Tuesday, August 26, 2014

David Steer’s South Park Stockcar | 3 Comments - Click Here :

David Steer Photograph

    Derrell Poole - The photos presented here are the work of David Steer, built from an On3 version of the Leadville Shop’s new Denver South Park & Pacific / Colorado Central / and other UP subsidiary - Kansas Central, Utah Northern  stock cars. The Company also offers an S scale version of this car. David is a good friend of mine and a close friend of Bill Meredith of the Leadville Shops. David and Bill both live in the Ottawa area of Quebec. David is an award winning modeler so it is with great pleasure that I share his experiences with this kit. I contacted David by email after Bill sent me photos of his finished car. I hope you enjoy our exchange and David’s insightfuly responses.

Derrell – David, your model is great! This is a car rarely photographed and to have a model of it to examine is very revealing - a study in history. Not to mention your wonderful craftsmanship! I think you demonstrate what one can do with a Leadville Shops kit quite nicely! If I may ask, what was the feature of the kit you enjoyed the most?

David - Just having a kit for the rare stockcar was really the biggest feature. D.,S.P.&P. stockcars are as “scarce as hen’s teeth”. There being but two published photos that I know of. Both photos showing a stockcar in a train with loco 112 in the Platte Canyon. See the pp216 and 221 of Mal Ferrell’s book “The South Park Line”. The kit’s instructions provide helpful notes (provided by Derrell Poole) detailing the history of the cars on the South Park and the Colorado Central. They were scarce on the South Park with only about 8 or 9 being recorded as operated. Just for fun, I often speculate that the stock cars were perhaps used most for the transport of horses, either accompanying their owners riding in the passenger cars or as stock for freight wagons or in the mines. An accompanying stock car might be a nice switching detail for an operating model layout.

Some might think of hens as having two teeth, the upper and lower beak, and so being as scarce as the two known photos of South Park stockcars.

David Steer Photograph

Derrell – I have the Sn3 versions of the two kits you’ve shared and I get excited just examining them – in fact, I’m working on the reefer right now. I have trouble building anything straight out of the box and I am going to modernize the car as a C&S rebuild. Was there anything you took your liberties with about your kit? Did you do some discretionary modifying?

David - Generally I followed the instructions as I wanted a car more or less as-built for the railroad. I did deviate from the instructions a bit in the order of assembly and on the stockcar I reconfigured the brake system to what I thought would be more appropriate for the as-built cars. The car kit is quite complete and goes together without any difficulty. I enjoyed building the kit and was pleased with the results. It is fun to assemble, as everything fits very well. Any comments below should not be considered critical or indicate dissatisfaction with the kit. They are but observations based on my idiosyncratic model building methods and the limits of the tools I have.
In building, I completed the sides, ends and under-frame more or less completely before assembling them into the car body. On the stock car there are literally several hundred NBWs to install and this took me many hours of drilling and fitting. For these, I drilled each hole through the post and the side boards and then inserted the NBW casting with the shaft all the way through and glued from the inside. Thus the side posts and the boards are pinned together and this may help to keep the self-stick adhesive for these parts from separating over time. After the glue had set, the inside boards were filed smooth. Once all the NBWs were in place the model felt like a porcupine with the bolts protruding into my fingers when I handled it. One of the photos shows the body and frame assembled with the roof beams in place for the stockcar. The construction mirrors that of the prototype and so there really is “interior detailing”.

For the brake system, the double floating lever arrangement braced to the cylinder as shown in the plan seemed to me to be too modern for these D.,S.P. & P. era cars. So, on the stockcar, I carved the lever mounting brackets off the Grandt New York brake cylinder/tank and mounted it close to the car centerline. The brake rods were then connected using one floating lever on the cylinder and the second lever braced with a bracket on the frame. This seems to me to be a more typical arrangement for this era. The Grandt Westinghouse narrow gauge cylinder/tank is too long to fit between the queen-post beams on these short cars. One of the photos shows this arrangement. I also changed the brake wheel from the supplied Grandt casting that has a double rim, to a simpler one with a single rim as this seemed more appropriate for the early era.

On the stockcar I also added chains from the frame to the brake-beams on the trucks. Small “J-hooks” of soft copper wire were glued into holes in the frame. The holes for the hangers on the brass brake shoes/beams were drilled through. After the car was painted, four links of 14-link/inch chain was hung from the J-hook by bending it gently to fit the chain to the floor, and tying the other end to a bit of fine wire threaded through the holes in the brake shoe hangers. These chains help to fill-in the space around the trucks under these cars. I must apologize to the scale modelers however, as this is not a correct arrangement. In reality the brake shoes were hung from rods attached to the floor beams and the chains hung from the floor beams to the brake beams. The rods kept the shoes aligned with the wheels and the chains kept the brake beam from falling on the track and derailing the car if the beam broke in service. So, the model is not up to FRA standards, but it looks better to me than nothing at all. On a model, such details involving moving parts are a compromise between accuracy and having something that is flexible enough to operate on the layout.

I chose to install the Kadee On3 couplers using their boxes rather than using the wooden components suggested in the kit’s instructions. I have found over the years that the most reliable coupler operation comes from always using the supplied Kadee draft boxes (with a few exceptions). See comments below on the choice not to use link-and-pin couplers.

David Steer Photograph

Derrell – naturally we all want to know the basic details like what colors you used to paint the car – did you paint inside the car? How much fun were the decals to use and whose trucks did you put on it. In fact I’m curious to know what kind of glue you used–wooden kits seem to have a lot more options in this regard. Robert Stears uses ACC for instance. I’ve thought of using epoxy. What is your preferred choice?

