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 NMRA AP Cars Certificate "Support" Thread

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Dutchman Posted - 02/01/2009 : 6:33:38 PM
This thread is one of a series of threads intended to help RR-L Forum members who are also members of the NMRA and are working within the NMRA’s Achievement Program. This is not a thread to debate the pros and cons of either the NMRA or the Achievement Program. For a full explanation of the purpose of these threads, members should refer to this thread on the forum: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=24676

The Master Builder – Cars category requires the modeler to turn his/her attention to rolling stock. To earn the certificate, the modeler must build eight pieces of highly detailed rolling stock. This rolling stock must be able to ‘operate’ on the rails. The eight cars must represent four different ‘types’ of cars, at least one of which must be a passenger car. Of the eight, four of the cars must be scratchbuilt, and four must earn at least 87.5 points when evaluated against specific NMRA standards.

More information on the Master Builder – Cars category can be found at this link: http://www.nmra.org/education/achievement/ap_cars.html

This is an area in which I haven’t done much work yet. However, I want to turn my attention to this one next. I know that Don (AVRR-PA) is also about to begin work in this area. Anyone else wanting to try their hands at this category, perhaps we can ‘work together’ through the forum.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Michael Hohn Posted - 05/08/2019 : 9:47:36 PM

You definitely want to weather the fronts of the wheels. The axles, wheel backs and couplers are a good idea as well. As Jim said, you want to take every reasonable opportunity to increase realism.

BurleyJim Posted - 05/08/2019 : 3:57:44 PM
Adds to the realism, go for it!

Joe-SVL Posted - 05/08/2019 : 1:07:34 PM
I know that couplers, trucks, axles etc. are exempt from scratch built counts. I am nearing the end of building my first AP car and was wondering is it prudent to paint and weather the above three specific items.

Joe in Orlando
Michael Hohn Posted - 04/20/2019 : 3:11:17 PM

What do you mean by “normal?” Kadee no. 5? They are indeed oversized and many of us have switched to their “scale coupler” with regular or whisker shank. Kadee makes “scale” boxes for the whisker coupler. (I use Kadee no. 58 and cut the “ears” off the boxes. )

Jim is quite right that couplers are not judged. However, couplers closer to scale look better and can’t hurt in the judging.

BurleyJim Posted - 04/20/2019 : 11:29:04 AM

Couplers are 'exempt' from judging.

Joe-SVL Posted - 04/20/2019 : 10:55:45 AM
Coupler Inquiry

I am nearing the completion of my first AP Car certificate HO-scale car and was wondering what others have done wrt using a coupler that is somewhat less space consuming than the normal Kadee coupler.

Joe in Orlando
Joe-SVL Posted - 02/28/2019 : 5:50:29 PM
Jim and Mike
Thanks for your replies.
Mike I am using 1/32" basswood per the Porter article for this my first car to be built. It will also be my last basswood car, all the rest will be styrene as I'm confident that it will be much easier with styrene to keep the edges square and clean. As per the article by John Porter my flat car has fishbelly sills which will also be the last fishbelly sill car I build.

Jim my judges come over from Tampa to East Orlando so my present plan is to have 2 or 3 cars ready for their trip as they will also be judging my Civil Certificate work on that same trip.

Michael Hohn Posted - 02/26/2019 : 3:02:49 PM

I looked at the article you’ve been following. I see why you’re using it with the detailed plans and drawings. It’s going to be an interesting model. Excuse me if you said earlier, but are you using wood or styrene?

While you won’t see judges getting out their protractors to measure angles, you do want to be reasonably accurate because that will help when you go to assemble the underframe around the train line. Additionally, ti would be difficult to impossible to fix later. Because of the simplicity of a flat car the underneath will get more scrutiny and you want to use extra care, as you’re doing.

BurleyJim Posted - 02/26/2019 : 10:05:48 AM
I don't.

Joe, I applaud your absolute attempt at strict adherence to exactness. I really hope you are getting some enjoyment out of building these models. Take one of your cars, have it 'evaluated' by some of the folks in your Division. Fill out the paperwork Forms 901 and 902. See how the evaluation is done. You are allowed to be there, it's not a 'contest'!. They should ask questions of you if they have any, and afterwards they write comments on the various areas that are evaluated. The whole purpose is to encourage you to be the best modeler you can be. If the model doesn't gather a Merit Award, you should have pointers to get you there. I've had cars that have 'failed' the exam. With the tips and comments received, everyone of them with just a little tweak here and there passed. How you present the model (write up) is important. Describe what you intend to show. Don't go into so much detail, that the evaluators think their "heads are about to explode".

I've judged at the past two National Convention Contests and am planning on doing it again in Salt Lake City. We all learn by doing. Relax, and enjoy the ride.

Joe-SVL Posted - 02/26/2019 : 09:24:53 AM
Thank you for your inputs on using plastic AB brake kits instead of the Cal-Scale brass kits. I've just returned two brass kits to Walthers and will be ordering 4 more plastic ones to go along with the plastic kits I bought along with two brass kits some time last year. If anybody would like the two brass kits I have I'll be glad to mail them to you. One of the reservoirs has one or two #78 holes drilled into it.

Question: When the main brake line crosses from one side of the under frame thru/under the center sill is the angle that the brake line subtends a standard angle such as 45-degrees? IS the angle subtended a "detail" point that the judges look for?


jbvb Posted - 02/23/2019 : 4:02:03 PM
I've drilled quite a few #78 and finer holes in brass and plated brass passenger car sides without a lot of difficulty. Patience, a quality HSS drill & pin vise, maybe a tiny bit of oil for lube. It won't go fast.
mwbpequod Posted - 02/18/2019 : 09:21:15 AM
Drilling into a brass casting is difficult, especially for the diameter carbide drill you would use. Brass is much harder than aluminum or 'pot metal'. Use the plastic, once it's painted nobody knows or measures a Rockwell number.

If you're using a pin vise to drill brass, you're going to be there close to forever and will probably end up breaking a few drill bits, too. If you have a small drill press, this gets a lot easier a lot faster.

If you have the option of plastic castings that are good, go there. If they look right, then they are right.
BurleyJim Posted - 02/17/2019 : 8:23:39 PM

Drilling into a brass casting is difficult, especially for the diameter carbide drill you would use. Brass is much harder than aluminum or 'pot metal'. Use the plastic, once it's painted nobody knows or measures a Rockwell number.

Joe-SVL Posted - 02/17/2019 : 2:52:34 PM
AB Brake kits
I'm installing my first Cal-Scale AB Brake system and need some hole. I bought the brass version of Cal-Scale brake system and am trouble drilling holes to more securely hold the various size wires I plan on using for the piping. Has anybody had success with drilling into the brass pieces of the Ca-Scale set; OR have people generally used the Cal-Scale plastic AB brake system kit?

Michael Hohn Posted - 02/15/2019 : 11:30:40 AM
When gluing grabs in place I usually slip a scale 2” piece of styrene under the grab. The resulting standoff looks right to me.


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