Modelling aluminum sheathing on boxcars


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

On the weekend, I picked up a couple of True line Trains' HO 40' CN
boxcars. Very nice models, but with a few very small issues that can
be easily taken care of. One car that I purchased models a CN aluminum-
sided boxcar, CN 521498, one of three experimental aluminum sheathed
cars built in 1946--

http://imagescn.technomuses.ca/railways/index_view.cfm?photoid=-
1936671483&id=55

And here's the True Line Trains' model--

http://www.modeltrains.com/PICTURES/PICTURES%20-%20Non-brass-1/True%
20Line%20Trains/TLT-000001-399999/tlt-300034-1%20copy.jpg

I'm not totally satisfied with the use of aluminum paint to simulate
aluminum sheathing on this car, and would like your comments on a
better method to model this. Perhaps aluminum foil? On the other
hand, as I am modelling a timeframe ten years after this car was built,
would the paint on the model approximate (maybe with some weathering)
ten-year-old aluminum sheathing?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.


jim_mischke <jmischke@...>
 

Ten years service would make the boxcar aluminum finish very dull.
The aluminum foil technique would be inferior to paint, and five
times the work. This boxcar is not a well cared for airplane.

Consider researching what military modelers use for various bare
metals. These guys and their vendor base have solved many modeling
problems, yet there is little cross fertilzation between our hobby
and theirs.

There is some military dull metal finish paint that will get you an
acceptable look for your aluminum shealthed boxcar.











--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:

On the weekend, I picked up a couple of True line Trains' HO 40' CN
boxcars. Very nice models, but with a few very small issues that
can
be easily taken care of. One car that I purchased models a CN
aluminum-
sided boxcar, CN 521498, one of three experimental aluminum
sheathed
cars built in 1946--

http://imagescn.technomuses.ca/railways/index_view.cfm?photoid=-
1936671483&id=55

And here's the True Line Trains' model--

http://www.modeltrains.com/PICTURES/PICTURES%20-%20Non-brass-1/True%
20Line%20Trains/TLT-000001-399999/tlt-300034-1%20copy.jpg

I'm not totally satisfied with the use of aluminum paint to
simulate
aluminum sheathing on this car, and would like your comments on a
better method to model this. Perhaps aluminum foil? On the other
hand, as I am modelling a timeframe ten years after this car was
built,
would the paint on the model approximate (maybe with some
weathering)
ten-year-old aluminum sheathing?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

I've been thinking about this, and you have made a good point. I
would have to wonder if the aluminum sheathing would have been
somewhat dulled, and perhaps even showing the effects of galvanic
action where steel fasteners were attached to the aluminum sheathing.

I know that the GM&O had some aluminum-sheathed cars built around the
same time, 1945/46. Perhaps a few other roads as well. This seems
to have been an industry experiment post-WWII. Can anyone relate
what the cars looked like after ten years' service? You would think
that the railroads would have been monitoring the durability of this
material in freight car use.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "jim_mischke" <jmischke@...> wrote:



Ten years service would make the boxcar aluminum finish very
dull.
The aluminum foil technique would be inferior to paint, and five
times the work. This boxcar is not a well cared for airplane.

Consider researching what military modelers use for various bare
metals. These guys and their vendor base have solved many
modeling
problems, yet there is little cross fertilzation between our hobby
and theirs.

There is some military dull metal finish paint that will get you an
acceptable look for your aluminum shealthed boxcar.











