G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I must confess. Size does matter. As I've acquired more and more rolling stock based on the Bachmann 1:20 cars, I decided that my old caboose #2 (the "Panic") aesthetically looked a touch small. It was the EBT's 2nd caboose, having been built on one of their original Billmeyer & Smalls flat cars. At a mere 26' long and 6' wide, it fits in well with my older c. 1880s equipment, but the Bachmann equipment I've been purchasing and bashing of late is of a later, c. 1910 vintage. These cars represent what I call the "2nd generation" of narrow gauge rolling stock--cars that were definitely higher capacity and had some healthy proportions to them. Now, I have a 4-wheel bobber, but I wanted something with some length to it. Fortunately, my needs were echoed in the history of the EBT.

In 1905, the EBT decided that its early fleet of cabooses were wearing out, and started to replace them. They started with caboose #26. It was a home-built caboose, and like #2, was built on one of the EBT's existing flat cars. Here's a photo of the caboose taken in 1908 or 1909.





From newspaper accounts, this was evidently a very rough riding car. When the EBT went to build two more cabooses a mere 2 years later, then went back to the 4-wheel "bobber" design. Bobber cabooses weren't known for their smooth riding characteristics, but the newspaper reports say the new design was far "more comfortable" than caboose #26. "Comfort" was not referring to interior space, as the bobbers were about half the size. When the car was built, it rode on 20" wheels in what I expect were fairly old freight car trucks. (It's possible that they used the trucks from #2). As such, it's believed that it wasn't used all that often, and would eventually be pressed into work service. It lasted in that capacity up until its retirement in 1947. 





Note some significant changes. First, the link-and-pin couplers are gone, replaced by knuckle couplers. This happened in the mid 1910s. Also, the roof has been rebuilt to a simple arched roof, with new steps. Also the railings are taller. The car also rides on passenger car trucks. What is not known is when, exactly these changes occurred. We only have the one photo of the car c. 1908, and the rest are c. 1940. So, when building a model of the car c. 1913, there's room for a bit of conjecture as to what would have been on the car at that point.


The model:


What really prompted all this madness was the 1:20.me photo contest from last year. I took 3rd place, and the prize was an AMS flat car. Bear in mind that I had eschewed the AMS equipment because it was far too "Colorado" for my eastern railroad. It would have required a fair amount of work to get rid of all the elements that made it distinctly D&RGW--work that for a flat car--was more bothersome than scratchbuilding the car itself. (Which--up until the more generic Bachmann flat car came out--was my usual practice.) However, I now had this flat car, with no clue what I was going to do with it. The last thing I needed was a nother flat car. Then, I saw a thread here (or on LSC) about someone using the AMS flat car as the base for a box car or some such project, and the wheels started turning. I checked the dimensions of #26, and they're virtually spot on for using the AMS car as a base. 





The first step was to remove all the airbrake equipment from the bottom of the car. I'm modeling the EBT just prior to the addition of air brakes. 





Then, a quick swipe down the side of the car with my band saw make quick work of the stake pockets and the ends of the boards everywhere except the last three boards on either end of the car, which make up the platform. 





I cut the walls from a piece of Masonite. I'm not planning on putting an interior in this car, so I could use some heavy corner and floor braces. The Masonite was held together with super glue, then pinned with PECO track nails for a mechanical joint. The 1/2" x 1/8" flange along the bottom edge will be screwed onto the floor of the flat car. The deep cut across the deck of the flat car is intended to relieve the stresses that have caused some AMS cars to bow upwards. Mine also has a "U" channel running along the middle of the car, which may have been Accucraft's mechanical fix to the problem, I don' t know. The sides of the caboose should also hold everything flat, too.





Because the prototype for this car was built on an existing flat car, I left the holes in the AMS car where the original steps attached. A close inspection of the c. 1940s photos of the car show similar holes. The steps came from an AMS passenger car whose platforms I had rebuilt. They were cut and trimmed so not to interfere with the swing of the trucks, then glued in place. 





The side windows on this car are rather distinctive. Fortunately, Ozark Miniature's cupola windows were almost spot on in size. I sanded off the edges of two windows and butted them side-by-side. 





