On Monday I posted a photo of a T&P flat car and noted that it's very similar, but not identical to the Tichy flat car model.
This kit is a very well designed kit that's a good introduction to a more craftsman style kit. The design also makes it easy to modify the kit for other prototypes. Since I have several of the kits on my shelf, I figured I'd make the major modifications to show how I would go about it.
The deck on the model measures out at 39'-10". The deck boards on the model are 6" wide. To simplify we can group the cars by roughly 6" increments:
- 40'-9" to 40'-10" - NC&StL and DL&W - base kit
- 41'-9" - SP&S - 12" or two boards longer than the kit
- 42'-2" - CN and CP - 15" or about 3 boards longer
- 42'-10" - SSW and T&P - 2' or about 4 boards longer
The kit consists of a deck, separate bolsters and underframe, side and end sills, plus detail parts, including the stake pockets. The fact that the side sills, stake pockets, and underframe components are all separate parts is what makes it possible to alter the kit with relatively little effort.
I have three kits on the shelf, plus parts of another, so based on the roster info I'll build one as is, for a DL&W car, and lengthen two others, for a CN car since they had the largest roster, and T&P since that's what started this (with a photo on the NH).
The first thing I do is cut the deck in half. It's 66 boards long, so the groove between the two center boards makes this easy.
I then cut extra boards from the spare deck that I have. In this case, it was a partially finished model I picked up some place, and it's already painted. That works well for this post.
Using a True Sander, I square everything up.
So you may have wondered why they made the brake levers several separate parts, since they are so tiny. The kit is designed with a weight that fits inside the center sill. The two crossbearers hold the weight in place. And that's the catch...the crossbearers have slots for the brake rodding. I found it possible to insert the rodding into the slots and slide them up to the proper location. I did break off one rod which had to be re-glued. Overall this approach worked for me, but you might find installing the rodding after the crossbearers are installed easier for you.
I installed the kit coupler boxes on two of the models, and then thought that perhaps Kadee ones would be better. The coupler cover for the kit one also forms the portion of the center sill between the bolster and the coupler box (draft gear), but it's glued on.
I usually use the Kadee boxes that have a cover that snaps on, so still no screw but that's better for a flat car.
To ensure it fits properly, I cut off the flange around the top and bottom:
Here's what they look like with trucks so far.
Without the side sills, the place you can see the difference in the length the most is the relationship between the crossties and the trucks. (You can also spot a mistake if you look carefully).
Although there isn't any risk of me completing the cars right away since I don't have any decals, I will cover what to do about the side sills, since that's where the most changes will be made.