Friday, September 19, 2014

An exploration into 3D printing | 6 Comments - Click Here :

    Keith Hayes - A challenge modeling in 1:64 is the lack of large period masonry buildings. One either has to kit-bash, scratch build or look to other scales. I am modeling a spur to the Arkansas Valley Smelter and needed a more substantial masonry building for the spur. A visit to the local hobby shop resulted in purchase of a Walthers 1:87 Dayton Machine Company kit. The brick detail is nice and the size was right, but the windows were a dead giveaway. I would clearly need to adjust these to make the kit look right on my 1:64 layout.

    An emerging technology you have probably heard of is 3D printing or Rapid Prototyping. There are now several vendors that allow you to post your models to their servers and they will print the part for you and mail it to you. The vendor I used is Shapeways ( A number of modelers have created models and parts and a variety of scales, so be sure to check out the website thoroughly, as what you want may already be available.

    3D printing uses different resins in a string, kind of like a dot matrix printer, except the printing head moves in all three dimensions and thus can lay down resin not only in the X-Y plane of the 'paper,' but also in space along the Z axis. Because the printer builds one layer at a time, it is possible to build very complex forms that would otherwise be very difficult to model.

    Shapeways will support a number of different software products. I chose to model my parts in SketchUp, which is free, and export the files as a .DAE format. This is all explained on the Shapeways website. Shapeways offers a number of resins, and it is important to read the limitations of each, as each has different resolution requirements. This was among my chief issues. Also, the build area on current machines is less than a cubic foot, more like 8" or 10" on a side, though building something this large would be very expensive.

    For starters, the resolution issues are in metric: for the resins I selected, I was generally limited to sections no smaller than 1 mm and relief of at least 0.5 mm. These are large in 1:64, over an inch at scale. As this was an experiment, I ordered parts in a couple different materials, flexible plastic, frosted plastic, and frosted detail plastic. Each of these comes in at different price points.

    I chose to build my windows to scale. Were I to do it again, I would probably build them full size, scale them down and check the resolution issues. When you submit a model to Shapeways, it first goes through an automated check and then before production a real person checks the file for issues. If your file has challenges, you will receive an e-mail illustrating the issues that need correction.

    I started with the windows as I needed the most of these. I am modeling an industrial building and chose to use a steel sash window with an operable part in the middle. The neat thing about this technology is that you can customize to your hearts content and only order what you need. I tried the flexible plastic, which is the lowest price point and reasonably affordable (~$1 per part). This material is grainy and has the potential to warp. It also seems difficult to sand. I modeled these vertically (as if they are in a wall plane) and they have a noticeable front and back side. They take paint fine.

    For the next project, I modeled some doors. At a friends suggestion, I modeled these flat (in the ground plane) to address the grain issue. If anything it may have made it worse. The doors are all in plastic or detail plastic, which triples the cost. This material smells a bit like coconut and seems to sand better. It takes paint okay, but paint can settle in corners easily.

    I now have all the parts I need for my kit-bash. Shapeways has changed their website quite a bit in the six months I have been using it. It takes 2-3 weeks to get parts once you post them, though you can pay more for speedy mail service. The ability to customize is a real plus; the challenge is the coarseness of the resolution in small scales and the grain of the material. This can also be expensive: with shipping I have about $100 into my window and door experiment.

I was excited to use 3D printing to model a cattle guard built of surplus rail, but the resolution limitations rejected the model. I am going to give the technology one more chance with a model of the Leadville water standpipe. Otherwise, I think I may turn to laser cut wood for the Leadville depot and roundhouse windows and doors.

The original Walthers kit.

All the parts I have ordered. Using SketchUp, I was able to create a family appearance by using similar window sizes. You can see the door on the lower right, I was able to create a recess for glazing: one can get pretty fancy within reason.

The doors are frosted detail plastic and have a very noticeable noticeable grain, especially in the recessed panels. These parts have been primed. I probably could have added door hardware and a reveal indicating the joint between the doors.
Unpainted window that has been sanded.

Image of two painted doors. The left one looks pretty good, though the rattle can gloss filled in some of Technology grain and details, it captures the look I am after  The rear of the door on the right shows the grain: it could be different on two otherwise identical parts.

 Starting to look real. Ignore the painters tape.

