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Whilst I was getting towards the end of the DSP Head end car I was working towrds the declas that I had found were a different size to the Hartford ones that I had in stock; that meant that there was going to me some more 'custom' sheets of decals from Stan Cedarleaf. As I am a long way from Stan I always attempt to get some extras in to assist in spreading the cost of post from the USA to England.

Thus a lot of time was used getting some 4 sheets of decals ready with Stan Cedarleaf's help (Microsoft would not produce what was wanted with its programs for arc shaped lettering and the day was saved by Stan with another program that allowed us to vertically compress arc shaped lettering). These were printed and put in the post, who delivered them in a mere 7 days â€" express delivery indeed!

I now have two sheets of freight car lettering, covering vehicles for the Colorado Central, and the DSP&PRR, which included the head end car, and also two sheets for D&RG baggage cars and coach lettering for use when my AMS coach has its (modified) new sides done. That will then be repainted to the 1880’s color and the decals used on it. The baggage cars will need to be scratch built.

I have built (as was listed here in MLS) and with the help of David Fletcher a CCRR Porter mogul finished as #7; it is only right that this has a train to pull, so a start was made on some CCRR freight cars; this would entail some masters for decals, as I did not know of any being available.
The CCRR painters had some funny ideas â€" the lettering was two ‘C’s in lower case, and two ‘R’s in upper case â€" very unusual! I (& Stan) eventually had it ‘about right’, much adjustment of height between the two halves being done, and also various heights adjusted from what was a ’master’ after that â€" there are more CCRR vehicles to build yet! That ‘to do’ list has be added to again!

I like outside framed freight cars, and I have built one already that is a model of the largest boxcar(s) that the DSP&PRR had â€" the charcoal cars, these later were standard gauged and disappeared of the Narrow Gauge roster, but to run with David Fletcher’s Porter conversion a train is needed so it was time to build some CCRR freight stock. This outside framed boxcar would be perfect to start off that stock, at least that’s my excuse!

Ron Rudnick’s book of CCRR freight cars has a drawing of #30, but this later was rebuilt to a standard (outside sheathed) boxcar. My #24 will be re-numbered to #1524 as was done in about 1884; the CCRR had two re-numberings; the book gives the details.
I think that the CCRR found it had a shortage of boxcars, and a surplus of flatcars, so they built boxcar bodies onto some of the surplus(?) flatcars. #24 is slightly different to #30, from what can be seen on the understandably poor and partial photo of #24; the differences apply top the diagonal stiffening members on the side; Ron Rudnick has them ending at the floor level. The photo seems to show them ending at the top edge of the stake pockets, instead of a floor level. The ladders are also in a (possibly) better position on the side whereas Ron has put them on the end. How long did they last? Don’t know, I do not think a single sheathed version (like this would be as strong as a double sheathed (normal) one, and thus it may have had a short life but I like it!

So I built another 8 stake pockets per side flatcar base, and as it was going to be capped by a boxcar body used up some smaller pieces of PVC solid foam joined edge to edge, and I added a covering piece on the top. The edges were grooved for the planks of the deck, and the base of the flatcar built from wooden strips and plastic PVC solid foam strips as well. Bolsters and needle beams were added that stiffened the unit across the width. Two truss rods were added near to the outer edges and made from my usual bicycle spokes.
The boxcar body is from 3mm (1/8th inch) plywood, with PVC solid foam ends; these are covered with planked plastic card, and side and top pieces of normal plastic (styrene) card. The roof beam are added again from 5mm PVC solid foam sheet , and the roof itself is 1.5mm plastic styrene sheet that I grooved for the planks. The sliding doors (which will be fixed open) are also from PVC solid foam, but only 3mm thickness. I am ordering some of the @Just plain [email protected] Hobo’s to sit in the open doorways. The post will be virtually the same as the price of the 2 sets of Hobo’s! These are now sold by LGBOA, and not avaiable in the UK.

This meant that the central portion of the boxcar needed to be painted a wood color before the roof was added, and this includes the roof supports. I used several dirty wood and ‘earth’ colors. Partially completed are a couple of boxes for them to sit on, the finishing of those awaits their arrival.

Ladder rungs are from 1.2mm plastic covered wire (it takes paint easier than brass rod),with home made NBW’s.
Here are some photos of the vehicle

the body basically assembled with the roof supports added to it, and one half of the roof also fixed - note the painting of the center area.

a birds eye view of the central section of the interior now it has been painted.
side view - all the sides are from plywood; the ends are 5mm PVC solid foam with a pre-planked styrene card overlay

painted and awaiting the 'hobo's'. The (not shown) side doors are loose and will be fixed when they have been positioned.

I have bought some 3 boxes of the Bachmann flatcar kits (which have 2 flatcars each) as the bogies and their metal wheels are very good value (in the UK) a set were used on this vehicle; here are a couple of thousand words one them (in the form of 2 photos: much easier, and I think more useful) of the work in progress -

There is not much work to convert these, the early DSP versions require much more! The second view has one upside down to allo the pillars to be seen that the 'end to end' strips are glued to for fitting the brake beams to. I use 2mm thick sheet to make the brake blocks, this is really abot thin, but is needed I find to allow for the 'out of scale' distance that the wheels need to allow for side to side swing. Don't fotget to paint the whole beam before gluing it in position. It is much easier when loose, The central spring is copper wire round round half a old biro tube and glued in position. Recycling (old junk) works!

The other bits from the flatcar kit will be used in various other locations especially the decks - perfect for 'boardwalks' in front of shops, those (to be built) from the 'to do' list again!
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