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Okay, so my Business car #20 project isn't finished yet, but most of you know I'm not happy without at least three projects on the workbench at any one given time. (That, and it's still too cold to go out and paint in the garage, so why not start another one?) Well, after getting going on the #20 project, I started thinking that I needed a "regular" coach as well. The Masterclass kit was certainly a viable option, but having "been there, done that" with #20, I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to go that route again. I'd just scratchbuild one later, I figured. Then Accucraft came out with their coach, and my wheels got to turning. How close would it be to any of the EBT's passenger cars, or if it's not close, could I just letter it for my Tuscarora Railroad and be done with it? It sure beats the tar out of scratchbuilding another coach!

After measuring one in the flesh, I compared it to what the EBT ran. With its 12 windows and a blank space large enough for a 13th, I figured it could potentially work well for one of the EBT's 13-window coaches built by Billmeyer and Smalls. The length was a bit longer (by just under 3') but the width was spot on. So, with the help of some images borrowed from Jonathan Bliese's web site and a little Photoshop magic, I worked together a rough idea of what might be needed...

The Prototype:


Accucraft coach before:


Artist's rendition:



To Be Continued...
 

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List of things that would need to happen:
1) Fill in skylights and panels between windows to simulate board-and-batten construction of the top half of the coach.
2) Extend letterboard down
3) Lower the car onto the trucks a bit
4) Lower or replace end platforms
5) Add 13th window to each side, and cut new windows into ends

The resulting model wouldn't be 100% accurate, but the differences weren't significant enough to where I would remotely worry about them.

Progress so far:


The first thing I did when I got the car was to remove the plastic "stabilization bar" that's on top of the trucks. This immediately lowered the car about 1/16", then drilling the brass mounting plate to fit around the kingpin to rest on the plastic bolster pad instead lowered it an additional 1/16" or so. That got me off to a good start.

There are some curiosities with this car that I decided would be addressed during the rebuild. The first one is the underbody detail. normally I don't worry too much about that, as no one ever see it, but the levers and rods as they come on this car make no sense whatsoever, mosty because they don't actually link to anything. Since I was going to remove the air brake equipment anyway (I model the EBT prior to the adoption of air brakes), I figured I'd do new brake rigging as well.



I had picked up a spool of copper/steel welding wire at Harbor Freight, which works beautifully for handrails, brake lines, etc. It's good and stiff, but not so much that you can't make it do what you want with little trouble. And the $5 spool will last a lifetime! Now I'm sure the geometry on the levers isn't completely accurate, but when viewed from the side, it will be near impossible to tell. They do--at least--move the way they're supposed to. (The chain came unhooked from the adjacent lever in this photo)

You'll also notice the floor is different. I removed the stock metal floor, and replaced it with wood. The car is plenty heavy enough to not need the extra weight, and the wood is sribed on the opposite side for a proper planked floor on the interior. I also cut off that annoying flange on the floor that needs to be forcefully pried away from the sides in order to get the car apart. The floor is screwed into the frame beams, so that assembly is now solid. With that, there's no reason for the beams to have to rely on the sides of the car to hold them in place. The screws that hold the floor to the sides hold the beams as well. My first instinct was to permanently attach the floor and sides and have the roof removable. However, my particular roof has a slight bow in it if not secured, so that wasn't an option. It's not like I'll be removing the roof that often anyway, so this isn't a big issue.



This shows the modified truck and the enlarged hole in the bearing plage. I added a larger washer to the mounting screw to keep things tight. Some of the details on the end of the truck had to be sanded off to clear the new platform beams. The brass "kingpin" piece extends through the plate, and I filed the plastic bearing surface flat so the truck would have less tendency to rock. The platform is also new, having decided that it was easier to build a new one than to remount the old one lower. The 4 beams supporting the platform are screwed into the plastic beams with small coarse-threaded screws I salvage off of discarded video tapes I get from work. They're about the same size as a 0-80 machine screw, but the coarser thread helps them lock in better.



The platform steps are built using the same techinques I described in my Orbisonia rebuild, though you'll have to go to the archived log linked at the top to get the descriptions. The railings are made from 1/16" brass tubing, hammered flat along the top.



This is the new end platform along with the new windows I cut into the ends. You can see from the wood underneath the door how much lower the platform is compared to the stock version. I still need to attach the original handrails back onto the car ends, but I need to find them on the workbench first. The windows were cut into the ends using a Roto-Zip rotary saw blade chucked into my drill press, then filed smooth to lines I had drawn on the side. The styrene sheets filling in over the original scribed siding are only .010" thick, so they don't add much of anything to the thickness of the wall.



This shows the new windows in a bit more detail. The side battens are notched so that along the window frame, they're the full width to form the frame, but above the window, they're shallower to sit flat against the existing surface.



The roof had to be widened to accomodate the new letterboard. Some .100" square styrene was glued to the edge then sanded to match the profile of the slope of the roof. The new letterboard is .040 x 1/2" styrene glued directly on top of the existing letterboard. Yes, I took perverse delight in sanding off the "Denver & Rio Grande Western." The grey circle on the roof is plumber's putty which I used to fill in one of the stove vents on the roof. The EBT car only had one stove and one bathroom.



The new car still sat a bit higher off the rails than my combine or business car, so I really wanted to try to figure out how to knock just a bit more off to lower the car ever so slightly. (The coupler is also mounted high, exacerbating the illusion.) The solution was to lower the bolster plate itself on the truck.



