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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #8 Epilogue

Instead of being an epilogue, perhaps this post should be called "Finishing the Model Part 2". In a rush to finish the prior post which "concluded" the building of the 49, a few items were overlooked. The model was painted Floquil Box Car Red. Testors has completely dropped the railroad line of paints (colors). However, if you check the other paint products still produced by Testors you may find a comparable color.

To be sure of the color, individuals who may have either seen the 49 and/or have color photos of the prototype were asked, "What was the color?"  Walter Keevil responded with a "frame grab" taken from a 1944 Art Cox film. The color looks more red than my model. Perhaps the correct color for the 49 is barn red. Also note the unusual pattern to the siding.
Walter Keevil Collection

The lettering on my model is a decal made by Paul Mayer of Shoreline Decals.

As the post on building the 49 started to gain momentum, Joseph Hazinski of the Fox Valley Railway Museum sent me his drawings of the 49. After making them up with corrections, I sent them back to him.

This photo has Joseph's markings pointing out major items regarding the building of the 49.  He points out many pieces of information regarding the building of the 49. I added one piece of information.
The red markings are the original ones. The green markings were done at a later date. I made my addition in blue.

The one item I left off the model were the small electrical boxes or outlets next to the headlight mounting on the cab. If you look at the photo above it can be seen to the right of the headlight mounting. The electrical outlet is pointed down to prevent rain and other junk from getting into it.

After discovering a Kadee coupler could not be mounted, my next choice was a Clouser brass working coupler now avaialable from Protocraft,  However, the Clouser coupler will not mate with a Kadee. This sent me looking at the PSC catalogs for a lost wax brass coupler which worked and would be appropriate for the model.

If you recall from the introduction of this model to the blog, the idea of building a model of the 49 started when the late John Cloos asked me how to figure out the color of a prototype trolley from a black and white photo. John was hoping to make a 1/24 scale model. After the conversation he emailed the photo of the model as it was built in this blog as 1/48 scale model.
John Cloos Collection

My 1/48 scale model of 49. It runs very smooth and can pull a freight car or 2!

I hope John is satisfied with my model. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #7 Finishing the Model

There are a number of cast details which can be used on this model. The vast majority of them were made for the non-traction part of the hobby. To scratch build a model, traction or otherwise, the builder needs to know what is available in the way of parts and castings. The builder cannot rely on traction vendors alone.

Grandt Line has their product line on the web for viewing. Recently they phased out many of their brass castings in favor of plastic castings. Precision Scale Co. (PSC) has only a few of their vast product line available for viewing on the web. The builder has to purchase PSC's catalogs to see the product line.

There are other vendors - The Irish Tracklayer,  The Back Shop products available from Brian Wiseman, and more.

Although this is the finishing phase, there are still more details to add. We'll start at one end of the decking and move to the center of the model. Some details need to be added to both ends. Take a look at a photo of the end of the deck. What do you see in the photo that is absent from the model?

OOPS! - When I received the cab from Jim Osborn, all of the windows were closed. The operator of the 49 almost always opened at least one of the 2 center windows on the west side of the cab. I opened one of the windows by removing the sash with a file. This has to be done before painting the model.

On the decking, in front of the sand box, near the end of the deck are 2 hand holds. The hand hold is not continuous across the deck. When standing on the foot board the trainman needs something to hold onto. The coupler rod should not be held onto.

The coupler (Actually it should be called the uncoupler.) rod is "suspended" out from the deck. Room has to be provided for the trainman to grab the rod "handle" and rotate it 90 degrees or more to lift the uncoupling pin.

The hand holds are Des Plains Hobby O Scale America castings. The coupler rod holders are flattened PSC castings. The coupler rod is 0.020" brass rod which has been bent to shape. Don't forget the piece of rod sticking out to support the chain to pull the uncoupling rod.

For the era my model is in, the retriever was installed on a piece of lumber attached to the sand box. The photo above is the west view of the locomotive, therefore the 3-chime whistle is mounted above the door. The headlights can be installed. Notice the 2 upright post near the cab. These are there to help anyone mounting the loco from the ground using the step attached to the frame.

Truss rods and a turnbuckle on each rod need to be installed. Be sure they clear the trucks.

