Full Version: nachoman 2021 do something challenge
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
I've had very little time for model railroading since the kids were born 4 years ago.  And to top it off my eyes started going bad a couple of years ago, and I don't have quite the eye for detail I once had.  So I thought I would pick something not too complicated that I can finish up just to say that I started and finished something.

Years ago I bought a Model Die Casting Harriman Observation car kit in HO scale, probably at a train show.  My thought was that my fictional railroad bought it as car for railroad dignitaries and other wealthy folks to go at the end of a train of mostly older open platform wooden coaches.  It has never looked right as the only closed vestibule steel car on the train.  So, I dug out an old round-roof Athearn coach from my youth that will mate well with the Harriman observation car.  I am fixing that one up right now.  I figure the coach will be for the common folk.  To round out my short train, I figure I need some kind of baggage or RPO.  

So, I won an unstarted MDC baggage car of ebay for a reasonable price.  My challenge will be to build the kit mostly as-is without fussing to much over added details.  I will try to utilize the parts of the kit rather than try to fix the various errors and lack of details because I know once I jump down that hole it will join the heap of other projects that are 90% complete but lack this or that.  I just want to get something done and feel good about that.
Well, here is the car.  Bought used off EBAY for a decent price.  The kit is missing a truck screw and a coupler box screw.  Neither will be an issue.  I think the tooling for these cars dates to the 1970s - and there are issues.  I've learned that these kits have incorrect trucks per prototype.  Also, the baggage car shares the same truck spacing with the coach and other cars, and thus has the truck bolsters too far from the ends because the baggage car does not have vestibules.  I am fine not correcting those issues, as I have far too many other things to do besides cutting and gluing. 

I also noticed that the two sides of the car are identical.  Not sure if this is prototypical or not.  I would think both long doors would be on one end of the car and both short on the other.  But the way it is, each end has one long and one short door.  If this is an error, it is definitely not fixable. 

I will probably start with the roof, putting the roof vents in.  Not sure how many roof vents a baggage car needs, but I will probably just build it per the instructions and it will look fine.
I have one of these kits buried in the pile so I'll be following to see how your version comes out.
It's actually not too much work to move the trucks closer to the car's ends.  All that's required is new bolsters of a thickness similar to the ones on the underframe...it could be a full-width one, or simply a built-up square (or strip) of styrene.  Drill holes for the screws, and, in most cases, simply install the trucks...the screws will generally cut their own threads in the plastic.
I'm going to be modifying an 80' Rivarossi diner into a 70' (or maybe shorter) baggage car, but that will involve segmenting the floor, then re-assembling it to get proper placement on the truck bolsters.


Yes that would be an easy modification. But if I went that route, I have a feeling I would want to change the trucks, then want to modify this, or that, and then it just becomes another unfinished project that I am waiting on parts for. Sad

Instead, I think I will build it per instructions, knowing that if I ever so desire changing trucks and bolsters is pretty easy and can be done on an otherwise completed car. For now, I think I will body mount the couplers just in preparation for that potential and future modification.
Yeah, probably better to do what you want with it now, as it's always possible to re-visit the project again later, if you wanted to do more modifications.

I have one of those rolling around my layout right now.  It's the only piece of CPR passenger equipment I have.
I have one, too, slightly modified...


I also accidentally discovered a way to easily take photos from my photobucket site, and place them in a file in my computer.  That method allows me to post them here, whereas posting a photo direct from photobucket in the usual way yields only the word "undefined", and no picture at all.  A bonus of this work-around is that the photo is already re-sized to allow it to be easily added here as an attachment

The first step was to glue the weights in.  I chose canopy glue, and it seemed to hold and is flexible enough  .  I used CA for another car years ago, and the glue eventually broke free and the weights now rattle.  Probably could have used a contact cement, but sometimes I have had issues with that distorting plastic.  

After that, I screwed on the floor and trucks.  The floor was a warped so I used plastic cement to glue it in a few places - just enough to secure it.
Looks good so far.
I figure the ends of the baggage car need doors.  I don't want to just see down the middle of the car when it isn't coupled to another car.  The kit came with the standard parts the same as all the other cars in this product line, and that means the vestibule ends that would not be needed for a baggage car.  Trying to utilize the parts in the kit, I cut out the doors from the rest of the vestibule end and glued them to the back of the opening.  A prototype car probably would not have a window in this door, so I may blank out the window later.  It looks much better with the door.
Nice job
I decided to use all the roof vents, even considering this is a baggage car.  Logically, I would think that a baggage car would not need as many roof vents as a coach or observation car.  The main reason I left them is because I didn't feel like filling that many holes.  

I think MDC used the same roof piece for all cars in this product line, and that is why there are so many vents.  There are two smaller vent holes that I think correspond to restroom vents, or possibly vents for heating.  Considering that I doubt a baggage car would have a restroom, I decided to blank those out.  I simply cemented the detail part in place, then cut it off flush and applied putty over the area and sanded flat.
I decided to body mount the couplers.  I cut the coupler arm off of the trucks and used a Kadee box screwed to the underframe.  A relatively easy conversion.  My reasoning was that I may swap out trucks or move the bolsters closer to the car ends in the future, and having the couplers already body mounted saves a step.  I also worked on underframe details.  Not sure how much detail I want to add here, as my eyesight isn't what it was even 5 years ago for seeing such things beneath a car floor.  Plus - my goal here is to actually get something done.  My time and modeling funds are extremely limited these days - so the 3 foot rule using what I have on hand feels appropriate.  I am also sick of mail ordering parts.  The international package from doctorwayne actually got here much quicker than my last parts order, which seems to be sitting in the same location for the past two weeks.  I used the plastic steps that came with the kit.  Managed to break two off already and had to re-glue them.
Looks like the parts I need to finish this are finally coming today, nearly a month after ordering them. Spent 3 weeks in a USPS distribution center!
Pages: 1 2