detailing challenged

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by bigsteel, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    hey yall,i have this old cheapo life like ATSF 50' bi-level auto carrier and am converting it to a C&O 50' flat car.this is my first true kit bash so ANY help is appreciated.well my Q is that i need to find a place for details that fit a 50's era layout.such as grab irons,brake wheels,brake lines,trucks,etc.and anything else you can think of.TIA :wave:--josh
  2. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Well just about any details should fit a 50's era, as long as you're not adding a FRED to the car.

    A-line makes good metal grab irons. Details West & Detail Associates mkae the other parts. Check the Walthers site.
  3. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    C&O flats are plentyfull, keep the car carrier and look on ebay for a flat.

    I have made about 30 flats from el cheapo flats for logging cars.
  4. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    thanks for the help guys,i really dont trust scam-bay.and i needed a little project to get my mind of other things right now.its pretty much just something to keep me busy.--josh
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Brake equipment of all kinds and in several versions is available from Cal Scale, PSC, Tichy, Grandt Line, and probably many more. The piping and actuating rods can be simulated with various sizes of brass, steel, or stainless steel wire. Trucks are available from Walthers, Kadee, Atlas, Kato, Athearn, Cape Line, and many others, in a variety of styles. Metal drop steps, in three styles from A-Line, or Delrin ones from Detail Associates, or make your own from brass bar stock. Grabirons can be had from Detail Associates, A-Line, Grandt Line, Tichy, and Westerfield, to name a few, or make your own from wire.
    If the car that you're working with has fishbelly sides, very little, if any, of the under-car brake gear will be visible from trackside. On most other cars, I model only the most prominent piping, along with the actual brake components, but add most of the rods, as these are what's most visible when viewing the car from trackside. The Cal Scale AB brake set includes a diagram of a typical underfloor layout of the components, along with a list of wire sizes for the pipes and rods. This kind of detail is a great way to update older cars with cast-on detail and one of my favourite ways to make rolling stock more personalised.

    Here's an Athearn boxcar with underbody brake gear added, along with metal steps and grabirons, modified doors and doortracks and a new roofwalk. The roof was also lowered a scale 6".

    A modified Athearn reefer:

    And a modified Proto1000 Fowler boxcar, with a scratchbuilt underbody:

    Many older flatcars are good candidates for lowering, as most sat too high on their trucks. I lowered this Athearn car by removing the floor completely (cut around the perimeter of the floor from below, using multiple passes with an X-Acto knife, then place the remaining side and end assembly top down on a sheet of sandpaper to remove the last vestiges of the old floor), then replacing it with a sub-floor made from .060" sheet styrene. This was mounted with its top surface flush with the top edges of the sides and ends of the car. I then cut individual flooring planks from 3"x6", and 3"x8" basswood , fastening it to the styrene underfloor with contact cement. The bulkhead ends are leftovers from some Walthers GSC flatcars.

    Good luck with your project, and post some pictures when you're done, eh?

  6. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    wow,thanks for the ...ugh...VERY thought out response doc definatley helped me out big time.and ill definatley post pics when im done.thanks again guys :thumb: --josh
  7. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    do any of you guys know a site i can go to and see what the general layout of airlines,switches,rods,etc go?im kinda lost on all this.and would really like to do more scratching and bashing.i bought bass wood yesterday and built a deck.ill post pics later.TIA--josh
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Another option is to buy a RTR car that has a proper representation of the brake gear already installed. Any of the Proto2000 cars, or those from Red Caboose or Intermountain should work, although most of these use plastic parts, and the rods are generally too thick.

  9. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    well,I'm in a bit of a pickle,i cant get enough good cuts outa bass wood with an X-acto.I'm gonna wait and buy a chopper or something of the sort.and cut all the wood this way.until then ill try to do any work i can.--josh

Share This Page