Freight Car Friday #68 – CGTX 71506 Model

CGTX 71506 is the first addition to my (hopeful) fleet of tank cars for sulphuric acid service. Sulphuric acid is a common industrial chemical and a by-product of ore smelting operations. I’ve posted prototype photos in previous “Freight Car Friday” themed posts of acid cars running over the former ACR, likely from the operations at Timmins, ON or Rouyn-Noranda, QC via the Ontario Northland Railway through Hearst.

This model is a Tangent Scale Models car which was purchased as an undecorated/lettered but assembled and painted (black) model. The model represents a General American Transportation 8000 gallon car for acid service built in the late 1940s, but is very similar (identical in size and overall profile with only minor detail differences that you’d only notice if doing a direct side by side comparison of the model and prototype photo) to several older CGTX cars as well, so I was able to use it as a nice stand in. I’m unsure of the exact original build date of the CGTX cars but they would be from the same period – late 1940s-early 1950s and with railroad cars having about a 40-year lifespan, it’s plausible to be running out its last miles in the mid 1980s.

I didn’t actually change any details but just lettered the car following a late 1970s prototype photo with an old Herald King CGTX tank car decal set, with some additional detail lettering and COTS, ACI and U-1 decals to bring it up to a 1980s appearance from various Microscale sheets. With a little bit of in-service weathering, this car’s appearance will be completed and it will be ready to haul loads of acid from the smelters to industrial users in the central/mid-west USA.

Scratchbuilt underframes for 36′ boxcar bunk cars

I’ve been cycling through a few different projects on the workbench lately, including updating a few older projects. One of which is this set of old bunk cars rebuilt from 36′ wooden boxcars from the turn of the century. I started on the first pair last year, building up the bodies, adding basic styrene floors and also adding a third modernized car to the collection. I never finished detailing the underframes though and the project rotated to the side as other projects like Wawa station took the forefront this winter.

As I work through various smaller projects, I decided it was time to finish detailing the brake system on the underframes and move these projects a bit closer to completion. The main underframe is of course scratchbuilt from a floor of .040″ styrene sheet and the bolsters, main sill and braces built up from various sizes of styrene strip. I also scratchbuilt the coupler pockets right into the frame with a styrene strip box and a piece of .125″ O.D. tube for the mounting point, securely welded in place with styrene cement and tapped for a 2-56 mounting screw.

(I ended up locating the mounting point a bit far back, not accounting properly for the full thickness of the end sill on the body, but a long-shank Kadee coupler compensated for that, and having the mounting point a bit farther from the edge of the floor sheet is probably more stable.)

The truck bolsters are also built up from various pieces of strip and sheet, with a solid block formed from a stack of styrene pieces drilled and tapped for a 2-56 to mount the truck.

Brake details were added using a Tichy K brake detail set and brass wire for the rodding. It’s not a “contest-level” brake rigging system, but it gives approximately the right impression and shows an appropriate level of rigging detail for a track-level side view.

Wawa Station Roof Profiling

I’ve been taking advantage of free time over the long weekend (“Family Day” civic holiday in Ontario today) to tackle the next major construction piece of the project – the “flat” roof.

In actuality, the roof is not quite flat in order to allow rainwater to properly run and drain and not build up on the roof and cause rot, leaks or other problems.

The architectural blueprints show how the roof slopes away from the edges to drains. On the upper roof over the second story a 2×6 board on edge establishes the height of the roof at the edge of the roof, sloping down to “zero” at the central drain. Construction details are: 7/8″ sheathing flat on the second story roof/ceiling joists, 2×6 support at perimeter (with successively cut down supports to allow roof to slope), 7/8″ top sheathing and finished with a tar and gravel surface.

This first photo (above) shows the styrene 2×6 strip added all the way around the perimeter of the roof. The second story roof was actually divided into two drainage areas, so an additional pair of support 2×6 strips run down the centre of the roof dividing it into half.

Roof sections made of .020″ thick styrene sheet being added.

Short pieces of .020, .040 and .060 styrene strip help support and reinforce the joints between roof sheets.

Roof sheets completed, and joints touched up with spot putty. The slope effect ends up actually being pretty subtle overall, but is obvious in the indented corner on the second story, as well as over the passenger waiting room wing where the drain is at the edge of the roof and everything slopes down to this point. On the large open area of the baggage room where the entire roof slopes to a central point, the effect is difficult to see without laying a straightedge on the wall caps, but the modeler knows it’s there!

The final finish work to the roof will involve a bit of trimming around the chimney and wall caps, and the final surface will be a representation of the bonded tar-and-gravel surface of the prototype. This however, will likely be one of the last steps after painting the rest of the structure.

Wawa Station Brickwork

Construction progress on the Wawa station continues to move forward. A major (but relatively simple) step in the progress is applying the brick texture to the lower levels of the structure, as well as constructing the brick chimney.

In these first two photos, we see the brick sheet in progress of being added to the lower story of the structure. I had some sheets of Plastruct HO brick that I’ve been using on this station; similar brick sheet products are available from JTT, N Scale Architect and other sources.

The brick sheet is cut to size, window and door openings roughly cut out and glued to the structure core using liquid plastic cement. Then the windows and door openings carefully cleaned up with needle files.

Fashioning the chimney is slightly more interesting, as the core is build up from various “4x” (4×12, 4×8 and 4×6) styrene strips and then laminated with the Plastruct brick texture sheet.

Wawa Station Trimwork

The Wawa station build keeps moving forward with the detailing of the structure.

The station featured these decorative eaves around the entire structure below the tops of the walls. To represent the proper shape of the eaves, I built them up out of styrene strip. The core is a 4×12 strip on edge forming the base of the protruding eave, with a 1×12 laminated on top to achieve a proper thickness and cover the joints between the larger strip.

To represent the decorative edging, fascia strips of 1×6 and 1×3 are added around the outside edge after the main core is built up.

Starting to look a bit more like the drawings and photos, but still much more to do…