I introduced this project with a presentation of the prototype background, and an explanation of what had to be accomplished to model these cars (see: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2014/12/modeling-southern-pacific-class-50-17.html ). The modeling challenge is primarily the placement of a correct side sheet pattern and associated double-row rivets.
I introduced the first phase of the modeling work, with removal of the side rivets of the Branchline Trains 50-foot body, culminating in a gray “witness coat” over the clean car sides. This was shown in my previous post at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2015/01/modeling-sp-class-50-17-modeling.html .
My article in the Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society magazine Trainline has now appeared, and like all back issues in print, can be purchased from the Society. Issue 122, Winter 2015, is not yet for sale but will appear soon at this link: http://www.sphtsstore.org/servlet/the-Trainline-back-issues/Categories . That said, I will conclude my modeling description, having a bit more space here than in the magazine for both more text and more photos. The blog posts were separately written and do not duplicate the magazine article, but of course cover the same topic.
In the modeling, I was now ready to create the new car sides. The first step was to measure the car on both sides of the door opening, and divide each of the two spaces evenly into four (left) and six (right of the doors) panels. These sizes are close to the three and a half feet per panel. I used an ordinary scriber, and a small machinist’s square, to make these panel lines. Care to get these straight, and perpendicular to the floor, is worth some extra effort.
Once these lines were complete, I could proceed with rivet application. As explained in my first post (link at the top of this post), the double rivet rows are easy to accomplish because the Archer Transfers set AR88108 has exactly the right rivet spacings for this application. In fact, I researched what was needed, and provided the data to Archer in order to do the present project! To purchase this rivet set, you can go to: http://www.archertransfers.com/AR88108.html .
Here is where the gray witness coat comes in handy, because the rivets are black, and on a light background are easy to align parallel to the panel lines. I did apply Testors Glosscote over the gray to ensure a good surface for applying decals. Here is a completed car side with these decals in place. You can click to enlarge. Note that the wider-spaced rivet rows are on the side of the seam away from the door opening, on each side of the opening.
Next I simply completed assembly of the Branchline kit, following kit directions, and as there is nothing out of the ordinary in that process, I will say no more. The only changes I made were to install an etched-metal running board and brake step (Plano no. 194) instead of the molded plastic one in the kit, to represent the prototype’s Apex running board and step, and added a Ureco brake wheel. Here is the model, ready to paint, resting on truck support blocks (if you don’t know these, you may wish to read: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2014/11/interim-truck-support-blocks.html ).
At this point, I airbrushed the model with Floquil “D&H Caboose Red,” a color which is a good match to the SP freight car color after World War II. I have a good stash of this paint, though it is no longer commercially available, but as with any model color, if you plan to add much weathering to your model, the exact color will not be too important.
Next comes lettering. There is no set I am aware of, which can do all the lettering on this car. I used a few elements from a Sunshine Models data set, some data from the Funaro & Camerlengo set for their Class A-50-6 automobile car (I believe the set is still available direct from F&C), and parts of the fine Speedwitch Media decal set D114. The Speedwitch decals can be purchased on-line at: http://speedwitchmedia.com/decals/ . All lettering was intended to match prototype size and location, from photos like the one shown in the Background part of this thread, and in most cases that was accomplished.
Finally, I installed Kadee #58 couplers, added semi-scale wheelsets to the trucks, and attached both trucks and couplers with 2-56 screws. The lettered but unweathered model is shown below.
Note that the car has no white door stripe, unlike the prototype photos shown in the Background post. Those stripes denoted the presence of auto racks, and I am modeling a car without racks.
In my model year of 1953, this car class was barely two years old, so would not be very dirty. I weathered it lightly with my usual acrylic washes, and added route cards, a placard for auto parts, and a few chalk marks. Here it is on my layout.
This was an interesting project for me, in changing the side-sheet pattern and rivets to match an SP prototype. I will be the first to admit that the changes are far from striking on the finished model, but rest assured that I know about them.