Passenger car roof

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by nkp174, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've been looking...without much find different methods for building a passenger car roof (with clerestory).

    So far, I'm trying out a method I've thought up:
    The roof can be broken down into 3 assemblies:
    1) the arched sides
    2) the clerestory.

    For the car I'm building...the arch sides are each 2'4" wide and 10" tall...and the Clerestory is 4' wide. The Clerestory should be quite easy...but the sides & ends...bull nose profile...should be more challenging.

    I've started with the arched sides. I've built an angle beam 2'3" wide and 9" tall. I've added a piece of 0.010" thick styrene sheet over this. I plan on adding another layer of 0.010" styrene on top...which should be easy if the first layer is solid. I'll modify the beam at the ends to get the profile.

    Has anyone done/seen/read of anyone doing something like this before?
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    My issue with making complex shapes out of styrene pieces is that they wind up with a slight twist to them. I'm okay with one flat piece peeting another flat piece, but when it comes to curved pieces and associated supports, I can never seem to get things to stay flat.

    Most of the methods I have seen for clerestory roofs come from old model railroader magazines. In almost all cases, the roof is a solid, milled piece of wood. To do it piecewise, I would try to use the same construction practices the protype used. Unfortunately, I have no idea how those things were hed together.

  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Walthers at one time offered a plastic clerestory roof, although the one that I have will need to be fastened securely to the car to keep it straight. I contemplated using the milled wood roof from Northeastern, but I'm not a fan of wood construction for any models. The solution that suited my purposes was to buy used passenger cars at cheap prices, then salvage the roofs. My favourites are those from Rivarossi, as the roof is a separate piece from the body - these can be found for under $10.00 in these parts, especially if the car is damaged or has a really crummy paint job. I also came across a number of Athearn passenger cars (in surprisingly good condition) on the used table at my LHS. They had the old-style metal trucks, too, which I re-used even though they roll about as well as a brick. Cost-per-car was five bucks. :-D
    I wanted these roofs in order to build some wooden head-end cars, and, since they're easy to shorten (some of the Athearn ones are short enough to use as-is), they eliminated most of the hard work. I generally use the roof and ends, although the floors of the Rivarossi cars can also be useful.
    Here are a couple of examples:
    A CNR express car, using the shortened roof and ends from an Athearn Pullman

    A NYC baggage car, using another, unshortened, Athearn Pullman

    A CNR horse express car - basically a Rivarossi coach with the trucks moved and new sides added.

    Anybody who's interested can see more examples and a brief explanation of the techniques HERE .

  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Hey Wayne, not to hijack this thread, but I am contemplating making closed vestibules on a couple of 50' MDC cars. One is an RPO, the other is a combine. I figure the only real "vestibule" should be on the passenger end of the combine. The other ends will just be enclosed. Have you ever done anything like this to these MDC cars?

  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Kevin, it's not "hijacking", it's simply a free flow of thought. ;) :-D
    I've not tried building new vestibules, although it'd probably be easier to remove existing ones to make open platform cars. :rolleyes: I think that the main difficulty will be in matching the siding that's already on the carsides. You might try scribing your own on sheet styrene, as most of the commercially-available stuff has grooves between the boards that are much deeper than those of the MDC cars. As for closing in vestibules on a combine, you can do it only on the passenger end, or do both ends, as the CNR did with a number of theirs. I don't have a picture handy to post, but on the baggage end, some cars merely lost the platform, with no side doors, others got side doors, some of which were later plated-over, with the steps replaced by strap-iron drop steps. The CNR ran wooden cars well into the '60s on branchlines, and there were many variations. They had cars that started as sleepers and ended-up as baggage cars, and many coaches became combines, while other baggage cars became combines, so you've got free rein to do whatever you think looks best and best suits your purposes.

  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    My roof looks pretty nice so far. I probably ought to take a picture of it. The only cheap car option for me would be to harvest the roof off of an On30 passenger car kits in On3 are $$$.

    Still, I thought I'd make this a more general thread since I couldn't find anything covering this on the a resource for everyone.

    I don't like the single piece option due to the fact that I want an open clerestory in the car.

    Prototypical construction would be to produce carlines...arched wooden supports under the roof...the Clerestory supports rise off of the carlines...and the carlines don't cross the clerestory opening.

    The part I really dislike about my current approach is that I lose around 100 cu ft of headroom in the cars...that should be open.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Although it's not applicable to your scale, the clerestories on the Rivarossi baggage cars are open, as are those on the MDC Overton and Pullman Palace cars.

    Here's a scan of a photo by E.B. Luce from the book "From Wood to Steel", by Richard McQuade. The car is part of a 15 car order built by Osgood Bradley for the Grand Trunk Pacific, in the summer of 1913.


    If you want to see a larger version of the car-builder's photo, here's a LINK to the picture in the Gallery. Simply click on it to get an enlargement.

  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Micromark sells wooden roof sections.
  9. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Micromark has a nice selection...I just checked them out...but they're solid pieces.

    I used White's passenger car book to come up with some appx dimensions for the carlines...5-6" wide at the top of the sides...and 2" thick at the clerestory. I've made a half dozen...I'm debating as to whether to make enough for the entire car...or if I should make a resin casting. now makes my initial approach far easier and I am a better modeler than I was a week ago.

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