Monday, May 31, 2021
Friday, May 28, 2021
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
I've exhausted my stash of Tichy flats, so I just need to finish the ones I've started. In the meantime, I have come across a few additional prototypes if you're inclined. Most of these cars on any road were retired quickly post WWII, but I'm sure a lot ended up in MOW service. For those modeling the depression era and earlier, they would be worth considering.
NYC Lot 208-F
- NYC&HR 32500-33499, reassigned to NYC 49700-49799 starting in 1916;
- CI&S 74557-74856, reassigned to NYC 496557-496856 starting in 1916;
- CCC&StL 50000-50249
- MCRR 33000-33499
Most of the NYC flat cars are similar to the USRA design, with fishbelly side sills and a straight center sill. But this series of 41' cars closely resemble the Tichy cars. They have 11 stake pockets. Here's a picture that looks like it's one of these cars.
NYC Lot 209-F
- NYC&HR 31900-31999, reassigned to NYC 476900-476999 starting 1916.
I don't have a picture, but the diagram is quite similar. The biggest difference is that it's listed as a wooden flat car. Some received steel underframes c1924-6. I believe the originally had truss rods, but that would be doable.
Ray Breyer recently posted this on the Pre-Depression Era modeling group on Facebook. Like the NYC car it has 11 stake pockets per side. I think this is the 71700-72099 series of cars. Best I can tell, this was the only class with a steel underframe. The deck was 40', over the end 41'.
The others had steel center sills and truss rods. For example this one, also from Ray:
I don't have the dimensions, but it would be just as easy to scratch build these side and end sills with a straight center sill and the addition of truss rods. The slight "fishbelly" side sill is interesting on this prototype.
I won't be digging up the many truss rod cars, as they would almost certainly be out of service by my era, but essentially this design appears to have largely been a transitional one. It starts with shorter flat cars with straight center sills and truss rods. The next evolution was steel underframes with deep fishbelly center sills (even at the high angle, the center sill is visible in the photo of the NYC one). They appear to have been largely supplanted by the USRA design, but a few more were built into the mid-20's and had less substantial center sills.
Monday, May 24, 2021
I wanted to try doing a deck that was less distressed, as it seems like the railroads maintained them better in my era. I also hadn't tried the AK Interactive paints that I had received for Christmas - Old and Weathered Wood Vol 2.
Although it's not evident in the photos, the first deck I did still has a slight sheen in person. A matte clearcoat might resolve this, but when looking at it, part of it seems to be the smooth finish of the plastic itself. So I lightly sanded the entire deck with a sanding stick to start. This process also highlighted the very subtle differences in board heights on the Tichy model that weren't evident to the naked eye. Nice touch!
Since this is lightly distressed, I simply used the razor saw to work on the board ends a little bit. Even that probably isn't that necessary. If I decide the light sanding isn't enough, it will be very easy to go back and distress it some more and refinish those parts.
The base coat again is a thinned light gray, with as many coats as looks "right" to me.
Friday, May 21, 2021
Although none of the flat cars are quite ready for this, a recent post/video by Jason Hill on his blog about how he distresses, paints and weathers flat car decks inspired some practice. Jason's techniques with the razor saw were faster than my more methodical approach, and while most of the specifics are similar to what I do it's always nice to get a refresher in some of the techniques.
Harold Minkwitz's Pacific Coast Airline Railway site also has some great info and examples. Unfortunately it appears Harold passed last year, and the site may be going away. He had an article in the July 2006 RMC. I would post a link to the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, but it appears he blocked access for his site, which is too bad.
It's been a long time since I've really painted anything like this. I did a quick coat on the crossing shanties, and did paint and weather the engine servicing pits. But painting is something I've been looking forward to getting back to for some time. I've painted thousands of fantasy miniatures along with some scenery back in the day. So I'm quite comfortable with brush painting with acrylics, but haven't done any in a long, long time. What I'll need to learn is how to use the airbrush, but that's for another day. This process is all about brush-painting with acrylics.
Here's a "before and after" look next to an unfinished Tichy model. I'm quite happy with how it turned out, here's an outline of the process I used.
Distressing the Deck
I'd already severely distressed the NH flat car deck, since it's representing a car near the end of its life. When I did the New Haven deck I used a razor saw, scalpel, and scriber to dig it up. The majority was with the scalpel. This is a shot in progress:
However, most of the photos I've seen from my era indicates that the decks didn't typically get that bad. Since I have extra Tichy decks, I used one to make what I would consider a "well-worn" deck that is still in regular service. So most of the work here was done with the razor saw.