This is another west view. The model is painted and lettered. The grab irons attached to the cab are 0.020" brass wire. A Grandt Line step made from Delrin plastic. Delrin is incompatible with styrene, that is, common plastic glue will not work with the two plastics. 

Make a larger hole in the styrene frame than required for the Delrin studs on the back of the casting. Use ACC to glue the step to the sideframe.

The brake hose was ACC'ed to the round styrene tubing installed for it next to the coupler box. The brake hose brass castings are fragile. Use a pliers designed to bend brass or other material into a round shape to bend the brake hose out of the way.

I don't use the brake hose castings with the pliable plastic tubing for the air hose. Too many times the plastic hose has come off the brass casting and become lost.

A controller, brake valve, and air gauge were installed. For the air gauge to have a nice round face, white decal was punched with a leather punch to produce a round piece of decal. The round piece of decal was place on the face of the air gauge after the black paint died.

The stand alone grab irons are brass tubing with a Q-Car casting installed on top. At the bottom of the rod are 1/64" eyelets.

You may have noticed on the photos of the side of the cab and in the photo above, the rain gutter and drain over the center windows. This is a piece of  brass tubing with the top filed off to open up the center of the tube. The drain at the right was soldered on before the tubing was filed open.

Clear styrene 0.010" thick was used for glazing. MV lenses were installed in the headlights using clear bathtub caulk for glue.

Install the trucks. But before that, I "painted" the trucks with brass blackener. This is a chemical reaction in which the brass turns a black to dark green color. (I taught high school chemistry so I know exactly what happens to the copper and zinc which compose the brass.)   After the trucks dried, some weathered back paint was applied in various locations. 

An Arttista "mtorman" was installed in the cab. He has his arm over the window opening. There is only 1 wire to connect to the center post of the cab under the deck. 

The last item to be installed is the coupler. The PSC set of castings include the coupler with 2 additional castings - the knuckle and the coupler pin. Place the knuckle into the casting and fix with the brass rod provided. Only used solder at the top and/or bottom of the coupler body to hold the brass wire in place. Do NOT use ACC! The ACC might seep into the "works" and prevent the knuckle from moving.

The coupler pin has to move freely up and down. It is installed form the bottom of the coupler. It should be able to open the knuckle when pulled/pushed up. I used a piece of soft brass to make a long loop between the eye on the top of the coupler rod and the lift bar of the coupler rod.

When the coupler rod is pulled up the coupler knuckle "pops" open. The coupler is compatible with Kadee couplers. However, I do not intend to switch cars with the 49. It is able to run on a layout pulling 1-2 freight cars.

The drawing mentioned in the last post which showed how the whistle was made will be included in the next post. Additional photos will be included.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #6C Detailing the Model.

Next to a headlight bracket, on one end of the cab, is 49's unique 3-chime whistle. It has 3 "pipes" attached to the base pipe to give the 3 chimes .
Part of a Joseph Hazinski photo. The entire photo will be posted as work on the 49 is being finish.

From the photo, the size of each whistle can be determined. The following is my engineering drawing for the whistle.

To solder the 3 pieces of brass rod to the base pipe, a form was made by gluing 3 small pieces of strip wood to a wooden base. The pieces of brass rod were soldered using 6% silver solder.

When the solder cools, remove the brass from the wooden form and clean with a file. The individual whistles may need to be straightened. Be careful so the bending does not dislodge the brass rod at the soldering point. 

When you are satisfied with your work, cut the 3 pieces of brass rod on an angle. File the top of each pipe flat. The pipe to which the whistles are soldered can be bent back as to into the cab.

My 3-chime whistle needs some final filing and additional cleaning.

Place your 3-chime whistle aside. it will be mounted later.

The one piece end beam platform step is next. My engineering drawing included the brackets to be bent to hold the pieces of wood (styrene) to the end beam. All 4 brackets are bent to the same design.

After the 4 brass brackets were bent to shape and size, the 4 foot boards were cut from styrene. The foot boards can be prepared like the decking with scribing. The foot boards are lightly rounded at the corners.Two of the foot boards will be mounted (ACC'ed) horizontally and the remained 2 boards mounted (ACC'ed) vertically.

