How scratch?

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by nkp174, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I recently started a DSP&P 27' boxcar in On3. I'm using plans from an HOn3 version of the car. I currently have the ends cut, the sides, and the doors. I've also cut some internal supports for the car which will serve to stiffen the top of the car. I need to visit my LHS to get the necessary "lumber" to build the underframe.

    My question is, how scratch ought I to go? I intend to scratch some of the detail parts, but I can't decide what all to try. I think I'll use music or brass wire to produce the grab irons, but I haven't decided on the bolts that go with them. I also can't decide on the brake wheel, the air brakes (the South Park was fully air braked in 1884, the year of the car), or if I ought to do all of the door hardware.

    The vast majority of my previous work has been with styrene or hydrocal, but I've been accumulating brass working tools (ultimately for a couple steam locomotive projects...NKP K-1a and DSP&P 4-4-0). I suspect that 0.005 brass might work well for some of the detail parts. I do not have photo-etching tools.

    I plan on completing the main assemblies of the car (without the grab irons) and then making resin copies so I'll have a string of 27' boxcars.

    The sides in the picture are only straight and square on the 3 sides as a 6" scale (1/8") stringer will cover the top.

    Attached Files:

  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Well, as one who works in HO, I would think that O scale allows you some more possibilities for scratchbuilding detail parts. While it may be very satisfying to scratchbuild everything, if your finished model doesn't measure up to your expectations, what's the point? My suggestion would be to build those things which you can make as good as or better than what's commercially available, and, obviously, those things which are not commercially available. For everything else, buy the detail parts best suited to your project. Any compromise will be reflected in all of your cast resin copies of the original.

  3. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I think that advice has some good wisdom in it. I wanted to build the underframe for several days using modified drawings to us the material I already had, but convinced myself to wait until I nabbed the right materials from a LHS. Only bedtime last night prevented the underframe from being completed. I probably need a current Walthers catalog...mine are a few years old.
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not sure that the newer catalogues are any better: it seems that my older ones had better listings for detail parts than some of the more recent versions. At least the price has become more reasonable. :rolleyes:

  5. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    When it comes to detail parts the only way to see the entire scope of availability is to get a catalog from the PRODUCER of the parts.
    Precision Scales catalog is almost as big by itself as a complete Walthers, & has many times more product than Walthers lists.
    I would bet other detail parts makers would be about the same , however Precision was the only catalog I ever has --or needed.
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've got a couple year old PSC catalogs for O scale steam & rolling stock...and Grandt's are online. I really need to know what Coronado Scale Models offers...

    Any ideas on other sources?
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    How scratch depends on your intentions. If you're enterin an NMRA contest, I think they allow you to buy wheels and couplings; more than hat they credit the points to Irv Athearn or Fred Grandt. You get extra pints for building your own wheels & couplings and turning your own screws on the lathe or growing your own wood.

    If it's for running on your layout -- whatver mkes you happy. If you can build to your own satisfaction, do it. But if you think you'll be happier with a commercial casting, use it. Maybe build a half dozen items and see if you like them enough to use them.
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    David is right in saying you should define what your intentions are in scratch building. If you are commited to do as much as your possibilities/abilities allow, check out this thread. I've never seen anyone do this level of work...

    Good luck..!!
  9. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I'm actually not really too committed as to what to do. I'm only building the 900 series as its what I had plans for...I have a missing book with useful modeler info on the railroad, drawings of a bunch of their cars, and a notebook full of drawings I made on a pair of NKP cabooses and a business car. With the car projects I really want to do on hold...this car is filling the void. I not only have external and interior dimensions of one of the NKP cabooses, but I also have all of the bracing underneath the siding and the details as to how it was lengthened from a 4-wheel to 8-wheel. Besides, this will give me some freight cars for future use.

    That's were I get into issues with how far I want to go. That B&O car is purely awesome...but I suspect the time it would take me to do anything like that would be far too long...and I'd probably find the information I need to switch back to the stuff I really want to do. I believe that I can do anything that any modeler has done...but the practice in getting my skills to that level may not make it practical. I really like the detail of that B&O car...but I do think its outside of my objectives with this this stage at least. I've made extensive use of my digital calipers keep it as accurate as is reasonable.

    I don't think I'll be entering it in any contests. I don't yet have a permanent layout to use it on...but my idea is to certainly have a layout eventually for it/them.

    I can't quite decide at what point to make my resin mold(s). I'm not certain if I should stop at the unassembled box...the box without the roof...or the box without the underframe...and the underframe as a separate casting. I intend to have a string of these cars...which also works against having the level superior detail of that B&O car (man that guy is good!). I can see some details as being very labor intensive to apply to a bunch of cars. The only thing I know is that I will only set starter holes for the grab irons as I don't think they'll cast too well.

    I think I'm going to use some Grandt bolt castings I have left over from a stockcar kit.

    I think I ought to check my PSC catalog for Link and Pin couplers...I do have plans to build some Miller Couplers once I've got passenger cars far enough for them...

    I was out of town this weekend so I only had around 3hrs to work on the car. Here's my updated progress...

    Thank you all for your comments!

    Attached Files:

  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've only done a little more on the 900 series boxcar for now. I'm going to add a roof, door details, and grab irons too. I just picked up some lead weights today to add to the car. I also mounted some Precision scale trucks under it for now, as I don't feel like purchase the right trucks now (the PSC trucks I've had for a few years).

    Instead, I've been working on an 1882 DSP&P waycar (caboose) to go along with it. The waycars of 1882 were 13' long. All were built without cupolas...but received them between the 1890's and 1910's Mine has 1 resin endsill and 1 resin door so far. I'm going to cast another of each...and probably build the windows in-situ. I was delayed in the work until I picked up the lead weight today. It will eventually have an interior. Two of the waycars survive in their modern configuration...1006 at Silver Plume, Co (which would originally have been identical to my car) and the 1009 which was a 14'10" car (which is similar to earlier DSP&P waycars).

    Attached Files:

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