The same windows are used on the ends of the car. I'm not sure why the bars were placed over the ends, except to keep brakemen from breaking the windows when standing on the platform. The bars are evident in the 1908 photo. Similar bars appear over the windos of some of the combines used as payroll cars, but it's unlikely this car would have been used for that purpose. 


When ordering the windows from Ozark, I noticed they had door castings as well. Usually I build my own doors, but since they matched the style (and were cheap enough) I figured the time vs. money thing would balance out. 





Alas, the cupola windows were not quite so convenient. Their small size, combined with the slanted end windows forced me to frame them out myself. NOT one of my favorite tasks. In fact, there are plenty of menial, even gross, tasks I'd rather do. The plastic is a "Z" shape, cut to fit. Actually, it started out as an "H" channel, but I cut off opossite flanges to make the "Z" shape. Plumber's putty fills in the corners which invariably didn't meet precicely. 


The roof is aluminum duct tape cut to small rectangular sheets. 





Here we are, ready for the paint shop, where the car currently sits. I have no idea when I'll actually have time to sit down and finish painting, so it may still be a month or two before it's ready for the rails. Finding "paint time" is a bit difficult with two kids. The good news is that this span of time will give me a chance to finish the artwork for the hopper cars and such, so that I can have dry transfers made. I could run decals just as easily, except my ALPS printer is still buried under stuff from when we had the basement finished. 


More photos as events warrant.


Later,


K
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
911 Posts
Hi Kevin,

Nice work, I like the ideas you have used in the new (my thats long!) caboose. Thanks for the very informative photos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,500 Posts
Great work! Love it!

And I also like the fact that I'm not the only one who has had a few of those annoying fuzzy splinters, rough spots, and small oopsies that you can't really (and didn't) even SEE on the model itself, kind of glaringly show up in a close up pic, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
Great work Kevin, as usual. Your ideas are amongst one or two others that I have in mind for kitbashing during the summer. Most, it seems kitbash in the winter when confined to indoors: luckily, except for January this year (illness and cold weather) I am usually able to run often in the winter so enjoy working on projects out in the summer sun whilst the trains roll by.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
580 Posts
Kevin,

I see you've found time to create another fine model. I really dont know how you do find the time. I guess some people are just faster workers than me. Your method of covering roofs with aluminum tape finally one me over. I tried it on my private car and it worked out great. I'll be posting a picture later. Thanks again for all your great tips and methods.

Doc
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
50 Posts
Kevin,

Nice work… very inspiring. Looking forward to seeing your # 26 painted.

Geoff
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
283 Posts
Kevin,

Very very nice!

I meant to mention that in my reply to you in my caboose thread.

It's funny to see the inside of your caboose. It looks surprizingly a lot like the inside of mine! Just different modeling mediums.

Excellent work!

Brian Briggs
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, so it took me a bit more than one or two months to get back to this project. Actually, the hold-up was the lettering. I still haven't convinced myself to crawl under the stairs and unearth my Alps printer, so I had to wait until I finished the EBT hopper car artwork, so could use the dry transfers I had done from that artwork on the caboose.


The paint is Folk-Art craft acrylic paint. I custom mixed this color, as I was trying to get close to the color of my caboose #27, which I thought I also painted with craft paints, but couldn't find a bottle that matched. This is a bit purpler than that, but not bad. Paints back then were custom mixed anyway, so the chances of getting the same hue two, three years apart were slim to none anyway.


From discussions with other pre-historic EBT modelers, it's believed the car was lettered with a simple E. B. T. across the sides. That's what I used on my model of caboose #27. This lettering is smaller in size than that, though, and it just didn't look right with just those three letters. That, and I figured the locals out here tend not to believe that narrow gauge trains actually ran in any other state, I may as well spell things out, lest they think "E.B.T." stands for Evergreen, Breckenridge & Teluride.


While I didn't model an interior, I did decide to put lights in the caboose. The marker lamps are Tomar industries lamps. They're not quite the correct lens pattern for what the EBT uses (the outward lens is green instead of red), it had the advantage of being pre-wired and in my parts box. In other words, good enough. Interior lights are LED strip lights from Dallee Electronics (a review sample put to use). I actually had to paint over the LEDs with some brown paint to get them to tone down to the soft, warm glow of oil lamps that would have lit the caboose. I did mount them (unprototypically) from the celing, as opposed to hanging on the walls, but that kept the light very soft within the car. The smokejack is an MDC part.

