Tag Archives: cars

New Steps for an Ade Silberling

Ade passenger car models were way ahead of their time. Willy Ade offered un-compressed scale models with unprecedented interior details, built-in lighting as well as unmatched truck and underframe details in the late 1970s already. To this day, used Ade models and kits are traded at premium prices on eBay, including the Ade Silberling in this post.

Modeling has of course made advances over the past 30 years and there are small ways that one can enhance the appearance of these superb models. One thing that can easily be modernized with up-to-date parts are the steps.

Here’s the result of a recent Sunday afternoon project on my model of a German era IV Ade Silberling. The instructions of the aftermarket parts suggest that several layers of etched parts be soldered together. I found that carefully applying CA to the back of the parts works just as well. Just make sure that the layers are properly aligned so that they retain the nice see-through effect. Click on the image below to see the step detail up close.

Ade Silberling with photo etched steps.

Photos from the Steamtown National Historic Site

A few weeks ago, my wife and I spent a weekend in the Scranton, Pennsylvania area. This was an opportune moment to pay a visit to the Steamtown National Historic Site. There was not enough time to go on the steam ride to Moscow, PA but plenty to take look around the museum.

Here are a few highlights from our visit:

Baldwin Locomotive Works #8

Baldwin Locomotive Works #8 (click to enlarge)

Lehigh and New England Railroad, Caboose #583 (brake rigging)

Lehigh and New England Railroad, Caboose #583 (brake rigging)

Delaware & Hudson Boxcar 18119 (brakehose & coupler)

Delaware & Hudson Boxcar 18119 (brakehose & coupler)

Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Post Office Car #1100

Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Post Office Car #1100

Lackawanna 664 EMD F3 & Reading 903 EMD FP7

Lackawanna 664 EMD F3 & Reading 903 EMD FP7

United Pacific 4012 Big Boy

United Pacific 4012 Big Boy

DL&W 82209 coal hopper

DL&W 82209 coal hopper

Turnout - notice the missing guard rails

Turnout - notice the missing guard rails

View more photos on flickr.

Interesting Rapido Trains Ad on Custom Runs of Cars

The other day, I noticed an interesting ad by Rapido Trains Inc. in the July issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. It was advertising custom runs of a car with different paint schemes and showed an example of their nice HO scale Wide-Vision Caboose with custom lettering for the CSX Great Lakes Division Mechanical Department.

I find the ad interesting because custom runs make a lot of sense for large clubs like FREMO. If you get an order big enough (Rapido indicates a 300 piece minimum which is really not that much), you can easily get a run of a cars with no number, which would make unique renumbering for club operation much easier. Instead of trying to carefully remove the original road number, which sometimes damages paint and surface, one could just apply a custom decal, apply dull clear coat, weather the car and be done with it. Leaving a number off instead of making a whole custom scheme should also be a lot cheaper.

Maybe it’s time that European train manufacturers such as BRAWA are starting to openly advertise similar services or at least offer cars with no lettering so one can do the whole thing from scratch.

By the way, I do like this Rapido caboose. They just released new paint schemes and the one I want is among them. But more on that another time…

Building a Penn Central X58 50′ Box Car (Part III)

It’s been a few weeks and I am happy to finally report on the progress of the Penn Central X58 project in this last installment.

Because I am painting inside a small apartment, I decided against using the solvent based Scale Coat Penn Central Green sold by the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society. Instead, I painted the car with the water based Floquil Polly Scale paints Penn Central Green for the car body and Flat Aluminum for the roof.

Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 after paint job

Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 after paint job (click to enlarge)

A few days later, I added a glossy finish using Badger Modelflex paint. The outcome was less than desirable as the glossy paint seemed to crystalize in some spots. In my next project, I am going to mix Model Master glossy paint with the Polly Scale green to save me a step and minimize the risk of messing up a nice paint job.

I let the glossy finish dry for a few days as recommended in the X58 instructions and then started to apply the decals.

The decaling was an easy albeit slow process because I was customizing the lettering based on a prototype photograph. After cutting the decals, I prepped the surface with Micro Set, slid the decals on it and let Solvaset work its magic. Excess fluid was sucked off using a cotton swab. The cotton swab did a great job in removing fluid but occasionally left tiny fibers behind. Next time, I will try a micro fiber cloth used for cleaning lenses instead.

Putting the decals on the X58 was a slow process

Putting the decals on the X58 was a slow process

Two evenings later, I was ready to decal the other side. I thought about a way to peek at the other side without turning the car over all the time. The solution was to make a copy of the decaled side. Make sure you cover the area around the car with blank sheets of paper to avoid wasting a lot of black ink.

Copying the decaled side for reference

Copying the decaled side for reference

The copy turned out to be just a tad smaller than the actual model but I found that when referencing lettering to other parts such as ladder steps it was still helpful to use and sped up the decaling process. Every now and then I did take a digital caliper to measure key proportions on the other side, though.

Using a copy of the decaled side of the car sped up the process

Using a copy of the decaled side of the car sped up the process

So here it is, the finished product complete with roof, brake hoses and extra weight.

Finished Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 36 18 25

Finished Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 36 18 25

For a first try at a craftsman kit, I am very happy with the result. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I hope you will join me when I report on the weathering after I return from the FREMO:87 meet in Glottertal, Germany.

Perfectly Legal Graffiti

A couple of weeks ago, a reader from Germany sent me a few links about weathering cars. One of them was the website of Mellow Mike, which I had visited and bookmarked years ago. If you have never heard of Mellow Mike, make sure you check out his extensive photo gallery of artfully weathered freight cars many of them with custom graffiti. You won’t believe your eyes.

Speaking of graffiti… The same day I got the email from Germany, I picked up an awesome book at the The New York Public Library called Freight Train Graffiti. The book is a great resource for any modeler interested in weathering American freight cars of the modern era. On over 300 pages and more than 1,000 photos, it chronicles the development of freight car graffiti.

Many of the images are close-ups of the artwork but there are also numerous larger images that show rust and weathering patterns on entire cars that can serve as inspiration for your own modeling. I just ordered a used copy and look forward to doing some perfectly legal freight car graffiti of my own.