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(Guest)    J&C Studios O Gauge Archive    Balto&NY    Kit and Kit-bash Model Work.
 
 
 
 
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Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on May 24, 2017 03:00 PM:
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Kit building may not be as popular now as it was 50 years ago. They often were made up of wood and some cast metal parts, with some brass wire thrown in for grab irons, etc.

Trucks and couplers were not included. One bought them separately. Ditto for paint and decals, unless the kit came with pre-painted and pre-lettered sides.

This model of a B&O snow flanger as made from a kit-built Train Craft tool and supply car from 1953. A new end was made for the front. Smaller caboose-size windows replaced the larger ones on the tool car. New siding was also put on. The plow on the front truck was made from brass, following B&O drawings.





 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on May 24, 2017 03:18 PM:
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This model of an 1880's era flat car with gondola sides and ends was the 1971Mid-Continent Region NMRA convention car kit. The kit was offered in O and S scales with pre-painted and lettered sides to advertise the event and be a souvenir car as well. It has a fully detailed brake system and six truss rods, including bolt head details for them on the car ends. All detail parts were included in that custom produced kit. This model will have its sides and ends cut down to a three board height. It will be re-painted and re-lettered as well, to become an old maintenance of way car.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jun 5, 2017 09:36 AM:
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When Weaver first produced their ALco RS-3 model, it was in the form of an undecorated kit. As time progressed, Weaver improved the drive for this model. I built and painted it for the Jersey Central, adding the head end power unit on the front end. Also added were the steam heat boiler stack and the CNJ style classification lights which were scratch built in brass. A year later, commercial parts were available for them. The only mistake is that the loco number should end with 8 or upward, for one having the deck mounted HEP unit. I learned that some 10 years after building this model, which was painted with Floquil and lettered with Walthers decals.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jun 5, 2017 09:43 AM:
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This New Haven ALCo DL-109 cab unit was built from a cast resin kit in the 1980s, for a friend. He bought the it at a Locomotive Workshop open house. The kit was basically the body casting and trucks. A brass frame was made for the body, into which a Central Locomotive Works drive and Pittman 'can' motor was installed. My fiend passed away over a decade ago. No telling where the models I built for him have gone since then. This DL-109 is one of several locos I built, rebuilt or painted and lettered for him.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jun 5, 2017 09:56 AM:
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This B&O office car is a rebuild of a kit I first put together in 1956. That is what's so neat about those old wood and metal kits: they can be "re-kitted" and made new again, often with improved detail and better workmanship. The Walthers kit was 'back-dated' by adding truss rods, indicating an older wood body car that had been given steel sheathing in the 1920s. By the 1950s, some cars like that were given updated interiors and air conditioning. B&O had a few such cars, numbered in the 900 series for division level use. This model has interior details and on-board battery powered markers and track inspection lights, having their switch hidden in the water tank under the car. That created a puzzle of sort sat a model contest, with those lights staying lit and having no observable power supply to the car.


 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jun 17, 2017 10:23 AM:
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This 60' New York Central baggage car was built from All Nation parts after the kit for it was no longer available. The parts included the sides, ends and a piece of milled wood clerestory roof. Ventilators came from Walthers. The cast metal diaphragms wee found in an odd parts bin at an O scale train show. The car rides on accurate, sprung Precision Scale NY Central trucks, which also have opening journal box lids. Very convenient for a touch of oil now and then!

As a kit, this model dats back to J C Models of the late 1940s when the car sides were made of compressed plastic coated card stock. Stamped aluminum sides came by the 1950s, with JC renaming the line of kits as 'silver sides.' All Nation took over the JC line of O scale kits in the mid 1950s.
An issued the 60' NYC bagagge, a 70' NY coach, the New Haven/ NYC baggage-RPO, an 80' heavyweight diner, as well as a 65' N&W coach and combine. The Pullmans once offered by JC were not done as Walthers had an extensive line of kits for many different Pullman plans.

