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 Winter Build Challenge: Old Red Ball kits
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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  10:59:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
(Initial post duplicated from the challenge thread)
I found this box mixed in with a bunch of structure kits. It's an old Red Ball/Wabash Valley kit. You'd buy printed car sides separately from the rest of the kit.


Inside are -5- printed car sides (4x36' and one 40' set), parts for 3 36' cars, and almost no instructions!

But that's why it's a -challenge-, right?

I can use the cast sides to get reasonable facsimiles of the 2 PRR cars. I'm not sure about the B&O car, I need more info on those. I'll cut different subwalls/ends for construction from some 1/4" lumber in the shop. Matching the paint will be interesting, the 2 PRR sides are definitely different shades of boxcar red. These will get minimal undercarriages, like I did for my set of 28' last year.

dave
Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8735

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  11:06:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now the big pondering is how to frame up these kits, given the cardboard car sides. I'm looking at 3 options:

The top approach is how most wood car kits I've built have been framed. A piece for the undercarriage/floor, with end blocks. These are cut to allow the sides and ends to be glued on, so the width is "undersized" appropriately. But for cardboard car sides, that won't work very well as the sides will have no strength/reinforcement.

#2 is probably the strongest. Here there are full size sides, that the cardboard sides are glued onto. The ends and undercarriage pieces are sized to fit within the sides.

#3 is similar, but this provides a full size undercarriage piece, with the end blocks a bit shorter and side pieces cut to fit in the opening.

I don't see any way to build these cars without -3 precise cuts-. I'm leaning towards approach #2 as the most sturdy. The kits have cast ends that will be glued onto the end blocks with the car sides fitting inside the cast ends. (Those need to be sanded to not be too thick and to be square/parallel, as you'll see the metal ends as the last column of car siding.

Matching paint will be another problem, you probably noticed the car sides aren't all quite the same color of Boxcar Red (despite the claims of "Floquil Boxcar Red paint to match.")

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8735 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  11:14:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, in the 2020 challenge, I built an Ambroid kit of similar design. I used thin wood for the sides and was concerned about the strength while handling the car, so I reinforced them with wood as shown here http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52348&whichpage=39

George


Fly Army

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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  4:21:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I decided to go with #3. Here's the sub-frame test-fit, with the (NESL) roof set on top:


I cut these parts on my mitre (chop) saw. First I constructed a stop block, glued & screwed, and then trimmed that to make sure it was square to the blade. Then I cross-cut strips of the appropriate thickness from 1/4" and 1/2" poplar.

I'll do 2 cars at this width, and then the 3rd car has thicker sides, so I'll have to remeasure, reset the jigs, and cut more strips.

I cut the strips to the right length on my (Proxxon) hobbyist table saw.

Here's the first subframe glued together.

Once the glue is dry, I'll sand everything smooth on my rotating Logan disk (picture frame) sander.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8735 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  5:43:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I smoothed and squared the subwalls on my Logan framing sander. Then I glued the Northeastern Scale Lumber pre-shaped roof onto the subframe.

I used the calipers to visualize that the roof was centered on the ends.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8735 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  6:55:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good progress; I saw ads for many of that generation of kits in the 1960s, but never bought one. Do you plan to fill the notches under the roof's eaves, or will the cardstock stand up to a small unsupported area?


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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/05/2021 :  8:27:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, at least 1 step backwards and 1 step sideways. The body is too thick, the ends don't overlap as I wanted them to. I cut that down pretty easily. But then I remembered, I need access to the body to add weights and string the truss rods. So I popped off the roof (broke off a corner and reglued that) and popped off the sides. I decided to put the B&O sides on this first car.

One reason I shaved off thickness is so I can put some trim strip along the top of the pre-printed sides. The printing does not go up to the top of the car side when it's cut to fit. For roofing, I'll probably laminate some .020 scribed siding for a wood roof.

Hopefully more forward progress tomorrow.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 01/05/2021 8:28:55 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 8735 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/06/2021 :  1:51:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The metal parts are epoxied onto the underframe. Before I glued the ends in place, I measured and drilled the pilot hole for the couplers and for the trucks.

I used the rule-of-thumb that the center of the bolster should be the 'truck wheel base' from the end of the car, so that's scale 5'. The needle beams are located just outside (towards either end) of the door opening.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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Larryc
Crew Chief



Posted - 01/07/2021 :  11:27:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave those kits look really old. Are they from the 1950's? They look like the "old time" kits. Should be an interesting build.

My current build:http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53479

Country: USA | Posts: 607 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/07/2021 :  12:33:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think these kits are from the '60s, but they use '50s "technology." Wabash Valley bought the Red Ball line. Bitter Creek now offers the same cast metal parts: https://bittercreekmodels.com (I particularly like the cast bolsters.)

Mike Hohn has a great page on B&O cars: http://myplace.frontier.com/~mehohn/BO_boxcars.htm I'll pattern mine after his M3, but it'll be red and have different lettering.

dave



Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/07/2021 :  6:16:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BurleyJim

Dave,

Put those cars 'darker side up in a sunlit area. they'll fade up to the lighter shade. I believe they used Scalecoat I on the original runs. I've got several set of those Red Ball sides from Merle Rice.He was in bad shape the last time I saw him, and don't know what his status is. Here is an old link to his business. He ran his businesses under many names, including Wabash Valley, Distinctive Depot, Huntington RR Models, etc. They built some real unique stuff back in the day.

http://www.mrrwarehouse.com/wp-content/uploads/Inventory-Sales-Flyer-with-pics-March-2020.pdf

Jim



Take the red pill

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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/07/2021 :  6:53:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Truss rods strung, weights added, subroof reglued. Styrene roof (scribed siding) added, along with roofwalk supports. Brake platform casting added (can't see it), doors cleaned, test-fit with 2x8 trim, and of course the side as part of the test fit. This is starting to shape up nicely.

Next step, prime and paint everything but the sides.

Turns out Golden Fluid Red Oxide (artist acrylic) paint is a very close match for the car siding.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 01/07/2021 6:58:12 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 8735 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/08/2021 :  3:31:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ends, top and bottom are primed (Vallejo German Red Brown primer, a good base for boxcar red.)

The ends, needle beams, bolsters, doors, brake platform and brake wheel are "OEM" castings. I shaved off the cast-on end grabiron and substituted homemade grabs. Tichy brake cylinder and steps. Scribed styrene over the wood (and metal end) subroof.

Finish paint tomorrow over the primer, then final assembly.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 01/08/2021 8:20:02 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 8735 Go to Top of Page

CNE1899
Engine Wiper

Supporting Member


Posted - 01/08/2021 :  8:43:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave,

Very nice play by play. Bringing new life to old kits! Looking good.



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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/11/2021 :  6:07:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
B&O car (almost) done....

Still needs a bit of paint touch-up and weathering. The paint is Golden fluid red oxide, with a bit of brown oxide mixed in. (The sides have a little purple tint to them, but the paint I mixed should work fine once the car is weathered. The big difference in this picture is in finish, the sides are dead flat while the other parts are semi-gloss.

The other car is a Westerfield PRR XG. The B&O car is surprisingly taller than the PRR car.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 01/11/2021 6:10:28 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 8735 Go to Top of Page
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