsupported strap metal from the Peter Smith stack. The photo following is the roof of my model marked as to the location of the three vents. You should mark your roof in the same way. Once the trolley boards are removed, locating where the new vents will be install will be difficult.

Both photos Curt Seeliger Jr. Photos 

If you look at the photographs of the roof you should notice the three vents are very close to the center line of the roof. In order to install the vents the trolley boards have to be cut and semi-circle cut-outs made in them. To do this, the trolley boards have to be removed.

The trolley boards can be removed by placing the thin blade of a scraper or screwdriver underneath the trolley boards between the roof cleats. Then gently twist the blade upward. Only the outer trolley boards are soldered to the roof cleats. In the photo you should be able to see the small piece of brass connecting the trolley boards together as a unit. Two roof cleats can also be seen.

As you pry the trolley boards off of your model, you should be able to loosen all 4 at one time. Start at one end of the model and gently work your way to the other end.

As I was removing the trolley boards off my model some of the roof cleats were also loosened. A few of the roof cleats remained soldered to the roof boards and came off the roof. At first I thought the removal of the roof cleats was bad. Then I realized the roof cleats would help to relocate the trolley boards when they had to be reinstalled.

Before doing anything to the roof boards file off any solder on both them and the roof cleats. Be sure the roof boards fit flat on the tops of the roof cleats.

The Peter Smith roof stack was installed first. Keeping in mind the markings on the roof and the approximate location of the roof stack in relationship to the trolley boards, a hole was drilled. The Peter Smith stack was cemented in place using gap filling, slow curing ACC.

The next vent is the exhaust vent for the cooking grill. It looks like a large utility vent. Note the louvers on the end. For my model I used a cast brass utility vent. To make the louvers at the end of the vent, 0.028” diameter brass wire was soldered onto the end. Then a small triangular file was used to file out the solder between the brass wires. At the same time the filing shaped the round brass wires into louvers or teeth.

To finish off this exhaust vent, the brass casting was covered with 0.010” thick styrene. The top and bottom of the casting was covered over first. The casting and styrene were sanded to shape. Then the two sides of the casting were covered with styrene. The casting and styrene with sanded again. This gave the vent more bulk and made it look more like an exhaust vent.

Instead of a brass casting you can do the same with utility vent from either Current Line or Q-Car. Instead of soldering the brass wires to the vent, use ACC. Once the ACC is cured file the wires to shape. After the wires are filed to shape clad the vent with styrene.

This vent can now be installed on the roof. You should have noticed the back of this vent is located directly on the center line of the roof.

The last kitchen vent to be installed is a 12” globe vent. There are many manufacturers of this style of vent. Locate where the vent should be installed and glue it in place.

On my model the roof boards had come apart. One board was separate from the others. As each of the 3 vents were installed, the roof boards were either cut off and/or filed so a semi-circle of metal was removed to clean the vent.

On your model take note of which boards have round notches filed into them so they will fit around a vent. To cut the roof boards, a cutoff wheel in a Dremel tool can be used. As the roof boards are being cut and filed, be careful to keep all four roof boards aligned.

There is one other object on the roof of 415. In the center line of the roof and to the #2 end side of the Peter Smith stack is a hatch on the roof boards that is hinged in its center. Sometimes when the car is in use this hatch is open to the leeward side.
Curt Seeliger Jr. Photo

To prepare to mount a hatch on the roof boards, the area under the location of the hatch has to be prepared. This can be done by gluing two styrene strips between two roof cleats. When the glue has dried file the styrene strips flat with the roof cleats.

After the roof boards are cut and filed the fit around the vents glue them onto the roof cleats with ACC. Allow the ACC to cure overnight before going further.

The hatch in the center of the roof boards has to be finished. They can be made from styrene and glued in place using ACC.

I don’t know if you have noticed one additional object on the roof near the kitchen vents. It appears in the photograph below. It looks like an electrical outlet or housing. No one has been able to identify it. It can be made from a couple of styrene strips and glued in place with ACC. If you skip this object nobody will be able to tell.

Roof Mats
The roof mats have to be replaced as they were on the coaches.

Roof Repainting
Once the vents and roof mats have been corrected the roof can be prepared for repainting. Floquils Weathered Black paint was used.

Window Vent
Exactly what you plan on doing depends upon your modeling skills. The lesser of 2 evils would be to install frosted glass in both the upper and lower panes of glass.

If you feel up to it, then cut 2 pieces of 0.060” styrene to fit to the upper and lower panes of glass.

Archer Fine Transfers  sells “Resin louver mix O-scale" #AR88055. Select the correct length of louvers from the assortment. Carefully follow Archer’s instructions. The piece of styrene for the lower pane has to be primed prior to apply the decal film.

Cut out the appropriate amount of louvers and apply them to the primed piece of styrene. If you look at the other similar vents on the cars you will noticed the vents are boxed in. Use a similar size styrene strips to box in the vents.

I finally discovered the Humbrol red paint with 6 drops of black is the shape of red to match the NSL red used on the Silverliners. Again depending upon your skill either paint the styrene strips before or after mounting them on the windows. I used “Kwik Seal” as the glue.

Hand/Foot Grab Irons
The hand/foot grab irons should have been done along with the coaches. If not, you need to install them. Refer to prior posts on the topic.

