Author Topic: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers - Super-detailing Intermountain locos  (Read 7014 times)

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CNR5529

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2017, 10:25:45 PM »
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Step 1, replace molded on lifting lugs with BLMA etched lugs...

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« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 10:35:04 PM by CNR5529 »
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CNR5529

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2017, 10:02:13 PM »
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Been slowly test fitting some of the RP parts. Also had to plug up the old horn locator holes. Pretty soon I'll be able to start shaping those icicle breakers!

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I also got some awesome mesh material from @craigolio1, after handing over the M3T, that is just see through enought to be able to see the fan housing underneath.

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« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 10:05:06 PM by CNR5529 »
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2017, 10:07:23 PM »
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Those spotlights NEED to be lit.
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CNR5529

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2017, 10:11:04 PM »
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Those spotlights NEED to be lit.

:D Thats the plan!
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peteski

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2017, 11:24:28 PM »
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Those spotlights NEED to be lit.

These things on the roof are spotlights? I thought they were smoke-grenade launchers.  :)

What are those for? Spotting icicles?
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CNR5529

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2017, 08:43:58 AM »
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What are those for? Spotting icicles?

The prevailing theories people usually go to are either icicle detection, avalanche detection, or to illuminate the mountainside for the enjoyment of the passengers seated in the dome cars of The Canadian and The Dominion. That said, in doing some research I have come across a far more plausible, yet totally vain explanation of their true purpose.

First, what are they? The CPR apparently referred to them as "mountain lights". Basically, these gizmos were a horizontal twin beam gyralite (model # Horiz. 20585), which the CPR installed using home made bracketry, and aimed at a 45 degree angle up from the direction of travel. These fixtures would have projected a beam of light moving in a circular pattern, though combined with the rocking motion of the locos, some people claim to have seen figure 8 patterns similar to a Mars light. The mountain lights were installed only on A units assigned to the trans-continental service pool of equipment, and were mounted roughly 20' back from the nose of the locomotive.

From a practical standpoint, the mountain lights would have been useless to detect icicles for two reasons: being 20 feet back and pointing 45 degrees up, they would have shone much too high to illuminate tunnel portals, but even if the crew did spot an excessively large icicle, there was no way to stop the train, which was going up to 80 mph, before the first dome car would have been hit (4-5 cars back). That's why there were icicle breakers. The same reasoning stands for avalanche detection, they would have put ditch lights aimed at the grown ahead of the train, not up in the air.

As for passenger enjoyment, the lights would have only illuminated tall mountains directly in front of the locomotives, or the narrowest of canyon walls. They would have been of little use to passengers in the tail-end dome 16 cars back, when the route through the mountains was rather curvy.

So what is their true purpose?  The beam of light would have been visible with any amount of fog, snow, rain or dust in the air, as well as with any amount of cloud cover, drawing circles in the sky. The purpose of these rotating lights was thus simply to call attention to the train itself, to announce the arrival of The Canadian!



Anecdotal evidence and further reading can be found here: http://www.trainweb.org/gyra/gyra_use.htm
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 11:56:49 AM by CNR5529 »
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peteski

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2017, 04:48:14 PM »
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Thanks for the explanation. So these were like searchlights used to attract people to carnivals, circuses, or other similar events before the Internet.   :D
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Angus Shops

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2017, 11:30:13 PM »
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Are those stainless side grills the standard Intermountain etchings or something custom? They look more see through than mine...

I use .010 x .020 (I think) flat wire the the icicle breakers, with .010 wire for the diagonal braces.

I've always believed that the purpose of the roof mounted lights was safety related, with the light bouncing of cloud cover, fog, or etc. to draw attention to the approaching train. I wonder how effective it was as it wasn't repeated on any other types of power.