Keith Hayes
Modeling Leadville in Sn3

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Building TLS Tiffany Reefers as C&S Rebuilt Cars Circa 1903 To 1916 | 12 Comments - Click Here :

Photo 1 - An old On3 model of a rebuilt 27 foot Tiffany Circa 1903. This model was painted orange red and black. Compare these values to those in Photo 14.

     Derrell Poole - I’d been mulling over the Leadville Shops little flat box full of parts for better than a month just looking at the crisp, well made parts and thinking about how I want to build this car. I am a fan of the old South Park but I model the C&Sng. Early C&S. While it would be fun to build and letter it as a Tiffany “Summer and Winter Car” the truth is I would eventually update the model anyway. I’m just that warped I guess. So I finally made the decision I would skip the interim step and make the kit a rebuilt reefer. I've done it before. For more information on the C&S rebuilt reefers see “Colorado Narrow Gauge Quarterly” 1st Quarter 2008.

Photo 2 – The LS kit, additional parts, and tools were laid out on the workbench. 

    So one evening I sat down and began the preparatory work of building the car. I first laid out the parts as diagrammed on page 4 of the instructions. I also gathered up some of the additional parts that would be needed. Since at that point I still didn't have the new “Type B” or Twelve-ton Swing Beam trucks this car required I built up a set of the old Cimarron Works brass trucks. The kit gives you a choice to mount either short shanked Kadee No. 5 couplers or long shanked No. 26 couplers. My minimum curve is 31” so the short shanks on this short car should work fine. I also set out a few of the tools and materials I expected to use.

Photo 3 – The parts are rebagged according to expected sub assemblies after the instructions were thoroughly reviewed.

    Then I separated the larger wooden parts from their laser cut sheets and bagged them according to sub assemblies discerned from reading thru the instructions. Required Reading!! I’m sure most of you mark up instruction sheets according to your intentions to modify a kit. I also highlight important things like part numbers and note the orientation of parts to the “B” (brake staff) end of the car. Nothing like having so much fun only to discover you've mixed something like that up….

Photo 4 – Soldering the brass etched parts to mate the brake lever and other parts together. 

    Step one of the instructions notwithstanding, my first step was to tin, then solder, the brass brake part halves together. In fact, throughout the kit I soldered wherever possible. With the brake lever halves tinned it is simply a matter of fluxing and heating the mating halves. It is a lot easier to hold and control the parts if one half is still held in the etched fret.

Photo 5 – I used a fiberglass brush to clean up the excess solder.

    Even with care and a minimum amount of solder it is usually still necessary to clean excess solder from the parts. A fiberglass brush is effective for this if you exercise care and patience. Even then some of the parts are very delicate and may be bent.

Photo 6 – the completed brake lever assembly and door latches. The two primary assemblies of the levers were simply pinned together so that they could be adjusted when mounted to the cylinder and frame.

Photo 7 – Older issue of Cimarron Works 12 ton Swing Beam trucks.

    I pre assembled my trucks from Cimarron Works brass parts and NWSL Code 88 wheel sets. These trucks use .910” shouldered axles. I did use the truck brake levers from the LS brass etchings.

Photo 8 – Installing couplers on the insulated frame.

     The Kit also offers the choice of building the car with the prototypical insulated frame or the traditional modelers frame which would be open. I’m convinced these and all refrigerator cars of the late 19th and earlier 20th century had insulated frames. But the choice is yours. This is the instructions first step. Subsequent steps build the draft beams and install the couplers. The assembly is devised to hold a Kadee coupler but I found it did not leave room to use the Kadee bronze spring. In order to spring the couplers I drilled a hole in the butt of the coupler. A .010” bronze wire was then inserted into the hole and bent to fit into a “keeper” hole I drilled in the flooring just to the outside of the bolster pad. Study the photo and you will understand what I did.

Photo 9 – various brass sub-assemblies most of which were soldered together.

    As you work thru the instructions the frame quickly comes together. Whether you insulate the floor of not the parts provide laser scribing to aid in locating the parts; using these carefully insures your model will look clean and square and they eliminate most of the need for squares and fine tip markers!