--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@> wrote:

On the weekend, I picked up a couple of True line Trains' HO 40'
CN
boxcars. Very nice models, but with a few very small issues that
can
be easily taken care of. One car that I purchased models a CN
aluminum-
sided boxcar, CN 521498, one of three experimental aluminum
sheathed
cars built in 1946--

http://imagescn.technomuses.ca/railways/index_view.cfm?photoid=-
1936671483&id=55

And here's the True Line Trains' model--

http://www.modeltrains.com/PICTURES/PICTURES%20-%20Non-brass-
1/True%
20Line%20Trains/TLT-000001-399999/tlt-300034-1%20copy.jpg

I'm not totally satisfied with the use of aluminum paint to
simulate
aluminum sheathing on this car, and would like your comments on a
better method to model this. Perhaps aluminum foil? On the
other
hand, as I am modelling a timeframe ten years after this car was
built,
would the paint on the model approximate (maybe with some
weathering)
ten-year-old aluminum sheathing?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Lucas

I've been thinking about this, and you have made a good point. I
would have to wonder if the aluminum sheathing would have been
somewhat dulled, and perhaps even showing the effects of galvanic
action where steel fasteners were attached to the aluminum sheathing.

----- Original Message -----

By WW II it was already known that a sealant had to be applied between steel and aluminum components (and between some different types of aluminum) to prevent corrosion. From what I've seen a number of these aluminum cars were sponsored by the aluminum companies themselves, so I'm sure that every "trick" available to make the cars last would've been applied - perhaps even anodizing.

KL


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Steve Lucas wrote:
I would have to wonder if the aluminum sheathing would have been somewhat dulled, and perhaps even showing the effects of galvanic action where steel fasteners were attached to the aluminum sheathing.
Not likely. Alcoa had built aluminum hoppers in the 1930s and knew well what was needed. Most roads which tried aluminum cars did NOT have trouble with galvanic corrosion, because the separation of aluminum and steel was carefully and correctly done.

I know that the GM&O had some aluminum-sheathed cars built around the same time, 1945/46. Perhaps a few other roads as well. This seems to have been an industry experiment post-WWII. Can anyone relate what the cars looked like after ten years' service?
It was the aluminum industry, looking for uses for the material after they stopped building thousands and thousands of airplanes in WW II, who were encouraging the experiments, and in most cases, provided the aluminum at markedly discounted price so the cars would be built. PFE's two aluminum reefers were quite successful in service (the aluminum was painted with a clear coat), though they became a bit whitish as the aluminum oxidized under the paint (paint, as most people know, is far from air tight.) Built in 1946 and 1947, one was destroyed in a wreck on the Burlington in 1962, the other was scrapped along with most of its classmates after 1965.
In a letter at the time, PFE's Chief Mechanical OFficer stated that although the aluminum cars were satisfactory in service, the cost of the material was prohibitive without subsidy. This is borne out by the failure of roads which tried aluminum cars, to duplicate them in the following years. (I don't refer, of course, to the much more recent aluminum gondolas and hoppers.)

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Charles Morrill
 

I wonder how much the invention of the aluminum beer and soda pop can short circuited the aluminum industry's need to promote aluminum railroad cars.
Charlie

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2008 12:38 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Modelling aluminum sheathing on boxcars


Steve Lucas wrote:
I would have to wonder if the aluminum sheathing would have been
somewhat dulled, and perhaps even showing the effects of galvanic
action where steel fasteners were attached to the aluminum sheathing.
Not likely. Alcoa had built aluminum hoppers in the 1930s and knew
well what was needed. Most roads which tried aluminum cars did NOT have
trouble with galvanic corrosion, because the separation of aluminum and
steel was carefully and correctly done.

I know that the GM&O had some aluminum-sheathed cars built around the
same time, 1945/46. Perhaps a few other roads as well. This seems to
have been an industry experiment post-WWII. Can anyone relate what the
cars looked like after ten years' service?
It was the aluminum industry, looking for uses for the material
after they stopped building thousands and thousands of airplanes in WW
II, who were encouraging the experiments, and in most cases, provided
the aluminum at markedly discounted price so the cars would be built.
PFE's two aluminum reefers were quite successful in service (the
aluminum was painted with a clear coat), though they became a bit
whitish as the aluminum oxidized under the paint (paint, as most people
know, is far from air tight.) Built in 1946 and 1947, one was destroyed
in a wreck on the Burlington in 1962, the other was scrapped along with
most of its classmates after 1965.
In a letter at the time, PFE's Chief Mechanical OFficer stated
that although the aluminum cars were satisfactory in service, the cost
of the material was prohibitive without subsidy. This is borne out by
the failure of roads which tried aluminum cars, to duplicate them in
the following years. (I don't refer, of course, to the much more recent
aluminum gondolas and hoppers.)

