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40' Ortner Aggregate Car Upgrades

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40' Ortner Aggregate Car Upgrades
Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:32 AM

With Nova Scotia (Canada) mines and quarries being the theme of the HO scale railroad that I am freelancing, I have been collecting 40' Ortner Aggregate Cars to carry real loads of commercially viable Nova Scotia materials on my Walton Rock & Mineral Railway. So far this includes gypsum, shale, coal, barite, manganese, iron, and strontium ores. To date I have acquired 15 used hoppers including 3 Algoma Central and 12 Georgetown. In all cases, the previous owners glued on the end railings but none of the other items that came with the cars. In this thread I will upgrade the cars to look much better in my opinion.

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:36 AM

Disassembled one of the cars and laid out all the pieces. Previous to taking this photo, I had replaced all of the plastic couplers with black metal ones for two reasons: they won't break as easily when the hoppers are carrying their heavy loads, and they look better.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:43 AM

The door beams and springs that go on the bottom side of the underframe were painted flat black after a coating of white primer. Also painted black were the air reservoir and door equipment.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:46 AM

Although you don't see it much, the bottom side of the car looks much more interesting now. You can also see that I glued on the four plastic side railings that came with the car since the colour perfectly matches the body.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:58 AM

The end railings were glued on to the cars, some were broken and others a bit crooked, so I decided to cut off the plastic end railings and go metal. I tried several types of circular cross-section metals but in the end decided on electronic hookup wire because it is easy to bend, cut, solder, and paint. I also had to redrill the eight small holes, four on each of the end edges of the underframe, because the old plastic railing tabs were still glued inside. You can see I tried painting the plastic end railing and brake wheel black but didn't like it. You can also see how easy it is to bend a piece of hookup wire to the correct shape, even the small tabs that fit into the holes that I redrilled.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 7:03 AM

The next step was to cut hookup wire segments to the correct lengths and bend the small tabs that fit into the underframe holes. All ready to solder the first joint.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 7:07 AM

In order to solder a joint in close proximity to one I just did, I needed a heat sink between them, else the iron's heat would quickly travel down the wire and unsolder the joint I just made (this happened to me only once).

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 7:10 AM

Good measurements and correct orientations of the tabs for the underframe holes are important to pay attention to during the soldering process.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 7:13 AM

Pretty good fit for my first try. I'll get better at it since I have many more to make, half of them with the brake wheel which I'm still thinking about.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Sunday, July 16, 2017 7:15 AM

Painting time. White primer applied and currently drying.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:41 AM

Didn't like my first soldering attempt so I did a second one and it was much better. Got a technique down that will allow me to reproduce all my solder joints with similar results. Took two days searching for a paint that would closely match the manufacturer's GRR beige/off-white. Found it at Michaels - Linen.

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Posted by chutton01 on Monday, July 17, 2017 9:18 AM

Is the last image of the updated end railing? Close up, the leftmost solder joint looks good, as does the 2nd from the right (maybe a little filing is needed). The far right solder joint looks wonky - do you want it to look like that?
BTW are you hand-brush painting the craft paint - surface looks a bit rough. No good matches in the Glorious Rust-o-Leum spray range? Air-brush craft paint is doable an can be make to look good, but needs prep work and thinning (e.g. Liquitext AB Medium).

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Monday, July 17, 2017 10:23 AM

chutton01

Is the last image of the updated end railing? Close up, the leftmost solder joint looks good, as does the 2nd from the right (maybe a little filing is needed). The far right solder joint looks wonky - do you want it to look like that?
BTW are you hand-brush painting the craft paint - surface looks a bit rough. No good matches in the Glorious Rust-o-Leum spray range? Air-brush craft paint is doable an can be make to look good, but needs prep work and thinning (e.g. Liquitext AB Medium).

 

It's ok to be rough looking because I am going to put lots of rust/weather, scrapes, and dents on the car. Just don't want big blobs of solder. Here are a few cars in my real layout area that I will use for rough-up ideas.

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Monday, July 17, 2017 5:44 PM

Given the fact that all of my fingers have advanced osteoarthritis and I can barely hold on to anything without dropping it, I am delighted with this end railing and all its imperfections that will eventually add to the well-used weathered and battered look. Working on the other end of the car now.

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 6:20 AM

chutton01

Is the last image of the updated end railing? Close up, the leftmost solder joint looks good, as does the 2nd from the right (maybe a little filing is needed). The far right solder joint looks wonky - do you want it to look like that?

Gotta agree with chutton01 here. Those are good looking hopper cars so if you want to detail them or replace missing or broken parts they ought to be commensurate with the quality of the rest of the car.

If you are not skilled with soldering and/or you have arthritic fingers, there are alternatives. There are several sources for purchasing detail parts like handrails. You could also make a mold and cast the handrails in sufficient quantities. Those brake wheels do pose special problems in terms of scratch building but, again, brake wheels can be purchased as detail parts.

Rich

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 6:39 AM

richhotrain

 

 
chutton01

Is the last image of the updated end railing? Close up, the leftmost solder joint looks good, as does the 2nd from the right (maybe a little filing is needed). The far right solder joint looks wonky - do you want it to look like that?

 

 

Gotta agree with chutton01 here. Those are good looking hopper cars so if you want to detail them or replace missing or broken parts they ought to be commensurate with the quality of the rest of the car.

