In the present sub-set of this series of posts about passenger cars, I am addressing the modeling of Southern Pacific streamlined sleeping cars. I began with background and some prototype photos of two particular floor plans, 4-4-2 (4 compartments, 4 double bedrooms, 2 drawing rooms) and 13 DB (13 double bedrooms). I had already obtained car sides for these two floor plans from Brass Car Sides, as I showed in that initiating post (see it at: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2023/03/modeling-sp-passenger-cars-part-12.html ).
In the following post, I showed the modification of my target car body for one set of these sides, and the attachment of the 4-4-2 brass sides. My target was a Rivarossi streamlined coach (these models were originally imported from Italy by AHM, Associated Hobby Manufacturers). That post can be found here: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2023/04/modeling-sp-passenger-cars-part-13.html .
One point I mentioned in the first of these posts (cited in the first paragraph, above) is that these particular Brass Car Sides products were intended for an Eastern Car Works body, not the AHM body, and accordingly were just a bit too short for the AHM car. My solution was to go ahead and attach the sides, with one end flush at the vestibule end of the car, and then to fill the gap at the other end with styrene sheet of the same thickness as the brass car sides, 0.010 inch.
Incidentally, the Brass Car Sides are drilled for handrails at this end of the car, as you may be able to see in the image above (to enlarge this image, you can click on it). The SP cars like this had only a horizontal handrail at this end of the car (often called the “blind end” since there was no vestibule there). The photo below of a 4-4-2 at San Francisco in August 1953 shows this (Lawson K. Hill photo, from SPH&TS Volume 2 on Sleeping Cars). You can enlarge this photo by clicking on it, if you wish.
You may also note in this photo the appearance of cars with original full-width diaphragms removed and most of the full skirting removed. Note also where the road name lettering has to be positioned on account of the upper berth windows on this side of the car. Finally, it’s visible in this photo that the dark window band did not extend across the vestibule door at the far end.
Turning now to modeling the 13 DB car, the AHM car body that I had on hand for this one was a “1930 sleeper,” a 10-6 floor plan, but of course most of the windows were in the wrong place. I opened up window openings just as I had in the instance of the 4-4-2 (see post 13, linked in the second paragraph above). I should mention here a point I’ve made before, that the Rivarossi plastic is quite soft and easy to work, so much so that I would caution against removing too much material if you’re not careful.
I think the bedroom side of this AHM 10-6 model had the greatest window discrepancies with the corresponding brass car side of the four sides to be replaced in this project. It’s shown below in its cut-up state. But even this state of the plastic body still provides lots of gluing surface to attach the brass sides.
The same procedures used on the 4-4-2 car worked equally well for this 13 DB car. The first sides I attached, using canopy glue and the modified clothes-pin clamps, as before, was the aisle side of the car to be created.
Then the last of these attachments of brass sides was the bedroom side of the 13 DB car. Here again, the glue process and the clamping worked well. The final step was to add the styrene filler at the blind end on each side, as was done before (see first photo in the present post). In the image below, the upper car shown is the aisle side of the 4-4-2, the lower car is the bedroom side of the 13 DB.
Finally, I began to plan the painting process, intending to decorate both cars as Lark sleepers. My layout includes a short segment of the SP Coast Route, so cars of this kind did operate, both in the Lark itself and in other trains as movements were needed (there are numerous photos of cars being deadheaded in either direction to rejoin their train after shopping). So a coat or two of paint is what’s next, and I’ll treat that aspect in a following post.