On3 South Park freight car thread

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by nkp174, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've decided to create a single, consolidated thread for all future DSP&P/CCRR/DL&G/UPD&G freight cars. For our 2nd anniversary (which is tomorrow), my wife bought me some scratch building supplies. So in the past couple days I've started a 26' flat car, a 27' gondola, and a 27' boxcar. I don't have pictures of them yet...but they are coming along nicely.

    In order to get the platform cars to proper weight, without permanent loads, I've decided to create a scale 3.5" pocket below the floor of each car. This is just large enough to add 4.5oz of lead weight. For most house cars, this obviously isn't necessary. The only house cars that I will have to do this with will be stock cars and the DSP&P's Barney and Smith open air boxcars (which were probably conversions from flat cars...and look like stock cars). For those, I'll be following the platform car approach. The space for the pocket is created by shortening the depth of each intermediate and center sill by a scale 4" (0.080")...with the side sills still being the proper depth. The real negative to this is that this sub-floor is at the height that the truss rods are supposed to be at...but I'd rather have great running models than perfect 1:48 scale reproductions.
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Have you considered casting the bolsters and centresill from lead, then putting the balance of the lead weight on the underside of the roof? At the speeds which your cars will be operated, the weight mounted up high shouldn't be a concern. I've done this with Rivarossi passenger cars in HO scale, and it's caused no problems.

  3. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    That's an interesting idea. I've thought about using brass shapes and filling them with lead...but not casting them out of lead. My dad, 35yrs ago, built a string of scratch built wooden HO flat cars and added weights to the bottom of the decks...and that worked well. I'll consider adding the extra weight on underside of the roof for the stock & open air boxcars.

    I suppose that casting them in lead would either be performed using either brass forms or as a lost wax casting? (LWC is something I'm interested in exploring)
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I used light gauge aluminum (.016" thick) to make moulds for weights that fit between the underframe members of my Walthers GSC flatcars. There are seven weights, which required four different moulds because of the shapes involved. Coupled with the stock steel weight, the empty cars weigh about 5 ounces, and I've operated one successfully as the first car in a 71 car train.

    You could use the same method to cast a rough frame, but you'd need to finish it with a file to get the dimensions exact. If you're careful, the aluminum moulds are re-usable several times. If you want a one-piece casting for the frame and bolsters, the mould will need to be in at least three pieces, due to the inside corners where the bolsters meet the centresill. I'd suggest making the mould upside down, and a bit deeper than the finished depth required, (due to the surface tension of the molten lead) with the top open. This would make the majority of the filing on the lower face of the frame.
    Due to the size of the casting, you may not be able to make it in a single pour: in that case, start at one end, filling the mould to the top as you go. Continue this way with successive pours, then play your torch over the filled mould to re-melt the lead, allowing it to solidify as a single piece.

  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I'd mount the weight as low as possible. While under the roof may not cause derailments, it may cause the car to "wobble" unrealistically, considering these are narrow gauge cars. In HOn3, my compromise is just to make sure weight is not visible with the the car right side up and viewed from the side or top. If that means filling the spaces between the sills with lead, so be it. I have also found that I can get by with much less weight than the NMRA recommends.

  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    As we all know...


    The first picture is of the lines I drew on 1.5 sheets of O scale freight car siding. I then scored them with the paper cutter that they are sitting on in that picture. There are 4 ends, 2 roofs, and 8 pieces that will be form 22' of the 27' of siding on each side of the two cars...I did this to save material...by building composite car sides rather than wasting the material behind the doors. I separated the pieces after I took the picture.

    The next three pictures are of the frames.
    The first picture shows the bottoms and the second shows the tops. The one in the center is the flat car. On the right is the boxcar and the left is the gondola. You can clearly see the pockets on the two platform cars.

    The fourth picture again shows the bottoms of the frames...but also the tapers. The gondola (DSP&P speak: coal car) is rear and center...one of the 8 QPs has been formed...and is visible in photo #2...that car has 12" side sills which taper down to 9" at the 4"x8" end sill...it is a model of a DSP&P 300 series car. The flat car is to the left...it has a 7.5" side sill which tapers to even with the 4"x6" end sill...it is a model of a DSP&P 50ish-75ish 1878 flat car built in the DSP&P shops with hardware purchased from Barney & Smith (the next 25 cars were built by B&S at the same time and had 9" side sills). On the right is one of the 27' UP built boxcars. There were nearly 200 of these cars on the South Park and they arrived in three batches between Summer 1882 and Fall 1883. The UP built a zillion similar cars for the Kansas Central and the Utah & Northern (the Oregon Short Line).

