Monday, June 18, 2012

Kitbashing a PFE R-40-26: update

Several comments have been sent to me about this Accurail kitbash project, two of which are important enough that I decided to do this additional post. Here is a link to the previous post on this project, based on the new plug-door reefer model: .
     First, the side sill of the Accurail plug-door car has guides on the back to facilitate cutting out the sill for a “tabbed sill” (as on the PFE car). I knew about this, but did not mention it initially because, not having seen the model itself, I don’t know that the provided guides match the PFE side sill contour. To the extent that they do, of course, this will be a help for side-sill modification. I would say that this means that modelers can either carefully follow the PFE prototype photo in the previous post for guidance, or else decide that any sort of tabbed sill will do the job, and simply use the Accurail guides and don’t worry about an exact match.
     I was also reminded of a second important point: the Accurail model reefer design has separate sides, which click neatly into place on the body, with pegs molded on the back of the side fitting into locating holes on the body. Here is an example, using an undecorated wood reefer kit with yellow sides and a black body; you can see the locating holes at the right edge of the black body:

     This is a great feature for two-color paint schemes, such as the PFE cars with boxcar red roof and ends, and orange sides. Any modifications to the car sides, following by repainting, requires no masking as part of the paint job. I had recommended new placard boards, a dummy fan plate, and a fan control box should be added, along with possibly adding the second rivet rows on the car sides with Archer rivets. Most of those changes would require repainting. Since the color of the plug-door PFE kit is wrong anyway, you might as well go ahead and make as many detail changes as desired, and then repaint those sides. Or, of course, you could start with an undecorated model.
     I have been encouraged to receive several messages from modelers who do plan to try this kitbash. I hope to hear from some of them as to how the models turn out.
Tony Thompson

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