Piedmont & Northern 1101 Styrene and Resin Build Part One

Bill Welch

With a good start the Boys at the Clearwater Car Shops thought it was time to report their progress to The Boss on their mixed styrene/resin project to build a model of a double-sheathed Piedmont & Northern boxcar, originally built I think for the Pere Marquette as a 1½ door or double door auto car. The vertical rib ends came from Dr. Dave Campbell. To make assembly easy I laminated some 0.005 strips of styrene to the back edges of each end.

I made the sides from Evergreen’s passenger car siding and used .125 x .125 styrene on each end where it will meet the styrene laminated on the ends. In between are more lengths of .125 x .125 styrene the length of the sides to stiffen each side. I used Testor’s liquid for this work.

Fortunately Tichy has a set of Youngstown doors (#3018) that with easy modification are accurate for this model. I used my UMM Razor Blade Saw to cut off the very top of the door—the top two corrugations—then cut the top rib from the top of the top panel. I did this for both doors, then glued them to a 0.005 substrate and then glued the small top piece back onto the door. Having the substrait made it easy to get the small piece properly butted against the door and in good alignment plus making for a strong assembly despite the splice. I put some weight on the two doors and let them cure for at least 24 hours to minimize any warping that happens sometimes when using solvents to assemble styrene. If you look closely two small white dots can be seen on each side of the doors towards the top where I have used bits of styrene to repair the raised portions.

These cars had what looks to me like a 6-inch steel side sill. I wanted to use 1 x 6 strip styrene for this to give relief under the car side. To make sure this would be a stiff assembly I made some long strips from 0.005 sheet and glued this to the back of the siding, then attached lengths of 1 x 6 to the 0.005 making sure it was firmly in contact with the edge of the siding.

Next I figured out where the doors should be located on the cars sides I had built and used one of my doors to mark their exact width on each car side. Then I cut some very thin strips of 0.005 styrene to use as Batten Strips along the very bottom of each side. I used a .005 pen to draw a line where this strip should be glued down and used small pieces of masking tape to hold these small strips of styrene in place and straight. With a 10/0 brush I applied Testors very gingerly making sure the brush was not heavily loaded with glue to prevent any distortion of the very thin styrene. I left this strip off of the area where the door will fit.

After the sides were well cured I glued an end to the left end of each side and let these two assemblies cure overnight. To act as a third hand I used masking tape to hold the two exaggerated “L” shapes together and aligned and glued one end at a time. For this I used Tamiya Extra Thin because it sets up faster than Testors.

Prior to the above step I used my caliper to measure the length of one of the sides and then compared this to the Accurail underframe. This measurement showed I needed to remove a small amount of material on each side of the coupler box and proceeded to do so. Once the superstructure was well cured I inserted the underframe into the newly assembled body. The only adjustment necessary was to shim each side with .060 x .020 styrene. On the very top end of the coupler box (or Draft Gear) I added a section of “L” styrene. I cut these a little to long and will wait to trim them to the proper length when The Boys are ready to start shaping and detailing this piece as a Buffer casting.

With the basic body assembled The Boys have started adding basic details. The original single handhold was a drop grab and about 24-inches above another straight grab was added when this started to be required. Photos show that the drop grab on the send was slightly above the one on the side so The Boys followed this pattern. To model the Gusset Plate between the two side grabs and in the same location on the right end, 0.005 sheet styrene was cut to proper width. The length was left longer than necessary to act as a handle until it was glued in place. These will have rivets harvested as needed for details.

In the next report the Boys will show off their Riveting skills. By then hopefully the CCS Mechanical Engineer Rube “Escher” Goldberg will sort out his problem cutting pieces of styrene squarely and have made progress with the Hutchins roof.

Bill Welch

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