Kit Bashing "The General"

John W Reid Aug 27, 2010

  1. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    After gutting the car,removing the seats and wiring,I laid a sub-floor in basswood on the passenger side of the car.I haven't yet decided whether to leave the sky lights as is of remove them and put up clear glass.The detail on the glass looks a little overscale to me.
    I strengthened up the roof line a bit by adding 1/4 x 1/4 lumber in anticipation of cutting out the cars side.This is necessary to keep the cars structural integrity while working on it.The hole in the side is for movie making purposes.
     
  2. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    The next step will be to lay the finished floor in Morton's car.Hardwood floors on his side while the rest will be pine.I try to hand select each board for color and contrast.Using a darker one right up next to a light one will help to achieve what I am looking for.
     
  3. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Even though it is separated into two compartments there still is lots of space to work with.The baggage side will eventually become a storage area for old props etc..
    I have removed the orange windows even though they made for a nice warm glow inside as they were overscale plus I like to have complete control of the lighting including color.The ceiling has been finished with cherry wood veneer and I am now boxing in the beams in walnut veneer.
    In Mortons car there was a lot of brass tubing hanging from the ceiling above to be used as handrails to steady himself as he moved about his private car.He was disabled and slowly dying from bone disease. __________________
     
  4. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That car you are using- Looks a lot like it might have been Bachmann in origin?
     
  6. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    I have decided to have a bit of fun laying the floor in Morton's compartment.I have gone one size larger on the planks(stir stiks)which gives me a nice edge to work with when doing the following technique.Wood floors can be quite beautiful when laid properly.I want to try a technique that I haven't used since my old ship building days of HMS Victory.Morton must have hired a couple of unemployed shipbuilders to do the floors and cabinetry for his rail car.There will be no visible nails or wood trunnels holding the floor in place.There will however be a black waterproof caulking material between each board which will make the floor more interesting to the eye.The wood is birch.
     
  7. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly ! Havin' lots of fun with it.
     
  8. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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  9. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Ya know when aging and weathering hardwoods I found found that the best way to do it is too weather it as it would do naturally,in other words from a polished finish to a dull.In this way you can retain the beauty of the grain as it seemingly ages.The birch floor for example was originally a gloss finish that was dulled using very fine sandpaper for the wear and tear, then chalk pastels representing the build up of crud over the years ,followed by a spray of matte acrylic fixative to hold it all in place.Later more crud can be built up in all the cracks and crevasses
    and to create shadows.
     
  10. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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  11. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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  12. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Well I have decided to add a few more months work to the project.I was originally planning to save a little time by just weathering the exterior of this car but because nothing looks as good as the real thing,wood, I now plan to board it up instead.I have also opened up all the doors both interior and exterior for better camera angle shots of the interior.I will retain the red framed windows and stain the siding about the same green.
    On the roof it is presently what looks like a fine sandpaper type surface.Does anyone here know what may have been used on the real thing ? A tar paper or canvas material ?
    I could use a cloth backed sandpaper of appropriate grit and just paint it .Any ideas ?
     
  13. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    From previous research I was able to determine what the boards look like under the finishing material.I have also seen tin used in a kind of sheet and batten arrangement.What I am confused about is what would have been used when this car was built around 1860 ?
     
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Good question. I am familiar with one 1880's vintage car, which has boards as you've pictured.
     
  15. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Old weather beaten ceiling from inside with a wood frame underneath and another layer of boards on top to create the roof.
     
  16. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a little example that I did on the movie making side of the old station car.There just is no comparison between the plastic and real wood and it really isn't hard to do on the outside of the car.Morton's car will be dark green however.
     
  17. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Please note:

    I have moved all the pictures in my photobucket taken up until now ,from the General Album to the G Scale Trains Album.Moving pics will cause them to delete in the General thread but they are still available on my G scale album for those who may be interested.

    Bending stripwood:

    Bending wood is simple for a rectangular roof such as this,shipbuilding is another story.I just use plain old warm tap water and soak the area that I want to bend for a few minutes in this case.(The thicker the wood ,the longer the soak) .I then take an old stick type hair curler and put it in a holding devise,I use a clamp. I then let it warm up to hair curling temperature which seems to be just perfect for bending thin strip wood like this.I hold the dry end in one hand and with the other wet end I use a pencil with an eraser on the end and apply increasing amounts of pressure with the eraser until I get what I am looking for.

    Why the eraser end ,well it helps as a tool for bending instead of your fingers and tends not to slip on the wet surface.Keep checking that you are getting the proper bend and re-soak and do it again if necessary.You will want to slightly over bend it as there is a certain amount of spring back when the pressure is remove.If the piece of wood you are working with keeps breaking turn it over and try to bend it the other way.Use only straight grained wood running lengthwise on the strip as cross grain simply won't work without breaking.Most hobby woods bend without any problems.I used the thin long type coffee stir stiks used to stir the extra large double doubles.Your local coffee shop manager may sell you a box for a few bucks especially when you tell him what your using them for.He probably built models too in his younger days !

    Most stiks and tongue depressors are birch wood ,which is in the hardwood category. So depending on the thickness they will require more soaking time in hotter water than say basswood , popular or pine.Have fun and good luck !

    The above is in answer to a question I got from a another modeler.
     
  18. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Well now that I have finished the last diorama for the museum,it is time to get back to "The General" as part of my "Once Upon A Time In The West " diorama.[​IMG]
     
  19. John W Reid

    John W Reid TrainBoard Member

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    Where you see the kleenex boxes is where I plan to put the saloon facade which will also become actors dressing rooms in the back.
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I did not realize just how compact the scene was, until this last photo above.
     

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