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

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Start of Year 2013

Thus far Year 2013 has not started off too well. However, two CA&E models have been completed. One of them is a model I've had for a number of years. The other was commissioned as a body and completed by me as an adjunct to the other.

Before going further, as work was being done with AEFRE #49, I had some problems. To resolve these a professional model maker is being consulted. More on this later in future posts.

Many years ago, perhaps in the 1970's, All Nation Hobby Shop had a small number of scratch built brass O scale traction models for sale. Due to the length of time between when the models were available and my ability to find out more about them, "stories" changed with the dimming of memories. 

Unfortunately All Nation Hobby Shop never disclosed who scratch built the 4 models.

The story goes, there were 4 models, in no particular order - Model #1, obtained by me, a completed CA&E #312 Kuhlman powered with 4 Multi-Units painted in the "coffee and cream" color scheme of the 1930's. The side passenger doors opened as well as the traps. The paint was "marred" with what looked like oil stains.
This is the model before striping of the paint started. Some of the discoloration can be seen on the letterboard.

Model #2 Now owned by a modeler on the West Coast, a completed CA&E # 315 Kuhlman powered with 4 Multi-Units painted in the "coffee and cream" color scheme of the 1930's. The side passenger doors opened as well as the traps.

Model #3 Now owned by a modeler who lives in Chicago, a completed CA&E unknown car number Cincinnati Car Co.  unpowered painted in the "coffee and cream" color scheme of the 1930's. The side passenger doors opened as well as the traps.

Model #4 Now owned by a modeler in Wisconsin, a completed painted TMER&L car the Mendota which was originally powered  with Multi-Units. The side passenger doors opened as well as the traps.

Back to my model, besides the spoiled paint scheme, the lettering was wrong, and the Multi-Units, while still running were starting to show their age. Whoever scratch built the model did a fantastic job down to a complete underbody and clips to hold the glazing in place. The roof is of a true clerestory design with large frosted white "pea" bulbs.

Those of you who have scratch-built a model know there is a point where having everything down to scale is impossible. You can have parts the exact scale size but they break or break off at the slightest touch.  The builder of this model had just reached this point. To prevent solder joints from coming apart, some items were made into sub-assemblies and attached with screws.
As you can see the underbody includes all the air and brake piping found under an interurban. The mounting for the coupler can be seen. Unfortunately the pilots were mounted using brass of prototype cross section and were too fragile. The pilots will be replaced with lost was castings. The 2 large holes in the floor were for the wiring to the Multi-Units. Other detail can be seen. Much of the underbody detail is mounted using small screws.

The other "problem", if it could be called that, were the use of soft metal cast seats. This made for an extremely heavy model. The seats were glued to the floor.

 It was obvious a complete rebuilding was in order. The model was taken apart with the parts stored in various labeled containers. As a hint, no longer used, empty plastic prescription containers are great.

The model came with Kemtron, now Precision Scale Co., Baldwin 7830 sideframes. I know these series of cars used 8440 sideframes, but few individuals will be able to pick out the difference. The Multi-Units were take out and the sideframes sent off to Q-Car Co. to have new power units installed.
These are the power trucks as rebuilt by Q-Car. The model is to be double powered due to the weight of the brass model with interior plus the potential weight of the trailer. The star burst journal lids were available in the past.

Once the model was dissembled, the body was placed in a container of paint remover for a few days. Follow the instructions to the "letter of the law" to get best results. Wear chemical resistant gloves during the paint removal and clean-up process. Use small brass brushes to scrape the paint-paint remover "yuck" off of the body. Completely clean out the interior of the model also.

As the paint removal process was underway I discovered the partition between the smoking and non-smoking sections and the lavatory while made from brass were glued in place.

When done removing the paint-paint remover "yuck" from the body clean up the body with hot soapy water and allowed to dry.  Strain the used paint remover and/or dilute it with enough water so you can see any small parts!

One giant word of CAUTION - During the paint removal process and the following cleaning of the model plus the disposal of the used paint remover - be aware of any parts which may have fallen off the model.  

