ATSF 70' Heavyweight baggage using the MT 'Erie' baggage car

arbomambo May 27, 2015

  1. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    Hello all....
    I've been anticipating the recent release of the new Micro Trains heavyweight head end cars, specifically the 70' baggage, based on an Erie prototype. I had hoped that it would make an excellent core for building many heavyweight cars, using various brass sides; specifically Santa Fe cars and M&R brass (?) sides.
    Donor cores had previously been limited to the classic Rivarossi/Atlas/Con Cor heavyweight cars. Accurate cars can be built from these still, but with quite a bit of work to truly make them accurate in layout and all dimensions.
    The Micro Trains heavyweights, on the other hand, allow an accurate model to be built, with much less work...i.e. cutting, scratchbuilding, etc. The Micro Trains heavyweights feature separate ladders, underframes, and glass. they also feature body mounted couplers. This new Erie baggage car also features a brand new heavyweight truck type (very useful for some builds-I'll be using the previous 'commonwealth' heavyweight truck for most of mine...)
    The new Erie baggage doesn't disappoint in this regard. After acquiring a couple upon release, I've found my highest hopes for using them as cores have been fully realized.
    I'm starting to build the first new ATSF 70' baggage, using M&R sides' sides and the new MT car. I'll take plenty of pics at each stage in the process, in case anyone else is planning to do the same.
    Thanks for looking,
    ~Bruce


    Here I've posed two cars to compare features of the standard Micro Trains Erie baggage car (on the left), and a ATSF 70' baggage car previously built on a cut down Rivarossi 'combine' using the M&R brass sides. One can see the differences in door width and spacing between the two cars. This comparison pic also highlights a benefit to be gained by using the Micro Trains car as the donor car/core- the Micro Trains car has the more accurate truck spacing, whereas the Rivarossi car's truck spacing is more inboard. Using the brass sides on the Micro Trains car will yield a more accurate car with much less work.

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    another benefit to using the MT car is the ease with which ALM diaphragms can be added w/o significant alteration of the door area-in fact the MT doors do not need to be removed from the car to allow fit and free operation of the ALM diaphragms. Here, the MT diapphragm has been removed to reveal the 'lip' and recess around the end door. the ALM part will fit right onto this lip, after removing the molded-in features above the door.

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    and here, after removing the area, an assembled ALM diaphragm is simply glued into place, allowing the nicely molded door to remain.

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  2. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

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    Outstanding work. Your mail train is coming along nicely!!

    Regards,
    Wolf
     
  3. RWCJr

    RWCJr TrainBoard Member

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    So appreciate you doing an ongoing photo and text thread on this conversion. Learned with the roundhouse model thread I posted a while back just how much time this adds to the construction process. Thanks Bruce.
    Robert
     
  4. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sitting in awe of the work you do. Every day!
     
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Amazing what a few subtle changes can do.
     
  6. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    Precious little time to model ...Summer is here, with mini vacations, cook outs, out of town guests, and beach time!...
    but I did start the next phase of this build ( the first, and test case, of using the beautiful MT car as a core)....

    a step that I want to do in order to convert these to Santa Fe cars (with the iconic channel sill), is to remove the lip around the bottom edge of the Micro Trains car...this lip, shown above, hides the underframe piece on the regular baggage cars. The new brass sides, and the channel sill, will hide the underframe nicely on the new cars, and removing this 'sill' will allow me to position the Santa Fe channel sill w/o any interference.

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    it's a simple procedure to remove the sill with a heavy duty Xacto blade.

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    here are a 'before' and 'after'....

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    I was very careful to leave the lip at the very end of the carbody....

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    I'd like to use the Micro Trains end steps (even though the brass sides' fret includes some beautiful photo-etched versions)...the MT steps are molded of Delrin and are less likely to break if there is an 'accident'. however, I'm concerned that the MT part may not be long enough with the Santa Fe channel sill in place...I'm test fitting it in this series of pics.

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    here, the underframe is snapped into place (the underframe captures the end ladders/steps and secures them)...it's apparent that, by removing the lip around the bottom of the carbody, the underframe would be exposed if I weren't covering it with the brass side and channel sill....

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    Here, I've posed the the brass side in place, in order to see if I'll be able to use the MT steps....they would seem to work, IF I weren't going to add the channel sill!....but, I can see here that the steps will be too shallow (not protruding down far enough) after the channel sill is in place....again, no worries, these steps are included in Roberto's fret so I won't have to outsource them

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    after completing this step, this build will really go quickly...emphasizing how much easier it is to use these new, beautiful Micro Trains cars as core kits.
    the next step will be to mark and cut the new, Santa Fe door openings into the MT car sides, then sand the sides flat to accept the new M&R Sides ones...
    Thanks for looking,
    ~Bruce
     
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  7. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    What glue are you using to attach the brass to the plastic side? I've tried about everything short of JB Weld, and all have various shortcomings.

