CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

WW&F #3 coach build (part 3)

While the roof and frames were out getting chopped, I decided to work on the body. Using a square to ensure good joints, I used a toothpick to apply some wood glue to each end and joined it to a side, forming an "L" shape. Despite advice not to, I did attach a short piece of stripwood to the inside corner at the joint just to give it a little strength. I cut it short so it didn't reach the top or the bottom of the joint, which hopefully will prevent it from fouling the frame or roof. I used what I had on hand, which is why it looks so tiny. I am not really sure it added much, but it did increase the glue joint area. One thing is for sure... I will need to treat this car more gingerly than a typical plastic boxcar.

Then, once that set I glued the two assemblies together into one body. The kit provides three pieces of wood that are glued along the top between the two sides. They have slits and holes in them to remount the Bachmann "interior lighting" provided with the original car. I had thrown that all away, because I hate flickering lights, light that bleeds out of car joints, hiding batteries to power lights in lieu of track power, and in general it looks lame. But, it was great attention to detail by Deerfield River Laser. I glued each roof support one at a time and let each cure before moving to the next one. To keep the sides in position and the right distance while the glue set, I used two drinking cups. The one on the right, by the way, is my paint brush rinse glass. 

Finally, after seeing the interior drawing of the coach on Eric Shade's website I decided to try and build an interior. It wasn't going to be perfect because I was using the Bachmann seats I already had, which aren't exact matches for the flip seats in the real coach. One issue I ran into was that the prototype coach is 15 windows long, but the model is 16 windows long. So, to keep the chairs in line with the windows (thankfully, they had the same spacing) I had a larger gap at one end of the car. Still, I doubt anyone will notice. But, I had some free time and wanted to work on something so off I went. I used a knife to cut the seats along the aisle from the rest of the floor, and then glued a strip of 0.060" square styrene along the bottom of one side to allow the chairs to sit level. 

The floor, benches, bathroom walls, and toilet were all built out of styrene. I used some strips of styrene to add paneling detail, door frames, etc. Nothing very detailed, as it wouldn't really be visible through the windows. Then, everything was given a spray coat of a dark brown/maroon color to represent the dark paneling inside. I painted the floor a different shade of brown, and the stove on the end was painted black and given "rust" and "dirt" highlights. If I am smart, I will make sure to align the end of the roof with the smoke jack with this end of the coach. The toilet was painted white. Again, since the car doesn't have lighting it won't matter too much.

Then, a package arrived in the mail from Scot. Thanks! He cut down 1/4" off the sides of the floors, and removed the same amount from the centerline of the roofs. As it stands, because I am building this kit and in a sense reviewing it (though not at the request of D.R.L.) I figured I would use the frame that had the wooden braces. I took an Xacto knife and cleaned up the various bits of stray plastic that had melted and then cooled along the edges of the cut lines. It came off easy enough. Then, I glued some strips of 0.060" square styrene along the edges to represent the floor beams that were cut away. Because they will be hidden anyway underneath I didn't measure where they went and just did it by eye.

I also installed truss rods bent from 1/32" steel wire. They were supported by truss rod support castings I purchased from Grandt Line. I also purchased turnbuckle castings from them, but they were cored for 0.025" wire and my 1/32" wire was slightly too large (0.006!) and they wouldn't fit. So, I left them off. I may try and cut them in half and glue them around the wire later.

I also purchased Grandt Line end beam and railing castings, which were somewhat necessary and I totally destroyed the Bachmann plastic railings that came with the cars. I thought about soldering up replacement railings, but these were only about $3 so it is worth trying them first. Those railings still look awful delicate and I wonder if anyone sells pre-bent metal railings that I could adapt to this car. The end beams are too wide for a 2-foot car, so I narrowed them and then glued them onto the modified frames. One other detail not shown in this picture is the bottom steps. Once the sides were narrowed, the bottom step nearly disappeared. While the steps on the Bachmann car look nothing like the prototype, I am willing to live with that. But, I added some styrene at the corners to extend them out to look better.

The ceiling was glued back together by adding some more styrene braces on the interior, and flooding the inside of the roof with MEK. It softened the plastic and when I pushed the two pieces of the roof together the oozed into one. I had applied some blue painters tape on the outside beforehand, which captured everything and served as a clamp and a form. The next day, I removed it and lightly sanded it. Then, some Squadron White putty applied over the joints and more sanding nearly made the joint invisible. A thorough washing of the frame and roof in soapy water and a good rinsing left them ready for painting. 

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