Ulrich Sierra Cars

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ocalicreek, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Howdy All!

    I've been keeping busy with parenting (brand new baby as of 9/21:mrgreen:) and other honeydos. Still, in the moments in between these activities I have managed to sit at my workbench and just stare at the Shifter project:confused:.

    It has stalled again and, while no doubt it will be a fantastic little beastie when finished, my brain just needs diversion. I'm sure many of you can relate to the need for 2 or more modeling projects at once - heck, once you've begun a layout you automatically qualify for that category!

    In that spirit, and in the spirit of finishing a few half-baked kits, I pulled out the Sierra Coach I started a few years back. The body has an initial coat of paint and the underbody detailing is completed and likewise has its coat of black applied.

    What's left is the interior (great little Walthers add-on), the end rails, decals and weathering.

    The instructions provide a template for bending the railings so that one is easy. I decided to scan the instruction sheet in order to have a railing template I can get messy (tack it down to a board and make a jig, perhaps).

    The tricky one is going to be the interior. A floor plan is provided but is not to scale. I figured I could photoshop it and scale it up to size so that's what I did, then printed a new one. Fine.

    Now the hitch - the little seats provided are WAY too wide. I'm debating on whether to narrow the seats on both sides of the aisle, or chop one side in half to make a double row down one side and single seats down the other. Any thoughts?

    Pics to follow later today.
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I'd narrow the seats on both sides... But that depends on how the seats are contructed as to how feasible that is.

    Can't wait for the pics!

  3. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Kevin - The seats are a flat plastic seat and back piece that is bent to shape, then an armrest/side/leg piece is glued on each side. I'm leaning that way too, narrowing both sides.

    I just saw "High Noon" a few nights back ("Do not forsake me oh my darlin...", just to stick that song in your head if you've ever seen the film...heh heh). The noon train is a tidy little 4-6-0 pulling a Sierra combine and two SR coaches. I'll have to check next time I see it and see if I can tell how the seats are arranged.

    BTW, Even by the time that film was made they already had a swayback look. Too bad that's not possible with these kits. They'll be lettered for my Ocali Creek Ry. anyway.
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I would only cut one side of the seats (the side that faces the coach walls, or perhaps leave the armrest off of that side. If you go about slicing the seats themselves, perhaps a razor saw and a miter box could make short work of it while watching a ball game.

  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member





    Dokey Okey. Hopefully you can see the outstanding underbody work - not that my workmanship is all that, but speaking strictly about what the kit provides. It was fun building that brake rigging, although I don't think I'd do that for all my rolling stock. I'll certainly install it on the combine, however, I want to finish this one first before starting that one...although, it would be advantageous for lettering, weathering, etc. both at the same time...hmmm...

    Note how close the seats are even just laid out unbent on the car floor. That's without the seat sides/armrests attached! Plus, I have to leave a 1/32 or so gap next to the car sides because of the strips inside the body that prevent the floor from going any higher in the car.
  6. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Excellent idea! A single strip of styrene or wood running the length of the car beneath the seats could suffice to support the seat itself along the walls.

    I've got a Chopper II that has never been used...that may work for narrowing the seats. I'd just set the width stop to get them the same every time. Hmmm...
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If the seats prove too difficult to build, you might want to look into modifying Pike Stuff coach seats to fit. It seems that a lot of the old school kits did not go together as well as they should have. It is almost like the guy who designed one part of the model didn't even talk to the guy who did another part and nobody put the thing together. They just threw the parts in the box and trusted that modelers would figure out how it all fit!
  8. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    How are you at scratchbuilding? I'm building a couple coaches myself, and their interiors will be entirely home-made, including seats, armrests, et cetera.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Galen scratch builds and kitbashes with the best, but sometimes the results of scratch building something just are not worth the effort. This is especially true of something inside a passenger car that has no removable roof for viewing. When your only view of something is through coach windows, you can take liberties with some details like amputating legs from the lpb's.
  10. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    I know. However, sometimes that can cause things to fall apart. :p In this case, scratchbuild=backup plan.
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Galen, I forgot to congratulate you on the new baby. Did you have anther son or is this one a daughter?
  12. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Thanks for the compliments, Russ. It's a boy. Before we brought him home from the hospital my older son (still feels wierd to say that) had already decided that once he gets home he will play trains. Attaboy!