Styrene strips ACC'ed to narrow pieces of brass have a tendency to come loose. The floor boards on the model will be subjected to abuse in handling. Small #8 straight pins were installed through the brass and styrene strips. 

Always drill larger holes than the diameter the straight pins when using ACC. This allows the ACC to "fill" the area between the pin and the material into which the pin is inserted. The area in the larger hole increases the ACC's ability of to move in between the styrene and pin to give a better grip. 

The straight pins were cut and filed smooth after the ACC cured.
The foot boards mounted to the end beam.

Straight pins were used to attach the foot board brackets to the end beam. Be careful not to drill through the decking.

From here on, until the trucks are installed on the model, when the model is placed upright; the model MUST be placed on something higher than the foot boards hang down. Placing weight on the model without supporting the foot board brackets can be disastrous.

The finishing phase is about to start. Inspect the model for any problem, material hanging loose, loose styrene, erroneous fingerprints, etc. Make any repairs now. Once the finishing phase starts, you'll be more interested in finishing the model than fixing problems.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #6B Detailing the Model

One detail which sets the 49 apart is the high headlight mounting on each cab end. Over the years the headlight(s) was mounted either high on the cab end and/or on the snow plow mechanism. On my model the headlight will be mounted on the cab end. Refer to photos publish previously in this blog.

This is my engineering drawing of the headlight bracket. It contains some dimensions. Other dimensions will have to calculated by the builder.

Flat brass was bent to represent the left, upper, and right sides of the bracket as seen above. Remember each headlight bracket requires 2 pieces. That's why 4 pieces of brass bent to shape. 

As a modeling note - always make the same parts of something being scratch built at the same time. If there is any chance what is being scratch built being lost or damaged, make enough of the parts to build an additional item. Trying to scratch build a part years after it was originally made may be an impossibility. 

Of course, storing the additional part can be a problem. Perhaps after 49 is completed, the topic of storing, inventorying, etc. a model will be covered.

Next the part of the bracket which holds up the headlight up is soldered in place using 6% silver solder. This gives stronger joints. Do not file any of the excess solder away.  It's the solder which holds the parts together! The photo shows the 2 brackets for 1 complete headlight bracket.

The next process is soldering the cross piece, which will hold the headlight in place, between the 2 brackets . Let's step back from the headlight making to cover the choice of headlight and why it will not have a bulb and is not lighted.

For the headlight Q-Car B-140 brass suburban headlight casting was chosen.. After examining the photos of 49, this casting seemed to be the best. The headlight on 49 hangs on a bar between 2 brackets. The back of the suburban headlight has a single mounting hook.

The headlight will not be lighted since 49 ran during the day when the sun was out almost exclusively. The headlight was probably lighted during storms, snow removal, fog, and poor weather in general. The AE&FRE was a short line railway not crossing state lines. It didn't have to have lighted headlight during daylight hours. It wasn't until the early 1950's when the State of Illinois passed a law, did all railroads (ways) have to have a lighted headlight on all trains.

The following is a series of photos which show how the 2 brackets were blocked in place to get a square soldering job. 

Using a piece of wood having the exact distance dimension required between the 2 brackets, the brackets were clamped to the wood using clothes pins. Notice how the clothes pins were altered. BTW - The spring clothes pins come in 2 sizes. I use both sizes depending upon how much tension is required and the size of the job.

The headlight is NOT soldered or glued to the bracket. The brackets are shown before they are cleaned up. File away excess solder but not all of it. It's best to use a round file except at the ends or sides of the brackets. The headlight casting is attached to show how the headlight hooks onto the cross piece.

To finish up the brackets, pieces of styrene are ACC'ed in place. Notice the cutout on the top piece of styrene for the headlight clip.The pieces of styrene may be a little over size. The vertical piece of styrene will be glued to the cab. The more surface area, the better the attachment.

The Q-Car headlight casting comes with a hole for a light bulb to be inserted. My model will have a MV Models lens installed.To block the hole and provide backing for something to fill in the back of the casting, a piece of styrene was glued into the inside back of the casting. Both headlights were done at the same time.

    Once the glue holding the styrene has cured, Squadron body putty was inserted into the hole. When Squadron body putty is used in a deep hole, the body putty contracts as the volatile solvents evaporate. One than one layer of body putty may need to be applied. Once the body putty has completely dried, the area can be filed smooth and level.
After looking at the photo, I realized the back of the casting has not been finished. This is the casting as the body putty is drying.

