Thursday, October 6, 2022

Heavyweight sleepers, Part 3: roof

 Last year I showed my completion of the body work on kitbashing a Rivarossi Pullman (sold in the U.S. by AHM), from a 12-1 floor plan into a 10-1-1 floor plan. I also explained that my model doesn’t duplicate a prototype 10-1-1 car of a kind used by the Southern Pacific after the Pullman sale, so chose an actual Pullman name, Lake Merritt, for a car not purchased by SP (most “Lake” series cars were 10-1-2). Here is a link to that preceding post: .

The major remaining task is to add air-conditioning ducts to the roof, just as Pullman did in the late 1930s with many of its heavyweight sleepers. I have done this in the past in a variety of ways, but for this model, will use the New England Rail Service set no. 250, ducting parts intended for use with the Rivarossi Pullman. Here is the roof as it came from the model, with window glass included:

The first step is to decide how the ducts should be arranged. Occasionally a full-length duct was applied to these cars, but much more commonly at least one side had a partial duct, often omitting the aisle or restroom areas. For example, here is a 12-1 (12 sections, 1 drawing room) car with a partial duct on the aisle side (Bruce Heard photo, West Oakland, 1959).

Since I am not modeling a specific prototype car, I decided to do the common partial duct on the aisle side, and then to place a full-length duct on the other side; I don’t have any other model heavyweight Pullmans with a full-length duct. I also imagine that this car models one of the sleepers that remained in the Pullman pool, for use by railroads when needed. (See the previous post, link in top paragraph, for more on this.)

The first step in the New England Rail Service instructions is to choose a duct length, then mark the end points and add the duct-end pieces to the roof. They are visible below.

After adding the duct surface between these ends, the comparable process is completed on the other side of the roof, but with the car-end duct terminations for the full-length duct. The duct parts fit the Rivarossi roof well (if not perfectly) and are easy to clean up for a smooth assembly. I used small amounts of the excellent Tamiya Putty to correct some slight gaps. Here it is:

Next came painting. I simply taped over the “glass” areas and sprayed everything else with Tamiya “German Grey” (TS-4). Shouldn’t the color be black? Note the roof color in the prototype photo above. It may have once been black, but certainly is no longer that color in this photo. And nearly all Pullman roofs in Chapter 3 of the excellent reference, Southern Pacific Passenger Cars, Vol. 2, “Sleepers and Baggage-Dorms” (SPH&TS, Pasadena, 2005), are likewise various shades of gray.

Below is the car body with the roof/glazing temporarily inserted. The interior view-blocks (see the previous post, with link provided in the top paragraph, above) are not yet in place, nor are such additional details as diaphragms. The roof color may be compared to that of the prototype photo shown above.

The last details such as diaphragms, along with trucks and couplers, will be pursued in a following post. I look forward to having this Pullman pool sleeper in service on my layout.

Tony Thompson

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