Author Topic: Expiriment in Nn3 turd polishing  (Read 1127 times)

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randgust

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Expiriment in Nn3 turd polishing
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:31:30 AM »
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So as I'm continuing my Climax A Nn3 foray...   the prototype I'm working with is 'across the street' from the Hickory Valley, and 'just down the road', the short-lived McCabe Lumber Company at West Hickory PA, about 1904-1911.   They were only a couple miles long, served a small sawmill just below West Hickory, and had a single 15-ton Climax A, 36" gauge according to local records.    No pictures of it, the mill, the site, or much of anything have been found, if it weren't for Walt Casler's books and Newspapers.com you'd never know it existed.   Hit twice by floods in 1908 it never really recovered - found those newspaper stories.

So it leaves ample room for what-if's, as it's nearly impossible for people to prove you wrong.     

I've got the Climax A running pretty good, I got one 25' log car from Showcase, two 25' flatcars for bark service from Shapeways (Walter Vail designs), and....nothing.    Looking around in my junk drawer I had a single Bachman 'Old Timer' boxcar..man, that thing is ugly.   I'd taken one of the flatcars and made it into a chemical wood flat for the HV layout, perfect size.  But this boxcar?   It's so small....wait a minute.

Checked my books.....hmmm....
http://www.randgust.com/TV%20Boxcars.jpg

That's on the Tionesta Valley (Sheffield-Hallton, PA, about 40 miles away), but local region practice.  Not interchanged, basically a 3' logging railroad boxcar.   I wonder..... could that frame and carbody be modified to Nn3?  I found at least one person did a thread thinking about it, but I don't see where anybody actually did it.   Nothing against MT cars, but they are just 'so Colorado' and this is bare-bones basic.

Well, it meets a couple criteria.    1)  Free, I already have it.  2) risk free, worst thing is I decide it looks like crap and I finally toss it.   3) pretty much easy to do.

Car measures out to about 9' wide and only 7' high at the door, I have no idea what if any prototype Bachmann had in mind for this for their 'old time' series, but it's really just too small for a standard-gauge car even in the 1860's.   Much closer to narrow gauge.   And if there's an uglier car out there for color...wow...there just aren't words.

First discovery was that the bolsters were too wide from the trucks, and needed ground out with an abrasive disk.  I filled the original bolster holes with wood and doused it in ACC to redrill it smaller for the MT truck pins.   Yanked the original truss rod casting, if it's worth it I'll do my own rods later.

Second discovery was that it needed some help on a coupler mounting pad, I added .010 styrene to flatten out the frame at the coupler mount, and drill for MT 903's.





I gave it a shot of primer gray, and a deliberately streaked brush coat of Pollyscale boxcar red, I wanted weathered gray to show under the paint to get a head start on a weatherbeaten appearance.



OK, well, it runs, it works.    Tracks fine.  Couplers are right height.   The bolsters still look too far back from the ends, I'm debating if I want to fix that or not, as the truck clearances at the wheels against the coupler box are tight already and that won't help.   Needs truss rods, and the vertical brake staff and brake wheel, yeah, that's still a turd.   The basic body though is creditable, more detail on it that I would have given Bachmann credit for once you get past that awful green paint.



So, if you've ever looked at that car and wondered like I did....what if... well, there's your answer.

Dave V

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Re: Expiriment in Nn3 turd polishing
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 09:35:32 AM »
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Looks quite convincing to me!  If you really wanted to take it to the finish line, free-standing grabs and stirrups would be awesome as well. 

From a proportions perspective it looks more properly narrow gauge than the MTL Nn3 3000-series boxcar.

Philip H

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Re: Expiriment in Nn3 turd polishing
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 09:51:37 AM »
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Grabs and stirrups for sure.  The brake wheel could be salvaged on a thinner post . . . .
Philip H.
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nickelplate759

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Re: Expiriment in Nn3 turd polishing
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 02:11:05 PM »
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Looks quite convincing to me!  If you really wanted to take it to the finish line, free-standing grabs and stirrups would be awesome as well. 

From a proportions perspective it looks more properly narrow gauge than the MTL Nn3 3000-series boxcar.

The two things that bother me visually are the brakewheel+post (easily fixed) and the round ends on the door tracks (maybe harder to fix).  That last part just looks like lazy mould cutting to me.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Dave V

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Re: Expiriment in Nn3 turd polishing
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2019, 02:18:27 PM »
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The two things that bother me visually are the brakewheel+post (easily fixed) and the round ends on the door tracks (maybe harder to fix).  That last part just looks like lazy mould cutting to me.

If operating the door isn't a priority, a simple piece of styrene could fix the door track molding issue.  But my guess is that to the naked eye at normal viewing distances it isn't as obvious.

nkalanaga

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Re: Expiriment in Nn3 turd polishing
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2019, 02:39:00 AM »
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Since there really was no standard narrow gauge boxcar, the dimensions really don't matter.  9 Ft is a little wide for most roads, but there's no mechanical reason it couldn't have been done. 

The truck spacing looks a little odd, but again, it would work.  I can even think of a reason for it.  If your road uses skeleton log cars, the trucks are often set back from the ends, so that the log bunks are closer together.  That leaves extra coupler overhang on curves, so the boxcar has its trucks set in, to match the log cars, and help the couplers stay aligned.
N Kalanaga
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