Hello to all, new to this group, hope On3 content is ok. This is my current project, a C&S rebuilt Tiffany car based on an old Mainline Models kit, which I dimensionally corrected (it was a little too wide) and rescribed the roof boards (I added center grooves to the 6 inch boards) to improve. Details are scratch, Coronado and Grandt. I have the Leadville shops decals, and will be finishing the car soon (yellow sides, red roof and ends seems to be the best interpretation). Just sitting on the trucks for now - that random plank is for balance.
Sorry for the poor images, I shot these with my IPad as an experiment, but I think you can see what I am going for. There is a great discussion on modeling the early SUF cars on the blog side of the site, but I thought some might be interested in the rebuilt Tiffany cars, short lived as they were.
For a next project I was thinking of one of the circa 1899 St. Charles built 30 foot truss rod refrigerator cars. Having trouble finding plans for those though - any thoughts on finding some?
Yes, I did - added the St. Charles car to the list when I realized it would be a great bookend with the rebuilt Tiffany car, and that I have enough early C&S reefer decals to build one of them too. Being among the very first native C&S rolling stock, the just cry out to be modeled.
The 26 foot Tiffany car is still planned, and I have all the materials on hand for that one, so in a sense it is farther along. I have been surprised how many different reefers plied the narrow gauge in the early days of the C&S and its constituent lines, not to mention the other Colorado narrow gauge roads.
Very nice work and update on a historic kit bringing up to current model standards. You have inspired me to get my kit out of the box and update it as you have. I encourage you to share the details of your work. Please keep the photos coming as the model progresses. Thanks for sharing.
Correcting the Mainline Models kit requires a set of plans, but if you buy a set of Leadville Shops decals they come with plans. The biggest amount of work is narrowing the car to the correct width - the kit is 8 scale feet wide, and it should be 7 feet 6 inches - make sure you include the thickness of the siding when you calculate how much you need to cut off the kit sub-body parts. You have to narrow the floor, the end blocks and the central roof beam (the roof in my kit came in three parts) to take out the necessary width. If your kit has a milled one piece roof, I would suggest you take the width out of the middle of the roof, it preserves the edges (so the side height does not change) and makes the flat supporting the roofwalk narrower, and that looks better. Once you have the interior structure right you can fit the siding accordingly.
I started with the floor, which in my kit required slicing off the required amount to narrow it, then I built up the framing according to the kit "instructions" (again, plans are a must, and the kit does not include them, at least mine didn't). Once the floor is sorted, you can narrow the end blocks to match, and glue them on. The last step and the most work is to get the roof together, and as noted, I took the extra width out of the center beam, which keeps the outside edges of the slope boards at their original thickness. This all sounds like a lot of work, but I got it done in a weekend (Elmer's carpenter's glue takes an 1-2 hours of clamping to set, which slows things down as you have to wait for the joints to dry).
I fit the siding on the ends first, then the sides, and it all went on very cleanly, though I did use just about every scissors clamp I had to get the ends down flat. The roof boards in my kit were 6 inches wide, so I scribes a line down the center of each board to better replicate car roof sheathing, and sanded the outside edges down a little to present a thinner edge (tapering the edges also improved the fit of the car-side fascia strips, which were added first). You may need some stripwood, I had to replace all the fascia material in my kit to get the look I wanted, and used some hardwood veneer to make the two board roofwalk for a more delicate (and accurate) look.
Although I started out with wood kits like this when I was a kid, I haven't built wood models for years until I came back to it with a Labelle passenger car kit (still working on that one), and then a D&RG 1880's billboard reefer (finished last year). I work in styrene a lot, and I actually find wood easer to work with, as you can cut it with a single edge razor blade or a saw much more easily than plastic.
Let me know if I can help with anything on your build,
I have a couple of Leadville Shops S scale Tiffany kits destined for turn of the century re-letters, if not rebuilds.
