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    • May 27, 2017 10:08 PM EDT
    • Hopefully you have a middle section that looks like the one below. I had to do a little filling and sanding on the sloped part of the winter hatch.

      You can now paint the middle section. Paint inside and out.

      Well it's slowly starting to look like something.


    • May 27, 2017 9:57 PM EDT
    • Now we need some lift rings for the exhaust section. We'll use some .04 x .125" styrene. We'll need two 3/16" pieces with a 1/16" hole. These pieces are small, so it's easiest to drill the holes before cutting the pieces off. Center the holes at one of the ends.

      Make two.

      Sand the ends around the hole into a smooth curve.

      Cut them in half giving you four pieces.

      On the front and rear of the exhaust section, mark 1/8" in from each side, and mount the above pieces to the insides of these lines.

      They should end up flush with the top.

    • May 27, 2017 9:44 PM EDT
    • Now we need some lift brackets for this section. Take some .03" styrene, and cut four pieces as shown below. They are 3/16" wide, with one side 3/16" and the other 1/4".

      Drill 3/32" holes centered on the square end.

      Clip the corners as you see below on the lower left hand piece, and then sand to a nice curve like the upper pieces.

      Note - These are a little taller then the prototype to allow the base to be reinforced.

      Mark all four lower corners of the sloped roof sections 1/8" from the ends (not including the 1/16" end trim) and 1/8" from the lower edge.

      Mount your brackets in all four corners. I added some .025" rod on both sides of the base to add a little more strength. (not shown) I figured they would look like a weld at the base. (This does not match the prototype)

    • May 27, 2017 9:25 PM EDT
    • I could use some help from the minions.  Mind you, it may end up looking like a unicorn.


      Okay let's see if we can complete the center section detail. We'll need some hinges from Burl. (Thanks Burl) This step is pretty time consuming. You'll need to cut out all of the required hinges and then crazy glue them into place. It took me most of a day.

      We'll mark three lines on both sides. Measure from the bottom of the doors up 1/4", 1 1/4" and 2 1/4". DO NOT include the 1/16" space below the doors. The hinges are placed above these lines in the locations shown below. The space between the windowed door, and first four door set is too narrow for two hinges. I applied a hinge for the windowed door, and then filled the remaining space with a small piece of styrene for the lower part of the other hinge.

      Now on the windowed doors, on the outside edge mark for drilling 1/16" in from the edge, and centered with the top/bottom of the door. Drill a 1/16" hole. Door handles will be added later to make it easier to tape and paint the stripes. You can see the modified hinges in this photo.

    • May 21, 2017 8:40 PM EDT
    • Now we need to add four panels, and then the top of the roof is complete. All panels are .01" styrene. cut two 5/8 x 1 1/4" pieces and two 13/16 x 2 5/8" pieces. We'll start with the two small pieces.

      Mount these on the front corners. Leave the overhang until dry, and then fold and glue around the curved edge. Once dry cut off the excess.

      Now the long pieces attach on each side of the rear. Before attaching, using a razor saw, cut a dividing line part way through at the center point. (green arrow) Use the same technique you used when making the side doors for the middle and tail.

      Now mount them centered with the rear panel, and centered on the sloped side of the roof. (red arrows)

      Hopefully you now have a roof that looks like the one below.

      It's now okay to remove the fan and paint the top of the roof. DO NOT paint the bottom.


    • May 27, 2017 3:26 PM EDT
    • If you have a torch and a fire brick you can anneal the brass and make sharper bends. Just heat to a pale cherry red and let cool. Don't quench.


      For square corners without marring the surface, try a pair of these Parallel Jaw pliers;




    • May 27, 2017 3:06 PM EDT
    • double post

    • May 27, 2017 3:02 PM EDT
    • Well, Doktah, I told a bunch of pics and can't upload them cause my FS is full. I'm trying to figure out what to do. So bear with me.

      I could only upload one, so I chose the finished bunk. You can use NBW's or in my case, I just use brass nails, dipped in glue. 10' rule applied.

      The braces are .016 and the spike strip is .132 brass. 

    • May 27, 2017 10:36 AM EDT
    • Thanks, guys!

      The metal work is the easiest part of the whole build.

      I use K&S .016 x 1/4 for the pieces that need to be formed. It is hand formed with flat needle nosed pliers. The material is cut to length with simple side cutters. you grip the piece and bend it back and forth a few times and it snaps.

      A few packs of cheap Harbor Freight 1/16" drill bits, a small smooth file, a dremel , and a scribe. A small vise clamped next to you can bend the heavier brass, if you use .132 for any thing. You can bend it with the hand tools, but it is a little harder to form.

      After I finish my morning paper and coffee, I'll go out in the shop and take some pics for you all.

    • May 27, 2017 9:17 AM EDT
    • I went for grey as well based on some prototype pics. This was as far as I got...


      @JB - Could you post a close-up high angle shot that would show your bunk braces ?

    • May 26, 2017 10:44 PM EDT
    • This was what I came up with from the GR plans..I think they could be modified to look more prototypical. I ended up using steel wool and vinegar stain mixture. These were constructed from cedar, so it turned a nice grayish look..

    • May 26, 2017 10:38 PM EDT
    • Daktah John said:

      Looking good. Almost good enough to motivate me to finish the set I started.  Got hung up bending the metal bracing bars consistently. Started designing a die to stamp them with, but came up short there too.

      I built some log cars from Garden Railway plans a few years ago. Bending the brass hardware was a pain in the rear for me as well. Keep at it!.. THose look really nice. What color red did you use for the frames...?


    • May 26, 2017 8:25 PM EDT
    • Looking good. Almost good enough to motivate me to finish the set I started.  Got hung up bending the metal bracing bars consistently. Started designing a die to stamp them with, but came up short there too.

    • May 26, 2017 7:43 PM EDT
    • Yes very nice.  I really like that first shot.  Six more?  That's going to be a nice string.   Great work John!

    • May 26, 2017 3:12 PM EDT
    • Darn fine craftsmanship right there!!

    • May 26, 2017 2:23 PM EDT
    • Steve Featherkile said:

      Where's the "Like" button?


      Whur is the WOW GREAT button ? . . .


    • May 26, 2017 2:07 PM EDT
    • Seriously good!

    • May 26, 2017 12:17 PM EDT
    • Where's the "Like" button?

    • May 26, 2017 12:12 PM EDT
    • My heavy skeleton log cars are coming along nicely. 4 are finished and 6 are still on the bench. A few alterations since I built the first one.

      They now ride on Accucraft trucks. The first one had LGB trucks, which I didn't like as much. I extended the length 3" to accommodate 25' (scale) logs.