Monday, February 10, 2014

C&S Refrigerator Cars - Part Four | 2 Comments - Click Here :

    Following is the conclusion of Derrell Poole's series on building early C&S refrigerator cars. Once again, I want to do a huge shout-out to Derrell for making this information available for all of us to enjoy. I think it was a great success and I hope to post more of Derrell's work in the future.  If he feels up to it!
    And again, I welcome anyone one else who would like to share their Sn3 modeling with the rest of the world.

Perhaps the largest collection of Circa 1910 C&Sng SUF reefers in the world? Does anyone have any more in any scale? Be sure and let us know – it’s always fun to share.

    Derrell Poole - The lettering set that provides all of the marking needed to do these cars were available from C-D-S. Well, C-D-S has long since ceased operation so you may have to hunt for Set S-241. Unfortunately there seems to be 3 versions of this set and only one provides all the necessary elements for these 1910 cars So be sure to examine the sets before you buy them (or ask if by mail order). The photo below shows the three varieties. One in particular is to be avoided because the end lettering was printed in black. I am not aware that any of the C&S schemes used black lettering on the ends. Some S-241 sets lack the word “REFRIGERATOR” located on the right side of the door. This set is probably useful for post 1911 sets after the cars were renumbered. At some unknown point it appears “REFRIGERATOR” was omitted from the scheme.

All three of these lettering sets are number S-241. But they are not the same. The best set for our circa 1910 cars is on the left. The set on the right is not fully useful because the end of car letters should be white but they are black. The middle set would probably be useful for cars circa 1912 to 1925 because it lacks “Refrigerator”.

    There are other sets of C&S reefer decals including the Block style used from June 1906 until 1925. But any of the sets I am aware also lack the big 10” word “REFRIGERATOR”. They also may not have the builder’s markings. And usually the weigh dates are too modern.

I lettered my car with C-D-S dry transfers. Transfers are tedious since they require care to locate them exactly where they belong before applying but there is no film edge to deal with. If you find they are reluctant to come off the carrier try holding it near a light bulb to warm it up.

    I am not aware of any photos that can be used help place the lettering for this period. I put the square period of the large “S” in “C&S” over the door guard on the left side of the door. This is because I wanted to paint these black and there would be an odd disparity on that side of the door if the period and door guard were not one and the same. This is my call. This was my key on where to place the large herald. You could forgo painting the door guards black and place the C&S differently if you wish – none of us could argue your choice as long as it was reasonable. 

    On the right side of the door center “Refrigerator” between the doors and grab irons. I put the bottom line of the letters in line with the 3rd grab iron up.

    The car report markings and builders tag were placed near the bottom edge of the side on either side of the door respectively. These locations were typical of boxcars and it is reasonable to use the same locations on the reefers.

To help consistent location of lettering car to car I cut edge templates from card stock and align the figures while still on the carrier. “Refrigerator” is centered between the doors and ladder and along the line of the third rung (grab iron). Study the photos for the other locations.

    The Cars were numbered 500 to 519 when they were built in January and February 1909. By way of note the ex–Tiffany cars were numbered 574 thru 599 and the St. Charles cars were numbers 550 – 555. In 1912 the C&S renumbered the reefers 1100 thru 1130. The SUF cars took the low numbers to 1119 and the remaining Tiffanys and the 6 St. Charles cars filled out the roster with the St. Charles cars holding the highest numbers (1125 to 1130). Place the 10” numbers on the sides centered between the door and grab irons and vertically more or less centered between “Refrigerator” and car report markings.

    It seems that by the time SUF cars were being built the railroad was in the habit of lettering the draft gear markings on both ends of the cars. The reefer hardware prevented the marking from being placed to the right of the striker near the bottom edge so I placed it above the grab irons and centered horizontally. Is this correct? Couldn’t tell you since I haven’t found a photo clearly showing the location. On SUF Boxcars built in 1910 (and maybe the batch of 1909) this lettering was in the lower right corner. The other detail that is a bit of a challenge find is the retainer’s settings diagram to the left of the brake staff. In truth I am still missing the warning text that should appear below this diagram… oh well! I scavenged the diagram from a set of RGS decals. Scavenging decals and transfers will become a “vise” if you do much of this kind of backdating.

Ends lettering and detailed. Unfortunately none of the C&S sets provide the Retainer diagram. These came from a RGS set of decals. The draft gear data is on both ends. You’ll notice the roof walk is not “painted”.

    One last note on the C-D-S set S-241. The most correct version only offers one numeral “5” in the 10” figures per side. So if you are going to do cars 505 or 515 you will need an extra set for each car. On the other hand if you have a non “REFRIGERATOR” version it does have an extra “5” per side. The white numbers are fine on either set.

    After lettering my cars and painting all the details I used Microscale’s clear coat products to seal the finish and transfers. This is an excellent protective product that my friend and fellow custom builder Larry Edwards turned me on to. These finishes are standard to my Locomotive paint jobs because they dry to a very tough and pleasing finish. And they work very well in this application. I use the Satin finish for the car sides and ends and the Flat finish for the Roof and Underframe including the trucks.

Once the cars are painted and lettered I seal them with Microscale Satin on the sides and Flat on the roofs and underframes. Thin this material 50-50 with denatured alcohol and spray at 25 to 30 psi with a large tip on your airbrush.

    At some point I will weather the cars. Weathering is both rewarding and risky. It is the only part of model building I consider to be Art. Models are by definition craft. And we all hope our results can be considered Fine Craft. The cars were about 1 ½ years old by late 1910, my chosen point of interest. So the weathering needs to show some aging of the car finishes but not too much. They are still fairly new by this point.

    That concludes this discussion. I hope you enjoyed what I’ve shared and I hope you will be inspired to take the challenge of building back dated cars. But all building is fun. Hope you can share some of your efforts – but of course we must consider Brother D’s time too. And I want to thank Brother D for providing this wonderfully informal and informative site on which to discuss our passions! Thanks D!

Keep the Faith – God Models Sn3!
Derrell Poole
Hamilton, MT
2 Comments - Click Here :
  1. Derrell,

    Very nice results! Are the CDS transfers hard to come by or are they still made? The remaining 10 earlier reefers, were they updated with improved safety appliances too and did they use the same paint scheme and lettering?

    Todd Ferguson
    Harrisburg, NC

  2. Todd,

    C-D-S ceased making lettering sets several years ago - perhaps 2007 iirc? The sets are no longer produced by anyone that I know of. I have enough to finish the remaining 5 cars - barely. And I am hoping that another company will produce a correct set that will cover this early scheme. I would say they are getting harder to come by. I've gotten some from friends, Some from online hobby shops. They may turn up on ebay. keep watching.

    The 6 cars built in 1898 by St. Charles Car Co. were modernized in the late teens. They all lasted until 1930 when one of them (don't recall the number) was "destroyed the res seem to have disapeared within the next few years.

    The Tiffany cars - 5 of them - had been built in 1880 thru 1883. They were rebuilt in 1902 and 03. The 1911 Safety Appliances Act now under the authority of the Interstate Commerse Commission required all cars be refitted - or scrapped. So the railroad scrapped them in the mid teens.