Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Conrail Cabooses, part 1

One of the fun reason to model early Conrail, 1978 in my case, is the variety of equipment that was in service.  This is also before the vast reduction in the number of cabooses being used, in fact Conrail actually ordered a few early on in its existence.  The good news for modelers, there are lots of options for modeling these cabooses.  I kitbashed an N8A, described earlier on my blog.  Bowser makes many of the PRR cabooses that made it into Conrail.  Proto 2000, Atlas, Intermountain, JJL Models and Wright Trak all make RTR or kits that work for Conrail as well.  I have a couple I have been working on couple of RTR models to update the details to make them more appropriate for the 1978 era. I am not looking to make perfect replica of particular car numbers, but give a good feel for the prototype.  This means removing roof walks on most models, cutting down ladders, adding kick plates to the end platforms, blanking out windows and adding vents.  Also adding additional lettering and markings as well as weathering. 

The first one I am working on is the Proto 2000 North Eastern style caboose.  This model represents a former Reading caboose and is a class N4A on Conrail. This is one of the earlier releases from the original Proto 2000 line.  The good news is the overall detail is correct, the painting and lettering is nicely done, but the logo looks to be a little long.  It comes with an interior and it is light, not sure if it will function on DCC or not.  The biggest draw back on this model is the roof walk is molded into the roof.  I decide to leave the roof walk on this as I just did not feel like filing and sanding it off and then trying to make the roof look decent after that.  The good news is it is a very fine molding, so it looks pretty good.  I am not sure if I am going to keep the plastic grabs, I will see what it looks like after I weather them.  I will paint the ones on the roof black so they showed not show up as much as the white ones.

Here is the Proto 2000 N4A straight out of the box.

This side gets one window sealed, this time using .010 styrene.

This side gets two windows sealed.

The second model I am upgrading is a Bowser N5C, a former PRR car with the distinctive porthole windows.  The Bowser RTR cabooses are really nice, and I think they are a great bargain these days. On this car I am blanking out some windows, adding a vent and adding kick plates to the end railings.  I am also removing the roof walk and the upper parts of the ladders to the roof.

Here is the Bowser N5C straight out of the box.

Here is the Bowser N5C straight out of the box.

The window on the far right had had a vent added to it, it will be sealed
by painting it over with blue paint.

I sealed the end window on the left using paint.  The kick plate in .010 styrene,
waiting to be painted blue.  I have also clipped off the upper two
grab irons on the adder.  I will also replace the couplers with Kadee 158's


Sunday, October 6, 2019

NH 44 Tonner 0811

Another project I have completed is the 44 tonner 0811.  This particular locomotive was assigned to switch Norwich for a number of years.  I have seen photos of it in the green and orange paint in several books and I have a photo of it from Bob's Photos in McGinnis paint.

0811 just south of the Norwich Passenger station in 1057

Randy Hamill has a great write up on all of the New Haven's 44 tonners on his blog: http://blog.newbritainstation.com/ .  He explains how to back date the Bachmann phase IV to Phase III, which is correct for the 0811.  It is unfortunate that the Bachmann red is so dark as it is other wise a decent model of the phase IV.  I used the information from Randy's site to model the 0811, so I will only show a few photos of my project.

Here is the cab with the open stack covers and rail gutters added

This shows the hood hatches and door handles I added.

Here is the finished model with some light weathering.

This is the factory painted model.  Not bad, but not great either.