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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since I began this project. Our move to North Carolina didn’t help but I can’t blame it all on that. After you work so long on a project, it sometimes gets a little boring and once you set it aside, it’s hard to get back to it. A lot of other projects like building a new layout really get in the way. Besides, I made a promise to myself that I would complete the car this winter so I could take it to this year’s ECLSTS. I might qualify the word “completed” by adding that I still have to design the decals and get Stan Cedarleaf to produce them. I’m looking forward to that

For those of you who are new to MLS and those of you who have probably forgotten about this project, here are the 2 previous installments.



Completing the Roof:[/b]

What to cover the roof with was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. The 2 best suggestions, based on related postings on MLS, were either Jack (Big Dude)’s masking tape technique or Kevin’s metal foil method. After much thought, mostly dealing with appearance, ease of application, and durability, I decided on Kevin’s. I really wanted a smooth, metal-like appearance. In a previous kit bash I completed of a steam coach, I used copper foil attached with Walther’s Goo. This produced a very nice roof but the foil was a little thicker and harder to work with than I liked.

Self-adhesive aluminum foil has two big advantages; 1. It is thin and easy to bend around edges, 2. It comes with its own glue (how nice). However, there is one big disadvantage, being so thin it is easily dinged and creased. After many experiments, I came up with a solution that really increased its durability - several coats of different finishes.

To create the effect I wanted I cut the tape into appropriately sized strips that approximated the actual sizes of those used on a typical car of this era. I began applying the strips on the roof ends running parallel to the length of the car. All strips were overlapped about 1/8”. I was very careful not to ding the strips as they were applied. After I got them into position, I carefully rubbed them down with a very smooth wood dowel with rounded ends. After the ends were finished, I started from the top of the end strips and moved toward center of the roof overlapping as I went along. The center strip was the last to be applied.

Below are several photos of the completed roof covering.

After completing the roof covering, I painted all the chimneys and vents with Krylon satin black paint. I then glued them to the roof.

My experiments showed that, even after applying this tape to a hard, smooth surface, it could be easily dented with even a light tap of a fingernail. This is where I discovered that several coats of finishes almost, within reason of course, eliminated the vulnerability to nicks and dings.

After masking the clerestory and other, previously painted roof parts, I sprayed on a coat of Krylon Ruddy Brown Primer.

I let the primer coat dry overnight. Next I sprayed the entire roof with a good coat of Krylon satin black. On the third day, I applied 2 coats of Krylon UV protected clear satin finish. Here’s the final result.

And an end view:

Heating Pipes:[/b]

I previously built and installed a Baker Heater in my Private Car. These heaters generated hot water which was circulated throughout the car for heat. The hot water ran through piping along the baseboards. I thought it would be different to actually add simulated piping to my car. I’m not sure anyone has done this before. I used brass tubing and a few Trackside Details piping castings to create the effect. I think it came out rather convincingly.

Here are a few photos of the installed piping.

Windows and Shades:[/b]

I am truly thankful that I had made the windows when I started this project. They were in storage for about 4 years and survived. I don’t know whether I still would have the patience to make them now.

One of the last remaining things to do was to add the inside wood strips that hold the windows in their tracks. BTW, all windows are operational.

The other thing to do was to make up some reasonable looking handles. I did this with a few bits and pieces of styrene. Before I glued them on I painted them gold to go with the rest of the interior fixtures.

Below are a couple of pictures of the window installation.

Windows in any passenger car should have shades but I’ve only seen a few models with shades installed. One I can remember is Kevin’s EBT combine. This is a detail that many modelers avoid probably because there aren’t many materials that are suitable for making shades or curtains. Some have used tissue paper and some have attempted to even use fabric. Since my wife’s hobby is sewing, she help me look through the various types of materials but all seemed to be too heavy.

While visiting one fabric store, I came across something very interesting. It was a package of sheets consisting of very thin fabric material lightly bonded to a paper backing. These sheets are made for running through an ink jet printer. Sewers can create their own patterns/designs that can be sewed or appliquéd onto another fabric. These sheets are 8 ½ by 11”. Here is a photo of the package:

Many months ago on MLS, there was a discussion about web sites that provided dollhouse-sized downloadable patterns for wallpaper, pictures, rugs, etc. I went to one of those sites to get my wallpaper patterns that I used in my car. Those, I printed on paper. I went back to the site and downloaded another pattern that I felt would make great window shades.

I then used a graphics package to reduce the pattern to the exact size of my car windows and created an image that contained multiple copies of that image on one page. I loaded the image into my Lexmark printer and printed the image onto the fabric. It came out great. Here’s that result:

I cut out each shade and peeled off the backing. I then cut the shade to the length I wanted. Next, I cut a length of brass wire to fit into the window frame. I folded the bottom of each shade and glued a 1/32 x 1/16 piece of basswood into the fold. Finally, I glued the brass strip to the top of the shade with Tacky Glue. Here’s a picture of a completed shade:

Here are a couple of photos of the installed shades:

This is what the shades look like from the outside. The fabric is thin enough to allow the pattern to show through.

The last photo is of the rear car windows. I borrowed my wife’s pinking shears to get a different, fancier effect.


Lighting for my Private Car was discussed in the last installment. Lighting consists of 3 chandeliers in the ceiling, a double sconce light in the bedroom, and a candle sconce in the rear bathroom.

The first photo shows the 3 lamps attached to the ceiling.

The next is another photo of the ceiling lamps. Even though I installed the ceiling vents very early in the construction process, I was extremely happy to find out that the lamps I had selected lined up almost perfectly with the vents.

The last photo shows the kitchen area with the ceiling lamp installed.

Well here it is, finally. Everything is done except for the decals.

Rear interior (Parlor into Dining Room) without lights on:

Same shot with lights:

Kitchen area without lights:

Same shot with lights turned on:

Next are a few photos of the exterior of the completed car.

As I mentioned before, I plan on working with Stan to come up with something that’s fitting for an elegant Private Car. I hope you enjoyed the build and maybe you can benefit from some of the tips and techniques I presented. I’ll post additional photos of the car with decals when available.

If you want to see the car in person, come to the ECLSTS this week. The car will be on display on Clem’s Warrior Run layout all day Friday and until noon on Saturday.


Premium Member
911 Posts
Hi Doc,

That looks quite superb: not to say MAGNIFICENT!

All your work on it has been to great effect, and the finished (so far) result is well worth the sheer amount of effort that you have put into it, and you have raised the bar on coach construction.

CONGRATULATIONS on the results, thank you for the photos, I look forward to the addition of the decals which I know will 'gild the lily'

Again, a quite 'magnificent' result!

Premium Member
911 Posts
From Peter Bunce as moderator,

The previous articles re this magnificent piece of work were in the Master Class Section: after checking with 'Docwatson' I have moved it to that section, which I for one think it richly deserves as it is a quite superb vehicle.

Premium Member
2,195 Posts
You're gonna love this! As I was looking through the pictures I mumbled to myself, "Oh my word!!" and my wife asked what I was looking at so I turned the screen towards her (it was on the picture of the empty room with the rug.) She looked at it with a sort of blank look and said, "Nice rug. So what?" I kind of smirked and pulled down the pics to the view of the entire model and said, "So what? It's where the rug is is what!" She all of a sudden realized that it was a model and her eyes got huge and she exclaimed, "Holy Cow!!" Then I showed her the rest of the pictures! Needless to say she was flabbergasted at the level of detail (she thought it was one of the Parlour Cars on the Durango & Silverton!) Bravo!!
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