    Very shortly I was at the point where the brake levers and air parts needed to be installed. In Photo 8 I show the complete frame brake assembly as well as the gladhand assemblies and the airline to the brake cylinder. Again, study the photo to see what I have done. I find that one of the most vulnerable parts of a car are the hanging gladhands. I don’t use plastic for these – it gets tiresome replacing them. I also don’t use the rubber parts. Instead I use a short piece of 1/32” brass tubing to couple PSC gladhands to the .020” train airline. Notice that the ends of the wires are bent opposite to the direction that the gladhand hangs.

Photo 10 – The nearly complete frame.

     Parts needed to update the car to early 20th century that were not supplied in the kit are identified in Photo 10 as follows; A - coupler keeper plates (plastic 1x4 plus NBW). B - PSC S scale gladhands 19100 (see photo 9). C - brake cylinder cutoff valve (Tomalco T-3505 or PSC 4852). D - retainer valve airline (.010” wire into the floor). E - cylinder release valve levers (.008” wire and plastic eye bolts). F - cylinder release valve (heavy shanked NBW). G - brake lever assembly hanger (.015 wire double folded and inserted into holes in the floor – make contact with the center member of the brake assembly). H - brake chain (PSC 48472)

Photo 11 – Add weight to the frame.

    To finish off the frame (at least as far as is required at this point) I added a couple of pieces of steel usually supplied in plastic kits such as PBL, OMI, and Berlyn. In my opinion the stock plates are too heavy so I cut them up in to quarter lengths. With the trucks installed the frame weighs nearly 2 ounces.

Photo 12 – Frame painted and preliminary weathering with trucks installed.

Photo 13 – Close-up of the “B” end of the frame.

    My car will represent one of the 3 or 4 cars of this class still in action in late 1910. I haven’t decided the car number yet. Only the most dedicated modeler would install Link & Pin couplers to a model of this scale. And frankly these are or at least have been available from Grandt Line. Part no. 158 (for the 8 ton Porter) are actually O scale parts but they are so small as to be about perfect for these fine S scale cars.

Photo 14 – C&S car 597 at Black Hawk.
    The above photo of rebuilt 27 foot Tiffany car 597 is thought to have been taken around 1903. The location was at the lower Black Hawk yard. The photo doesn't show support that these cars had roof hatches even after rebuilding. They really didn't change much in overall appearance with the majority of the $175.00 cost of each going to the removal of the siding and the Tiffany apparatus (airflow). Note that the large air vent on the end was gone. 597 was rebuilt in May 1902 – one of the first 27 foot cars to undergo the upgrade. Other changes seem to include the level-bottom end fascia, angle mounted end grabs, stirrup irons under the corners and other hardware that upgraded the braking system. The poster in the upper corner at the far end was probably a placard that assigned this car to a specific use rather than a billboard. A vender’s “poster” may have been used to dedicate this car to that company for regular service. The car was probably painted a deep yellow. It could have been orange but there has been no evidence to support this. Based on both the St. Charles cars and the later C&S cars it is assumed the ends and roof were the C&S mineral red while the under-frame, trucks, and major hardware were painted black. The lighting and exposure of this photo seems to make the colors exceptionally dark.

Derrell Poole
Hamilton, MT.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hemlock Street Part 6 - Details | 2 Comments - Click Here :

The inspiration for Hemlock Street. Note the deep ditch (gutter), the board walks and the short plank walks across the ditch. Though everything looks a bit rough, there are still picket fences. 
Marion Post Wolcott, September 1941. Library of Congress.

It does not get more basic than this.You stain strip wood and cut it into little pieces. These are applied one-by-one with white glue. The different widths of board are visible, as is the ditch carved into the foam.

The east walk is finished: you can clearly see the crest of the hill in this view. Not only do the stringers get closer together towards the rear of the scene, but I also used smaller (and shorter) boards. Okay, I got a little carried away, but it works!

Here are the buildings of Hemlock Street: the ones at the rear are 1:64; those in the middle are 1:87 and those in front are 1:160 or smaller. All but three of these are kits, though the middle home in the front row is a couple Grandt Reese Street houses kit-bashed to make a longer shotgun house.

