Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Improving my flatcar fleet with wood 2.0

     If you remember my last post, I had ordered some laser cut replacement wood decking for my five MTL flatcars - and ordered the wrong ones. I ordered parts for Atlas decks by mistake.
I also said I had ordered the correct replacements from RSLaser Kits, and they arrived today 8 months ago. So I slapped one together real quick over dinner this evening - and it looks pretty damn good.

     The parts basically fell off the "sprue" and didn't require much manipulation whatsoever to install. There was only a single cut-out that needed adjusting to match the brake wheel mount on the flat car.
The directions were pretty straight forward; however, I would caution that you don't follow their recommendation to start at the B end of the car.

     While test fitting the parts, I found that in order to get everything looking symmetrical, starting with the center piece of decking  was the best choice. After that the other pieces pair up on either end and the whole install took me about half an hour to do my 4 cars.

     I have one more yet to do, but it's in BN "cascade green" - which Wikipedia says didn't exist until 1970. So I'll have to paint and decal this last car for CNR - whenever I stop working 6 & 7 days a week. Right now I just can't find the time.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Baggage car floors Part One

     So if you remember back a while ago, I had ordered some wood flatcar decks for my Microtrains 50' flat cars - that turned out to be Lifelike sized decks? Well I kept them around because I figured I would eventually find a use for them somewhere, and today I had a fantastic little idea. Baggage car flooring.

     In February or March of 2014 Wheels Of Time announced the release of  their 85' Heavyweight, arched roof, baggage car. In CNR. I ordered two, one of each road number.

     First I disassembled the car by removing the roof, doors, and body. I cut the first "floor" to length with a fresh new #11 blade in my exacto, making sure it fit between the raised tabs that hold the weights in place. The tricky part was cutting out the notches where the tracks for the baggage doors are located.

     For this step, I flipped the car over - and while firmly holding the wood flat against the car - scored lines with the tip of my knife, into the backing paper of the 3M adhesive strip. When I was satisfied I had them in the right spots, I cut them out with a ruler and used the "score and snap" method so popular with styrene. As you can see, one of the lines isn't quite as straight as I had hoped for - but is completely masked by the cars door and the fact that it's pretty dark inside anyway.

     After I had ensured the wood deck was secure to the cars' floor, I put the body of the car back on and slipped the doors in their respective slots. The slots for the doors are marked with orange.

     I think the finished project looks pretty good for something that took me maybe twenty minutes to complete. Now if I could just figure out what to do with the space between the floor and side sill..