All Nation passenger car kits are becoming rare, but a few show up on eBay now and then. They are not all that difficult to build and can present a good looking model with a bit of care and attention to details.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jun 17, 2017 10:36 AM:
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Another kit built car is this Reading baggage/RPO. A Walthers kit was used but the kit's arch roof was changed to what Walthers sold as a 'streamlined' roof, having a lower arch closer to what Reading used on these cars built in the 1920s.

The car sides were shortened by cutting them apart in the middle and taking out a section. Then, solering the trimmed sides together with a brass strip batten on the inner surface of the butt joint.

The car doors have thin styrene overlays to replicate paneling details. The mail bag catcher is made with brass wire. Walthers four-wheel 'Pullman' trucks are under the car. Champ alphabet and passenger car details from used sets letter the model.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jun 19, 2017 07:45 AM:
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Six photos back, a kit built 1880's-90's high side wood gondola/flatcar is shown. The kit was made for the 1971 NMRA Mid-Continent Region convention at Tulsa OK.

Here is the car after being modified and re-lettered as a low-side gondola/flatcar for maintenance of way service.


 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jun 19, 2017 01:22 PM:
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Mac Shops produced a line of streamlined O scale passenger car kits, using a Budd design car body. This B&O dome sleeper was a specially made kit, one of very few produced. The unique dome design of 1948 had a 'fast back' design, found in new automobiles of that day. The rear facing glazing of the dome had a shallower slope than the forward glazing. Also, the side window panels were angled to match. Budd built three of these cars for the C&O in 1948. It cancelled the order, which was then picked up by B&O for its Capitol Limited. B&O added the floodlights for night time viewing from the dome, as well as the hand rail-like icicle breakers for running through tunnels in winter.
The model has full interior detail and passengers, as well as LED lighting. The model was built in modular form, so it can be disassembled if anythng inside needs attention as time passes on.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jun 22, 2017 05:28 PM:
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Over the years, I've built a number of models for fellow O scalers. The New Haven ALCo DL-109 was one. Here is another, the largest model loco I've ever worked on. It's a brass Union Pacific DD-40AX, specifically built for the Union Pacific and celebrating its centennial in 1969. These 16 wheel 90' long locos were named "Centennials."

The brass kit was made by the Locomotive Workshop of Englishtown NJ. It's built from a large number of etched brass sheets, many of which needed to be bent into shape for construction of the body. The trucks were included, cast in soft pewter with brass journal bushings. No frame was included. You had to make one based on how the model would be powered. In this case a 9000 series Pittman motor with Central Locomotive Works transmissions drove each eight-wheeled truck. The trucks were re-enforced with heavy brass bars to carry the weight and motor torque. This model loco hauled a 65 car freight at a scale 60 MPH for about an hour, on another friend's large layout in upstate NY. The roar from all those cars rolling along was almost deafening!

This loco features compound articulated draft gears at each end, which allow couplers a wide swing within their pilot faces. A working strobe beacon and crew were also included. Like the New Haven loco, it's unknown where this O scale 2 rail UP Centennial model is now.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jul 12, 2017 07:47 PM:
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Westbrook was a moderate cost kit producer from the 1930s to the early 1950s. They sold basic wood body kits for freight cars, with preprinted sides for various roads. But to build a complete model, one also had to buy the hardware kit for the model in question, whether a box car or refrigerator car. The Westbrook hardware kit included a heavy cast metal underframe, brake details, trucks and couplers.

Although I finished this model on July 10, 2017 it's actually 77 years old. The printed sides suffered from discoloration due to acid in the instruction sheets, in which the printed sides had been wrapped since 1940.

I'm not all that sure how accurate this model is as a Gerber Baby Food prototype. Gerber strained baby food was developed by the Fremont Canning Company of Michigan in 1927. By 1930 it was selling nationally. To do that, wide distribution was necessary and likely done in railroad cars.