Hemlock Street today. There is still a lot to do, like finishing the roof for Dunn's, adding lots of details, figures and some landscaping. This has been a fun project that came together relatively quickly.
Keith Hayes
Modeling Leadville in Sn3

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The DSP&PRR Denver Terminal | 13 Comments - Click Here :

Scrapping of old Denver Tramway Cable cars at the DSP&P Roundhouse at 5th and Lawrence. H. Buckwalter photo circa 1899 – DPL
    Derrell Poole - Exactly when the grading of the Denver Terminal of the Denver South Park & Pacific Railroad near the intersection of 5th Street and Lawrence began doesn't seem to be known. Construction of the road began in mid August 1873 and by April 1874 the ties were in place for rail to be laid; this included the Terminal. In his book “Denver South Park & Pacific”, on page 415 Mac Poor describes the Denver Terminal;

“…practically all of the South Park’s terminal facilities and shops, such as carpenter shop, oil house, paint shop, track scales (Fairbanks, 42 feet long, 80,000 pounds capacity), etc. were located along Lawrence and Sixth.
“Located at Lawrence and Fifth were:
“Nine stall roundhouse, 62x202 feet…
“Fifty foot wrought iron “Armstrong” turntable.
“Stone machine shop 39x200 feet.
“47,000 gal. wood water tank supplied by a well.
“Car shop 20x128 feet.
“No Coal chutes were listed; however several large size coal bins were located along the yard tracks at various points.”

    Mac clearly got his information from “Union Pacific Railway, Colorado Division, Bridges & Buildings” published on 1 Jan. 1886. Descriptions of the Terminal structures and track begin on page 87 but it is so vague about actual locations that it has been very difficult to identify many of the buildings on the maps. Locations in the B&B are identified as being between street crossings. There is confusion here; first Market Street was Holladay Street before 1890. Then the B&B Dept. appears to call Wazee Street, Blake Street. Blake Street actually ended just west of its Cherry Creek crossing.      
    The South Park had many tracks over blocks between 3rd and 6th Street yet there is no clear indicated in the document of the relationship of any structures to those streets. In some cases identification was based on comparing the dimensions of the structures given in the B&B book to those shown on the maps. That practice isn’t particularly reliable; the maps often identified buildings that seem to fit the B&B descriptions but not the dimensions. Therefore what has been identified by the structure numbers (see list below fig. 4) assigned in the B&B book are to be regarded as possible to probable – unless of course it is obvious. The Roundhouse is a pretty safe bet.

Figure 1 (Derrell Poole)

     I am not aware of a single publication that accurately depicts the Terminal layout in graphic form. There is at least one “artist’s conception” but it is woefully incorrect and of no value to any attempt to sort out the details of the Terminal. It is found on the insert of “Silver Images of Colorado” by Richard A. Ronzio (Sundance Books) a very worthy read if you are interested in early Denver.

    Fig. 1 is actually the 1890 DL&G terminal. But the primary structures, the roundhouse, machine shops, carpenter’s (car) shops, water tank, coal bins and others, which were built in the mid 1870s, would still be the same. Many of them were indeed along Lawrence Street (see figs. 2, 3 & 4 – double click the images for a larger view).

Figure 2 (Derrell Poole)

Figure 3 (Derrell Poole)

Figure 4 – Northeast end of the Terminal with portions of the D&RG facilities. (Derrell Poole)

List of Structures Tentatively Identified to B&B assigned numbers

8 – Tenement House,12 – Tenement House, 135 – Ice House, 149 – Carpenter Shop, 151 – Lime House, 169 – Telegraph Office, 171 – Oil House, 173 – Store House, 181 – Paint Shop, 185 – Coal Bin attachment, 187 – Coal Bin, 189 – Coal Bin, 191 – Scale House and Track Scale (possible location), 193 – Round House and Turn Table, 195 – Sand House, 197 – Sand Bin attachment, 199 – Coal Bin attachment, 201 – Machine Shop, 205 – Hose House, 207 – Paint Shop, 209 – Boiler House, 211- Water Tank on stone foundation, 213 – Car Shop.

    The South Park used the Denver Terminal until the early 1890s. By this time it had been reorganized into the Denver Leadville & Gunnison (1889). The Union Pacific Denver & Gulf was formed by consolidating the Denver Texas & Gulf (formerly Denver & New Orleans), Denver Texas & Ft. Worth, the Colorado Central and several other Union Pacific subsidiaries in the region. (The purpose of this move was to financially strengthen those roads – especially those between Denver and Fort Worth - by placing them collectively as one organization under UP control. This was primarily the strategy of General Dodge. Evans was very dubious of the UP. As it happened Evans was right when Jay Gould re-entered the UP picture within a year or so of this agreement and organization. But if it had not been for Dodge the C&S as we know it would not have existed.)  This happened on 1 April 1890. The DL&G remained independent of the consolidation but in practice (it was still a UP property) it became a subsidiary of the UPD&G.

