Something I have always wanted to kitbash but am afraid I will screw up.

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Chessie1973, May 27, 2004.

  1. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    I have always wanted to kitbash one of these rail car diners you ocasionally see around places.

    Basically these are converted streamliner cars retrofit into a diner with kitchen and serving counter and maybe a few tables.

    I think this would be a great and unigue thing to make for a mini scene on a layout but I am afraid that I dont have the skills to make it look good.

    Anyone here willing to take a shot at it ?

    Maybe we could make it a sort of unofficial challenge or something? I would be willing to go grab a athearn streamliner kit this friday and give it a go if I could get some advice from our expert modellers here on the guage.
  2. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    There are several commercial kits out there intended to do exactly that, but it seems like such an easy kitbash it hardly seems worth the bother...for starters, rather than spend a great deal of money for it, go to a model railroad show and dig around in some junk dealer's "$1 for anything in this box" box...find a banged-up old passenger car body with skewed, missing or otherwise mangled trucks and hand the guy a buck.

    Failing that, hit up the LHS for the cheapest, cheesiest-looking toy-train passenger car they have. Shouldn't cost more than $5-10.

    That way you won't have to worry about messing up a Serious Investment In Rolling Stock in the name of a kitbash.

    For the outside: Remove the trucks, if there are any, and use scrap stripwood or cardboard to make a base. This should just reach from the bottom of the carbody to the base of the lowest stair of the car's steps. You can paint the base to look like concrete. If the car is already painted an acceptable color then don't even bother to paint it.

    Make a little sign out of cardboard and stripwood and stick it on top, and add a couple of vents or exhausts to the roof--put these on whatever side of the car is going to be the "back." If you don't want a roof sign you can just stick one between the car windows and the roof, where the name of the railroad would normally go.

    For the interior, you can grab one of those passenger-car interior kits intended for a dining car, which makes it easy, or make one from scratch. A lunch counter is easily fashioned from lengths of stripwood or plastic running about two-thirds the length of the car. The kitchen itself can be improvised with chunks of wood or plastic about the right size for a stove, etcetera--paint 'em silver for that brushed-aluminum look. could cannibalize a lot from an Atlas "snack bar" kit--stools, counter, signs, kitcheny things--does it come with a li'l plastic waitress? If you hit a train show you should be able to find someone selling one of these they mangled for fifty cents or something.

    Sorry if my ideas are a little vague, I'm mostly of the "fake it and improvise it, they won't know any better" school of model railroad structure kitbashing...
  3. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Jetrock has the right Idea, but I think the kitchen was generaly built as a structure attached to the side of the dinner, with the rest of the dinner car used only for patron seating. The dinner car is narrow enough as it is. Still it wouldn't be difficult and the altlas 'snack bar' might even suppy you with the 'kitchen' structure as well.
  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've never seen one from a streamlined car (except for a 1954 smoothside), but the usual old diner usually looked more like a streetcar. There are a lot of dummy cars on the market (I got a double with a cable car) that come on cheap.
    I saw one last weekend made from a PCC car where they made the front end into a walkway connection to the main building.
    A lot of them weren't really cars, but looked like them from the side, but were too wide.
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Why not just go for it? If you don't like the results, toss it in the junk box. You'll learn something along the way. On the other hand, if you believe you can do it, you probably can!
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I couldn't have said it any better! I can't begin to tell the number of "detail parts" I have in the ole scrap box, that owe their existance to my early kitbashing efforts. You really do have to break some eggs to make an omelet!
  8. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    I too say go for it. You never know until you try.
  9. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    A lot of converted diners had the kitchen/grill running down one side with a counter and tables on the other side, as this picture shows.


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  10. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    If you look closely at the above image, you can see it's a computer illustration. Here's a real one.


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  11. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Old postcard showing a diner exterior. Try a Google search for more. Sounds like a great and fun project!


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  12. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Go for it - if you don't think you have the skills now, you will certainly have them when you are finished. The best way to learn!
  13. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Now you've got me looking through my scrapbox to buld one of these diners, I think I've already got the passenger car...... :cool:
  14. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Ok I will see what my LHS has in the 2.50 junk car department when I go today to pick up some ballast for my new trackwork.

    This will be either unbelieveably fun or baldingly frustrating , either way it's a learning experience.
  15. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    :wave: Go for it dude. They were fairly common around here. An old German couple had one here and bought it for the Green Line in Norther Kentucky. They opened it as a diner and served great food on checkered red and white table cloths. They named it the Green Diner. Later my father and brother bought it and tore out one wall and added a larger room to it. They opened a bar and kept the name Green Diner. It was later owned by several people, each adding to it, it stayed a bar and still kept the name. The highway dept. bought it just a few years ago to widen the road, thus ending the era. So build on my friend and show your progress here on the Gauge. :wave: Jim
  16. JBBVry

    JBBVry Member

    i am building one of these myself and one for a frind i used the Roundhouse / MDC #6084 Pullman Diner cit it in half and and it makes 2 nice Diner's i am making mine like the ones in the FSM book i like how George Sellios did his and i also have the Instructions to the FSM kit Roadside Delights and am useing it to kit bash these i will post a couple pics of them in a bit as soon as i get done with one.
  17. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I don't know if this is what your looking for. But here's one I did in N scale years ago..
    Its suppose to be an old retired coach someone converted into a dinner.
    Hey Val...Can you use it in August?

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  18. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Here's the back, or the kitchen side of the resturaunt. It was scratchbuilt and fitted to the coach.

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  19. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I agree with the group...go for it! :). Val and Ed, neat pics! Makes me hungry. Ed, what time do you open for breakfast? :) By the way, clever name for the restaurant!
  20. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Mini scene....
    The dishwasher is taking a break outside...A stray is begging for some scraps or maybe even a whole hamburger.

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