Resin Carving to get a NC&StL AC&F 1916 36-ft SS model

Bill Welch

Maybe a decade ago I had the late Joe Collias print the "Accident File" photos of the Terminal RR housed in St. Louis—cannot remember where. He was glad to do so since he automatically got a set of prints. Included were very good photos of the side and "B" end of NC&StL 15337, a 1916 AC&F built 36-foot SS car similar to a Fowler if not a true Fowler. The Westerfield kit of one version of the NC&StL's car was one of my first builds and makes a very pleasing and accurate model and at some point I had picked up an extra kit for $17.95 at "The Train Shop" in Santa Clara, CA back when they stocked every Westy kit. Always wanting to reduce my kit stash i pulled this kit out recently and started carving on in an attempt to match #15337.

One of the joys of resin as a modeling media is how easily it carves and for the most part this aspect has gone well. The exception has been trying to remove the Gusset Plates along the top of the side where the diagonal and vertical bracing converge. From the attached you can see my progress so far. I am going to try a little more sanding and filing and may try to use a very small amount of epoxy to fill my gouges but at some point I will declare "good enough for me" and focus on assembly and detailing.

On the side I have added a recessed Carriage Bolt to the base that where a Door Stop will be mounted. The recessed bolt allows the door to slide w/o snagging. I used 0.020 Styrene rod to make the base and then glue a rivet on the end. In this case I used a rivet harvested from an Athearn gondola. Note too that I have added a post on the right end where the grabs will be attached.


On the ends I have added two more Vertical Posts. An interesting detail on these cars is that fro the inside end of the grabs the mounting bolts are in-line with the grab so I have offset them to allow me to drill a hole next them instead of under them. This was true on the sides too.

The end casting had Poling Pockets but on the AC&F cars there is what I would characterize as a "Poling Flange." To make these I glued a section of 0.005 styrene in edge to a base of 0.005 styrene. After this set up overnight I cut this into several sections with extra length to act as a handle. Then I carefully dipped these into a small puddle of CA and positioned it on the sill and after the CA had set trimmed off the "handle." When cutting something this thin I always us a fresh single edge razor blade to guarantee a good cut. Then I added harvested rivets to mimic the attaching bolts.


I offer this in part because with so many kits out there of different cars there are no doubt something people can use to make a variation or version they want and therefore we should not be afraid to cut/carve/saw resin.

Bill Welch

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