I finally had time to sit down and work on the NP boxcar project over the weekend. Now that Fall is creeping in (the trees here are turning and the weather is cooler, plus the kids are in school) I’m going to make an effort to get back to my 15 minutes a day, and “Workshop Wednesday Evening” plan from the past. Lots of that kind of thing gets lost in the warmer weather.
I had struggled with the brake gear for this car. Not that I don’t know how to assemble a KC brake system, but some of the connections and which parts to use were, well, new to me in O scale. Most notably the connection from the brake to the train line. I had to figure that out. I also ran into some broken plastic brake levers and was stalled while waiting for replacements.
With all that now sorted, I sat down and assembled the brake levers. The clevis came from the same Grandt Line parts that the brake cylinder did. I then added those to some brass levers from Foothill Model Works, and drilled #79 holes to insert the .020 wire for the levers. The longest part of the process was waiting for the glue to dry during the assembly phase. On the B end, I used chain from Narrow Gauge Modeling Company to link to the brake. While I was at it, I popped off the Scale City brake wheel and added a brass part I had also sourced from Foothill Model Works. The new wheel is scale sized and looks much better.
Once everything dried, I set off for the paint shop (read “outside the house”). The first task was to lay down Tamiya primer. I use a gray primer to even everything out and to make sure I don’t have anywhere that I’ve left a huge mess of CA or things that need to be addressed before paint goes on. Once I had inspected that, I laid on a coat of Scalecoat II Boxcar Red #3. This gives me a nice glossy finish that I find works fantastically with decals, is rock-hard when dry (about 48-72 hours later) and I like this color. It’s a nice medium red/brown. Weathering always changes the color of a car, so I tend to aim for close.
It’s now been 24 hours since I finished painting. The car is dry enough to handle, but I’ll give it another day to fully cure before I get on with decals. Having gotten this far, I can see the end of this particular project coming soon. The car will be ready for display at the RPM Chicagoland event at the end of October.