    Over the course of the next year the UPD&G built the Denver West Side Line (or Belt Line) along the westerly bank of the S. Platte River. This belt line connected Jersey Junction and the South Park crossing of the River (and thereafter became known as Canyon Junction). The primary reason for this West Side Belt Line, as its name implies (a belt line is typically built to connect two disjointed terminals) was to connect the South Park’s canyon mainline to the new Union Pacific terminal facilities at 40th Street. These facilities were built back across the River at the end of the Jersey Cutoff in the early 1890s. The Gulf Road organizers had entered into an agreement with the UP that included the centralization of its Denver operation on these facilities. The South Park had been operated jointly with the Colorado Central narrow gauge by the UP since the DSP&P had come under that control.

    It was only a matter of course that it too would move its terminal operations to the 40th Street complex. By 1891 the DL&G and Clear Creek line operated out of the yards at Jersey or Clark Junction and of course both roads pooled their narrow gauge equipment. The South Park’s Denver Terminal as well as the Denver Texas & Gulf facilities at the 7th Street location and indeed all major facilities of the UPD&G except those around the Denver Union Station became idle. While the railroads, for the most part, never gave up their real estate, as early as 1891 the Union Pacific began stripping these idle facilities of their equipment. This would later cause discourse to an already fractious situation when the Gulf Road and South Park went into receivership in 1893. The Receiver would demand accountability of that property technically owned by the UPD&G and DL&G. But to our point, the South Park’s Denver Terminal was thereafter permanently defunct. It is rumored that the property, primarily the stone engine house and machine shops, were finally torn down about 1910.

    Buckwalter photos of the engine house dated about 1899 reveal that the turntable, as well as the trackage, was long gone when the site was used to scrap cable cars belonging to the Denver Tramway Company. Note that one of the electric power plants of the DTC was located across the South Park’s mainline from the Artesian Ice Mfg Co. and that the elevated cable car viaduct on Larimer Street are shown on the 1890 maps. In the photo below the Roundhouse itself seems in fair shape being a substantial structure. 

    There were other advantages of the West Side Belt Line. The belt line (as well as the South Park mainline thru its old Terminal) were three rail so that when Zang Brewing Company, one of the largest firms in the city, was put on line by the WSBL it had the service of both broad and narrow gauge. Zang generated enormous amounts of traffic and their products were shipped all over the region if not the country. Moreover they imported tons of agricultural products to manufacture their Beers. (They produced Zang and Buck Beer as well as other beverage products.) The WSBL brought on line other important companies and within the decade would provide Maddox Ice access to their warehouse near the crossing of 6th Avenue over the Platte River.

    Even after the C&S built its grand facilities in 1900 on the old Denver & New Orleans site in the big bend of the S. Platte – commonly referred to as the 7th Street Shops or Yards - the WSBL continued to provide the narrow gauge access to both Platte Canyon and Clear Creek. South Park trains were backed out of the yards over the bridge across the S. Platte.

Figure 5 (Derrell Poole)

     The original South Park Depot stood at the corner of Sixth and Larimer (see fig. 5). Poor describes the location of that structure as being on the northwest corner of the intersection but a contemporary map of the City suggested it was actually on the south west corner. The streets of West Denver are askew to north therefore it is understandable if the corners were confused. This structure wasn’t shown on the Sanborne maps but the location shown on the city map was confirmed by the Corbett, Hoyes & Co. 6th Annual Directory on page 107;

“General Office 15th, sw cor Lawrence (a.k.a. the Evan’s Block), passenger depot, foot of 16th, freight depot, Larimer sw. cor. 6th.”

    This depot was shared with the D&RG until the SP built its extension to the Denver Union Station in 1879. By that point the Grande was also using the Union Station Whatever happened to the structure must have taken place sometime between 1880 and 1890 as it was gone when the Sanborne maps were made. Incidently, according to the records, after the C&S began in 1899 one half of the Car Shops at the Denver & New Orleans facilities was relocated across the River along the WSBL as a South Park Depot.