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


------------------------------------

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Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Charlie Morrill wrote:
I wonder how much the invention of the aluminum beer and soda pop can short circuited the aluminum industry's need to promote aluminum railroad cars.
Not a lot, Charlie. There weren't significant numbers of aluminum beverage cans until after 1960, which was QUITE a while after the immediate post-WW II era.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Jerry <jrs060@...>
 

Steve, the only time that I have ever seen one of the cars in service
was behind a GTW 4-8-4 trying to hold down to the 60 MPH speed
limit over the Wabash crossing at Ashburn, Illinois. It was an Alton
car still with the red lettering, first out behind the engine, on what
had to be first 490 on a hot early 1950s Summer evening. What I
can tell you about the car in the fleeting glimpse that I got of it
was it was very dirty! All grimed up with soot, nothing was at all
shinny about it, so dull and dirty you could hardly see the lettering
and triangular herald.
I really think that you would be wasting your time and effort
trying to make any model of an aluminum box car look shinny and
clean in service. That is unless you are modeling the car brand
new.

Happiness, Jerry Stewart

Woodstock, Illinois

--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:

I've been thinking about this, and you have made a good point. I
would have to wonder if the aluminum sheathing would have been
somewhat dulled, and perhaps even showing the effects of galvanic
action where steel fasteners were attached to the aluminum sheathing.

I know that the GM&O had some aluminum-sheathed cars built around the
same time, 1945/46. Perhaps a few other roads as well. This seems
to have been an industry experiment post-WWII. Can anyone relate
what the cars looked like after ten years' service? You would think
that the railroads would have been monitoring the durability of this
material in freight car use.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "jim_mischke" <jmischke@> wrote:



Ten years service would make the boxcar aluminum finish very
dull.
The aluminum foil technique would be inferior to paint, and five
times the work. This boxcar is not a well cared for airplane.

Consider researching what military modelers use for various bare
metals. These guys and their vendor base have solved many
modeling
problems, yet there is little cross fertilzation between our hobby
and theirs.

There is some military dull metal finish paint that will get you an
acceptable look for your aluminum shealthed boxcar.











--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@> wrote:

On the weekend, I picked up a couple of True line Trains' HO 40'
CN
boxcars. Very nice models, but with a few very small issues that
can
be easily taken care of. One car that I purchased models a CN
aluminum-
sided boxcar, CN 521498, one of three experimental aluminum
sheathed
cars built in 1946--

http://imagescn.technomuses.ca/railways/index_view.cfm?photoid=-
1936671483&id=55

And here's the True Line Trains' model--

http://www.modeltrains.com/PICTURES/PICTURES%20-%20Non-brass-
1/True%
20Line%20Trains/TLT-000001-399999/tlt-300034-1%20copy.jpg

I'm not totally satisfied with the use of aluminum paint to
simulate
aluminum sheathing on this car, and would like your comments on a
better method to model this. Perhaps aluminum foil? On the
other
hand, as I am modelling a timeframe ten years after this car was
built,
would the paint on the model approximate (maybe with some
weathering)
ten-year-old aluminum sheathing?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.


water.kresse@...
 

In 1948, ALCOA had surplus aluminum sheet made for aircraft that they wanted to sell. They might have clad the aluminum with pure-aluminum, but that was it. This was 6XXX series aluminum and not 5XXX series marine aluminum. In use pix of these cars (C&O anyway) showed that they were very dull and stained. Markings would have been hard to read.

The C&Os Office of Research and Design/Development (Cleveland Towers) was headed by an aeronautical engineer Ken Browne) and his number two person was a Degree of Engineering Engineering Sciences and Aeronautical Engineering graduate from the U of Michigan (Sergi Guins). NASA also had a research center in Cleveland near the C&Os advanced offices . . . . in addition ALCOA having local facilities. The sheets for the C&O aluminum FCs came from out in Iowa.

