Following the veiled advice of a well known member of this list, I have initiated a program -one car at a time- retiring unworthy layout cars in favor of more worthy cars off the shelf, out of the shelters of their boxes, and all propelled onto the layout. The first “unworthy” was a blue box blue-painted Athearn Lancaster & Chester “Springmaid Line” box car (the six inch thick running board finally got to me); and the first “worthy” car was a very interesting Sunshine resin PRR X29B car purchased from Patricia Lofton that Martin Lofton had built for himself to illustrate the directions for kit #64.36. The car was very nicely finished and detailed- as expected.
1) The trucks were Cape Line cast metal.
2) One side (and end) were finished as #27503 with Shadow Keystone 1/54; while the other side and end were finished as #27049 Merchandise Service 1/48. It is an interesting car to catalog by number.
3) A substantial weight is loose inside- a dreaded event-, and an event I have avoided otherwise to date. If the weight shifts, the car goes over. There is nothing to be done, except perhaps drilling holes in the bottom, injecting glue and then hope that the weight (shape? size?) can be positioned to drop into it and stick.
4) The coupler boxes were glued with no screw fastenings, but with coupling bars carefully glued to the lids. .
I replaced the trucks with Kadee Reboxx-equipped PRR 2DF8s, which are probably too heavy- but at least they are for the right railroad. Non-destructively, I was able toI replace the standard Kadee couplers with Kadee scale short shank with arms clipped. I secured the boxes then with 0-80 screws.The car is very handsome, runs very freely and is ready to baffle the next visiting anal-retentive modeler that decides to monitor consists.
I have also another interesting Lofton-built car that is yet to venture out of its box: a lovely finished C&O aluminum box car kit 63.4 which has no weight whatsoever (with no path yet to provide one), and the highly detailed underbody is unpainted except for quick and dirty hand-painting of parts and structures hanging down enough to show in kit photos. I have done nothing yet to this car, but will at the very least install cast metal Kadee trucks to supply at least some modicum of weight.
Tru-Color paints: I use more and more of these fine paints as my cache of Floquil diminishes. So today I opened my first TCP “flat”, #830 Flat Rail Brown, except: it was not flat, but had considerable gloss; and it did not come close to the familiar Floquil Rail Brown (it was quite red). I wonder if the lid and contents were mismatched. Have others used any the TCP flats, and if so, what are your experiences ?
Perhaps from age, perhaps from being uncareful when closing bottles, but I am running into a plethora of used paint bottles -the usual ½ and 1 oz.- that i simply cannot open without some destruction. It is frustrating when a bottle half filled with just the paint that you need for the airbrush already in hand, and short of a hammer, one can simply not get it open (screw-driver prying, using a variety of bottle-lid opening tools, casting imprecations, muscle, etc.) with number landing in the waste basket unopened. How do others address this very frustrating and wasteful issue?
Sacramento, CA 95864