 

Rich

 

 

The quality of the rest of the car will be brought down to the imperfect, well-used ore cars like those that exist in my area of Nova Scotia. Not the other way around. Every car will look different, I don't want uniformity. I'll deliberately bend metal that should be straight, add real rust collected from the railyard in Amherst, Nova Scotia, and much more after I add all the components that I want. After the end railings I am adding ladders that didn't come with these cars.

The cars carrying coal will be weathered with small pieces of coal and coal dust. Those carrying iron and manganese will have lots of rust and dark gray dust etc. So, if you want perfection, you may want to tune out of this thread because things are about to get nasty for these cars. Muhahaha ... DJ

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 7:49 AM

Second end railing installed with brake wheel and its mount. Next up - metal ladders. Then the fun begins.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 2:31 PM

OldSchoolScratchbuilder

So, if you want perfection, you may want to tune out of this thread because things are about to get nasty for these cars. Muhahaha ... DJ 

I'm not looking for perfection. I could care less what you do. Just trying to offer some helpful critique. If this is going to be a community layout, as you say it will be, I would think that you want this to look good. If nothing else, I would straighten the posts because no amount of falling aggregate would bend them that severely.

Rich

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 2:38 PM

Are these cars for the "contracted layout" you are going to build in the silo or your personal layout to be built? 

While I'm here, you left us hanging with the custom loco paint job.  I've thought of doing that myself but never felt I could manage it to my satisfaction.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 3:42 PM

mobilman44

Are these cars for the "contracted layout" you are going to build in the silo or your personal layout to be built? 

While I'm here, you left us hanging with the custom loco paint job.  I've thought of doing that myself but never felt I could manage it to my satisfaction.

 

 

These cars are experimental. At only $15/ea I can give them the same look as similar real cars in my area and not worry that I am wrecking $40+ cars.

Paint scheme has been moving forward on an old loco. The shell of a second identical loco will be cut to pieces for additional parts for the other loco - read a nice article on this in an old railroad modelling issue (old school). Painting the WRMR scheme's details have to wait until the parts are transferred - the four fans for example will all rotate so lots of handling will still be needed before the outside of the shell can be painted beyond the NATO black. I have been buying small motors with gearboxes and working on installing a long shaft that will turn all of the fans simultaneously. The shaft will have worm gears under all four fans.

 

 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 3:45 PM

richhotrain

 

 
OldSchoolScratchbuilder

So, if you want perfection, you may want to tune out of this thread because things are about to get nasty for these cars. Muhahaha ... DJ 

 

 

I'm not looking for perfection. I could care less what you do. Just trying to offer some helpful critique. If this is going to be a community layout, as you say it will be, I would think that you want this to look good. If nothing else, I would straighten the posts because no amount of falling aggregate would bend them that severely.

 

Rich

 

 

The car was involved in a mishap. I purchased an HO scale welding team that will be working on fixing the railing. It's going to look awesome.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 4:07 PM

Excellent, keep us posted.

Rich

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 4:40 PM

Looks like my questions of the contracted layout in the silo, personal layout, and outcome of the custom painting of the loco are being ignored..........

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 5:06 PM

mobilman44
Looks like my questions of the contracted layout in the silo, personal layout, and outcome of the custom painting of the loco are being ignored..........

I think you missed his response to your question about 4 posts up. It happens, I read Jeffreys Diner regularly and I swear new posts seem to appear in the middle of old posts.

Henry

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 5:33 PM

BigDaddy
 
mobilman44
Looks like my questions of the contracted layout in the silo, personal layout, and outcome of the custom painting of the loco are being ignored..........

Uh oh, maybe Scratch is being monitored.   Laugh

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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 5:24 AM
You’ve probably finished the railings, but if not, I would suggest a small jig might help. Here’s my HO scale ladder jig.
 

Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 5:26 AM

You’ve probably finished the railings, but if not, I would suggest a small jig might help. Here’s my HO scale ladder jig.
 

Cheers, the Bear.Smile

 

I was just thinking about how to do this! Nice job, I'll do the same! DJ

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Posted by mobilman44 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 5:31 AM

Ha, I need to revert to my Chicago educated directness in my communications....

To rephrase my oblique questions:

  - What is the status of the contracted layout to be built in/at the "silo"?

  - How is your personal layout coming along (i.e. design, benchwork, etc.)?

  - What has stalled the loco painting?  I don't understand why - unless the results were less than satisfactory and not up to supposed "forum expectations".....

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by OldSchoolScratchbuilder on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 5:47 AM

mobilman44

Ha, I need to revert to my Chicago educated directness in my communications....

To rephrase my oblique questions:

  - What is the status of the contracted layout to be built in/at the "silo"?

  - How is your personal layout coming along (i.e. design, benchwork, etc.)?

  - What has stalled the loco painting?  I don't understand why - unless the results were less than satisfactory and not up to supposed "forum expectations".....

 

This thread is about a hopper car. Got something useful to contribute like the Bear?

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Posted by mobilman44 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:04 AM

Ooops, I guess my questions struck a nerve.  

They are legitimate questions, harmless in intent, and they seemed OK to post them here, rather than going back to the original threads.....

What could possibly be wrong with that? 

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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