Saturday, September 10, 2011

More brass-bashing

So along with laying additional track and reorganizing the basement a bit, I'm continuing with a few projects. I'm still waiting for some parts to arrive for the cabooses, so here's what's left of a Nickel Plate Products brass box car. The box says it's a 50' X-32 box car, but it's really an X32a. There were numerous detail issues:
 •The doors were too short and had primitive door tracks (so they would operate).
 •All of the grabs were straight grabs, the side and one of the end ones should be bracket grab irons.
 •The running board was attached directly to the roof with no supports. I haven't been able to get the lateral running boards off yet.
 •The underframe consists of a center sill and rudimentary bolsters.
 •The brake gear was just the basic components.

My original intention was to rework this as a N&W B-3 class. I have a couple of pictures of one in New Britain yard in 1949. They are at an angle, though, and I didn't have any good pictures or information other than the fact that they were similar to the PRR X32a cars. After asking the experts at the Steam Era Freight Car group I have learned that it is not a good match. The model has a door opening of about 12 1/2', close to the early PRR X32a of 12' 1". The B-3 class cars had a 14' 6" door opening which also means that the side panels are incorrect.

So, the question is, how will I proceed? I know I'll be substituting a Bowser underframe, and I can use the Bowser doors if modeling a Pennsy car. I could get rid of the rivets on the sides and replace them with Archer rivets. Fortunately the model doesn't have panel lines so I wouldn't have to contend with that.

Another option is to make a casting of either the whole car body, or perhaps just the ends. If I do the ends then I could scratchbuild the body for the B-3 (and maybe some other cars) and then finish this one as a PRR X32a.

So we'll see. At this point is doesn't surprise me that it won't be as simple as I thought it would be. That's nothing new. At least I know I can get the correct coil-elliptic-coil trucks from Tahoe Model Works. In any event, it's been fun disassembling the car. And if you haven't guessed, this one may go back on the shelf for a bit while I work out the details.

In the meantime, more turnouts are on the way so the priority work (building the layout) can continue...

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