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Thread: Modeling NKP Rebuilt Boxcars

  1. #21
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    The break was short. Enough supplies arrived for me to resume work on the project.

    I was able to complete the overall body of the B end in a couple of hours. Basically, I had refined the edges of my resin parts and then built up styrene around it. Nothing fancy unless using both CA and styrene cement to get it done counts.

    I should also mention there is a backing plate of 0.005" styrene to give it all more strength. The mating is good all around from my testing (the slight gap in the photos is due to the pieces not being pressed into place).

    My corner post ends are probably a bit too prominent but I can probably remove some material to improve the look. I still need to drill mounting holes for surface details (a combination of Intermountain kit sprue parts and wire) and I am contemplating added rivets, too. I'm still torn over whether to model the cut lever (does anyone ever do this in N scale?), though I have accounted for it by having the lefthand bottom corner plate extend lower as it does on the prototype.

    20170811_204004.jpg20170811_204036.jpg

    Overall, a good work session, I feel. I'm pleased with the results although they are not perfect. I may or may not work more on the project this weekend as the train show's in town. If I do, it will either be going up to roof or down to the underbody next.
    JERSEY CENTRAL LINES -- Road of the Friendly Trains

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rwerner View Post
    I'm still torn over whether to model the cut lever (does anyone ever do this in N scale?), though I have accounted for it by having the lefthand bottom corner plate extend lower as it does on the prototype.
    There are n scale cut levers at:
    http://www.midwestmodelrr.com/product/blm0404/
    Currently out of stock unfortunately.

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    There are n scale cut levers
    I guess my question was more about whether modelers often bother modeling freight car cut levers in N scale. One would think they must since the BLMA part is hard to come by, but I don't recall ever seeing one on a model before.
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    Only got a little work in this weekend. Began fitting the underbody to the car. A metal Micro-Trains piece with a fishbelly underframes was a natural choice. I had to remove a little material from either end to get the length right to fit to the carbody. I also added some styrene lips to the ends so the underbody sits correctly with respect to the carbody. The underbody part is appreciably narrower than the opening in the carbody, but that is good. I will be adding material to fill the gap and take advantage of the little tabs on the side of the underbody piece to allow for the underbody to be snap-on for ease of access for weighting and load placement.

    20170813_174435.jpg

    This shot also gives an interesting angle to see the side sill details that may not have been clear in some earlier shots.
    JERSEY CENTRAL LINES -- Road of the Friendly Trains

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  10. #26
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    So, a slow week at the workbench due to unrelated issues.

    A story to bore you but then some glamour shots later.

    After much fiddling, I got my underbody mounted to the car by adding lips to the interior sides. I still need to add a little more material to fully close all gaps, but that's trivial. Less trivially, I body-mounted my couplers using the mounting pad on the Micro-Trains underbody piece. I used 1016 couplers but kept the original trucks after chopping off the truck-mounted coupler box and remounting them reversed.

    I made a mistake along the way by using a drill bit slightly too large (I really need to organize and number my bits to avoid such things) and tapped the hole. Unfortunately, the screw would thread on but not grip. I was fortunate that I was able to thread styrene rod into the hole, redrill the correct hole size, the let the screw thread onto the plastic. The couplers and the necessary shims were in place and all was good, or so I thought.

    I don't recall if it was here or on some other model train forum that I read someone comment that Micro-Trains screws are useless, but now I realize why they said that. I haven't converted most of my freight cars to body-mounted couplers yet and I never had the problem with passenger cars. When body-mounting the couplers at the proper height, you completely obstruct the axles so the car doesn't even sit properly let alone roll properly. Fortunately, I remembered what I did on a different car where I did an extreme ride height adjustment. I returned my MTL 1956 screws to the capsule they came from and got out my Walthers flathead screws to substitute. The Walthers screw would cause the same issue but I crudely countersink the base of the coupler box using a drill bit so the screw sits flush. No more headaches, rolls smoothly.

    On to some shots of the car as it is now. The pieces are not permanently joined yet. Getting close to doing detailing.

    20170818_202146.jpg20170818_202335.jpg20170818_202058.jpg20170818_203027.jpg20170818_202029.jpg

    The doors are custom if you couldn't tell. I'll post more about them later. There is still some work I need to do to complete them.
    JERSEY CENTRAL LINES -- Road of the Friendly Trains

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  12. #27
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    Looks great. You are a patient and meticulous modeler.
    Looking forward to the final painted model.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


  13. #28
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    Okay, so this project hasn't had any update posted in a long while. There are a few reasons for that.

    Of course, the usual "life stuff" gets in the way.

    However, I also foolishly sidelined this project to work on another freight car project, which I hope to wrap up soon. I'm keeping it a secret until later.

    However, with my intended deadline for this project almost here, I had to come back to it. I spent a good amount of time really thoroughly refining the detailing. A minor touch-up or two and the car is ready for paint and decals. Major improvements include rivets mostly on the scratchbuilt areas, cut levers, towing appliances and reconfigured ladders to match the prototype (the Intermountain ladders I had didn't have the right rung spacing so I cut, trimmed, and rebuilt on backing strips, a necessary evil to strengthen it structurally). I might revise the model in the future to add a slack adjuster underneath but for now I'm content.

