Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Colorado Reefers - Part One | 7 Comments - Click Here :

    Oops, I meant to title this "Colorado & Southern Refrigerator Cars". If you've arrived here thinking it was about something else found in Colorado, my apologies!
    This month marks two years of writing this blog (thank you to all who have taken the time to read it!). I started the blog as a means to motivate myself and record my progress building a small exhibition layout (written as an "here's what I did" as opposed to a "how to do it"). My progress has been slow, thus having new material to blog about is hard to come up with. But I try my best to keep it current and up to date, unlike many other blogs on the internet (I also limit my recommended blog list to those which are updated regularly within the last six months).
    The guest editorial below was submitted by my good friend and renowned C&S expert Derrell Poole (my other brother). This will be a three-part series. I'm excited to share it with you, and I look forward to many more. I also welcome guest editorials from other C&S Sn3 modelers (a forum for C&Sn3 modeling if you will?). Drop me a line if you're interested. However, brother d understands that this is a non-profit organization!
All for the good of Sn3. Enjoy!

500 was built several years ago from a PBL kit. The rest are 5 of the OMI kits I've finished so far.

Modeling pre-1919 Colorado & Southern Refrigerator Cars
Part 1

    I've been working on a set of 10 OMI C&Sng steel under-frame (SUF) refrigerators that represent how the cars appeared in 1910. The target period is actually late 1910 (Fall) so by this point the cars were about 18 months old. Still new and still in their original glory (with 500 series numbers to boot).

    A long time ago John Maxwell sent me copies of his field notes on RGS 2101c was Ex-C&S 1116 (516) and in the notes he described sub flooring. We corresponded quite a bit about C&S reefers in general and he made it clear that reefers had insulated floor. He also provided the erecting drawings of both the SUF and the un-built 1908 (type II) cars and in those drawings are described the sub flooring as ordinary (T&G) car siding between the sills (along with various insulating material).

End view including the “customized” siding of 502.

    It makes sense that every plane of an iced car should be insulated. Ice melts and icing cars was a costly venture both in labor and facilities (and the hassle of collecting ice). Every effort was made to make the ice do as much work as possible which means ALL TRUE REFRIGERATORS were equipped with insulated floors – or at least this is what we should expect. Yet not one commercial kit of ANY of the C&S cars offers this feature. And I’ll venture very few if any scratch built cars has the insulated floors. Including mine!

    So I decided the OMI cars I have would address this omission. Certain Sn3 kit makers seem to have the same basic strategy for SUF cars. The objective was to put weight in the cars without using the top of the floor as the location for the weight. I assume this was to aide in weighting open top cars. To do this the wood frames were modified to accept a steel plate and add about 2 oz to the cars for a total of 4oz. Yuk!

    But the provision for that weight turns out to be perfect for the sub flooring which would have been recessed from the bottom face of the stringers by enough to allow the attachment of keeper strips at the joints of the stringers and flooring. And that is what I did.

Order of progression 1-4 on building the sub floor and frame.

The major parts for the sub floor and frame.

The sub floor fits between the stringers. 
0.03” plain plastic under .020” thick siding works perfect.

Sub flooring completed. 

    In the next part of this series, I will describe the general building of these cars and all of the little details I ran into.

Keep the Faith – Model Sn3!
Derrell Poole
Hamilton, MT
7 Comments - Click Here :
  1. Wow, looks great Darel. Thanks!

    I've been building and researching the C&S reefers for a long time and I never get tired of offering what I learn to others so that we can all enjoy accurate modeling. You know, history is just the narrative of the events, things, and people of the past. I have always felt accurate modeling is a form of the narrative and the better I can build a model the more true to the events, things, and people of the past I am. It is the least we can do to honor those who came before us.

    The Overland Sn3 models are really nice kits but so are the PBL kits. I haven't built any of the Triangle Scale Model (or now Wiseman Model) kits but they look like an interesting challenge. I believe all of them can be built to a high degree of accuracy.

