Is it possible...

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by doctorwayne, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    ... to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear? Who cares? The pig ran away when she saw the needle and thread anyway. ;):p
    Instead, I decided to try to upgrade an old Varney metal boxcar that I've had since I started in HO scale 50 years ago.
    It began life as a NYC car, in Pacemaker grey and vermilion, was later brush painted with Floquil boxcar red to become a CPR car, with the '60s script lettering scheme, and was finally stripped (down to bare metal :eek: ) and airbrushed with Floquil, then re-lettered for my free-lance Elora Gorge & Eastern.
    While the punched rivet detail is a bit on the heavy side, I felt that a few detail upgrades could transform it into a car useable, without too much embarrassment, with more recent models.
    I don't have any photos of the car in its previous lives, so a description will have to suffice. The body consists of two sections comprised of one side and end each, with a separate, stamped metal roof, and a cast metal underbody. Grabirons were wire, albeit oversize, with plastic ladders, roofwalk, and brake gear components. The stamped metal doors were the "working" type, with some difficulty. :rolleyes:

    After removing all of the plastic components, the paint was mostly stripped off. I dis-assembled the car roof from the body (folded metal tabs) and the sides from from the floor (folded tabs secured with screws). This allowed me to remove the bottom door tracks and to re-bend the tabs on the sides to better disguise their appearance. The sides were re-assembled to the floor, then all of the mounting holes for body hardware were backed with .060" sheet styrene. This was secured to the metal using contact cement. I then drilled out all of the mounting holes for the grabirons, ladders, and end brake gear to accept 1/16" or 3/64" styrene rod, making all holes a few thousandths undersize to allow a press fit using solvent cement. After the plugs had been shaved flush, small bits of suitably-sized styrene were cemented to them for ladder supports, and new holes drilled for .012" wire grabirons.

    Here's the modified body, with the roof simply set in place:

    The new "wood" roofwalk was built-up from strip styrene, and will be cemented in place with contact cement:


    Here's the roofwalk in place:

    And the re-built "B" end. The tackboards were built from more strip styrene, then cemented over the ones stamped into the ends:

    I decided that some rudimentary brake gear under the car would improve the looks (especially if the car is ever in a major derailment);) The components are mostly from the scrap box:

    The new doors (non-operating) are leftovers from a Red Caboose kit, and the ladders are more from the scrap box. All grabs were fabricated from .012" brass wire, including those on the roofwalk:

    After a quick wash to remove oil and fingerprints, the car was airbrushed with Floquil's Grey Primer:



    After a suitable drying time, I mixed up some Floquil paint for the finish paint job, using various colours to get the shade I wanted.

    Lettering is dry transfers from C-D-S, with an overspray of Dulcote to give an even finish to the car:

    Because it's meant to represent a fairly new car (built August, 1934) on my late-'30s layout, weathering was kept light, consisting of "shadowing" the body panels with a colour similar to the body colour, and a light spray of road dust, and, on the ends, wheel splash.

    You can judge for yourself if the car would be acceptable for use on your layout, alongside the more recent and better-detailed models available today. For me and my layout, though, it's "good enough". ;):-D:-D

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Nope... terrible! Pack it up and send it to me immediately...!


    Great stuff. Nevermind the pig, this was much better! Nice tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  3. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Nice work Doc!

    Andrew, I can truly say that being the proud owner of some very finely detailed boxcars from the Good Doctor that his work should most definitely be in high demand.
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

  5. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    What a beautiful silk sow’s ear! I did not know that our Good Doctor is a vet :mrgreen:.
  6. Dan85

    Dan85 Member

    Very nice transformation! I like how you did all the metal work - grab irons, brake gear, etc. looks good!

    *edit* Also I see you're from the niagara pennisula, I'm assuming that's around Niagara Falls? I'm in Tonawanda, nice to see a local modeler!
    - Dan
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Ah shure wuld like a purse like that there for mah layout....:eek:
  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Nice work bringing an old car up to modern standards. Some of the older models can really shine with a little work (although I do have my doubts with the paper sided cars).
  9. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    I would be PROUD to run that car on my layout back when I was modeling the transition era. Heck, I'd STILL feature it on an old siding on my modern day layout in MOW service. You really did a fantastic job on it.

    BTW, all my buddies keep scratching their heads wondering what that mysterious SW1200RS and bay window caboose are in that display case on the entertainment center is, lol. (It got moved into its own case recently so it can be better seen). Reaction has been VERY positive, folks don't even notice the Western Pacific 4-8-8-4 Big Boy model on the shelf next to it.
  10. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Looks mighty fine Doc! Way to give that car a new life!
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    My thanks to all for the kind words. This car was part of my project to re-do or replace a bunch of rolling stock that, for one reason or another, didn't fit into my rolling stock plans for placing the layout in the late '30s (mostly). I have another dozen or so "in the shops" right now, and only another 75 to do after that. :rolleyes::-D

    Well, sorta local, although about 20-25 miles on the other side of the border. ;):-D

    That's good to hear, Tom. :-D I find it very difficult to be ruthless enough to get rid of stuff into which I've put a lot of effort, so it's really nice to know that it's being enjoyed by others.

  12. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    SLAP FANTASTIC JOB Wayne!:bravo: :worship: :worship:
  13. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Wayne, as usual, you did some AMAZING work :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  14. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Really nice work! :thumb:

    When are you going to start finding Nscale pigs to make into silk purses? Aren't there any Nscale piglets running around up north? :mrgreen:
  15. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    You can't lead a lipstick covered pig to find a needle in a haystack.

    But you can take a fifty year old Varney and make it look as good or better than what they offer today!
    Nice work!
  16. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

    Hello Everyone---In my opinion,anything is possible when Doctor Wayne sets his mind to it --- would you believe this car started as a Rivarossi Coach

  17. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    Hello Doctor,

    really good done model job again!

    What for a changing of a really simple old time model to a fine model for highest demands!
    Congratulation also for fine step by step description that gives courage starting similar jobs. Thanks!

  18. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    If you live near a Pit Bull, carry a lipstick with you.....if the Pit Bull ever "attacks", whip out the lipstick, and the Pit Bull will run as fast and as far as it can from you.
    There's nothing more frightening to a Pit Bull, than the thought of being turned into a "Hockey Mom" :mrgreen:

    Beautiful!!:thumb: :thumb: The side shot of the car in Primer shows two dents in the steel side.....try that in styrene! :eek: :thumb:

    Oh!, The "secret" of turning a Sow's ear into a silk purse? Find silk worms, that eat pork! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  19. Nice looking work - great save!
    Your note about having more cars "in the shops" gave me an idea - or at least bolstered one I had as soon as I read that this was a metal car - one of these might me great to have on a RIP track or in a shop, undergoing some body work. You could sand through the paing to show bare metal, which is pretty hard to model convincingly with silver paint. If the carbody is steel, some clear laquer should prevent rusting.
  20. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Given a car on the RIP track, would rust be a bad thing?

    I like the idea. I REALLY like the idea, now to find someone who makes somewhat modern cars in metal still.

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