The small pieces of milled brass used for the anticlimbers on the ends of the model were found in the "washings" from the container of  paint remover. The 2 anticlimbers had been glued on to the ends of the car.

More to come! Cheers,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jean Deschenes July 11, 1932 - March 1, 2013

The following message was received on Saturday March 2, 2013 via email from Jean's wife Nancy,

"I am sorry to tell you that Jean passed away yesterday after spending over 2 weeks in the hospital with Legionaries Disease. He enjoyed knowing you and doing business with you over the years." 

Jean and I first met at an East Penn Traction Club Meeting. Jean had scratch built a model of the CSS&SB 1100 line car along with the a companion reel car for himself. 

Being a fan of the CSS I asked Jean to build a model of the 1100 for me. 

This was the start of a long friendship in which Jean scratch built a few models for me. Jean's style of building models was with the roofs attached to the sides of the car. The floors were removable. Car interiors were either attached to the floors and/or built on false floors which were attached to the sides of the model. He would often make the entire interior from wood, including the seats.

I prefer models where the roofs removable and the sides attached to the floor. Jean was flexible and adaptable in what he did.  He would be sent a list of very specific instructions with plans and photos along with the parts and sometimes sub-assemblies for the model.  The parts included lost wax or soft metal castings while others were made from epoxy or plastic.

Jean painted models with a brush using artist acrylic paint purchased from the local Micheal's store. His brush strokes were so even and well applied, it was extremely difficult to tell the model was not air brush spray painted.

Jean was always up for a challenge.  A model of the CA&E #11 line car was requested. I didn't have plans but instead only photos. To me this model best demonstates Jean's talents.

Jean painted #11 in the final painted scheme as was the prototype. 

Jean included what he thought the interior of a line car should have.

Photos taken through the rear door window of the model.

The side doors could be closed just in case it was too cold outside.

Jean included all the roof detail with a working, rotating platform for the line crew. The sides of the platform open up.

Jean did all the work you saw in the photos with the exception of a method of attaching the roof to the model

Because of my requirement for the  roof to be removable, Jean shipped the "finished" model to me to have the balance of the electrical connections completed and well as a method of anchoring the roof to the balance of the model.

Jean had a dry humor. All I had to do is to mention three words to him - "Old Orchard Beach". This would provide 5 to 10 minutes of comments. It is one of those things you had to have experienced for Jean's comments to make sense.

Jean and Nancy would go on vacation by taking a sailing cruise on one of the schooners which would travel in and about the islands off the coast of Maine. Besides making model of trolley he also made ship and other models.

As taken from Jean obituary notice, "The family requests that flowers be omitted and a donation made to THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF GRAFTON, 30 GRAFTON COMMON, GRAFTON, MA 01519."

Jean may you have "Fair Winds and Following Seas".



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bill Olson December 9, 1927 - February 11, 2013

Bill Olsen trolley modeler of Minneapolis, MN passed away on February 11, 2013. Bill had suffered with Parkinson’s disease for some years and it gradually caused weakness, loss of motor skills and even communication. 

Quoting Dick Stonner, "Bill was the kindest, most gentle guy I have known. I never saw him angry and whenever things were not going right his usual comment was ”Oh dear God!” He willingly gave of his time, skills, and money to many causes and was a generous supporter of the Minnesota Streetcar Museum and his church.

"He helped many new modelers with information, guidance, parts and kits from his vast stock of trolley stuff. All of us local modelers often gathered at his house for model work, videos and treats. He was the driving force behind the building of our twenty section O gauge trolley modules. He was very social and loved going out for lunch and sometime during the meal he would remark 'My, this is good.' Yep, food was a delight to Bill and oh yeah, dessert (which he called a trifle was always part of the occasion."

Bill would show up with small, well detailed O scale trolley layouts. The models ran perfectly on the layout. The scenery on the layout was so great, it was easy to forget you were watching  a layout 36" square or smaller.

Bill would always challenge you to do the same or better. We will all miss Bill. Please feel free to post any comments you may have about Bill Olson.