    Bill
     
  8. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    CA has worked wonderfully for me....the donor car sides, after being sanded perfectly flat, offer a lot of 'tooth' for CA...4-5 year old cars show no signs of deterioration. I use a thicker CA and spread it evenly over the surface with a cotton swab. the thicker CA gives me a moments more to position the side correctly before it cures.
    ~Bruce
     
  9. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Bruce,

    I'll give that another try. Thanks.

    Bill
     
  10. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work!

    And FYI for everyone, MTL has this month released a painted unlettered baggage car-- perhaps for just such a project. Catalog 147 00 001 has an MSRP of $21.25... street price should be lower.
     
  11. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    progress, albeit slow (no time to model!)


    it's at this point that I move the coupler attachment points to the rear, in order to get the close coupled spacing I want...the diaphragms are in place and after moving the coupler mounting holes about 1/4" further inboard, the spacing looks right and the cars track without problems...


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    the cars look 'funny' at this point ( the bottom sill has been removed so they look as if they're 'high-riders'!), but I want to get this spacing done before I add the new sides and channel sill...


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    Here, I'm overlaying the brass side, and marking the new door positions and where I'm going to cut into the carbody-I don't have to precisely cut the new door openings; just cut enough clearance to accomodate the doors on the brass sides


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    The ATSF cars are different from the MT Erie car in a number of ways, but the door size and spacing are the obvious differences- the Santa Fe doors are mounted more toward the ends of the car, and the doors are mirrored (the smaller and larher doors are opposite of their counterparts on the other side)


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    The MT Erie prototype car has sides are copies of each other (the smaller door is to the right, the larger door to the left, on each side)


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    thanks for looking,
    ~Bruce
     
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  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    What sort of adhesive do you normally use to attach the car sides?
     
  13. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    CA adhesive
     
  14. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    the openings are cut for clearance for the doors on the new sides...I cut clearance in the floor at each door, so the sill wouldn't create a bulge at each door opening ( I've learned to do this from hard experience)
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    and the side is overlayed to test the clearance...looks good!
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    the openings are cut for clearance for the doors on the new sides...I cut clearance in the floor at each door, so the sill wouldn't create a bulge at each door opening ( I've learned to do this from hard experience)
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    and the side is overlayed to test the clearance...looks good!
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    As I stated previously, the fishbelly baggage car has the same spacing and dimensions, but the large and small doors are in reversed position from the 70' baggage car here; i'll mark and cut the door openings in the other MT car to allow for this...
    Thanks for looking,
    Bruce
     
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  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Can you show us a picture of how you clamp the overlay onto a car, during the gluing process?
     
  16. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    I'll post pics, but I don't clamp the sides to the core when gluing...I sand the sides smooth, apply CA to the carbody, then simply position the brass side, and press onto the carbody...uncomplicated, and the simplest part of the whole process.
     
  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    OK. Interesting. Obviously my gluing talents leave much to be desired. Argh.
     
  18. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    the doors are removed from the fret and CA'd into place...care must be taken to align the doors so that the holes for the grab rails are superimposed over each other...I tacked one side in place, then used accelerator-then took my time apply a thin CA film around the other sides of the doors.

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    both sides are shown here, with the doors in place.

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    you can better see the holes for the grab rails in this pic

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    the sides are posed in place on the carbody; although 'similar' in style to the prototype Erie car that Micro Trains chose for their heavyweight baggage, the Santa Fe heavyweight (steel on wood frame) cars looked different in a number of ways.

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    another pic of the basic side, with doors attached, posed on the MT core car.

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    before gluing the sides onto the core car, I have to add some very nice interior detail supplied with the fret, then solve the riddle of what I'm going to use to replicate the distinctive channel sill.
    Thanks for looking,
    ~Bruce
     
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  19. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    You don't want me to take on a task like this because you won't like the way it turns out.

    Bruce,
    Your work is amazing. Looking forward to how this all turns out.
     
  20. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    a little progress...received another undec baggage in the post so decided to add it to the queue...(I have 7 more of these to do!!!!!)

    attached the doors to all three, cut out the new openings in the core cars, and temporarily attached the as yet un-modified underframes to help me figure the best way to attach the channel sills (from whatever material I settle 'on') to the 70' baggage-express cars, and the fishbelly sill (included in the M&R Sides fret) to the 70' fishbelly baggage-express.

    Here are three pics of the progress so far...next comes sanding the sides of the donor cars completely flat, and adding the bars to the inside of the baggage door windows,
    Thanks for looking,
    ~Bruce

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