Monday, December 14, 2009

O Scale Southern Railway / Norfolk Southern Radio Car Resin Kit

I have finished the 3 pilot models for the urethane kit I have come out with.

Jim King did most all of the work in making the kit.  This included him hand-measuring the original 1:1 prototype car.  Then making the CAD files.  He then had an SLA made where he took molds of each side and then put the castings together to make the one-piece body.  He then molded that and casted that.  From there, one adds the detail parts on, paints it, etc and you have a finished kit.

I have kits available in 3R, 2R, and 3RS.  I can even put these together for an extra cost.  Kits come with Southern decals, but I can also provide NS decals for an extra cost.

As always, click the images to see the HIGH-res versions.

AtlasO Scale 2R SW SCL Repaints

No one paints anything into SCL colors these days.  Don't know why as it was a major class 1 railroad unlike half of the class 2 and 3's that keep getting attention.  I seem to be about the only guy I know painting SCL stuff these days, but that's okay.  I don't like to own the same stuff everyone else has running on their layout. I enjoy super-detailing and repainting equipment, especially locomotives in SCL, SOU, and NYC tradition.

I repainted 2 AtlasO SW's into SCL paint.  SW9 183, SW8 19.  I also had to edit this post, so I threw in some photos of S2m 113.  All are based off prototype pictures and have been super-detailed accordingly.  Finished up #19 last night and #183 has been done for over a year now and is also weathered. 113 was done in 2011 timeframe and had an article done in OST for it.

As always, the pics are clickable for the HIGH-resolution versions of the photos.

St. Charles Model Works ACL K-7 Gondola

So I finished this gon kit since before O Scale National 2009 in Baltimore.  It was on display there.  This kit is produced by St. Charles Model Works.  Their website is here:  Contact Terry or Sue if you want one of these kits.  They retail for around $105 for the complete kit with trucks/couplers/parts.

Below is the construction process.  Hopefully it will help or inspire others to build this kit.  Its a good kit outside needing to heavily wash the resin to get rid of oils.

NOTE: ALL images are shown smaller than actually are.  Click on images for higher-res photos if desired.

Here is what comes in the full kit:

Simple, right?  Yup. 

First step is to stand down any flash on the body castings.

After speaking to Terry on the phone, I found out the kit was designed for a 1/32 metal plate in between the underframe and the body castings.  I planned on putting load inside and opted for some styrene cut down to correct sizes.

The underframe was put on with CA, but epoxy may have been the smarter move.  I have had no issues with the CA though.

 Below are some tools I used to do this after looking at prototype blueprints, pictures, etc.  I have a digital caliper that I got at York for $20.  One of my best investments.  To the left is also some rivets and small modelers drill bits.  A must for modelers.  Time to put in some grabs and their rivets that hold them in.

I then moved to do the sides, again using prototype photos.  Each hole was drilled with a #76 bit and a pin vise.

Finally some work on adding the AB brakes (intermountain plastic sprues)

I replaced the plastic piping with wire.

Here is a shot of the B end with the brake wheel details and grab irons.  These are roughly done off pictures.  The ends are not dreadnaught, which is a flaw for post 1950, but it will make due on this model.

The above picture shows the completed brake details.  Note that I had drilled holes through the underframe brackets for the brake lines to go through.  Thinking about it, I believe I forgot to add the air line to this car from the air hoses.  Oops.  The end of the brake cylinder leg is attached the the brake wheel via some scale chain.  A good reference for both AB and K brakes that I have used is here:

The A end.

Completed 3/4 view.

Not sure who made the trucks, but they're similar to weaver/athearn bettendorfs.

Below is the completed car with graceline 2R trucks.  The 3R weaver trucks' flanges were ridiculous and would not work with this kit.  I suppose someone could washer the heck out of the bolster, but that would ruin the look of this car.  2R wheels run on newer track systems like Gargraves/RCS switches, and AtlasO track these days anyways.  No problem.  Almost ready for paint.  Even with 2R trucks, the flanges hit the underframe.  Time to fix that next.

The photo is a little bright, but some more photos of the completed car.

Around this time I added the stirrups.  I added them after the trucks to ensure they wouldn't break off from handling.

Above is the decals and all the tools I use.  I use a sharp metal ruler and a sharp fresh X-acto blade to cut my decals.  I have a special brush I only use to put on the microscale solutions to put on decals.  I have not used the walthers solvaset in awhile.  The paper bowl to the left has warm water to soak the decals in.  The car itself is behind the solvasets.  Note, paper bowls give up structural integrity over time.  Do not use them for water or cereal.  I stick with plastic tupperware now for the warm water I need to do decals.

Next is time to cut the decals:

From here, this is one finished side.  You can see the rest of the decals sitting behind the car.  Again, a photo and blueprints were used to figure out where to put decals.  There are also some markings from a cloverhouse dry transfers on the sides as well.  Also note the decals on the undersill.  That was known by looking at the blueprints.  You can see that I upgraded from the paper bowl to the plastic tupperware and I use a mcdonalds napkin to place my decals after 10 seconds in the water.  I use a pair of $4 needlenose tweezers to move the decals where I want them.  I won't go over how to do decals.  That is explained on a lot of other websites as well as the directions on the solvaset bottles.  The key is to gloss the heck out of the body before putting the decals on.  That and using the sharp X-acto to cut the decals will help blend the edges of the decals into the paint and leave great looking models.  don't forget to gloss over it again and dull cote if desired.  That will protect the decals and help keep them from yellowing in years to come.

The final result:

Again, the kit and the cool granite load can be had from St. Charles Model Works.  They guarantee everything and their kits and loads are top notch.  They even have a ton of coal loads, scrap bails, steel plates, etc for your coal hoppers, gondolas, and flatcars.

Contact Terry or Sue Wellman at or 815-457-2453 for more information. Their website is .  Everything they make is made in America.