A quick run on the belt sander took off around 1/16" of the material, allowing the plate to be mounted more or less even with beams, instead of on top of them. I removed just a bit more material from the tops of the trucks just to ensure they'd clear the end platform beams. The prototype trucks had a shorter wheelbase, slightly smaller wheels, and a tapered side beam. I thought about using Bachmann's trucks under this car as I had on my others, but the extra length of the car makes these trucks more of an aesthetic fit.



While it's a bit difficult to see, the truck now sits nearly 3/16" closer to the carbody than it did originally. I've still got enough room between the truck and the beams to accommodate uneven track. When all three cars (combine, coach, and business car) are coupled together, all three carbodies are the same height above the rails.



I've still got some minor details to add. The roof will get my usual aluminum tape treatment to simulate a tin roof, and other little things. But primarily, the car's ready to to the paint shop. There, I'll disassemble the sides and roof, then flip them over and build a proper stained wood interior on each section before reassembling it.

More photos as events warrant.

Later,

K
 

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And to think I get pooped just working on one project for several hours a day. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gifWhere do you get you energy, K? BTW, looks like it should work. To the Zona saw, or whatever your tool of choice is.
 

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Oops! Ya done already got started. The other images didn't load at the time of my reply. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, I was having technical difficulties getting the entire thing to post, so I broke it up into sections as an experiment. When I added the second half, the image URLs got jumbled. As for energy, I do this to relax after I get home from work. I put a CD in the shop stereo, and when it's done, I head to bed.

Later,

K
 

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Great improvement just lowering the car as you did. Thats the one thing that causes the car to stand at a different heigt to my Carter Bros. The body width and height are otherwise the same, just shorter.

Nice work Kevin, the car has really great style.

David.
 

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Your model really captures the prototype well, Kevin.  I look forward to seeing it finished and painted.

Llyn
 

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Matt, in looking over the plans Koehler's book, the roof ends on the AMS car aren't any further off from the prototype than they are in the case of the car I'm doing. None of the EBT's car roof ends turned down. I'd think W&W coaches 8 and 9 would be great candidates. They've got skylights over the windows, so really the only thing you'd have to do would be to add the 13th window (and end windows?) and redo the platforms if you were so inclined. (From the drawings, they look to be virtually identical in construction to the ones I added.) Curiously these cars would actually be longer than the AMS car, as they're listed at 40' over the carbody. Coaches 5, 6, and 11 would be cool, too, especially with the mullions in the windows. Whacha waitin' for?

Brooks, don't look for EBT #24 from me any time soon. It'd be easy enough to do, being virtually identical to EBT #3 except for the board-and-batten siding below the belt rail. With three cars (combine 18, coach 3, and business 20), my passenger train already exceeds the length of my sidings. If I do another coach, it will be #6. I've always had an affinity for that one. The kicker is that at a mere 7' 1" wide, I may be able to use something like a Bachmann passenger car roof instead of having to scratchbuild one myself. I'll have to keep my eyes open at swap meets for a few cheap kits to experiment with. I'll have to get working on the drawings for the sides, so I can have them laser cut. If you think I'm hand-cutting all of those arches, you're crazy.

We're starting to get into warmer weather here now. so hopefully I can get out to the garage to do some serious painting in the next few weeks.

Later,

K
 

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Sweet looking bash Kevin! Thanks for the details also! However, don't take such pleasure in sanding off the D&RGW stenciling, after all you live in their backyard :) That could get you run out of town on a rail, back East! Oh wait, you'd like that ;-)
 

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Ready for the paint shop:



All the details are in place, and coach 3 is now awaiting the chance for warm weather to align itself with my having time to escape to the garage for a few hours to actually get some painting done. Doesn't look like it's going to happen this week, but we'll see. (I also need to go to the store and get some grey primer.) The side windows are masked, since they're a pain to try to remove. The end windows don't have any glazing in them as of yet, so there's no need to mask them. The clerestory windows were removed by gently cutting through the heat joints (Accucraft used a hot soldering iron to fuse the glass as opposed to solvent cement), so they'll be replaced once the painting is complete.

Anyway, a few finishing touches of note:



My "usual" technique of using aluminum foil duct tape (available at Lowes, etc.) for the roof. I cut the pieces into scale 2' wide strips and just stuck them in place.



A new bathroom vent, made from the original stove stack. I just removed all but around 1/16" of the original shaft, and glued the cap back on. Simple, but surprisingly similar to the prototype.



The other stove stack got its top hacked off as well, and a new brass cap bent and pinned in place.

So now it's just a matter of painting the exterior, then I can start working on the interior, as I'll be building that on each individual side panel, then assembling it back under the roof. I can't tell you how convenient it is that Accucraft decided to make the sides 4 different pieces as opposed to a single casting. Boy does that make life easier!

And Jim, no worries. If they haven't run me out yet, they're not going to.

Later,

K
 

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Oh my!!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif (And here some people were worried that nobody was doing any modeling anymore!) Incredible bash!!
 

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Kevin,

I'm about to adopt your metal foil technique for the roof of my private car.  I bought the tape and have been playing around with it a little.  I planned to use some heavier gauge foil but I'd have to use some kind of contact adhesive to attach the pieces.  I don't really want to.  Besides, it is more difficult to bend around the corners.

I noticed that, since the metal tape is so thin it doesn't take much to dent it up with finger nails, etc.  In your other model, did you find that to be a problem or did a couple of coats of paint help harden the surface any?  I think I'm going to paint all the pieces before applying.  I don't want to bother with masking the clerestory area and the inside of the roof.  Any thoughts?

Doc
 
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