I've also come to the conclusion that the wire used for the stock Intermountain handrails is too thick and I've started to replace them with new ones formed from 008 phosphor bronze wire. Part of the problem may be the yellow paint Intermountain uses on their handrails; it seems pretty thick. The extra CP nose grabs are nice details as well. Nice work.
Geoff

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2017, 09:35:09 AM »
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Are those stainless side grills the standard Intermountain etchings or something custom? They look more see through than mine...

As far as I know the grills are stock, but I bought these locos second hand, so not 100% certain on that. It might have just been the lighting I was using.

I've also come to the conclusion that the wire used for the stock Intermountain handrails is too thick and I've started to replace them with new ones formed from 008 phosphor bronze wire. Part of the problem may be the yellow paint Intermountain uses on their handrails; it seems pretty thick.

I wasn't planning on changing the stock handrails but now that you mention it, it may be worth going the extra mile to put in thinner wire. One thing I don't like is how far out the vertical handrails stick out. At least if I change those out, they will match the new nose grab irons.

I've always believed that the purpose of the roof mounted lights was safety related, with the light bouncing of cloud cover, fog, or etc. to draw attention to the approaching train. I wonder how effective it was as it wasn't repeated on any other types of power.

That does seem plausible, and in a way the function you describe is very similar to what I found: it appears these lights were intended to draw attention to the train in some fashion, rather than light up the mountains or icicles. Either way, the feature is too unique to leave out!

I use .010 x .020 (I think) flat wire the the icicle breakers, with .010 wire for the diagonal braces.

You don't happen to have a drawing showing the shape CPR used for these do you? At this point I was just going to use the drawings for the park/skyline domes to approximate the shape, and just make them a bit larger than the dome outline...
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Angus Shops

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2017, 10:27:41 AM »
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No, I don't have any drawings. I did more or less what you're planning on doing, but a little bigger than the profile of the dome assuming that the railway would want to have a few inches of clearance between the stub of the icicle and the dome window and allowing for the 'length of car/curve of track' calculation as the dome cars travelled through curving tunnels (Spiral Tunnels)...

...well, that might have occurred to me, but in reality I did what looked about right.

Geoff

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2017, 08:13:18 PM »
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@Angus Shops you got me thinking about those stock intermountain grabs with the thick paint. I removed them all and threw them into some lacquer thinner. Guess what, they went from 20 thou to 11! I think I will now just repaint them with a thin coat and see how it looks.
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peteski

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2017, 08:24:16 PM »
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@Angus Shops you got me thinking about those stock intermountain grabs with the thick paint. I removed them all and threw them into some lacquer thinner. Guess what, they went from 20 thou to 11! I think I will now just repaint them with a thin coat and see how it looks.

That's still 1.75" diameter in 1:1 scale (without paint). Since you already have them off, why not go down to 0.008 or 0.006"? That is 1.28 or 0.96 scale inches.  :)
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CNR5529

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2017, 09:11:46 PM »
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Well, the lazy part of me is thinking 28 grab irons are already perfectly formed (2 locos)... while the other half agrees that finer wire would be nice. In the end though, I only have 10 thou wire on hand, and wasnt planing on hitting up the LHS this weekend.

Here is a quick test with the original grabs repainted but not glued in place. I think even just repainting and mounting the grab irons closer to the shell helps the look:

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I'm not 100% sold yet, but not hating it either... hmmm.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 09:29:03 PM by CNR5529 »
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peteski

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2017, 09:34:33 PM »
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Here is a quick test with the original grabs repainted but not glued in place. I think even just repainting and mounting the grab irons closer to the shell helps the look:

I'm not 100% sold yet, but not hating it either... hmmm.

Hey - it is your model. I was just putting on some pear pressure . . .
I'm usually a fan of molded-on grabs. To me they look closer to scale (both in apparent diameter and how close they are to the body.
 :)
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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robert3985

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Re: CPR F unit Icicle Breakers
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2017, 05:00:46 AM »
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...I'm usually a fan of molded-on grabs. To me they look closer to scale (both in apparent diameter and how close they are to the body.
 :)

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