    These little Walthers coach seats are nice, but I'm beginning to wonder if scratching out some replacements might be quicker & easier. I recently stumbled across a huge load of scale stripwood at a yard sale (for an amazingly cheap price). The couple had previously owned a dollhouse shop years before and were cleaning out what remained at their home. Most of it is just dimensional lumber (basswood and even some hardwoods) and some is hobby specific (a few large pieces of NorthEastern HO board and batten siding!).

    However, a large portion is dollhouse trim. There may actually be something I could use in there to make a decent profile of a bench seat - just miter it off into chunks of the right length and there you go! That way I could save the Walthers seats for another more visible project. I don't plan on lighting these cars anytime soon, especially since the clerestory roof isn't open, so visibility isn't that great through the tiny windows anyway.

    Hmmm...okay, back to the workbench.
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Galen: I used these in a streetcar (PCC) model many years ago. They weren't right because of the armrest. I think they were just a spare packet of seats that you got.
    You might try cutting one row of seats in half to give 2+1 seating.
    But I think you should use the stripwood.
  14. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    These cars look exactly like MDC overton cars. I wonder if MDC bought Ulrich molds.

  15. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    I have set of both Ulrich and MDC Overtons. Although models of the same prototype, there are subtle differences besides the material (Ulrich are diecast metal). While they possibly could have come from the same dies, I don't believe it's likely. Ulrich was bought out by Walters in the 1970s, who continued to manufacture Ulrich items into the '80s. The die cast Ulrich kits gradually went out of favor in comparison to plastic, and Walters stopped making them.
  16. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member


    Here's a little combine I kitbashed a few years ago. The first pic shows the dockside switcher (an MDC Critter) shoving her down the rails.

    Next is the other end after she has been spotted down near the section house and rail gang materials storage. Looks like she may be coupled on to a work extra in the near future. Those markers will most likely have to be moved to the other end.

    Lastly is a shot of the detailed interior. I can't remember where I found the interior details, but the walls are business cards colored with felt pens. Other items are painted with Delta acrylics. That new coal hod needs filling.

    Maggie started life as an MDC Combine (50' I think), one of the older kits, not the newer RTR jobs. The cupola is scratchbuilt, as are the running boards. She has been fitted for drover's service with additional grab irons on the sides and full width coupler cut bars. Not based on a prototype, but the VGN is a stockholder/parent company for the Ocali Creek Railway so the shop crews retained the VGN lettering when the refit was done.

    Just added these to show some interior detailing. I don't think I'll go that far with the Ulrich cars, but it was fun on this project. I need to add bracing to another passenger car with interior details (as well as a few passengers!) so you may get a shot or two of that one.
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Cool! I never get tired of looking at the stuff you have built.
  18. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Thanks, Russ! Hands are full with housework and babysitting duties today, but maybe later this afternoon I'll get out to the garage. Have you been working on anything lately? (model, that is)
  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Not really, we are still in the middle of a major house remodel. I hope we are finished in a month or 2, but right now my trains are in storage, and my wife and I are using the spare bedroom that is to become my modeling room as the "master" bedroom.
  20. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    CONGRATULATIONS DAD! I know I don't need to tell you this...but, enjoy every minute of it! My boys are turning 15 and 12 in the next 2 months :eek:. Where did the time go?

    Now about Maggie....
    I agree with Russ:
    It is always great to see your excellent work!

    Russ, I am also looking forward to seeing some of your handi-work (when you finally get your train room vacated):winker:

    take care guys:wave:

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