Representing Brake Gear - More Art Than Science
#1
Over on my Andrew's Trains site I've been working away at (and writing up how I've been) upgrading the Athearn Blue Box XAF10 Railbox cars 
(and yes I know they are not exact - but they're cheap and I have a few of them to upgrade and add to my fleet).

For more information you can head on over to the main site but I wanted to share some photos of the progress so far. 
This is a multi-part project that I've been working on for some time as I get a few moments.

Here are some excerpts from the article on adding brake gear (as art versus science):

"This article provides a method to model the brake rodding of an AAR AB air brake system to get the maximum look with minimum effort. 
Train lines and brake-system piping exist on all freight cars; 
the design of many car types (especially boxcars, flat cars, and gondolas) makes it difficult if not impossible to see in regular operation. 
Providing simplified brake gear without all that piping, and the time and materials required to install, 
improves the look of your freight fleet and can be done in a short time (usually an hour or so)."

"I’d like to thank Tony Thompson from the ‘Modeling the SP Blog’ who was the inspiration for this article. 
(See the Resources section at the bottom of this page for a link to Tony’s original blog post.) 
Tony’s minimalist brake line modelling omits piping and any other items of brake gear that are out of site on freight cars as we would ‘normally’ view them. 
Tony’s approach makes sense on a running model; after all if you can’t see it then why should you model it?"

I took my inspiration from Tony Thompson's excellent article on his blog. 
All of that detail is in the original post on my site. 
Let me know your thoughts. 
Images in the next post.

Visit the original post here using WordPress short codes: https://wp.me/P47pPY-Sz
Regards
Andrew Martin
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#2
To give context, here is a model before the rodding:
[Image: XAF10_Before_Brake_Rodding.jpg?w=610&h=204]

And an after shot (same model just undecorated)
[Image: XAF10_After_Brake_Rodding.jpg?w=610&h=206]

I'll be working on some underfloor weathering today and tomorrow and hope to be post some pictures of the rodding once this is done. 

That will tone down the brass and silver of the staples.
Regards
Andrew Martin
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#3
More photos from the Sebastopol shops RIP track:
[Image: img_4061.jpg?w=640&h=360]

Works in progress as I'm updating my boxcar fleet. 
There are a few more to complete.
Regards
Andrew Martin
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#4
Last night I began weathering some of the car undersides to get an idea of how the work will look once operating on the layout. 
While I was a little worried that the rodding would stick out like well... , insert your idea of things that stick out here, 
I'm glad that I've proceeded to this point.

Southern 36188 - An E&C shops kit of the PS-1 50' Boxcar.
[Image: southern_36188_basic_underframe_weatheri...=620&h=247]

From a lower point of view the rodding detail on this car disappears into the background clutter of hard angles and shadow (image taken in reflected sunlight on my workbench – late afternoon – with nice and flat tones). There is further weathering to be done on this car underside, but I like what I see so far.

XAF10 class prototype car - the Athearn BB (Railbox) Kit
[Image: xaf10_prototype_car_after_brake_rodding_...=620&h=249]

This is the one that had me worried that I'd made things too big and obvious using the 0.020 thou brass rod. 
With the base weathering on and the car upside down everything appears to be 'in scale' so I'm greatly relieved with the work so far.

The original post is live on the HVL blog now with a couple more images for context
Thanks for stopping by to read this post.
Regards
Andrew Martin
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#5
I thought I’d share more work done weathering the Southern Boxcar underframe and sides. It’s interesting to see how the added brake gear has become just another part of the model, and no longer seems to dominate the underframe, just as I had hoped it would.

[Image: southern_36188_basic_weathering_started_...g?w=620&h=]

The underframe weathering is what I consider to be just right (considering that it will be hard to see). I had to add a bright white background behind the model for it to show up. Very pleased with how this work has come out. It looks perfectly functional, and most importantly, looks the business.
 
You can read the entire post on my Blog by clicking this link

Thanks for following along and enjoy the day.
Regards
Andrew Martin
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#6
Nicely done, Andrew.   Applause Applause Applause

While I'll occasionally add the piping on a model, it's usually only for the sake of doing it, as no one will see it unless you're in the habit of having dramatic roll-over-type derailments as part of your regular operating sessions....

This scratchbuilt car was an experimental project....

[Image: SCRATCHBUILT%20SEABOARD%201932%20ARA%20B...%20017.jpg]

[Image: SCRATCHBUILT%20SEABOARD%201932%20ARA%20B...%20069.jpg]

On cars like these Train Miniature boxcars, I backdate them by carving away the major AB brake components (moulded as either part of the underbody or the separately-applied frame) then simply add KD or KC brake gear from Tichy, along with only a representation of the rodding...

[Image: NewYearsChallengePhotos155.jpg]

[Image: NewYearsChallengePhotos102.jpg]

[Image: NewYearsChallengePhotos104.jpg]

[Image: NewYearsChallengePhotos103.jpg]

Even very basic models, like this Tyco gondola, can be improved with such upgrades...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20041.jpg]

I usually do, however, add at least the basic piping to tank cars, since it's more visible, as seen on this shortened Varney tank (free, at a train show) on a Tichy underframe....

[Image: NewYearsChallengePhotos147.jpg]

[Image: NewYearsChallengePhotos154.jpg]

[Image: NewYearsChallengePhotos167.jpg]

Wayne
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#7
(01-28-2019, 12:42 PM)doctorwayne Wrote: Nicely done, Andrew.   Applause Applause Applause

While I'll occasionally add the piping on a model, it's usually only for the sake of doing it, as no one will see it unless you're in the habit of having dramatic roll-over-type derailments as part of your regular operating sessions....
Wayne

Wayne;
Love your work. I particularly like the work on the tank car. I have a couple of shorty corn syrup cars to do at some point. Going to take your car as an idea starter and take alook at them.

Great photos. THanks for sharing.
Regards
Andrew Martin
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