Saturday, June 15, 2019

Modeling SP Class G-50-20, Part 2

In the first part of this topic, I showed the challenge of modeling this class of Southern Pacific GS gondolas, namely the reverse Dreadnaught end, with its major ribs facing inward. I also showed how I approached the problem, by modifying a commercial gondola end to turn it into a passable reverse Dreadnaught pattern. (Here’s a link: .)
     The preparation of the ends still needs a little more work. First, the vertical edges of the new outside need to be slightly rounded, since the end is turned around. This takes only a few strokes with a file or sanding stick. Next, a “ledge” has to be filed along each of those vertical edges, inside, so the end will fit against the end of the car body. And third, another “ledge” has to be created at the bottom, under the bottom rib on what is now the inside, so the end can fit down in the proper position. Again, this is a quick job. You can see the ledges at each side and at the bottom, in this view.

Obviously in a process like this, it is useful to file a bit, check the fit, file more, check the fit, and so on. The fit ends up pretty good, except the top flange, which will get a corner cover piece anyway.

     Now I turn to the detailing of the end, including brake gear on the B end. Since I wanted to use the kit brake gear, which mounts with small pegs into holes in the end, I elected to use the original kit B end as a template, and simply drill through it into the new end, first clamping the two ends together. I used a no. 76 drill in a pin vise. Here is the process, using a reversed clothes pin as the clamp; the new end is underneath, with its top flange just visible.

Here’s the answer to why I used Detail Associates (DA) ends, instead of the Red Caboose kit ends, to reverse: this way, I have the kit ends as templates to drill attachment holes in the DA ends so I can attach the Red Caboose brake parts.
     I could now proceed to mount all the kit parts on the two ends. I used the wire grab irons that come with the Detail Associates ends I modified, but otherwise used the kit parts — with one exception. The kit give you an Ajax brake wheel, certainly a commonly used component, but not what the SP applied to Class G-50-20.
     As it happens (spelled out in my Volume 1, Gondolas and Stock Cars, in the series Southern Pacific Freight Cars, Signature Press, 2002). three different brake wheels were on this car class. The first 500 cars, SP 56330–56829, had Ureco hand brakes; the second 500, SP 56830–57329, had Miner hand brakes; and the last 500, cars SP 57330–57829, had Klasing hand brakes. Not only does Kadee make a beautiful Miner brake wheel (their part no. 2022), but that allows me to choose a car number in the 56000 range (I made a G-50-20 model years ago that I numbered in the 57000 range).
     I drilled out the mounting hole in the kit brake housing, to accept the Kadee wheel post (a no. 56 drill), then attached it with styrene cement. The housing is not a Miner housing, but is almost invisible behind this brake wheel. This assembly can now be mounted as intended in the kit. (You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish.)

     My next step was to see how well corner cover plates would work, to cover the joint between ends and sides. First I attached one of the ends to the car body. Then I cut some “L” shapes from 0.005-inch styrene sheet, and with the A end glued to the car body, I added these cover plates, along with the end ladder for the A end. You can also see the wire grab iron in this view (the witness coat on this end is on the other side).

The kit provides corner cover plates, which are called “end caps,” that can go over the ones I made, but I was concerned at this point about securing the gap between the Detail Associates end and the Red Caboose body.
     The kit directions instruct the modeler to add details to the ends before attaching them to the body, but based on previous experience with this kit, I believe it is better to attach the ends first (as you see above), then detail them, because of how some of the B-end brake gear overlaps onto the end sill.
     The covering of he corners looked good, so I proceeded with detailing the ends. From here onward, the model assembly pretty much followed kit instructions, so I will skip over most of that. Final body work, as well s painting, lettering, and weathering will be covered in a following post or posts.
Tony Thompson

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