Kitbashing


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 25, 2011, at 3:14 PM, cepropst@q.com wrote:

It all depends on your tolerance level Richard. What errors you can
live with. If I want a model of a particular car and none is
available, I'll live with the wrong number of panels. Nobody's
going to count them while the car is moving around on the layout
anyway. You haven't visited : )

I also feel that some guys look at discrepancies as excuses for why
they can't build models.
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa
Well, I'm not one of the "some guys" who are looking for excuses, as
I have a long history of kitbashing freight cars, including some that
were fairly complex. But I have a couple of cabinets full of styrene
and resin kits to build that are dead-on accurate, or close to it,
and when (if) I get them all built, I'll have way more freight cars
than my diorama will hold. So I'm not doing any more extensive
kitbshing unless the prototype is a car I absolutely can't live
without. And right now, I can't think of a single example.

Speaking of kitbashing, I'm finding that even some so-called "ready
to run" models need so much work it amounts to kitbashing. I'm close
to finishing a Walthers REA express reefer for my clinic at
Sacramento in July, and I've had to spend hours on it. Adding the
wire grabs which came with it but weren't installed was simple
enough. But then I discovered, when I went to convert it from Code
110 to Code 88 wheels, that the wheels on the model are too small.
The prototype cars, being in passenger service, had 36" wheels, but
the wheels on the model weren't even 33". Replacement 36" Code 88
wheels wouldn't fit until I took the trucks apart and re-machined the
journal bearings. Then when I got the trucks back together I put the
car on the track to check coupler height (something I always do
before a project like this is very far along). Way too high off the
track, and no easy way to fix it. I had to cut down and re-bush the
truck mountings on the bolsters to get the car to ride at the correct
height - and then the screws that hold the side frames to the truck
bolsters interfered with the body bolsters and the wheels dragged on
the crossties. It took a good deal of filing (and, of course,
repainting) before those problems were corrected. Let's see what
came next? Well the air brake detail on the car was lame to say the
least, so I got got a Cal Scale express reefer detail set and added
brake levers and the hand brake chain and rod (fortunately, most of
the brake rods on express reefers were either between the center
sills or concealed by the trucks). Also, the model comes completely
devoid of steam fittings and air and signal lines at the end
sills,whereas the prototype cars had to have all that stuff. The
necessary parts were in the Cal Scale set, but modifying the coupler
operating levers for clearance (I do have to have magnetic
uncoupling) and mounting the steam, air and signal lines so the
wouldn't interfere with coupler operation was tricky and required a
lot of time and some experimenting before I had everything in place
and the couplers operating properly. "Ready to run?" Give me, as we
say, a break. Ready to run around somebody's Chirstmas tree, maybe,
but not on a serious prototype-based layout.

Richard Hendrickson

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