Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Creating a wine tank car, Part 2

In the first post in this series, I described the kind of prototype wine car I want to build, showing how the prototype is built and detailed. I also showed my method for making domes of any size easily from Plastruct tubing (you can read that post at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2017/02/creating-wine-tank-car.html ). In the present post, I proceed with the project.
     Before going on, I should emphasize that the model I am working on is not intended as a duplicate of the prototype photo shown in the previous post (GATX 1095). I showed that photo to demonstrate the smaller size and different (flat-topped) construction of the auxiliary domes. But I am not building that car. The model I’m going to produce is definitely a stand-in (more on that later).
     In the previous post, I showed the new auxiliary domes completed but not detailed. Each one needs a bolted (“approved”) manway cover, a frangible-disk safety vent, and grab irons on each side. There are several sources for manway covers of this type, including the Tichy tank car detail set, but I chose to use covers salvaged from Athearn 12,500-gallon tank cars.
      [I harvest these when I raise dome heights of those tank car models, by adding a second dome piece on top of the first, to match the dimensions of SP tank cars. That process has been described in more detail in a previous post about modeling the SP cars (that post can be accessed at this link: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2011/05/modeling-sp-tank-cars.html ].
     Auxiliary domes usually have manway covers in their center, but sometimes are a little offset to one side. I chose to model these with the offset. In the previous post, cited in the first paragraph above, I described the construction of my new auxiliary domes, using 0.015-inch styrene sheet representing the plate tops. Since I need to drill a mounting hole for the Owl Mountain frangible disk safety vents on each dome. I glued a short length of 1/8-inch square styrene strip to the top plate, on the inside of the dome. This greater thickness provides support and gluing surface for the vent. (For more about the prototype and model frangible-disk vents, see my post on the subject at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2017/01/frangible-safety-vents-on-tank-cars.html .)
     With the safety vents in place, glued into no. 68 holes with canopy glue, I also added Westerfield brass wire grab irons to the side of the new domes. Shown below is a view of these domes as completed and ready to add to the main tank car, though first they need to be prepainted aluminum.

     As I illustrated in the first post in this series (link provided in first paragraph of the present post), my tank car to accept these domes is a Walthers (former Proto2000) insulated tank car. The domes were made to fit the diameter of that tank. I decided to do a minimal re-lettering of the stock wine tank car used for a number of recent projects (see my prior post about these cars at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2014/08/wine-tank-cars.html, toward the bottom of the post). With the lettering “patched,” I attached the new, painted domes with canopy cement.

Part of the handrail is silver in this view, due to careless overpainting in “patching” the reporting marks. It will be restored to black.
     The next step was to extend the dome walkway to enough length so a worker could access all three domes. The easy way to do this, and maintain constant thickness, was to fit a strip of Evergreen styrene, scale 1 x 8-inch size, to the full length, on top of the existing walk, then to add strips underneath, at each end, to match the thickness of the existing walk. Here’s a photo showing this walk from underneath, with the two added strips, one at each end (you can click to enlarge):

The idea here is to make the final walk all one thickness, with no visual evidence of the preceding short walk, but without having to remove that original walk.
     This walkway was then glued on top of the original, short walk and a couple of small triangles of the 1 x 8 strip cut to act as end supports. These can be seen just inboard of the ends of the walk.

The walkway still needs to be painted aluminum to go with the rest of the car, and the shiny wheels will need to be corrected also.
     Now I need to re-letter the car, and that has some interesting complications with this modified car, because each of the three domes should be lettered with its capacity (in place of putting the total gallonage on the end of the car), because each compartment is (or can be) an independent cargo. I will return to that part of the project in a future post, along with weathering the completed model.
Tony Thompso

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