Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

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Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Mike Trent
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Greetings. Yesterday I completed the last of the four Cimarron Coal Gons I have been working on since April. These are all resin cast body cars, which Bob Stears had created masters for. As I have stated before, these are by far and away the finest such cast body kits I have ever seen.

Today feels a little like emerging from a fog, as almost all the time I could spare over the last few months has gone into these. Time well spent, as they say.... It's been fun, and I have learned a lot about these wood framed coal cars than I ever knew before, thanks to many of you for input, tips, and background.

My choice for C&S Red is Tamyia "Dull Red" #TS-33. I have used, and used on these cars, Rustolium Camouflage "Khaki" as a foundation color. I'm not sure I can recommend it now, as the last of it I bought has some fiber material in it which adds unwanted "fuzz" for model use. Then I use an overspray of "Earth Brown", also a camouflage color to darken the underframe and provide a darker base for the truss rods and brake gear. The interiors range from a fairly light wood color to dark sooty coal dust.

My couplers of choice today are all San Juan Evolutions, but I have disabled them from operating and use them as dummys, compatible with the old brass dummy couplers I used on everything back in the 80's. Inspired at the time by the late Bob Stull. Evolutions are very nice, but I have to file off the flange on the knuckle to allow them to work with my old brass castings. The flange is to work with Kadee couplers, which I have never used on C&S equipment. With the flange removed they won't stay coupled to each other. So I use them as insulated dummy couplers. You would have to have been modeling in On3 in the early 80's to be able to understand how limited the options were at the time. There were only two options. Brass cast dummys, or, huge and ugly and grossly oversized Kadee O scale couplers. Kadee On3 couplers were introduced in about 1983, as I recall. I've always used dummys for C&S, I'm used to them, and I like the way they look. Besides, I have no real need for automatic couplers.      

First, the 1898 St Charles 4 board Coal Gon #4117. Individual board corner irons, early trucks, extra stake pockets, drop style cut bars inspired by Jim Courtney. Block lettering.



Second, here is Phase 1 Coal #4299, which I posted last week in the long thread on 1902 Coals. I ruminated over and over about this, and eventually fell to Jim Courtney's challenge to represent this car as an unpainted since 1902 refugee. I believe many of these "old" cars were used for coal storage after 1910 as a hedge against miner's strikes. Especially after the 1914 Ludlow Massacre near Trinidad, in which the Colorado National Guard opened fire on a stiker's camp, killing women and children. With the economic collapse which devastated the C&S narrow gauge operations in 1910, you can bet the C&S took every advantage to hoard coal, and they had way more gons than they needed. This could very well contribute to the argument as to why not a single Phase 1 coal gon has been found in block lettering. This car is largely brown and black, with traces of red oxide paint. The only lettering is the car number, and C&S, along with minimal sketchy data. To my eye and imagination, this old timer represents those old relics of the past as they probably would have looked to people of the time. It still has angled grabs on the brake platform, and some additional grabirons have appeared from the original, but still looks like a dinosaur.

 

Third, and by great contrast to the old veteran #4299, here is refurbished Phase 1 Coal Gon #4319. Thanks to the excellent color photo posted a couple of weeks ago by Jason Midyette, I had a real opportunity to guide me through the completion of this car. The photo shows that the car was actually released from the shops in "3 34", which is also when it probably was repainted and lettered in the modern scheme. As I am locked in to 1935 for a number of reasons, including the wood sheathing on the rotary, that the good old #4319 looked like this in 1935 was definitely a plus. Another thing the Kindig photo provided was that the end lettering was centered, not offset right, which was the norm at the time. And, it was consistent with the original style of the 1902 cars, This is the only one I've noticed with the centered end lettering in the button herald scheme, which makes it more unique. It also looks interesting next to it's companion, #4299. Also, note the compressed "C&S" lettering, not the stretched version. This car has a cleaned out look, as though it is destined for more general service than hauling coal, and make a nice contrast to the others. Rods and corner irons are painted a dark rusty color which also helps contrast to the others. The lettering was a little challenging, as the decal sheets I have do not offer the abbreviated "LD LMT.", etc, versions. The photo also has different empty weight than offered in the San Juan set I have been using. But the correct weight and even the "3 34" with the crooked 4 as in the photo do appear in the boxcar set. As does the "LENGTH 29ft 5in" which also shows in the photo. So, a lot of cutting and splicing from both decal sets later, I think a nice representation of the car was the result, right down to the crooked 4:

 

Fourth, and finally, 1908 Phase 2 #4424. Bettendorf trucks, modern brakes, side chain roller. It has that "C&S" look, more typical of other freight cars. My last venture among the Cimarron cars will be a type 2 side dump cinder car, all of which were made from these:

 

One last view, bird's eye. Today's train. There is a SUF Type 3 Grandt in the lineup, just had to put it in there.....