    This isn’t the only point of interest about the Terminal grounds and surrounding area. As you study the figures you will note that Mac Poor was indeed correct – there was no coaling chute but there were several coal bins as well as a shed or two. Of particular interest was the sand house at the northerly end of the large coal bin next to the long stone machine shops - right down the middle of Lawrence Street Right of Way. Also the 47,000 gal. water tank stood behind the roundhouse and machine shop. It was an odd location where it could not possibly have been approached by a locomotive. Indeed, this operation was done by hose (note the hose house near the tank) or perhaps the various hydrants on the property. There were several hydrants in the vicinity and in the early days when the tank was fed by a 17.5 foot deep well (7.5’ in Diameter) it may have supplied water to such hydrants as a fire fighting measure. By 1890 the terminal was supplied by City water.

    Another structure of interest was the Car Shop and Lumber shed to the south of the Roundhouse. The B&B book described this location fairly clearly and indeed the overall dimensions more or less match the graphic dimensions of the map. This was the location where many of the cars of the early 1880s were built. Both the 26 foot reefers and the SP's stockcars were very likely built at this structure. But there was also a car repairers shop located between Lawrence and Larimer Streets along the mainline; I have not been able to identify that structure.

    Also found on figure 2 and 3 was the RR’s Bridge and Building Department Located between Larimer and Market (or Holladay Street). Again the dimensions of the facilities described in the B&B book generally match the graphics on the map. There were several paint shops on the property. On the other hand, the Superintendents office, as described in the Corbett & Ballenger Directory located on the NE corner of Lawrence and 3rd Street appears to match the Telegraph Office described in the B&B. The map also shows a tiny structure behind the DL&G Storage labeled as an Ice house yet the B&B described this as an oil house. There were at least three other ice houses located in the vicinity. The biggest of course was the Ice Manufacturing plant se of the yards. There was also an ice house located at 6th and Market and one on the D&RG’s property (See fig. 3&4).

    There were several structures and facilities in the B&B I was not able to even guess at. These include the section house and water closets and hand car shed. I did suggest as location for the Track scales at a gap in the track (accorduing to the Sanborne maps). Nor could I determine which track was the Coke track; one would expect the cord wood yard between Lawrence and Larimer to be a reasonably candidate but the B&B located it between Lawrence and Market. Naturally the depot, as included here, was not listed in the B&B.

    The maps are not just about RR facilities. Direct access to the SP by The Denver Electric Illuminating Co., The Artesian Ice Mfg Co., and Vinegar Warehouse (perhaps belonging to Kuner Pickles?) were located along the Lawrence Street tracks while the Bingham, Teague & Co. Lumber yard was located at 5th and Larimer. They manufactured doors, sashes, and blinds according to their Directory listing. There was a feed and grain warehouse and at one time an operating saw mill. Then there were several interesting businesses accessed by the D&RG – the most noteworthy being the Hallack & Howard Lumber Co. I’ll not get too deeply into those facilities except to say that this was not The Hallack Brothers Company located east of the Union Station; altho it appears this particular Hallack was one of those “brothers”.
DSP&P ad in 1878 Corbett, Hoyes & Co 6th Annual City Directory page 271 - DPL

    The sources of this information are numerous. The basic layout was traced from the 1890 Fire Insurance Maps produced to scale by Sanborne Paris Company. Various documents from the Denver Public Library, from my library and files, and from Hol Wagner’s Volumus – Maximus “The C&S The First 10 Years” as well as ICC maps, B&B documents and supplemental maps from both “The Mineral Belt, Vol. I” and “Silver Images of Colorado” were used to compile the “final” product.  The insurance maps were compiled from plats, building permits, field notations and surveys and other sources. They were, at the time, legal documents, admissible into court, and a matter of record to insurers and the insured parties. They can be regarded as accurate. While the maps I show here are based on those maps these are NOT Sanborne’s maps. They are my maps! Please do NOT copy them for any other reason than your personal use - PERIOD! They can provide valuable information for anyone who might wish to build a layout of the Denver Terminal.

