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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Finishing a Q-Car CRT 4000 Plushie Part 2: The Underbody and Grab Iron and Handrail Holes

Floor and Underbody
To add the underbody to the model, Q-Car's UB100 CRT 4000 "L" Body underbody kit can be used. It contains all the parts required plus a drawing of where the parts go. The drawing is from the bottom looking up into the car.

I intend to used the wood floor supplied with the model. However, you are free to substitute other materials. Some of my friends will toss out the wood or plastic floor which comes with a model and replace it with brass. After cutting 0.025” or thicker brass to the correct dimensions, brass shapes, “Z’s”, “L’s”, “U’s”, “I’s”, and/or “H’s”, are soldered into place the make the center sill and other structural pieces of the underframe. Making the floor out of brass will increase the weight of the model.

Keep in mind a floor made out of wood or styrene, non-electrical conductive materials, will produce less of a chance for electrical problems. This is especially true in you decide to operate a model 2-rail. Brass is an excellent conductor of electric current. Steps must be taken to install the truck(s) using non-conductive materials. If you search the internet, sources of nylon and other non-conductive material screws and nuts are available.

Other than the need to insulate the trucks from the floor, the mounting of a power and trail trucks on a brass floor are the same as for a wooden floor as mentioned in prior post.

Instead of making a brass floor, the same can be done with sheet styrene and styrene structural pieces. Both brass and styrene will increase the detail of the model. Before starting to make a floor out of brass or styrene, secure photos of the underside of a prototype car. If photos are not readily available visit a prototype car at a museum.

With the trucks mounted, the cleaned-up underbody parts are 1st located on floor using the diagram supplied by Q-Car. Photos can also be used. Prototype underbody parts were not located at the edge of the car. They are located a few inches in from the edge. The underbody of a prototype 4000 was a busy place with many of the items placed very close to one another. Once all the parts are positioned, start gluing them to the floor.

If you desire the piping connected to the air tanks, air compressor, and other air brake equipment can be installed. Drain cocks for the air tanks are available from PSC. The brake rigging from the air brake cylinder to the trucks can be added.

The plumbing under the model brings up a thought. If you are making models which include piping and other details under the model, besides going to a museum to make a drawing of the prototype car, there are books to consult which have info of similar types of cars.

Some of the prototype underbody was installed from hangers from the floor. The resistor grids as well as some of the other electrical equipment were normally installed using insulators between the equipment and the floor.

One comment about the air compressor. Be sure you hang it right-side-up. It's easy to hang it the wrong way. This compressor can be hung in a cage or from hangers attached to the underside of the floor. For the 4000 it is hung from hangers. The bottom of the compressor is the side with the flat feet.
The photo shows the top of the air compressor casting. The 2 straps from which it hangs are also shown. Some filing of the straps was required.

I decided to CA the various pieces directly on the floor. It's not that I needed to save time but rather underbodies on models never seemed to be important other than having the corrent equipment there. This theme will return soon in a future post with some afterthoughts!
The pieces of styrene under the trail truck were inserted to level the floor.

Small Vertical Motorman's Cab Window
This is my 4th Q-Car 4000 body I've built-up and finished. There is a small window in each of the motorman's cabs that the modeler has to cut out. The outline of the window appears in the small wall to the left of the motorman as he looks forward.

In the prototype 4000's the motorman's cab was enlarged by having the front wall (car end on the motorman's side) pushed forward on an angle. This results is a small wall between the door in the end of the car and the pushed out wall.

Each time this part of the work on a Q-Car 4000 is started I take a deep breath. A series of holes were made with a #60 drill down the center of the area of the material to remove. Then the holes were enlarged using a #50 drill. If the original holes are close enough, when the holes are enlarged, the holes will interconnect. The removed material will leave a long slit.
In the 2nd photo the holes have been broken into one another to make the long open slit.

File out the area with flat files. Use a thin jeweler's file 1st, then a small, thin mill file. The corners are dressed with a small square file. I remove all the material up to the roof and to the edges of the window. To open up the window to the roof an angular X-Acto blade was used to cut through the last of the material.
Notice the damage to the roof done during the filing. It will be repaired later.
Also notice the model is kept on an old towel to prevent any damage to the opposite surface.

The prototype cars had a window frame at the top of the opening. A piece of 0.020" x 0.040" styrene was positioned and CA'ed at the top of the opening.
The red arrow points to the small piece of styrene CA'ed at the top of the window opening. Sometimes it's easier to remove all the material and replace it with a known size than try to retain a small amount of hard to measure material.

Window Fix
In cutting out the motorman's small vertical window one of the doors was damaged. A horizontal mullion in a side door was knocked out. The mullion was replaced with a 0.020" x 0.030" styrene strip. Since the replacement mullion is held in place with a T-shaped butt joint a 0.020" x 0.010" piece of styrene was glued in back of the mullion. The pictures will tell the rest.
Notice the 0.020" x 0.010" styrene added to the back of the new mullion laps over the addition and onto the back of the door.

Grab Iron and Handrail Holes
When making the "Plushie" body, Q-Car provided dimples where grab irons and handrails are located. Q-Car supplied bent 0.025" wire for the numerous grab irons and handrails. You can use these or your own wire.

The short red arrows point to the dimples to drill out.
The green arrow is a dimple NOT to drill out.

Now is the best time to drill the holes for the grab irons and handrails. The model has only the thin brown primer coating making it easier to spot the indentations (dimples) where to drill. Later I'll spray the model with a light gray colored primer. The indentations are harder to spot on light colors

Using a drawing or photo(s) locate all the locations where the holes need to be drilled.  Beware - there are dimples for holes not to drill! When the 4000 series of "L" cars were 1st introduced, the handrails in the doorway between cars were fastened lower on the body.

Sometime before 1940 these 2 handrails were mounted higher on the body in the doorway. When this happened, the top chain of the 3 chains was no longer hooked to the body. Instead the top chain was hooked between the bottom of the 2 handrails. Therefore there is no need to drill out the top dimple of the set of 3 dimples for a hooks for the top chain. There are 4 locations where the hole does not need to be drilled.

More holes have to be drilled plus there are items to add to the body prior to giving the body a coat of primer. These will be covered in the next post.


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