   

Now I have 10 coal gons, and that should be about enough for now, anyway. Never say never, right?

             
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Bill Uffelman
An excellent collection! Thanks for sharing the in progress and final products of your efforts.

Bill Uffelman 


On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 8:37 AM, Mike Trent [via C&Sng Discussion Forum]
Greetings. Yesterday I completed the last of the four Cimarron Coal Gons I have been working on since April. These are all resin cast body cars, which Bob Stears had created masters for. As I have stated before, these are by far and away the finest such cast body kits I have ever seen.

Today feels a little like emerging from a fog, as almost all the time I could spare over the last few months has gone into these. Time well spent, as they say....

My choice for C&S Red is Tamyia "Dull Red" #TS-33. I have used, and used on these cars, Rustolium Camouflage "Khaki" as a foundation color. I'm not sure I can recommend it now, as the last of it I bought has some fiber material in it which adds unwanted "fuzz" for model use. Then I use an overspray of "Earth Brown", also a camouflage color to darken the underframe and provide a darker base for the truss rods and brake gear. The interiors range from a fairly light wood color to dark sooty coal dust.

My couplers of choice today are all San Juan Evolutions, but I have disabled them from operating and use them as dummys, compatible with the old brass dummy couplers I used on everything back in the 80's. Inspired at the time by the late Bob Stull. Evolutions are very nice, but I have to file off the flange on the knuckle to allow them to work with my old brass castings. The flange is to work with Kadee couplers, which I have never used on C&S equipment. With the flange removed they won't stay coupled to each other. So I use them as insulated dummy couplers. You would have to have been modeling in On3 in the early 80's to be able to understand how limited the options were at the time. There were only two options. Brass cast dummys, or, huge and ugly and grossly oversized Kadee O scale couplers. Kadee On3 couplers were introduced in about 1983, as I recall. I've always used dummys for C&S, I'm used to them, and I like the way they look. Besides, I have no real need for automatic couplers.      

First, the 1898 St Charles 4 board Coal Gon #4117. Individual board corner irons, early trucks, extra stake pockets, drop style cut bars inspired by Jim Courtney. Block lettering.



Second, here is Phase 1 Coal #4299, which I posted last week in the long thread on 1902 Coals. I ruminated over and over about this, and eventually fell to Jim Courtney's challenge to represent this car as an unpainted since 1902 refugee. I believe many of these "old" cars were used for coal storage after 1910 as a hedge against miner's strikes. Especially after the 1914 Ludlow Massacre near Trinidad, in which the Colorado National Guard opened fire on a stiker's camp, killing women and children. With the economic collapse which devastated the C&S narrow gauge operations in 1910, you can bet the C&S took every advantage to hoard coal, and they had way more gons than they needed. This could very well contribute to the argument as to why not a single Phase 1 coal gon has been found in block lettering. This car is largely brown and black, with traces of red oxide paint. The only lettering is the car number, and C&S, along with minimal sketchy data. To my eye and imagination, this old timer represents those old relics of the past as they probably would have looked to people of the time. It still has angled grabs on the brake platform, and some additional grabirons have appeared from the original, but still looks like a dinosaur.

 

Third, and by great contrast to the old veteran #4299, here is refurbished Phase 1 Coal Gon #4319. Thanks to the excellent color photo posted a couple of weeks ago by Jason Midyette, I had a real opportunity to guide me through the completion of this car. The photo shows that the car was actually released from the shops in "3 34", which is also when it probably was repainted and lettered in the modern scheme. As I am locked in to 1935 for a number of reasons, including the wood sheathing on the rotary, that the good old #4319 looked like this in 1935 was definitely a plus. Another thing the Kindig photo provided was that the end lettering was centered, not offset right, which was the norm at the time. And, it was consistent with the original style of the 1902 cars, This is the only one I've noticed with the centered end lettering in the button herald scheme, which makes it more unique. It also looks interesting next to it's companion, #4299. Also, note the compressed "C&S" lettering, not the stretched version. This car has a cleaned out look, as though it is destined for more general service than hauling coal, and make a nice contrast to the others. Rods and corner irons are painted a dark rusty color which also helps contrast to the others. The lettering was a little challenging, as the decal sheets I have do not offer the abbreviated "LD LMT.", etc, versions. The photo also has different empty weight than offered in the San Juan set I have been using. But the correct weight and even the "3 34" with the crooked 4 as in the photo do appear in the boxcar set. As does the "LENGTH 29ft 5in" which also shows in the photo. So, a lot of cutting and splicing from both decal sets later, I think a nice representation of the car was the result, right down to the crooked 4:

 

Fourth, and finally, 1908 Phase 2 #4424. Bettendorf trucks, modern brakes, side chain roller. It has that "C&S" look, more typical of other freight cars. My last venture among the Cimarron cars will be a type 2 side dump cinder car, all of which were made from these:

 

One last view, bird's eye. Today's train. There is a SUF Type 3 Grandt in the lineup, just had to put it in there.....

   

Now I have 10 coal gons, and that should be about enough for now, anyway. Never say never, right?

             


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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Paul R.
Excellent modelling. Paul R.
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Mike Trent
Beautiful coal car models, Mike.

I think 4299 turned out great! Reminds me of the photo in Grandts Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII of C&S 4283, a similar derelict 1902 coal car that never got refurbished and repainted, just some new Roman reporting marks, in an odd place:



Gerald Best photo, California State Railroad Museum. Denver, 1939


Most of the stakes on 4283 are the original 1902 tapered stakes.  Faint traces of "The Colorado Road" box herald remain, between the center stakes.  Minimal dimensional data, just a reweigh with 1931 date and a 1938 repack stencil.


Your point about the coal cars, in the later years, being used for storage coal is a good one, that I hadn't thought of before.

At Pine, a very large coal platform, for storage coal, remained long after the coal chutes were constructed, but they disappeared in photos sometime in the late teens or early twenties. By the 1920's the C&S narrow gauge had a surplus of old coal cars. Why have the section men shovel coal from a coal car into a storage platform or bin, then have to shovel it back into coal cars to spot and unload the coal at the top of the chutes. Makes more sense to just have a string of old coal cars, loaded with emergency storage coal, sitting on a siding (for years maybe) until needed. Was this a common occurrence at Dickey??
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Mike Trent
Administrator
Thanks, Jim. The more I look at #4299, the more I feel it was a great choice to finish it the way I did, and as you suggested.

Yes indeed. There were very large coal platforms that remained in Dickey until the end, and according to both Darel and Derrell, filled with coal. I'm very sure coal cars were also stored there, and probably some at Como and Leadville too. This would have eased in later years. To argue the point in another way, the railroad would have been recklessly careless not to have done so.

In 1910, the phase 1 cars were only 8 yrs old, but would  already be considered surplus and expendable in their new economic circumstances. Perfect for hoarding coal until things settled down. Another coal strike would have been devistating.
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Robert McFarland
I remember a  tale in CRA 12 that local residents in Como and other places used to steal coal from C&S cars.
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Mike Trent
Administrator
Without a doubt, that is true.

Doug Schnarbush told me that whenever switching needed to be done in the mining district, they passed the old Matchless Mine, where Baby Doe Tabor lived out her last days. Too prideful to accept charity of any kind, she even refused coal offered by the engine crews. But every fireman was sure to lose a scoop or two of black diamonds over the side as they passed her place. Somehow, it always disappeared. Sadly, Baby Doe froze to death in her little shack in the winter of 1935. Not too many immediate residents at Dickey, but there is no telling how much coal vanished from there over the years.
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Darel Leedy
Administrator
And that is my theory as to why the half completed coaling station was moved from Breckenridge to the remote location of Dickey in 1901 while it was still under construction. The stories I have read confirm that the theft of coal during this time period was extreme and not a joke.
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Bill Uffelman
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney

Looking at the top board left end. Wonder why the wear occurred there versus other spots? Wonder if the location of the step/grab played into it?

Thanks for the photo.

Bill Uffelman



On July 24, 2018, at 6:31 PM, "Jim Courtney [via C&Sng Discussion Forum]" <[hidden email]> wrote:


Beautiful coal car models, Mike.

I think 4299 turned out great! Reminds me of the photo in Grandts Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII of C&S 4283, a similar derelict 1902 coal car that never got refurbished and repainted, just some new Roman reporting marks, in an odd place:



Gerald Best photo, California State Railroad Museum. Denver, 1939


Most of the stakes on 4283 are the original 1902 tapered stakes.  Faint traces of "The Colorado Road" box herald remain, between the center stakes.  Minimal dimensional data, just a reweigh with 1931 date and a 1938 repack stencil.


Your point about the coal cars, in the later years, being used for storage coal is a good one, that I hadn't thought of before.