The windows are clear plastic fogged with dull coat from behind. I don't really like the grey look this gives the windows, but I wanted to mask the lack of interior. In the past, I've applied clear decal paper to clear plastic to distort the plastic without fogging it, but I didn't have any clear decal paper handy, so I tried this. The plastic is stuck to the frames with 2-sided tape, so if I find a better alternative, it'll be easy enough to replace.


Detail of the end step. In working on the model, I managed to bust up the end boards on more than one occasion, so I just rolled with it, figuring the same could happen to the prototype. As I mentioned above, the caboose was built on a flat car, so the holes in the frame from the stirrup steps are prototypic.


The roof is painted a dark grey, and streaked with black to simulate an accumulation of soot washing off the roof. The sides are weathered with a dilute black acrylic wash and Bragdon weathering powders.


I've finally got a "full sized" caboose to go with my trains. Aesthetically, it looks perfect behind a string of hopper cars. Operationally, it will be a bit of a challenge on the railroad, as at 30' long, it's a very long caboose. Caboose #27 (18' long) and caboose #2 (23' long) are much easier to fit onto the short sidings on the railroad. On the other hand, it's shorter than the combine, which is another common "caboose" on EBT trains.

Later,

K
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
118 Posts
Real impressive, Kevin. Enjoyed the black and white photos.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
185 Posts
Really nice Kevin, it really looks the part.
On the subject of fogging windows I used to use my then wifes pearl nail varnish painted on the inside of my 7mm coach toilet windows.However I now simply wipe over the inside face of the windows with fine abrasive paper, sometimes with a bit of water to lubricate and stop deep scratches, works for me.
Regards
David
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It'd probably help if I posted the black and white photos, so y'all would know what Ric was referring to. I had a little fun with Photoshop.





I still haven't found the perfect "recipe" for getting the look of many of the old EBT photos in my collection, but it's fun trying.

David, I'll have to play around a bit. I tried sandpaper and ultra-fine steel wool, and it kept coming out looking like scratched plastic. A friend had suggested at one point pouring MEK down the back side of the plastic to give it something of a wavy look. I experimented with swiping the back with the plastic cement I had in the shop, and it turned the plastic white in streaks. I suppose that could have been because I physically wiped it instead of pouring it over, though. Not enough in the bottle to try that technique. Like the black and white photos, it's fun trying (though the Photoshop experiments don't offend the olfactory senses quite to the same level).

Later,

K
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Kevin,
Quick question for you. When you used the aluminum tape did you peel off the backside of the tape and lay down the tacky side on the caboose, or did you just glue the tape on as it comes of the roll? I ask because I'm trying to use aluminum tape through a paper crimper for corrugated siding, but when I peeled the tape off, it ruined the crimping. What did you use to glue it on?
Thanks,

Craig
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Kevin,

Late as usual (don't know how I missed your first post). Anyway, great work (as usual). And just what I had in mind in building my side door caboose, which is among the many projects that are yet to be completed or even begun.

I plan to print out your post and save it, which makes me wish, yet again, that your work and that of other MLS modelers belongs in a magazine or in a "One Shot," one of those books Kalmbach sells for $15 or whatever.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
926 Posts
Kevin, reread the beginning of your caboose post. It was I (me) who e-mailed you about using a flat car as a platform for a caboose--for my Pacific Coast Railway side door caboose.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Craig, I use the adhesive back of the tape to stick it to the roof. If you want a corrugated roof via the crimper, try paper and silicon adhesive. You'll want something with some body to it so it reaches into the corrugations. I used paper because I found it difficult to bend the brass sheet (.005") counter to the corrugation, and the paper worked better. After the glue dried, I coated the paper with polyester (fiberglass) resin to give it some stiffness. Alternatively, Plastruct sells some corrugated styrene sheet that works well for large scale, and bends to fit roofs very easily.

Later,

K
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,704 Posts
Another mind-blowing work of art! That close-up pic of the caboose step looks like the real deal. Awesome details! The black & white photos do give a sense of the past but I like the color photos best as they show the weathering better. Congrats on another master piece.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top