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

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cleaning-Up the Work Bench and Planning Ahead

September 2013 is a time of change for this blog. It's not that nothing is going on, but rather a time to clean-up in more ways than one after the last project.

This month is also clean-up the house to get rid of old cans of paint, old electronic equipment, and other items. We have as much as 35+ years of old paint cans stored in the basement along with 20 or so years of electronics. Our Village has special days for the citizens to turn in these items for disposal.

On a better note, there's the celebration of C.E.R.A.'s 75 years as an organization dedicated to traction. Over the years C.E.R.A. has sponsored many fan trips, monthly meetings with guest speakers,  and published many excellent books on the subject of Traction.

C.E.R.A. has a series of events planned for the weekend of September 20- 22. Check their web site for more information.

 Along with the prior mentioned clean-up, there are 3 minor projects to update existing models started. They need to be finished before the next major project starts. I can attest the next project is a major one.

As the 3 minor projects are finished, photos of the results will appear in this blog. To paraphrase a famous saying; so many things to do, so little time to do them!

One of the minor projects involved a Pittman LVT "freight motor" (also called a box motor, express car or motor, or merchandise dispatch car). Over the years, the Pittman LVT "freight motor" may have been one of most ubiquitious kits available in O scale. Even today the kit appears on EBay every now and then.

My Pittman was built as per instructions decades years ago. The only exception was the roof. The kit comes with the very flat, round LVT roof. A Walthers wooden roof was substituted which has a wide clerestory section. The finished model was painted orange.

Several years ago when a photo of the AE&FRE #1 express motor was found, the model was repainted orange and lettered for the AE&FRE. At that time the only decals available were gold. The car was orange with gold numbers and logo. The gold didn't show up very well against the orange.

Today, decals are easy to print on a home computer. Black logos were made and applied. The car's numbers were changed to black.

When my Pittman express motor was originally made into AE&FRE #1, the model was altered to look more like the prototype. Although the photo of AE&FRE #1 was not the best, I could see the windows in the side of the car, the belt rail, and the pilots on the trucks of the car. Almost everything else was an educated guess.

Grandt Line windows were used to alter my model. Grandt Line makes a number of different windows in styrene. If you use a Grandt Line window, the hole for the window can be rough cut to size. The plastic window will fit into the opening and hide the unevenness of the window opening. 

A belt rail made from 2 pieces of styrene was added to both sides. One piece was ACC'ed on its side while a second piece of styrene was laid flat and adjacent to the 1st one. Again ACC was used for glue. 

My AE&FRE #1  may not be exactly like the prototype, but it bears a close resemblance to it.

A giant word of warning about reworking an old model. What may seem like an extremely straight forward project, may be loaded with pitfalls. Watch out for everything from colors of paint, to the finish on the model, to the original glue used, etc. The original wiring of the model may be a snake looking for a place to bite!

First talk over you plans with a more experienced modeler for advice. Sometimes there are no problems, but the next time everything falls apart!

I have other old models which need up-dating. As originally built, interiors and lighting were not installed. Some also need minor parts replaced which have broken. These old models are another story.


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