As to the tall St Charles reefers, the only plans that I am aware of were drawn by Derrell Pool back in the late 1980s. I checked my files, doesn't seem I acquired a set. You might contact Derrell at the "Seventh Street Shops" website, to see if they are available. I also believe he did a Gazette article describing how he built his 1/4" scale St Charles reefer. I'll see if I can locate that issue.
Meantime, all I have to offer is this:
Builder's photo, in Poole and Martin, Grandt's Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII
The door hinges look to be unique to this car, might be a good 3-D printing project.
And in the "Files" section, there is a high-res copy of the Folio 27 sheet for the big St Charles reefers:
At least the basic dimensions are available. At 11 feet from rail to roof-walk top, they towered over all the other narrow gauge house cars.
Thank you for the information. I printed out your instructions and put them in the kit. I did obtain the trucks and additional parts from Coronado some time ago so the project is moving forward. I will order the decals. Again, thanks.
That is exactly what I was looking for, I will reach out to Darrel and see if his plans are still available, but there is enough in your post to build a pretty reasonable version.
You sure are right about the size of this car, it's over two feet taller than the folio height of the Tiffany cars (10' 3") - that will make it a very interesting model. I wonder if it was intended to be used in dual gauge service with truck swaps like some of the D&RG cars were, but that became impractical with the changes in safety regulations (even then regulation was shaping commerce). The 7'9"'width is narrow gauge though.
The hinges are interesting, I think they would be a good subject for an open mould - which would be a lot cheaper than printing them, and would not require me to learn 3D design . I will have to fiddle around with that.
I think the first order of business will be designing a core, and conning my guitar making buddy to let me have some saw time.
Thanks again, I will keep this thread going as I move this project along.
Glad to be able to help. I would recommend you measure everything in your kit, wood models are notoriously variable across production runs (all the parts in a given box normally match, but not two kits from different runs).
Derrell Poole published a four part series of articles in the Gazette, reviewing all of the classes of C&S reefers, inherited and C&S built:
Part 1: Sept/Oct 1991, Overview
Part 2: Nov/Dec 1991, The inherited Tiffany cars
Part 3: Jan/Feb 1992, Cars built for the C&S (includes 1898 St Charles cars)
Part 4: Mar/Apr 1992, Colors, lettering styles, model building
Thanks Jim - I am pretty sure I have those, just have to climb into the attic and retrieve them. In the mean time I took your information and worked up a layout drawing of the St. Charles body for comments. Everybody - please give me your thoughts on the dimensions, proportions, etc.
Just for giggles I also did a layout of the 26 foot Tiffany cars:
Your comments on scaling are very apt - look at the size difference. I think the St. Charles cars are just great - what a whopper they are, even compared to the SUF cars.
As promised, I have made some headway on my rebuilt Tiffany 27' reefer. The door hardware is Coronado, as are the bolsters, with Grandt New York brake gear and other bits. Some scratch stuff rounds out the build. Let me know what you think.
The brake gear is based on the discussion of cylinder direction, and I think its reasonably accurate.
Here is the handbrake detail:
And this is the overall underbody arrangement with trucks on.
Jim, thanks, I much appreciate your help with this project and the upcoming St. Charles car.
Glad you like it Robert, you can probably spot some of the details I based on your plans, which came with the Leadville Shops decals I am using. I will have some pictures in paint soon.
Despite some published indications that reefer orange is the color, based on the color of the cars prior to the rebuild and the known Canary Yellow of the St Charles cars delivered about the same time, I think the actual color should be a strong chromic yellow, which would photograph quite dark on the orthochromatic film stock of the 1900-1910 period, but would much appreciate any comments on that.
Paul, appreciate the remarks - I do have yo use some custom cheaters and even add an optivisor for the little details though.
Very clean work in wood and brass, most impressive. I appreciate seeing the work in progress photos well as looking forward to the final paint (color choice) and lettering. Maybe you could post both a color photo and a B&W photo to tease us with the "what if" color speculation. Thanks for sharing and please keep the photos coming.