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June 2004 - Page 30

tight radius curves. I have no need for this and discarded the entire coupler assemblies. Rigid-mounted Kadee #78 couplers will be used in their place (see photos). There are two posts at each end of the car for the coupler mounting screws. Clip these off flush with the underside of the floor. Next cut the four corner stirrup steps and replace them with A-Line formed metal stirrups. De-spruing nippers work great for clipping off the cast-on stirrups flush with the bottom of the sidesills. In order to secure the metal A-Line replacements to the model, carefully drill two holes for each stirrup into the bottom of the body. To ensure a permanent bond cement each stirrup in place. I recommend using Cyanopoxy , although other cements will work. Once the cement has hardened use a small pair of needle-nose pliers to make any needed adjustments to the new stirrups. Now its time to build the coupler installations. As stated earlier Kadee #78 scale couplers with scale draft gear were used in this model. While the prototype has extended draft gear the Kadee #78 couplers are designed to be installed in the traditional position on freight cars without cushioned draft gear. With the coupler assemblies and the coupler mounting posts removed you can

Shown here is the car end with the coupler cut lever and Kadee #78 coupler and draft gear added. The cut lever is two pieces of .010 brass rod cemented together with Cyanopoxy. begin installation of the Kadee #78 couplers. Start by scraping any paint from the model where the couplers and frame extension (see photos) will be cemented in place. This is done to provide the strongest bond between the new items and the plastic under-floor. Using liquid styrene cement attach the Kadee #78 coupler. I fit the couplers so that only about 25 percent of the draft gear actually overlaps the floor. Obviously this is not a very secure installation and added strength is called for. To better secure the coupler draft gear boxes and fill the void between the back of the draft gear and the bolster frame, strips of styrene are cut and fit to OVERLAP the sides of the draft gear up to the ends of the floor. Once these are secured in place I recommend using Cyanopoxy to build up between these new frame pieces for additional strength. Next cut strips of styrene to represent the frame caps and cement each in place. I have found that this arrangement provides a strong installation for the protruding coupler draft gear while at the same time it completes the underframe of the model. Replacing the factory coupler assemblies with this Kadee #78 installation probably does more to improve the appearance of the model than any other change we will make other than the application of weathering. At this point you ought to be warmed up and ready to tackle a bit more of a challenge replacing the ladder rungs. After much experience with this step on other models I have learned many ways how not to do this! R ule #1: Do not remove the

This view shows the new ladder rungs, brakewheel, stirrups and the trainline air hose a Details West diesel air hose. Also very evident is just how much the coupler and draft gear stick out from the body. The coupler is a Kadee #78 pre-assembled coupler.


JUNE 2004

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