The paint job represented with this model (and many others in the market place as well) is quite striking with that parade of animals across the car sides. GSVX reporting marks do not appear in my 1943 and 1953 Official Railway Equipment Registers. If Gerber did field some cars like this, by 1943 with the US in WW II, such cars would have been in high demand carrying food goods mainly for the military. Small private owners like Gerber usually sold their equipment, and maximized their production tailored to the war effort instead.

Questions sometimes arise over such "billboard" advertising on railroad cars, common for the 1920's. Large railcar leasing companies like UTLX, NATX and others sold advertising space on their cars to earn a bit exrtra income. Just because a car had an a billboard ad for a certain product, that did not necessarily mean such was in that car. Also, in allocating cars to shippers, railroads paid no attention to the ads on them. Often, a competitor's ad car would end up on another shipper' siding.

This created uncertainty and confusion in the eyes of the public, which back then paid a lot more attention to such things. So after some lawsuits, billboard ads were banned from the leased cars. Still, by the 1930s, with the Great Depression and everyone exercising great frugality, those expensive paint jobs would die out anyway. But companies owning their cars, could still put billboard paint jobs on them if they wished, as no other outfit would be using them. So some meat packers and a few outfits like Gerber in owning their cars could still put out a billboard job.

This model is all original with the exception of the ice hatches with platform and the ladders, which are All Nation parts from the 1950s. Oh, Yes! The Kadee couplers and BTS air hoses are the only 'modern parts.' The most tedious job was mixing paint to match the preprinted cardboard sides for the ladders, grab irons and door hardware.

Since such baby food was shipped canned,(glass jars came after WW II), this I model is more accurately an insulated, ventilated boxcar as iced refrigeration was not necessary.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Jul 12, 2017 07:59 PM:
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Here is another private shipper owned insulated, ventilated box car from the late 1930s. Manufacturer's Railway Service (MRS) was owned by the Anheuser Busch Corp. and Ralston Purina in St. Louis MO. This model was built from an All Nation kit in the 1970s. I added truss rods, after seeing a 1952 photo of such a wood body, checker-board MRS car with them in a TRAINS magazine photo. The car was in a train on the Virginian, behind one of its box cab electrics crossing a high, steel trestle somewhere in West Virginia.



 

   

Balto&NY
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Topics: 66   Replies: 107
posted on Aug 7, 2017 08:32 AM:
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It was nearly 20 years ago that MTH introduced its model of the cast steel Atlas scale test car. The only other model of it was in very expensive imported brass. These MTH scale test cars were done in 3 rail, but could be converted to two rail with Red Caboose wheelsets.

B&O was not one of he road names MTH used. One is an ex PRR, the other an ex D&RGW. The MTH lettering was carefully scraped off, and the areas sanded with 300 grit paper. The B&O lettering was done with decals using HO heralds and alphabet sets. The 'Scale Test Car' and 'Haul on rear or train" lettering was done on the computer and printed 'negative' on white decal paper to get white lettering on black. Yellow decal striping outlines the corner steps. The admonition about repairs was computer printed on label stock, cut out and applied to boards made of thin sheet aluminum.

Why TWO test cars? Well ,that is how scales were tested and recalibrated. A special tool car also went with the test weight cars, the set sometimes referred to as a 'mother hen and chicks.'

In service such a set could not roll any faster than 35 MPH. The test cars do not have working air brakes, only a hand brake. They were hauled immediately ahead of the caboose, which would have working air brakes.

My set was made for an NMRA Achievement Program certificate. It includes making a gantlet scale track and demonstrating its use. On the B&O, the test weight cars were all serviced and calibrated to exact weigh at the master scale Martinsburg WV. That scale in turn was set by the National Bureau of Standards with its scale test cars, which were carried to the site in a special car to preserve their accuracy.

Rolling cars can loose weight from wheel wear. However, B&O test cars in making a trip from Martinsburg to whatever scale was due for recertification would not loose all that much weight on one trip. They would be recalibrated at Martinsburg upon return for their next assignment. B&O had sixteen scale test cars in 1954, numbered X4900 to X4915 built from 1906 to 1937.
 

   





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