General Motors also got "deals" to utilize the aluminum industry's excess WW2 casting facilities.

Al Kresse

-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Kurt Laughlin" <fleeta@...>
----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Lucas

I've been thinking about this, and you have made a good point. I
would have to wonder if the aluminum sheathing would have been
somewhat dulled, and perhaps even showing the effects of galvanic
action where steel fasteners were attached to the aluminum sheathing.

----- Original Message -----

By WW II it was already known that a sealant had to be applied between steel
and aluminum components (and between some different types of aluminum) to
prevent corrosion. From what I've seen a number of these aluminum cars were
sponsored by the aluminum companies themselves, so I'm sure that every
"trick" available to make the cars last would've been applied - perhaps even
anodizing.

KL


Adam & Laura Eyring <eyrings06@...>
 

Though I can't vouch for its accuracy, Athearn did produce an HO Alton silver box car with red lettering at one point. Now Athearn produces a silver express box in two numbers with black lettering.

AME

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry" <jrs060@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2008 8:03 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Modelling aluminum sheathing on boxcars


Steve, the only time that I have ever seen one of the cars in service
was behind a GTW 4-8-4 trying to hold down to the 60 MPH speed
limit over the Wabash crossing at Ashburn, Illinois. It was an Alton
car still with the red lettering, first out behind the engine, on what
had to be first 490 on a hot early 1950s Summer evening. What I
can tell you about the car in the fleeting glimpse that I got of it
was it was very dirty! All grimed up with soot, nothing was at all
shinny about it, so dull and dirty you could hardly see the lettering
and triangular herald.
I really think that you would be wasting your time and effort
trying to make any model of an aluminum box car look shinny and
clean in service. That is unless you are modeling the car brand
new.

Happiness, Jerry Stewart

Woodstock, Illinois





--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:

I've been thinking about this, and you have made a good point. I
would have to wonder if the aluminum sheathing would have been
somewhat dulled, and perhaps even showing the effects of galvanic
action where steel fasteners were attached to the aluminum sheathing.

I know that the GM&O had some aluminum-sheathed cars built around the
same time, 1945/46. Perhaps a few other roads as well. This seems
to have been an industry experiment post-WWII. Can anyone relate
what the cars looked like after ten years' service? You would think
that the railroads would have been monitoring the durability of this
material in freight car use.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "jim_mischke" <jmischke@> wrote:



Ten years service would make the boxcar aluminum finish very
dull.
The aluminum foil technique would be inferior to paint, and five
times the work. This boxcar is not a well cared for airplane.

Consider researching what military modelers use for various bare
metals. These guys and their vendor base have solved many
modeling
problems, yet there is little cross fertilzation between our hobby
and theirs.

There is some military dull metal finish paint that will get you an
acceptable look for your aluminum shealthed boxcar.











--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@> wrote:

On the weekend, I picked up a couple of True line Trains' HO 40'
CN
boxcars. Very nice models, but with a few very small issues that
can
be easily taken care of. One car that I purchased models a CN
aluminum-
sided boxcar, CN 521498, one of three experimental aluminum
sheathed
cars built in 1946--

http://imagescn.technomuses.ca/railways/index_view.cfm?photoid=-
1936671483&id=55

And here's the True Line Trains' model--

http://www.modeltrains.com/PICTURES/PICTURES%20-%20Non-brass-
1/True%
20Line%20Trains/TLT-000001-399999/tlt-300034-1%20copy.jpg

I'm not totally satisfied with the use of aluminum paint to
simulate
aluminum sheathing on this car, and would like your comments on a
better method to model this. Perhaps aluminum foil? On the
other
hand, as I am modelling a timeframe ten years after this car was
built,
would the paint on the model approximate (maybe with some
weathering)
ten-year-old aluminum sheathing?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.



------------------------------------

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