Author Topic: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?  (Read 6729 times)

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Dave V

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Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« on: December 15, 2010, 10:00:24 PM »
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The Juniata Division took delivery today of a Trainman 50' single-door boxcar.  It's painted up as Conrail 155403.  The prototype:

http://rr-fallenflags.org/cr/cr155403akg.jpg

I wasn't able to determine the history of the prototype car.  It's painted as a class X46, but as a 50' car it's clearly NOT an ex-PRR class X46, but the series (1554XX) designated X46 under Penn Central.  The number series appears to be ex-NYC.  The paint job in the photo doesn't look like standard CR freight color.  The July 1976 paint job is consistent with the period the Meadville Shops was still using EL freight car color.  In that respect the Atlas car is slightly the wrong color.  Otherwise, it's a very-well rendered lettering job:



I plan to add the ACI label before weathering.

Here's the rub...  It has that notorious Trainman roof walk.  The prototype lost its roof walk before receiving Conrail stencils.  I've removed a Trainman boxcar roof walk before in order to replace it with a thinner MicroTrains one.  I found very large cylindrical mounting studs that clearly cannot remain on the roof once the walk is removed.  Has anyone ever had success with filing these down to where the roof looks normal again?  I want to preserve the very nice paint and lettering job on the sides, so I'm not trimming the ladders down, but I'm on the fence over whether I want to hack at the roof.  If I did I would try to add a galvanized metal roof effect.

So I'm looking for some guidance from anyone who has attempted this before.
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davefoxx

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 10:12:03 PM »
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Dave,

I've successfully removed a roofwalk in HO, but the process should be the same in N scale.  Plug the holes (sprues and putty), and let that dry overnight.  Then, using needle files, carefully file the plugs to match the roof profiles.  Only the two plugs in the middle should give you any difficulty, because the two at the ends are in an area free of the raised areas.  Just have your putty available to hide any sins, and then give it the "galvanized" treatment.  I think you will find that this is easier than you think and, with the exception of the drying time for glue, putty, and/or paint, you should likely be able to complete this in an evening.

Good luck and post pics of your progress.

By the way, that may be the biggest N scale can opener that I've ever seen.

DFF

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Dave V

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 10:24:27 PM »
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Yeah, it looks very straightforward in terms of what I need to do...  I get that.  I'm just nervous about matching the contours.  But for the price of the car (<$10), it's a much lower risk than kitbashing steam, so I'll probably just jump in.

Maybe I can convince Ed to share his roof mods too.
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wm3798

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 11:19:01 PM »
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My solution is even easier.  Cut the mounting studs off of the offending roof walk and stuff them back into the holes.  Add some liquid plastic cement, and wait until it sets up, then attack it with a jeweler's file.  Bip bop bip.  Slap a little Tom Mannism on the top, and you're done.  20 years later, close the Hollidaysburg car shops and lay everyone off.  Couldn't be easier.

Lee
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 11:31:03 PM »
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Yes. What Lee says. I've practiced on an even cheaper car, and while it takes some work, it's absolutely doable.

bbussey

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 11:45:28 PM »
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My solution is even easier.  Cut the mounting studs off of the offending roof walk and stuff them back into the holes.  Add some liquid plastic cement, and wait until it sets up, then attack it with a jeweler's file.  Bip bop bip.  Slap a little Tom Mannism on the top, and you're done.  20 years later, close the Hollidaysburg car shops and lay everyone off.  Couldn't be easier.

Yes. What Lee says. I've practiced on an even cheaper car, and while it takes some work, it's absolutely doable.

Agreed.  That's the method I used decades ago when removing roofwalks from non-Kadee boxcars and replacing them with either etched brass or Kadee roofwalks.

I see the Juniata Division is generating revenue again.  The yard looks pretty full.
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TrainCat2

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2010, 12:32:12 AM »
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Agreed.  That's the method I used decades ago when removing roofwalks from non-Kadee boxcars and replacing them with either etched brass or Kadee roofwalks.

Ditto, same process I used. Except, I use my roofwalks I did for the Atlas 50ft Box.
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ednadolski

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 01:01:15 AM »
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Depending on how the filing goes, wet-sanding with progressively finer grit automotive sandpapers (400-600-800) might also be helpful.

Ed

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 11:47:07 AM »
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I used Lee's method, alternatively filled the holes with puty  (Revell Plasto here in Germany).
Then I used Gold Medal Models roofwalks, because I did not have Traincat's, plus GMM stirrups  I repainted the stirrups and that part of the roof, but it is under the roofwalk and not so obvious.
Some 40' box cars:
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 11:55:59 AM by christoph »
Christoph

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 06:01:10 PM »
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The roofwalk is relatively straightforward- cutting down and removing the ladders is a P.I.T.A!

Bruce

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2010, 06:04:19 PM »
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Last time I did this (1980s!) I just removed the roofwalk and filled in the holes with Squadron Putty.

davefoxx

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2010, 08:08:04 PM »
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Dave V.,

As far as matching the contours, just start filing down until you reach the high spots.  Then, with your needle files, slowly work down into the crevasses.  If you overdo it and lose some detail, putty will fix it.  Once you put your "galvanizing" treatment on the roof, you will likely never notice the "plugs."  Don't forget, you could do some camouflaging by painting a panel or two in "fresh paint" to represent a repair.  Details such as this will pull the eye away from other things that you may not want others to notice.  Just take your time and file in the direction of the raised roof panels.

Hope this helps,
DFF

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Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
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Dave V

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2010, 09:50:08 PM »
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Yep, that's pretty much what I envisioned doing.  Was hoping for a pic of an example, so thanks, Christoph!  They look like completely different (and better) cars with those etched roof walks!

Okay, so I mentioned galvanized for the roof...  But I don't have proof that's what this car or class had.  In 1976, some CR boxcars got full roof paint.

Can any of you Conrail bubbas confirm what was done to roofs coming out of Meadeville in summer '76?  I may ask this over at CRHS too.
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ai5629

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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2010, 05:54:39 AM »
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The paint job on that car is dead on accurate for what was coming out of the Hollidaysburg, PA (P62 weigh mark) in the summer of 76.  Conrail used this paint scheme for about three or four months between late June 76 to September 76.  It is unique due to the large long "wheels-on-rail" logo and the side-by-side reporting marks.  The car itself is an ex PRR X45, not X46 is is classed as such (take another look at the class on the car).  The ends and sides match the prototype pretty closely.  The ends are close, but not perfect.  The PRR car has 4-3-1 ends and the Atlas car has 4-4 ends.  The other draw back is the car has a 9 foot door and the prototype had an 8 foot door.  I can live with this.  We could sit here all day and debate Conrail oxide red, so I say the color is fine.  I agree with everyone else about removing the running board.  Don't forget the casting plug in the center of the roof.  As far as the roof being painted by Conrail, I cannot say.  I am going to be doing the same thing to both road numbers and painting the roofs silver.  The only paint job issues with the second road number (CR 261132) is that the AAR code should be XL and not XM and it too should have an ACI tag.  Thanks.

Jeff 
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Re: Removing Trainman boxcar roof walk?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2010, 06:21:42 AM »
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I've filled in roof holes a few times. I stuck the roof walk into the holes from the inside of the shell (trim the ends to fit). Once the glue cured I just filed down the nubs sticking out. I hate that green putty, it never really hardens.