Hand Rail & Chain Inside Diaphragm
These should have been done along with the coaches. If not, you need to install them. Refer to prior posts on the topic.

Kitchen Window Screens
The 2 kitchen windows had screens mounted on them year round. I have not made the screens for my 415/ However, I plan on making and mounting the screens sometime in the future. When this event happens, it will be posted in this blog.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunset NSL Silverliners #11B – 415 Trucks, Underbody, & Interior

Interior Floor
Compare the interior floor of the model vs. the photos in the prior posts and the floor plan in C.E.R.A. Bulletin 106 page 145. If you have not by now, enlarge the floor plan to O scale. One of the major problems with the model’s interior is the partition going around the kitchen and the lavatory areas. The wall nearest the tavern lounge area is curved and should be straight. The reason for the curved wall may have something to do with making the model for 3-rail operation. There are also a number of doors for the lavatory and mechanical lockers missing.

If you check the floor diagram you will notice the location of the door from the side corridor to the kitchen is in the wrong location. Another omission is the heating locker or cabinet at the #1 end.

My kitchen and lavatory areas are made from styrene. Most of the kitchen or lavatory interiors are not to be included, the only part of the kitchen interior anyone could see is through the open, upper half of the Dutch door. The kitchen interior which can be seen through the door is included.

The exterior of my kitchen and lavatory walls were painted a very light green color. This color was made by using the mixture of used to paint the vestibule bulkheads. (The color for the vestibules is an equal mixture of refrigerator white and New York Central light green). Paint from this bottle was added drop wise to an open bottle of refrigerator white and mixed. The heater cabinet was painted with the very light green color.

The interior of the kitchen and lavatory areas were painted refrigerator white.

One of the interesting characteristics of 415 was a painted mural of plates on the wall between the dining area and the kitchen. Thanks to Greg King, to help you with your model, the photo below is a copy of that mural. It is in the correct ratio of height and width so you will be able to print and paste it directly to your kitchen wall exterior. "Kwik Seal" was the glue.

Next, look at the tables and chairs supplied by Sunset. If you compare a drawing of the floor of 415 to the floor of your model you'll notice there are excess tables and chairs. What are missing are the J-shaped sofa, the three small round tables in front of it, and a lounge chair with arms.

After the tables and chairs are removed from the floor, the screws were cleaned in lacquer thinner to remove the glue Sunset had used to secure them. The floor was likely sanded to remove any protruding brass and excess glue. As with the interior floors of the coaches, this floor was shortened by 0.020” on each end. The floor was then sprayed with the same brown Rustoleum paint used on the interior floors of the coaches. Here it is prior to painting.

An items not mentioned before, if you feel it necessary, enlarge the openings in the floor for the body mounted tabs used to secure the outer truck floor to the body. This will help in installing the floors as well as disassembly in the future.

If you compare the back of the Sunset chairs with chairs in the photograph of the interior of 415, you should notice the chairs in 415 have a sculptured back. A similar, but not exactly the same, look can be achieved by using the smallest drum sander provided with a Dremel tool. Lightly sand the top and sides of the chair backs to achieve the sculptured look.

The J shape lounge sofa was made next. My friend Charlie Pitts was able to make this piece of furniture without too much trouble. Here are Charlie Pitts’ photos of the couch he made.

All 5 photos Charlie Pitts Collection

This is the set of directions Charlie wrote.
All 3 drawings Charlie Pitts Collection

To complement Charlie’s instructions this is my additional information and drawings.

Attach the j-shaped couch to the interior floor when finished using small self-taping screws.

To make the tables a short length of brass tubing was glued to thick round styrene "table tops". The inside of the brass tubing was taped to receive a 1-72 screw. Holes had to be drilled in the floor at appropriate places to hold the tables.

The single seat lounge chair with arms was made utilizing one of the brass seats from the model. First a flat piece of styrene was glued to the seat casting to extend to size of the seat. Then pieces of styrene tubing and flat stock were added as the seat was sculptured using a single edge razor blade.

This is the only photo I have of the completed lounge chair as well as the interior prior to adding passengers.

All of the items were secured to the interior floor with screws. Passengers and any items placed on the tables were secured with “Kwik-Seal”. If you are able, give your passengers a meal or refreshments.

Craft stores sell many items used in bead work. One such item is short tubular pieces in clear colorless, yellow, red, blue, etc. More pieces are a metallic yellow, red, blue, etc. When glued on end these can be glasses containing water, beer, mixed drinks, and soft drinks.

Brown beads with colored pieces of card stock can be hamburgers. At one time a company called Circus Craft made the place setting for a meal out of plastic. The plastic casting included all silverware, plates, and a coffee cup with saucer.  Although the company is no longer in business, this item shows up on EBay from time to time.

The NSL used a paper place mats, napkins, drink coasters, and menus with the Electroliner, other NSL equipment and the circus figures printed in them. These can be duplicated in scale and printed off your home computer. Here is an interior photo of my 415 is service on the NSL, the attendant left menus on the unused tables.

Styrene stripes were glued to the floor to provide a spacer for wiring. Final wiring will take place during assembly of the model. The interior floor was secured to the truck floor with my own screws and not those provided by Sunset.