Sunday, June 12, 2022

PFE Class R-40-24, Part 2

This post continues my description of this resin car project, assembling a complete model refrigerator car from a stash of resin parts given me years ago by Frank Hodina, as a reward for some help I provided to him when he was making masters for the Sunshine Pacific Fruit Express kits. The first post about this project, primarily giving PFE prototype background, is at: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2020/04/building-pfe-class-r-40-24-car.html

For me, and hopefully for readers, this is an interesting project in that it isn’t actually a kit, simply a group of excellent major parts. I needed to collect suitable detail parts, and devise an assembly process.

I showed all those major components in the previous post. I now began the process of collecting detail parts, but did not attach them yet, since it is easier to assemble a resin house car without ladders and other fragile details on the sides. I began by airbrushing the car sides using Star Brand Paint’s STR-27, “S.P./P.F.E. Daylight Orange.” This paint dries glossy enough to accept decals with no other preparation. 

 Likewise the car roof and ends and their various detail parts; these were painted separately and would be attached after the house car body is assembled.  Here I used Star’s STR-30, “SP/UP Freight Car Red,” As I mentioned above, this paint gives a semi-gloss surface that accepts decals well. Here are all these parts laid out.

If you compare this photo to the one included in the first post (cited in the opening paragraph, above), obviously the sides are now orange, and roof and ends are matching Freight Car Red. Also in that color are the following: a sprue of InterMountain reefer ladders, adjoining the ends; above that, an etched metal running board (Plano), and above that, a sprue of ice hatch parts. Not shown is a sprue of hand brake parts that I forgot to include. The floor and frame part is at right, not yet painted.

I decide to begin by making the “box” for the body. One of the attractions of this project for me was to learn to use the Coffman “Corner Clamps” I inherited from my late friend Richard Hendrickson. There are of course a great many corner clamp products out there, but I wanted a task where I could learn to use these. They are designed for just such a project as this.

The key for assembling the sides and ends of the present project was to determine how the roof set up over the sides and ends. I simply clamped a side and an end, and experimented to get the roof right. I could then proceed to attach the two parts.

In the photo above, it may appear that the bottom of the side and end pieces don’t match. But they do; you may click on the image to enlarge it, if you can’t readily see what I mean. Also well shown here is the opening inside the corner of the clamp, permitting application of adhesive. I chose 1/8-inch square styrene strip to use inside the corner to reinforce it, and added the strips with canopy glue.

When the canopy glue was well set, I removed the clamps and added CA glue in the corner inside. As you see below, one advantage of pre-painting before assembly is that no masking is needed. I was well pleased with how neatly the clamps worked, and will consider them part of my toolbox for future projects. By the way, the holes you see in the sides will accept fan shafts in the completed model.

I will continue with this project in a following post.

Tony Thompson

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