    Attached Files:

  7. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    @ nkp174,

    I'm looking forward to see the progress of your new models. The start looks great and I hope for fine models.

    But why do you not work with wood? This scale and these old time models will give an extra fine touch with a texture like original wood cars, I think. I love this and I would miss these details when I would model with plastic. And I can work with all the small mistakes which are given by this natural material.
    I know also that everyone of us loved his own methods and prefer the "own" materials but here wood and stripwood call for an use. I'm sure you will find the differences and you will find it great. And working with wood do not need very different techniques than working with plastic.
    Try it and let see the results.

  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I'm slowly collecting scale lumber. I've worked a little bit with wood, but didn't enjoy it as much as styrene. I want to try it again. For Christmas, I'm expecting to receive a few Ye Olde Huff'n Puff kits to practice with prior to starting a scratch built car in basswood (I've done this before...I've got a partially complete BTS HOn3 boxcar that I've lost interest in). The area where I think wood can make the greatest difference is on the planks of a platform car...especially flat cars. The single biggest think I'd miss from styrene would be the solvent "glue". I generally feel that wooden models I have which depict new cars don't look as nice to me as the styrene models, but the wooden models of worn cars look better. On3 is a wonderful scale for working with wood...and I'm looking forward to building (hopefully) a F&CC Victor Gold Mining gondola this January.

  9. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've been busy with some writing, so I haven't had a chance to work on these cars. I finished my writing last night...so I resumed work on my boxcar this evening.

    Today I've decided that at least one of the boxcars that I've started will have a wooden ladder...with the other probably receiving a grab iron ladder. I also drilled #74 holes for the end grab irons. In order to save money on scribed siding, I decided to make the sides composite...rather than individual pieces. I first glued the ends onto the frame. Next I glued the four side pieces onto the frame. Then I added corner posts onto which I glued the sides to keep them square. I then cut the filler siding for under the doors and filled to make it less than obvious. Lastly was the floor. I notched the middle of 1x12's to make them look like 6" boards for the door openings. I then staggered the 1x6 layer on top of them to sort of give the look of ship lap flooring. Finally, I filled in the gaps between the 1x12s and the previously glued down corners...using 0.20" thick styrene. I then over laid 1x6s to the edge of visibility from the doors.

    The last picture is of my 95% completed 26' B&S 1878 boxcar for comparison to this 27' Omaha (UP) built 1883 boxcar. The B&S car will look really tiny when I get around to building 30' Penninsular box cars and 31' Charcoal cars.

    Attached Files:

  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Here's tonight's update. I formed four grab irons and dropped them in temporarily...and then had a nice long phone call with my father over the internal framing of internally braced wooden boxcars.

    I ultimately decided that the internal bracing would be the same as the external bracing on the stock, charcoal, and open-air boxcars. So I added some sheathing (*&#^ I cut up the material I'd saved for the doors to make that sheathing wall1) and then added corners for the door openings from 2x4s and 2x3s. I then added the internal bracing from 2x3s using the pattern on the 26' stockcars.

    I really enjoyed this small bit of super detailing...even if no one ever notices it...I'll enjoy looking for it. As with my B&S car, I only detailed what's visible from the doors when open.

    Attached Files:

  11. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Last night I added the fascia...except around the door...and for the one end that I removed after installing since it wasn't the peaked enough wall1

    I also added internal reinforcements to keep the body square. I then added a 2x3 running the length of the car to support the roof. Lastly, I epoxied 3oz of lead over the trucks.

    This weekend I intend to air brush the interior and built the hardware for the sides. I intend to reach Monday with the car 80%+ completed. I also might start on assembling the trucks from some of the castings I prepared when working on my B&S boxcar. The 27'ers had beefier trucks than the 26'ers...but the side frames were the same.

