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What can I do with that?

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  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Canada
  • 59 posts
What can I do with that?
Posted by cprfan on Friday, July 8, 2022 9:04 AM

An older model train friend asked me to do some DCC installs for him. They were on some very old Athearn RDCs. One had the original rubber band drive, another with the Earnst gear conversion. No one else would take them on. I'm not everyone else! I did them up and even added LED lighting. They run and look great and he is tickled.

He wanted to pay me and I just couldn't imagine charging him, so he offered up an old Walthers tank car kit. Sure I said but in the back of my mind thought, what am I going to do with that?

I poked the Internet for CPR tank cars. They had none in revenue service but a fleet of them for water and oil in MOW serivice. One would look great in my proposed engine service facility. This is a "close enough" model. The older Proto and newer Walthers Proto cars are almost spot on.

Although the car was black, when I took off the lettering and logo with alcohol, it took the black paint off and left black plastic. So I painted black on black! I use Vallejo Air almost exclusively. Hard to mess up with this paint and I was a die hard laquer based Floquil guy for years. 

I lettered the car with Black Cat Decals, he's a Canadian producer of wonderful decals and details. Great guy too. https://www.blackcatdecals.com/

Here's before and some after pics. Weathering done with oils thinned with mineral spirits, I also experimented with Vallejo Weathering Effects fuel stains.

------

Greg Williams
Canterbury, NB
Canada
https://www.gregstrainyard.com/

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 16,260 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, July 8, 2022 9:15 AM

Great looking model.

I have five of the same that I decorated for my own railroad before finding out that railroads did not own tank car fleets.

It looks like they will be company service cars.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 7,339 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Friday, July 8, 2022 9:20 AM

This is highjacking your post but having ridden on the PRSL RDCs many times if you just use one rubber band to drive those Athearn RDCs they will accelerate and sound like the real thing.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,583 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, July 8, 2022 10:58 AM

I picked up a cheap tank car at a train show specifically to create a water tanker for my MOW fleet.  Yours looks better.

I have a few rubber band drive Athearns, probably from the late 1950s.  I tried putting decoders in them.  They worked, nominally, but so poorly that I realized the engines would need new motors and trucks, and would still look like models cheaply made in the last century.  M.B. Klein had some brand new Proto models, and that option was probably cheaper.  I gutted the old engines, replaced the couplers and still run them as dummies, or "honorary engines."

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 11,183 posts
Posted by dknelson on Friday, July 8, 2022 11:28 AM

The car looks very nice - good job.  I have built several of the older Walthers plastic tank car kits, including those with separate ends, and enjoyed them.  They reward careful work in assembly that is for sure.  I might even have one or two still unbuilt on the shelves.  Someday ...

As regards the old Athearn "Hi-F" rubber band drive (the F and GP units, the infamously speedy Hustler, the slightly shortened RDC and if memory serves the very earliest ill-fated release of the Boston & Maine 4-6-2, I remember reading the original Model Railroader "trade topics" reviews which somewhat said that to the reviewer's surprise in many cases the Hi-F drive engine could out pull a geared equivalent!   That made little sense to me since gears can't slip but rubber bands on a thin shaft can.   And some guys put rubber tubes on the metal shafts to make them even "stickier."  The Hi-F drive engines often made a peculiar noise that I recall, and their speed was not the steadiest.  I also recall that when stopped suddenly from high speed they would rock back and forth slightly as the rubber bands expended the tightness.  A different era BUT there were guys who reported good success in double heading a Hi-F drive diesel with a geared model, which smoothed out the irregular speed of the Hi-F AND took advantage of its pulling power.  I could imagine someone wanting to run their old Athearn on their DCC layout, if only as a conversation piece.

It is worth remembering that maybe one reason the Hi-F drive wasn't laughed at back in the day is that similar "no gearing" drives were common in O scale, particularly O scale traction models, using coiled steel sort of like a spring on a series of small pulleys.  There were a lot of very bad gear sets around back then so that form of drive was not disdained like it would be today.  And in the absence of sound systems, noisy models were not just tolerated but noisy diesels were praised for being realistic!

We won't even talk about what some of the popular couplers back then looked like....

Dave Nelson

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,904 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, July 8, 2022 3:25 PM

Nice job on the weathering. 

cprfan
I lettered the car with Black Cat Decals, he's a Canadian producer of wonderful decals and details. Great guy too. https://www.blackcatdecals.com/

You're definitely right about the quality of the Black Cat decals, as Al Ferguson has really upped the quality and detail from what it was like in the past.

I'm modelling the late '30s, so not much weathering on my tank cars, other than a little in-transit dirt and dust.

