Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hendrickson auto car, Part 5

This project amounts to the completion of an automobile car model that Richard Hendrickson had started but not completed. I eventually tracked it down as a model of a Santa Fe Class FE-25 car, a rebuild with modern steel sides and roof, but with re-used corrugated ends and underframe. Photos of the model as it came to me, and prototype information, are in the first post on this topic (you can see it at: ). That post also provides a link to my comments appreciating Richard’s life and contributions after he passed away in 2014.
     The most recent post in the series about this model showed how I approached the completion of the car’s underframe, including coupler pockets (that post is at this link: ). In that post, I simply showed the fitting of the coupler pockets to the auto car underframe. To attach each pocket, I softened both the end of the underframe, and the mating end of the coupler pocket, with styene cement, so that they could be directly bonded. I then placed a small dot of CA on the steel weight, where the coupler pocket would rest, and pressed the coupler pocket end against the softened frame end while gently pressing the pocket down into place on the steel weight to spread out the CA. This made two good bonds.
     But it seemed to me that even with these two good bonds, the separate coupler pocket could have the problem of inadequate strength when subjected to pulling forces when the car is operated in a long train. Thus I decided to make splice pieces of styrene, to strengthen the joint between the end of the underframe in place, and the newly added coupler pocket. I used Evergreen scale 1 x 6-inch strip for this. In the photo below, the splice is the white strip on the frame.

The same interim truck support blocks are still on the car, as you see at the bolster.
     The second problem is to match the end ladders that Richard had applied, with ladders having identical rung spacing. After looking at a lot of stashed ladder sprues, I came up with a match: Grandt ladder set 5124. I’m sure these are right, because the rung style and detail matches Richard’s installation, as well as the rung spacing matching. I will show those below. But there is a complication: the Santa Fe side ladders had 8 rungs, and the Grandt ladder only has 7 rungs. I will have to add one rung. But here is the Grandt ladder, added in stock condition, photographed so that you can see the rungs lined up between side and end ladders.

     The eighth rung was added by cutting up another Grandt ladder from the same set, and adding it at the bottom of the previously added ladder. What is needed is about 6 scale inches of added height, plus that final rung. Below is shown my added rung. The slightly visible gaps in the ladder stiles will be filled before painting. This arrangement captures the prototype 8-rung ladder appearance.

     With these details having been completed, the car is essentially ready for the paint shop. I will turn to the painting and lettering issues in a future post.
Tony Thompson

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