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Winter Build Challenge:__Old Red Ball kits

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  • Winter Build Challenge:__Old Red Ball kits

    (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)

  • #2
    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)

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    • #3
      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/t...8&whichpage=39

      George
      The sky is not my limit, it's my playground.

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      • #4
        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)

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        • #5
          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)

          Comment


          • #6
            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?
            James

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            • #7
              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)

              Comment


              • #8
                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)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dave those kits look really old. Are they from the 1950's? They look like the "old time" kits. Should be an interesting build.
                  Owner, General Manager, and all around "chief cook and bottle washer" of the Caz Coal-and-Wood Railroad

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                  • #10
                    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)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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-conte...March-2020.pdf

                      Jim


                      Take the red pill

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                      • #12
                        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)

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                        • #13
                          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)

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                          • #14
                            Dave,

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

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                            • #15
                              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)

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