    I do want to post as diplomatically as I can how I feel about the use of my material (photos, text, and ideas); Of course the reason they are here is for the readers personal use and enjoyment. I don't have any problems with being quoted or the use of my photos as long as the user demonstrates the courtesy of asking to use the photos and at least gives proper credit to my intellectual property and WHERE they saw my work. I don't ask for money so, really, the fact that you enjoy my work and your consideration when using it beyond your personal modeling is my only reward.

    To those few folk who might deside they don't need to observe my request about credit and permission - sure there isn't really a lot I can do about it. But I will be very unhappy and I'll take the only option I have an JUST NOT SHARE AT ALL!



  2. Mr. Poole,

    Thanks for sharing this information with us. It is greatly appreciated. I wondered if you could tell us the part numbers for the Evergreen styrene that you used as the filler pieces. This would be helpful for the S scale modelers and those in other scales wishing to make this modification can use it as a reference size and convert to,their scale. I look forward to the other parts of this series.

    Also, what is the difference regarding the siding on the end of the one reefer? It did not hit me looking at the photos.


    Todd Ferguson
    Harrisburg, NC

    1. Todd, the next to last photo captioned "The sub floor fits between the stringers.
      0.03” plain plastic under .020” thick siding works perfect." explains briefly that I put .030" plain plastic sheet material cut to size underneath (that is above if the car body is turned right side up) .020" scribed siding. It doesn't tell you the spacing of the scribed material. Use Evergreen 9030 for the plain and 2050 for the scribed - that fairly matches the shell's siding. You will need to put the steel frame together place it in the car body and measure the sizes of parts you will need. I didn't record what those sizes were and this is kind of an informal discussion. I hadn't reall expected to get "published" somewhere.

      The kits came from my friend Robert Sander's estate. He bought them from my other friend and occational poster here Doug Heitkamp. Doug milled the scribing off of that particular car (I believe it is 505?) and replaced it with the Evergreen 2050. He did it to get rid of the cast pin holes for the ladder - rather than filling them. This is fun. And one option if you are backdating cars where grab irons were used instead of ladders.

      Thanks and best wishes on your project. Hope you can share the results.


    2. Derrell,

      Thanks so much for this information Derrell. It is very helpful to those like me who are not rich in C&S photos and knowledge. I have 3 or 4 books on the C&S but probably 4 or 5 times that many on the RGS and D&RGW. I like the C&S a lot and have been thinking about doing something Black Hawk related in either On3 or Sn3. I could probably fit a good deal of the branch in if done in Sn3 or perhaps focus on just the Black Hawk area if going On3. I would like to keep the timeframe in the 1910-1915 timeframe to include a bit of the a Gilpin Tram near Black Hawk, but still have the newer steel,underframe cars in the mix too. I have several of the reefers in S so I'll add the fillers to those for sure.

      Thanks again for sharing...

      Todd Ferguson
      Harrisburg, NC

    3. Modeling the C&S in the first two decades (1899 to 1919) is a bit of a challenge. If you concern yourself with accuracy and a narrow time frame the first problem is figuring out what was available in the roster for your time. Inherited cars came from everywhere and they dribbled out of active service. Then you had five or six major builds of new cars. And none of them are available in kit form - that is, those that are offered are always in the 1920 to 1943 configurated. They must be back dated. And that is to say nothing of the motive power.

      BUT! That challenge is the very essense of the fun. It is a wonderful combination of research and modeling. A good job isn't just fine modeling - it is, as I've mentioned before, a part of the Narative that is history. When you are done you are among the rarest of Colorado Narrow Gauge modelers. At least that is how I feel about it.

      Glad to share.


  3. Thanks, D&D. This is some fine sharing and fine modeling. Nice to see some non-'evil empire' content on the NGDF.

    On a totally different topic, what hacks were assigned to Leadville? Seems reasonable that 1008 and 1009 were there as they lasted to the end. I am thinking 1000 too. 1003 and 1006 seem to have been Clear Creek favorites. What of the rest?

    Keith Hayes
    Leadville in Sn3

    1. Keith, I'm only aware (off the top of my head) that 1008 and 1009 were in Leadville (assigned) after the closure of the line from Chatfield. I'd have to dig around to see what happened to 1000 - it may have been gone by that point. I don't recall...

      Thanks for the comments.