    2017-10-18 17.10.32.jpg
    2017-10-18 17.08.54.jpg
    2017-10-18 17.07.47.jpg

    A good delay was had because I went in and was really going for so much more detail.

    The ends aren't permanently attached yet because I think it will be easier to paint the ends separately then attach them.
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  15. #29
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    WOW!!
    Well done. That is a lot of effort... You can even count the rivets... to make everyone happy...

    Someone asked earlier if you had planned to mold and cast. With that much detail and work, I might have seriously considered it. How many of this prototype do you think you could/would need ?

    If that was any indication of your commitment level, looking forward to the next one...
    Quote Originally Posted by Rwerner View Post
    However, I also foolishly sidelined this project to work on another freight car project, which I hope to wrap up soon. I'm keeping it a secret until later.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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  17. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jugtown Modeler View Post
    WOW!!
    Well done. That is a lot of effort... You can even count the rivets... to make everyone happy...
    I paid a lot of attention to the rivets on the sidesills and those are pretty much accurate. The rivet patterns on the B end are more of a "spirit of". I'm willing to count rivets but I do have limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jugtown Modeler View Post
    Someone asked earlier if you had planned to mold and cast. With that much detail and work, I might have seriously considered it. How many of this prototype do you think you could/would need ?
    Cars of this particular type only numbered 100, so I am only building one. That said, this was only one of several classes of somewhat similar rebuilds on the Nickel Plate Road that varied in areas such as single-vs-double doors, different roofs, and different ends. I think casting would have been impractical given so many different configurations. Plus, many of the details are free-standing so they wouldn't mold or cast well. In total, those NKP rebuilds numbered somewhere around 2000 cars. That said, I do think I will model one more rebuilt car, albeit one of those different configurations, probably one I've identified with another rare end configuration. After all, if I put so much effort, I may as well come away with a car that is very different from things available commercially.
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  19. #31
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    And lo, 'tis done. Well, mostly. Some final touch-up and sealing flat clear overcoat is all that's left. No weathering for now though the sidesills could maybe use a light wash of grime to highlight the detailing.

    2017-10-21 20.18.52.jpg2017-10-21 20.16.57.jpg2017-10-21 20.15.53.jpg

    I think it came out okay. The good news is that I finished ahead of my original deadline. Better still, I finished ahead an earlier deadline I set to challenge myself. Now I'll not only be able to showcase this at GSRPM 2017 as originally intended but also at RPM Chicagoland 2017 as well. I'm hoping it will be well-received.

    The biggest flaw to my model is the scars on the doors where I cut and spliced vertically, but I'm willing to live with it. Worst-case, I can always build new ones since these are removable. The scars aren't even noticeable from all viewing angles.

    The decals gave me some trouble, too. It's the generic Microscale NKP sheet, so the data is not exact to prototype, but I got it as close as possible. The data is illegible without magnification so no huge loss there. The road number was tricky because the most digits on the sheet in the desired order was two. Plus the sheet is notgeared for having lines above and below the reporting mark/road number. Lots of decals to avoid bumping while positioning. However, I went with number 4321 because it's a car that's been photographed in real life, and one of those "cool" numbers railfan seem to like, too. Surprisingly, the dimensional data was the hardest part. It tore in two on one side and tore in three on the other! Maybe that part of the decal sheet was weak or something. Fortunately, I managed to slide them back together so as not to be obvious.

    Also, for a bit of fun, I joined up my car to some recent vintage Atlas PS-1s. I needed to convince myself that my car could roll with top quality RTR cars. It fits in just fine, thankfully.

    2017-10-21 20.20.51.jpg

    And now for a shocking confession that I doubt people will believe given the outcome of this project:

    This project is the first custom car I've ever built, or more accurately, the first I've ever come close to having completed. It's also the first time--believe it or not--I've used an airbrush or waterslide decals. To be honest, I've had these things since I started in this hobby five years ago, but the prospect of finishing models scared me--terrified me in fact. A lot of hard work could all be wasted with bad paint and decal application. But somehow, by some miracle, everything turned out fine. Maybe it's "beginner's luck", or maybe people who get poor results are impatient and don't follow product instructions and best practices. I don't know, but if I can close out this and my other project without issue, I might just be past my phobia.

    One can hope. Either way, this project was a great challenge, a lot of fun to work on, at times frustrating, and a great application of different skills that I learned from extensively. I have plans for many more custom cars so the lessons will surely come in handy.
    JERSEY CENTRAL LINES -- Road of the Friendly Trains

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  21. #32
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    Well done you

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  23. #33
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    Congratulations on your accomplishments with this model.

    As I mentioned before, it is clear you are meticulous in your modeling. In my experience, that takes planning and planning, IMHO, is big part of good modeling. I would even go so far as to say it can be up to 80% of modeling when you are creating something new. It is no wonder to me that you achieved these results. Kudos for taking on a challenging N scale model and trying new techniques to challenge yourself. No doubt, this will serve to embolden your choices for modeling from now on.

    Good luck presenting this model at various events.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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