At Pine, a very large coal platform, for storage coal, remained long after the coal chutes were constructed, but they disappeared in photos sometime in the late teens or early twenties. By the 1920's the C&S narrow gauge had a surplus of old coal cars. Why have the section men shovel coal from a coal car into a storage platform or bin, then have to shovel it back into coal cars to spot and unload the coal at the top of the chutes. Makes more sense to just have a string of old coal cars, loaded with emergency storage coal, sitting on a siding (for years maybe) until needed. Was this a common occurrence at Dickey??
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA



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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Jim Courtney
I dunno, Bill.

Seems to me that the top board is pretty worn it's entire length. Note that a piece of 2x has been added between the far right stake and the corner iron.  It actually protrudes slightly above the worn top 2x10 board and the top of the stake.  No doubt added so the top grab iron could remain mounted to the car.

I suspect that the surge in traffic to the Moly mill at Climax in the late 1920s--early 1930s, coupled with improved metal prices in the mid 1930s (as WWII began to threaten in Europe) was responsible for many of the phase 1 and phase 2 coal cars being refurbished and repainted. Looks like 4283 didn't get the memo!!

Another small detail to notice, all the small chalk marks on both the narrow gauge and standard cars. Mike needs to get some 1:48 chalk and get busy!
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

Mike Trent
Administrator
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Jim, I would contend that "later years" for the 1902 coal cars began in 1910. I wasn't aware of the platforms at Pine being taken out during that time. but I'll bet whatever coal remained there went on to available 1902 cars if it was for storage and went straight to Dickey. Coal from the platforms at Como probably were used in the chutes there, as their needs were greater than anywhere else on the NG.
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed #4299 Updated

Mike Trent
Administrator
Great thanks to Bob Stears for sending along some excellent and welcome old style C&S lettering. First on #4299 was the "Colorado Road" herald. Man, does that make a nice little addition to the roster. I'm not sure how much I'll do from here, but I'll do more.

 



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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed

snapped_bolt
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
But...

   The box looks like the car # is 4286- faded, under "The Colorado Road"...


      ????

       Stan
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed #4299 Updated

snapped_bolt
In reply to this post by Mike Trent


OK Mike!

    Now you are talking!!! Looks like I will be needing a few of these. I like the herald. Looks like your car has done NOTHING but company coal since the last paint shop visit... Nice!!!

       Cheers

          Stan

     
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed #4299 Updated

Mike Trent
Administrator
Stan, one of the few shop guys here in Dickey, the one with the steadiest hand with a brush, tells me the car #4299 is so plain to see that even a blind man could do it. He says he'll get to it in another couple of years or so.

Yeah, hauling coal, but also storing coal, for most of it's life. Quite a contrast to it's dandy sister, #4319.
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed #4299 Updated

snapped_bolt


   I'm sorry Mike

   I was referring to prototype C&S 4283 pictured above, here's a zoom on that car-


   It seems that the remaining cars of this type were pieced together at times from the best remaining parts combined.
   Frugal narrow gauge!
   I suppose that when nearly all profits are being siphoned off your books by the parent road, you just gotta do what you gotta do!
   The home shop probably unbolted the box from the flat, and rolled the flat under a box that was in better condition from former #4286, which may have a damaged underbody, and no replacement parts to repair it.
   Since the Q wouldn't authorize the purchase of replacement wood, this would be a reasonable (and quicker) repair. Longevity probably was no longer a huge deciding factor.
    I also cannot see any of those hold-down bolts with the forged ends holding the box down, but the U-bolts look as if they were cinched up tight.

       Later

        Stan
   
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed #4299 Updated

Mike Trent
Administrator
Oh, now I get it. Yeah, good point.

This sort of thing takes prototype modeling to another dimension. It looks like it was done while drunk, too. Sheesh!
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed #4299 Updated

Chris Walker
Unskilled, itinerant labour force, stenciling with a brush doesn't take skill, however spacing centreing and balancing letters/numerals in a level and consistant manner does.  Also it may have been extra work allocated and under pressure to get it done before knock off time, or simply the painter guy just didn't care.
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed #4299 Updated

snapped_bolt


  uhhh...

     What I am talking about is the OTHER reporting mark, it appears to have been painted by a sober, dedicated employee

      Here-



     The one in the yellow oval?

     We are all referring to the same thing, yes?

        Stan
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Re: Cimarron Coal Gons Update ~ Completed #4299 Updated

Mike Trent
Administrator
Yes, other worldly. Sharp eye, Stan.
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