The MV lens will be added after the model is painted. The headlight brackets will be mounted to the cab later after additional detail parts are completed.

It looks like an additional post will be required for more details.


PS - If the spacing between paragraphs and photos seems to be uneven, I haven't worked out how to get the spacing right.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #6A Detailing the Model

We'll start with detailing the cab. When looking at photos of the prototype 49, the "X" formed by thin, narrow bands of metal secured to the cab with bolts or screws on all 4 sides of the cab will be noticed. The reason for the "X" bands of metal was to stop the back and forth and side to side motion of the cab. 

This motion was common in all wooden railroad cars. With time everything would loosen up on a wooden car. The rocking motion, if that's the best name for it; in early CA&E wooden cars had become so prevalent and troublesome, during one of the shopping and repainting cycles of the cars, steel bracing was installed. The early NSL merchandise dispatch cars, the ones with the baggage doors at the ends, required additional bracing.

Pieces of styrene are glued to the cab to represent the "X" pieces of metal. the size of the bracing can be determined from photos. The same size styrene is placed along the bottom of the sides of the cab.

One comment about the gluing of the styrene strips. Do not use too much liquid glue on the styrene strips. If too much liquid glue is applied, the strips will soften to the point where they look as though they have dissolved. The strips will not longer have the sharp edges which make it look like the  thin, narrow bands of metal. Seeing this step comes towards the end of building the model, correcting the problem is difficult!

Again from photos notice how the pieces of metal forming the "X" hang over the bottom of the cab. They are attached to the sides of the frame. The pieces of metal are bent over the bottom of the cab to reach the frame. Styrene is hard to bend like this. I placed additional pieces of styrene, the same width as the styrene strip, between the styrene strip and the frame.

 Allow the glue used with the styrene strips to"cure before doing anything. To represent the screws or bolts small pins were used. Many years ago small straight pins less than 1/2" in length were included in most freight car kits. These were used to hold ladders, brake platforms, etc. to wooden cars. 

Today, the smallest straight pin available is the #8, 1/2" pin. Michaels has them in packages of 800 in a silver or gold color. Both are steel pins. They are kept in the sewing section along with thicker, longer pins. One package will last a live time.

Drill holes in the styrene strips. Cut the pins to required length then insert the pins with ACC to keep them in place.
You'll notice holes drilled in the strip at the lower left of the cab. The photo was taken after I had run out of pins and before obtaining more.

Next comes the insertion of the N-B-W castings. Both styrene and brass N-B-W castings are available. Any size available in brass is now available in styrene. Over the years I've amassed a number of different types and sizes of brass castings. When styrene N-B-W castings became available a number of then were purchased. All the excess castings were stored for future use. 

On top of this, over the years, the packages of the N-B-W castings were stored in 3-4 locations. Some were stored by manufacturer, brass, or styrene, etc. A few months ago all the packages of castings were brought together and stored in ONE box!

When it comes to choosing brass or styrene N-B-W castings, styrene is far less expensive than brass! However, just like the warning about the use of too much liquid glue on the strip styrene, the use of too much liquid glue on styrene N-B-W castings can cause the casting to loose its detail. Be careful!

When inserting the N-B-W castings with glue or ACC, center them so the group will run in a straight line. This is the only chance you'll have unless you replace the castings.

My desire was to make a simple model of the 49. Therefore the snow plow and its related equipment was left off. However, one part of the deck of 49 which needs to be modeled is the triangular sand box near each end.

A skeleton frame was made without the top in place. Please excuse my drawing. It's crude but will convey the idea of how it was made. The framework was glued to 0.020" styrene side material.

After the glue cured, lead shot was poured into the outer portions of the same box. ACC was added to the lead shot.

When the ACC was cured, the other side of the sand box was glued in place.
Again when the glued was cured, the excess styrene was cut off and the joints sanded to shape. Lead shot was poured into the center and ACC added. 

When the ACC cured, the top of the sand box was added. In photos you'll notice the sand box does not sit directly on top of the deck. Small square strips of styrene were added to the bottom of the sand box then the sand box was glued in place.