These three are Tichy kits, lettered with Black Cat decals, and this first one is suitably fitting for Black Cat decals (which is also in Winnipeg)...

This one is a Proto rescue from the "used table" at a now long-gone hobbyshop....

...and was a glue-covered mess, with broken and/or missing detail parts.  I figured that it would be good for restoration-work practice, and got it for two bucks.

This last one (of my Black Cat-decaled tank cars), was also a rescue, and started out as an old Varney tank car, found at a train show for "free"...mainly because it was only the tank.
I thought that I saw some promise in it, so bought a Tichy kit for a tank car frame...

...then cut the tank into five segments...

...the skinny ones scrapped, and the ends re-cemented to the centre of the tank...

...then attached to the Tichy underframe...

...and the finished car, using Black Cat decals...

Not too long ago, I used Bowser kits for channel-sided hoppers , working from prototype photos (and also from an article in RMC) to make a dozen TH&B hopper cars.

The Black Cat decals were perfect for these cars, which were originally built in 1914, with many still in revenue service in 1954 , and some in company service in the late '60s.
The decals were suitable for not only the original cars, but also for prototype ones which had been either re-painted or updated with more modern brake gear, many being suitable for use in my late '30s modelling era.

The Bowser kits did require a fair amount of modifications...

...and I was able to use portions of the more recent lettering on cars that had supposedly been upgraded mechanically or simply with more recent paint and lettering...

All of the 1500 NSC-built cars ran on archbar trucks, as they were never used in interchange service, hence escaping being banned.  They did, however, leave TH&B tracks fairly often, journeying from Port Maitland, Ontario, via the laker Maitland No. 1, to Ashtabula, Ohio, for loading with coal, much of it destined for the steel mills in Hamilton, Ontario.

 

Wayne

 

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 4,391 posts
Posted by York1 on Friday, July 8, 2022 4:09 PM

Being in this hobby for only several years, I am constantly amazed at the quality of work some of you display.

I struggle to do any kind of realistic car work.  You guys are an inspiration for me to keep working at the hobby to get better.

Thanks for sharing.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,904 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, July 8, 2022 4:16 PM

And thank you for your kind words, John.

Wayne

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Canada
  • 59 posts
Posted by cprfan on Friday, July 8, 2022 7:01 PM

I love the Tichy tank cars. I have one built and ready to paint. It more closely follows the CPR prototype.

------

Greg Williams
Canterbury, NB
Canada
https://www.gregstrainyard.com/

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,305 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, July 9, 2022 9:04 PM

Hi Greg,

That is an excellent weathering job!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 2,047 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, July 10, 2022 8:27 AM

MisterBeasley

I picked up a cheap tank car at a train show specifically to create a water tanker for my MOW fleet.  Yours looks better.

I have a few rubber band drive Athearns, probably from the late 1950s.  I tried putting decoders in them.  They worked, nominally, but so poorly that I realized the engines would need new motors and trucks, and would still look like models cheaply made in the last century.  M.B. Klein had some brand new Proto models, and that option was probably cheaper.  I gutted the old engines, replaced the couplers and still run them as dummies, or "honorary engines."

 

This is good to know. I bought a pair of these about 20 years ago on an impulse at a train show. They stayed on the shelf until last year I finally got around to opening them up to see what it would take to convert them to DCC. That's when I discovered the coach was a dummy and the combine was the powered unit and ran on a rubber band drive. It had no rubber bands. I had some bands from another project and installed those and tried running them in DC mode. It would lurch and then stall. I put it back in the box and decided to tackle it another day. Sounds like my best bet would be to put a regular motor in it before converting.

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,011 posts
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Sunday, July 10, 2022 10:11 AM

cprfan
I poked the Internet for CPR tank cars. They had none in revenue service but a fleet of them for water and oil in MOW serivice. One would look great in my proposed engine service facility. This is a "close enough" model.

For many years the CNJ had a tank car serving as a fuel tank at its Raritan Engine Terminal  Random thoughts 1) it's amazing, given the service it's in, how clean it is 2) Note the non-revenue reporting mark "CNJW" 3) all you need to do is to bend some plastic "pipe", paint it black, drill a hole in the tank car and another in the roadbed and insert the pipe in the holes 4) Somewhere in my shop is a model of the car that one of the commercial manufacturers produced. Here is the N scale version                                               Uses in company service - fuel oil or water transport to branch line engine terminals, clean or waste oil around the shop, water supply on your work or wreck train (to go with your steam crane or pile driver), a string of them for your fire fighting train (in the US and Canadian West)                                                

  • Member since
    February 2008
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Posted by kasskaboose on Sunday, July 10, 2022 11:43 AM

Very nice work.  Thanks for sharing the before and after.  The finished product looks so realistic!

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