David - Painting one of these models is a multistep process that is best integrated with the building. Yes, I painted the inside of the car using a brush and Tamiya light brown before the roof was added. The inside of the roof was left unpainted as I couldn’t reach it once it was glued on. The under-frame/floor was airbrush painted, before the detail parts were added, with Floquil “roof brown”. One of the photos shows the painted under-frame with the unpainted hardware and rods. After the under-frame details and rods were added these were brush painted with Tamiya black. The sides and roof were airbrush painted with Floquil “boxcar red” to which some “glaze” had been added to give a more glossy finish for decaling. This turned out to be a bit dark for my taste, and “oxide red” might have been a better choice.

For assembly, I used two types of glue – Weldbond white glue and ACC for wood and leather. The Weldbond is like a white glue, but it dries a bit soft. It was used for all the wood-to-wood joints. It sets in a few minutes, although it takes overnight to set completely. For wood-plastic or metal joints I used an ACC that has a bit of filler so it is not runny, but will still flow into joints. It will fill in around plastic parts in holes in the wood, as well as for metal to metal parts in the brake system or to attach metal parts to the wood body. I haven’t had much luck with epoxy for models like this as I find it too difficult to get into place without dribbling out-of-place.

The trucks are the brass Coronado DSP&P Type B (I think?) with the brake beams and the Grandt wheels. These are beautiful casting but they do take some time to assemble. I like the Grandt wheels as they have ribbed backs and some foundry detail cast on the faces. However I have no idea if they are appropriate for the early South Park Cars. They do say Griffin Foundry Denver on the face and D&RG on the back. I have no idea if the Griffin foundry in Denver was even open in the early 1880’s or if it provided wheels to the South Park. Almost certainly if they did, the wheels weren’t labeled D&RG when initially installed. But they look nice on the model even if they are not quite right for uninvited guests with magnifying eyes.

I used the Decals that came with the kit. They went on fine and were as much “fun” as any decals I have used. After the car was complete and painted and had dried, it was airbrushed with a coat of ModelMaster gloss from the bottle. When that had dried (overnight), the decals were applied. I trim the decals as close as possible to the lettering and after soaking in water these are slid on to the model into an area wetted with the MicroScale red solvent. They are then recoated with solvent at intervals until the film has almost disappeared. If any bubbles appear they should be pricked or slit and more solvent applied until they settle in place. This may take several hours. After drying overnight the area around the decals is washed with water using a Q-Tip and dried. After drying again overnight, a final coat of ModelMaster semi-gloss is applied. Sometimes I make this a bit flatter by adding some flat to the semi-gloss. Now the model is ready for weathering (which I haven’t done yet).

David Steer Photograph

Derrell – If I understand correctly you don’t actually have a layout. Yet you used Kadee couplers instead of Link and Pin couplers. This would suggest you intend to operate the car? Is this true and what might be your plans for that?

David - Yes, I don’t technically have a “layout” (for On3) although there is some 20 feet of track and switches with a mine and a few buildings under construction. Most of the other rolling stock does compromise with the Kadee couplers as they are practical and work very well. I did do one South Park car with link-and-pin couplers from Coronado as shown in the attached photo of an earlier resin kit for a D.,S.P. &P. boxcar. Some experience with chain link couplers on European models has taught me that, they are while super realistic and beautiful, they are too finicky for anything but round-and-round operations. Hence the practical choice of Kadee for these models.

Derrell – Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. We've already seen your work featured on this Blog and I sure hope we see more of it in the future. Great job!

David Steer Photograph

Below is a list of the kits offered by The Leadville Shops. They will also be at the NNGC in Kansas City next month.

O scale kits $75 each:
(all kits less trucks and couplers)
LSO-1 DSP&P/CC 26’ Stock car
LSO-2 DSP&P/DL&G 27’ Tiffany Reefer
LSO-3 D&RG/RGS/SRR 24’ Boxcar (September availability)
LSO-5 CC 24’ Boxcar #4 (contact for availability, very limited numbers)
LSO-5 CC 24’ Boxcar #1620 (Sold out)
LSO-5 CC MOW/caboose #26552 (contact for availability, very limited numbers)

S scale kits $60 each:
(all kits less trucks and couplers)
LSS-1 DSP&P/CC 26’ Stock car
LSS-2 DSP&P/DL&G 27’ Tiffany Reefer
LSS-3 D&RG/RGS/SRR 24’ Boxcar (September availability)

S scale kits $65 each:
(all kits less trucks and couplers)
LSS-5 CC 24’ Boxcar #4 (contact for availability, very limited numbers)
LSS-5 CC 24’ Boxcar #1620 (contact for availability, very limited numbers)
LSS-5 CC MOW/caboose #26552 (contact for availability, very limited numbers)

S scale Trucks 

(Trucks come with Berlyn Wheel sets)

Union Pacific Type A – 25.00pr. (Litchfield 10 ton type for the Stockcar)
Union Pacific Type B – 25.00pr. (UP S.B. 12 ton type for the Refrigerator)
D&RG 10 ton – 25.00pr.

Contact The Leadville Shops:

Email doug@theleadvilleshops.com
phone (720) 213-4758
Paypal payments to djunda@pdtnetworks.org

Please allow sufficient time for shipping – they are filling orders as fast as they can dependant upon receipt of parts needed in the kits, as well as trying to prepare for Kansas City not to mention managing day jobs of their own. Thanks!

The Cimarron Works 27 foot boxcar (Resin Kit) with Link and Pin couplers.
3 Comments - Click Here :
  1. That's a fantastic stock car! I would love to get the Tiffany Reefer, but its definitely outside of my budget right now.

  2. Love this model. Great job David!

    Lincoln Pin

  3. 2-3 years ago there was a group of photos on Ebay that got commented on in the Yahoo groups and the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum.Most of the interest was in the South Park freight with an AT&SF boxcar in it,but there was also a third photo of the DSP&P stock car.