You may notice other details have been added to the model. These include poling pockets using a US Hobbies product which may now be available from PSC. The brass marker brackets are from DesPlaines Hobbies. The stirrup near the cab is a Grandt Line product which is made from Derlin. Derlin is a plastic which cannot be "glued" to styrene under normal circumstances. I used ACC to hold them in place. 

The Derlin stirrups were used because they will flex without breaking. On sharp radius curves the truck overhang is so great, the stirrup gets caught in the truck sideframe causing problems.

However, after the model was completed I found brass stirrups. I plan on replacing the Derlin stirrups with the brass ones which will be bent out of the way. If photos of the prototype 49 are referenced, the stirrups are bent out to prevent the problem described above. 

The sand boxes are not very large therefore the amount of lead shot added was not very much. The lead shot was added to increase the weight of the model. While the sand boxes were not very "heavy", any additional weight was welcomed. The model does not weight much. It's a locomotive which should be capable of pulling 1-2 freight cars.

There's still some details to be added. These details are the ones which make the model interesting and different from other cab-on-a-flat models.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #5 The Cab

Every modeler builds differently. as more models are built the modeler comes across new problems to which he or her will apply "things" he or she has learned in the past. Sometimes "things" work out and other times they don't. It's at this point the modeler learns new, additional "things".

The above is true in this model and every model especially if the modeler scratch builds. Originally I scratch build models utilizing strip wood using the Bill Hoffman's methods of model building. Over time I switched to styrene building models having walls with thin cross sections. Something happen and my scratch-built cab for #49 didn't work out!

Models made using strip wood had slightly thicker walls due to the size of the wood strips available. Model walls seemed to be more ridged since wood does not flex as easy as styrene.

A new cab could have been built using wood.  However, my strip wood supply was depleted plus my vision has been causing problems. I have to work in bright light plus there are other "problems".

To bypass the entire problem, I asked Jim Osborn to scratch-build the cab for me. To start out Jim had an interesting observation about the cab. The siding used to sheath to lower part of the cab is the same milled planking used to cover the lower section of walls for wainscot. It's a tongue and grove with a bead milled down the center of the board. Jim built the cab using a siding which match the wainscot.

Before placing the model cab in position on the frame, comments about how the cab looks in broadside photos of 49 are required.

First, the cab sits on the decking of the prototype.  The cab is wider than the frame and the decking does not show in photos. This makes it hard to tell the cab does sit on the decking.

The bottom edge of the cab looks ragged. There's a thin metal band at the bottom with the boards of the siding sticking out below the metal band. When more detail is added to the model the ragged edge of the cab's siding will not show.

For the model, the cab can be either placed: 1. on decking, 2. on strips of styrene the same thickness as the decking which are applied on the frame members, or 3. on the framing without any decking or decking substitute.

I did 3. The cab was placed directing on the framing. Jim made the cab with a 1/8" thick floor.
Part of the reason for placing the cab directly on the framing was the length of the screw Jim supplied for the roof/electrical connection to be made.

This is the cab as supplied by Jim.
The roof was made with an overhang on the sides. This was sanded off by me.

The model with the cab on the frame.
 Notice the 2 different styles of trolley pole bases like the prototype. 

To pick-up the trolley voltage, a piece of styrene was ACC'd to the bottom of the brass frame. Stryene tubing was installed between the cab bottom and the piece of flat styrene. This guarenteed the 2-56 threaded rod from the roof would not "ground-out" on the brass frame. A brass washer and nut hold the roof onto the cab. There was just enough threaded rod to install the nut.
In the exact center of the bottom of the model is the washer and nut which cannot be covered-up by the brake cylinder.

We'll continue with detailing the model in the next post.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

AEFRE 49 - #4F The Flat Car with Decking

This is the post I didn't think we were going to reach! The application of decking on the top of the frame can be started. Before starting appropriate sizes of styrene strips need to be made into decking.  I decided to deck the frame with scale 2" x 6" (0.040" x 0.125") pieces of styrene.

Pick out a few strips of styrene. Find a saw blade with fine teeth. A hacksaw blade with fine teeth works out well. I have a mini-hacksaw used to cut small pieces of wood and brass. Holding the blade at a slight angle to piece of styrene pull or push the blade over one side of a styrene strip. Continue to do this over the entire length of the piece. 

