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
3 Comments - Click Here :
  1. Robert Sloan did an article in Slim Gauge News on how to build a C.C. Porter-Bell 0-6-0 using Mantua or MDC mechanisms regauged and an MRC imported 1:50 kit of a Japanese Porter Mogul-complete with plans

    1. Thanks very much! I will look it up.

  2. Great modeling, Link. I'm going to have to try that trick with the colored pencils, as the effect is very pleasing!

    Two brakes staffs! It is my understanding that the early CC Porters didn't have any brakes on them. In fact, when first delivered they were 0-6-6-0Ts arranged so that the cylinders opposed each other. In order to hold the locomotive in place while standing, the engines were set so that the cylinders opposed each other. Not sure how well that worked but the question arises; two brake staffs per car with each truck independently locked down might have helped control the train better? Not that this was the primary reason for two independent brake sets....

    After the locomotives were divided into 0-6-0s brakes were mounted on the Tenders and that apparently checked the locomotive from rolling off. IIRC it was John Robinson who told me this.