    Attached Files:

  12. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    That's looking really nice. How much do you figure the raw materials cost for each car? I used to complain about the cost of some kits, then I realized that so scratchbuild sometimes costs more, especially if you buy commercially available detail parts.

  13. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    The box cars are probably around $10...$5 for scribed siding...$5 for the rest (strip styrene & brass for fabricating hardware). The wheelsets and couplers cost around $10 more...plus any details (brake wheels etc...). And a few dollars for the lead. I'm looking into ways to scratch build the brake gear. It is a good $15-$50 cheaper than other On3 cars.

    My passenger car is the real super saver. The windows have probably cost me $6-8...and the rest of the styrene is probably around $12. Considering that la Bella's kits run $100+.

    The important thing for me is that I get many hours worth of enjoyment...
    while adding equipment that hasn't been commercially offered.
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    My sentiments exactly. The savings in cash (and there's not always savings) is nice, but if you don't enjoy investing your time, as well as your talent, into scratchbuilding, it's probably not for you. And even if you're trying to reproduce a prototype, scratchbuilding (and kitbashing) often requires a lot of imagination, if not in the subject matter, then in the materials that you select and in the methods that you use to bring your model into being. You can also learn a lot of new skills as you work your way through a project, giving you even more value for your hobby dollars.

  15. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    It's definitely about getting exactly want you want...or enjoying getting there.

    Getting every available commercial detail parts can cost more than kits...I've especially noticed this with scratch building engines.
  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    My birthday ended 1.05hrs ago...so here's my haul...

    The wife ordered me an assortment of parts from Coronado Scale Models in Phoenix (I, of course, had given her a list...which is what she based the order off of :mrgreen:)

    The most exciting part for me was the set of DSP&P link & pin couplers. I plan to use them on all of my freight cars and the tenders of my engines (the front couplers will be scratch built since those are easy...and I'm going to attempt to scratch build Miller couplers for my passenger cars). I also got some NWSL wheels which I installed under my favorite flat car, a cogdon stack for a future 2-8-0 project (I have the domes already), and an assortment of freight car hardware.

    I also added the trussrods and stirrup steps to my 27' boxcar. I've started working on brake gear. Here are the levers and what will be my first attempt at a clevis. The parts I'm most nervous about are the brake cylinder and the air reservoir. The DSP&P converted straight to automatic air brakes...so the straight air brake cylinder from Coronado won't be correct (even though it looks nice...I'll save it for something else). I'll also be adding a 1" air line to the car...1" because the switch to 1.25" didn't come until after my time period.

    Attached Files:

  17. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Unless you're determined to make the clevises from scratch, a useful trick is to use one half of an appropriately-sized turnbuckle.

  18. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    This weekend I got sick of waiting for lead sheets...or debating as to whether or not to cast my own...and I picked up some brass to use as weights instead. Here's the 27' coal car with its lead weights installed...

    I then added the stakes and the side boards I cut from a sheet of 0.040" thick styrene. I intentionally did not get them perfectly straight so that it would look like a car that's been in service for a few years. I've performed some physical weathering to the boards otherwise such as drilling holes and scraping with a razor saw.

    The underframe has complete brake gear and has been painted buff. After I've added the NBWs and the remaining hardware, I'll paint it buff and then Tuscan red. I'll letter it with dry transfers, and then scrape some of the tuscan red off to reveal the "wood" underneath and heavily weather this car.

    Attached Files:

  19. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Here's a pic since I built the stake pockets in situ. I used 0.010"x0.060" & 0.010"x0.080" strips to form the the sides...and then added a loop of 0.015" brass wire.

    It's sitting on the trucks I built tonight for the 27' boxcar. The 300 series coal cars had a slightly different truck.

    Attached Files:

  20. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I added the NBWs to the stakes...I need a drill press to go faster. And I added the grab irons...only 4...with no stirrup steps. All that's left is to add the NBWs for the grab irons and the brake staff, ratchet & prawl, and brake wheel. Then painting, lettering, and weathering.

    Dropping the NBWs into the holes (I drilled the holes so there'd be a bolt head on the other end).

    The car along side the freshly letter 26' boxcar and the 27' boxcar. All three have slightly different scratch built trucks.

    Attached Files:

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