Make as many passes over the piece of styrene, until the surface of the styrene starts to look like rough cut lumber - scale size. The scoring of the styrene does not have to look even. The odder it looks the better. If there are small pieces of styrene hanging off the strip, use a finger nail emery board to "cut" off the hanging styrene.

Modeling Note - Emery boards come in handy to file down small pieces of styrene and wood. I keep my own supply just so my wife will not complain about my using her's and "ruining" them!

Start cutting the long styrene strips into shorter ones. I like to let the boards on a deck over hang the frame of the deck about 2-3" on each side.Cut all the strips into the desired length.

The reason for preparing and cutting all the decking before starting to glue the decking in place is to get a random pattern to the decking. Place the individual pieces of "decking" in a large paper bag or box, shake the bag or box, and pick out pieces

What ever you do do not score the decking after it has been glued in place. It will look like exactly what it is - a plastic deck!

Position and glue the 1st 3-4 pieces of decking at each end of the deck. Try to keep you fingers off the glue. The glue softens the styrene. If you touch the scribing, your finger prints will be left and the scribing altered. Get the pieces of decking close to one another.

At this point in the construction, the brass internal framing is encased in styrene on 3 sides at both ends of the model. The brass frame can no longer fall out of the model.

Note how random my decking looks. The individual boards are up and down, with grain going back and forth. Some boards have more grain than others. The more of less-pattern to what the boards look like the better!

There's a piece of thin styrene to be added to the end of the deck at both ends to complete the coupler pocket. Check the photos of the prototype. Here you can see this piece with holes already drilled for the nut, bolt, and washer castings. The castings are commonly called N-B-W castings.

Continue to add the decking up to where the cab fits in. After a few of the pieces of decking are added, use a small square to be sure the pieces are square with the side frame members of the deck. A gentle push with the square on the edge of the decking may be required to get the pieces back in square. However, use caution, do not push too hard which will cause the pieces of decking to be too close to one another.

Next start to make the underbody details as seen in the photos of the prototype. Remember, I was working with only the photos of one side of the locomotive. A photo of the opposite side was found after the locomotive was completed. I mention what I did wrong as it comes up.

From the west photos, the 4 resistors can be seen. There are no pre-made castings which are exactly the correct length  of each resistor. I did find Q-Car had casings of a resistor which came close but had to be cut in half to give the correct length. Cutting the resistors with a hacksaw blade, the amount of the hacksaw was the amount to shorten the resistor. Glue 2 halfs together and at the same time glue them onto a suitable size of styrene to provide stability. Allow the assembly to set-up over night before going further.

Next glue 2 small angles to the bottom of the styrene to provide additional support to the assembly. Modeling hint - I started out with a longer piece of styrene before gluing the resistors halfs together, The same is true with the small pieces of angle "iron". It's easier to cut to size the styrene and angle "iron" afterwards. Allow the assembly to cure over night again before going further.

Since I didn't know what was on the other side of the underbody, I choose to use the PSC Underbody Detail Kit set which includes a brake cylinder and associated pieces.

However, now for my goof, in the photo of the east side of the loco can be seen an air tank. Check the east side photo.

I assembled the air brake cylinder and prepared to attach the resistors and  air cylinder to the under side of the frame.
The clevises were left off to be added later.

To support the resistors and the air brake cylinder, small pieces of styrene were added to the frame.
 Note the 2 small pieces of styrene added to the needle-beams at the top of the photo. The 2 thin pieces of styrene located towards the left bottom of the photo are for the air brake cylinder. The pieces of styrene need to be cut next to the brass frame piece.

This is a photo of the assembled but unfinished model. It is being shown so you can see the resistors and air brake cylinder in place. Also note the brass washer and nut in the center of the cab bottom. The brass washer and nut hold the cab roof on plus will provide electrical pick-up from the trolley poles. The brake cylinder is where the air tank should be located with the brake cylinder located almost in the center of the  model where the brass washer and nut are.

If you install an air tank like it should be, the brake cylinder will be located next to the air tank. The brake cylinder will have to have shorter levers. The brass washer and nut cannot be covered over

Next will be the cab, my cab problem, how I fixed my cab problem, and more assembly.