Master Model Railroader

"An NMRA member qualifies as a Master Model Railroader when he or she has obtained at least seven of the eleven Achievement Certificates provided that he or she has earned at least one Achievement Certificate in each of the four areas of the Regulations. Earning the title of Master Model Railroader is the ultimate goal for many participants in the Achievement Program."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Passenger Car

To meet the requirements for the Master Builder - Cars Certificate I also had to build a passenger car.

I wanted to try a kitbash following the instructions from Steve Sandifer and build a Santa Fe Baggage Railway Express car with the distinct fishbelly sills


The base for my kitbash is an undecorated baggage car from Athearn. Fortunately I had purchased a couple of these before the Blue Box kits forever disappeared in history..


First I sanded the roof smooth and removed all cast on grab irons and curved drip rails. The Santa Fe drip rails over the doors were peaked.


I replaced the grab irons using brass wire bend to shape as well as Detail Associates commercial grabs.



I fabricated the fishbelly sills from .030" plain styrene sheet


I attached the side sills to the underframe of the car, although they should be glued directly to the body. But this would make the removal of the underframe impossible. And as you see in the pictures, this is hardly visible.


I covered the lower part of the baggage doors with .010 plain styrene sheet (mine was clear because I ran out of white). The Santa Fe doors were plain instead of ribbed.


Unfortunately I did not find suitable stirrup steps, so I used 3 rungs of brass ladder stock. I drilled appropriate holes into the body, glued the steps on and bend them to shape.



I mixed Pullman and Coach Green to closely match the Santa Fe color and airbrushed the entire car. After the paint had dried I masked the sides and airbrushed the underside and roof with flat black paint.


I added train and air lines and safety chains from a Branchline Trains Passenger car kit as well as a couple of underbody details, like air reservoirs, steam traps and battery box.


Fortunately I had a set of decals from a vintage Walthers Passenger car kit from the 1960's, to reproduce the correct lettering for this car. The Microscale Decal are missing the word "Baggage". The old decal film was quite intact but nevertheless I could not apply it without the film showing, even after it had dried overnight and with the application of another coat of Micro Set.


This kitbash was a good practice in recreating a typical Santa Fe car. There are a couple of things I will do differently next time, but that's the fun part of it.

Now it's time to fill in my SOQ and send my completed paperwork to my AP manager.

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