Derrell Poole

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chalk Creek Branch: A Plan | 9 Comments - Click Here :

Randy Rieck has provided the plan for his On3 Chalk Creek Branch from an earlier post. Click to view.

Click here to view the photographs of Randy's layout: 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Colorado Central 24ft. boxcar #4 | 3 Comments - Click Here :

    Lincoln Pin - The Colorado Central began pushing its narrow gauge branch up Clear Creek canyon in 1872. The early Colorado Central roster consisted of an assortment of 23 ft. and 24 ft. boxcars of Civil War or ante-bellum technology. Boxcar #4 was one of four simple boxcars (numbered 2, 4, 6 and 8) built in 1872 by the railroad's Golden, Colorado shops. With two brakes staffs individually serving hand brakes on each truck and outside braced boxcar doors, these simple boxcars were easy to spot in old photographs. Placed into service on the Colorado Central narrow gauge four years before George Armstrong Custer rode his end at the Little Big Horn, these wonderful boxcars are a true slice of western Americana. For years (since high school) I wanted to scratch build a train of these “homemade” early Colorado Central Boxcars with their simple designs and apparent unprofessional hand lettering.

    When The Leadville Shops introduced On3 kits of Colorado Central Boxcar #4 at the 2012 Seattle National Narrow Gauge Convention, I bought an armful of the kits and scampered off to the hotel bar to examine my prize purchases. Finally, a short cut to my dream of an 1870s vintage Colorado Central freight train for my On3 empire!

Perry & Bohm Photograph. Collection of Ed & Nancy Bathke.

     Upon returning home I built up four of the boxcar kits into Colorado Central boxcars #2, #4, #6 and #8. Four more of these wonderful Leadville Shops kits were kit bashed into 23 ft. Colorado Central boxcars without much problem. Fortunately, The Cimarron Works decals included in the kits contain a number of lettering options which capture the subtle variations of unprofessional lettering styles used for the boxcar numbers and the “C.C.R.R.” herald. Even better! Each of the boxcars in my C.C. On3 train could now be prototypical individuals with their quirky (some would say funky) unprofessional lettering styles.
    Fortunately, Coronado Scale Models makes high quality brass trucks for these early Colorado Central boxcars which really made the models come to life. Stan and Sheldon Schwedler at Coronado Scale Models have offered a great selection of highly detailed brass detail parts for early D&RG, South Park and Colorado Central 1:48 scale models for many years. God bless them. These great fellas are also excellent model builders whose fantastic On3 and Proto:48 models frequently grace contest rooms across the alpha quadrant. Stan and Sheldon must have spilled coffee down the fronts of their polyester short sleeved shirts when they received my order for 10 pairs of On3 early Colorado Central brass trucks! After all, who builds Colorado Central freight cars? Well, I do, and after the introduction of these Leadville Shops kits, I am not alone. On30 folks have snapped up almost all of the remaining On3 kits for free lance modeling. It seems the On30 folks love short funky freight cars and desire an alternative to the On30 Bachmann plastic freight cars. Who would have guessed that? More power to them!

    The attached photographs of my C.C. #4 boxcar model show the 1872 appearance of the prototype in all its simplicity. The model was first sealed with Testers “Dull-coat” applied with an airbrush. After drying thoroughly, I painted the model with Floquil paint which I allowed to dry for one week. Yes, one week!
    Next, I carefully (and soberly) colored the side boards and roof boards separately with Prisma-Color  Pencils. These subtle differences in color help give the model the “depth” and “diversity” of color that make the model more optically pleasing – at least to me. Then, the model received a thin airbrushed coat of Testers “Gloss-coat” with a very thin wash of freight car red mixed in which also dried for one week. Yes, another week! Then I applied The Cimarron Works decals which went on without a hitch – as do all water slide decals produced by Ron Roberts of Rail Graphics, Inc. Ron is beyond doubt the best custom decal printer in the business today. Next, the model received a “sealing coat” of Testers “Dull-coat” and then a light dusting with colored weathering chalks.
    I photographed the model using my Nikon D-600 digital camera and used the Helicon computer program to correct photographic depth of field blurring. Now if I can build some Colorado Central 1870’s Porter Bell 0-6-0 On3 locomotives my “narrow gauge bucket list” of a Colorado Central 1870s freight train will be complete.

Respectively Submitted,
Lincoln Pin