|Decals, smokejack, window plug.|
Finish Stirup Steps
The next step is to finish up the bracing on the passenger stirup steps.
|Installing Stirup Steps & Braces|
I drilled a hole in the floor, centered down the length of the step and about 1/16" inside the edge of the floor of the car. This will give the brace enough angle to help support the steps.
I fabricated new braces for the three baggage stirups that I didn't break from 0.025" phosphor-bronze wire. The holes were slightly oversized for the wire allowing me to adjust the positioning while the ACC was wet in the floor hole side. I made sure the step ends of the braces were as close to touching as I could get them. Several checks with the body on to be sure the steps came out to the car side were done and also check that the step legs look vertical in side-view of the body.
Be sure to line up the brace and the bottom rung of the step before soldering. The extra flexibility in the steps helped here because I could set up the brace and then bend the step back to it.
I put a small drop of liquid flux on the stirup with a dipping stick, and then with only a very small amount of solder on the my little 15 watt fine tipped pencil iron (slightly more than the tinning on the tip). Quickly touched the iron to the joint. The liquid flux pulls the solder into the joint instantly. The total time to solder all four of the braces was about 4-5 minutes. In and Out, that's the deal... I think it's also a burger place... but not to get derailed... back to the build!
|End of brace bent and soldered to the stirup.|
So, one of the KitBit Baggage steps broke a leg when I was bending it during installation. I didn't feel like being short a one stirup out of the set. The new legs for the replacement were fabricated the same way as the braces above. I pulled out all the pieces of the etching that broke off. (The middle section of the leg broke at the "half-etched" bend points.) I kept the broken part safe until I was ready to solder on the other braces.
I checked the holes again and drilled them a bit deeper across the floor than before with the etchings. The wire was bent at about 85 degrees and then about 1/8" below the floor I made another slight bend of about 5 degrees to vertical. I want these steps to angle outward slightly from the edge of the floor to the edge of the car side when the body is attached.
|New wire legs on the repaired stirup step & brace.|
Find a good comfortable position to be in to do this soldering work. Another thought is to use one of the magnifying stands with the two alligator-clip "hands" to hold the parts in alignment where you want them. Then make the quick pass with the iron.
The a bit of bending is needed to get the second leg aligned. At this point I noticed that the steps were wanting to hang outward and didn't want to reach the second leg. I ended up desoldering the first leg and trying again. This time I got it closer to flat on the second leg, but not good enough. A small amount of gentile pressure from my tweezers pulled it down to the second leg, but this would have built-in tension that I don't want within the step. Once the second leg joint was secured, I quickly touched the iron on the first joint again to allow it to adjust to the proper position. It worked very well.
|Bottom view of the RPO-end truck, the angle on the step braces were set up such that they did not foul the truck.|
Once all the soldering is done, I cut off the extra length on the new wire legs on the repaired step. Then I clean and dressed all the brace solder joints with a file cleaning off the extra solder. Also shaping the cut end of the wire leg to match the step shape.
Don't Loose the Floor
The issue of keeping the body on the underframe is a bit more challenging. I decided that it would not be a good idea to just glue the body to the underframe. I am going to add lighting in the RPO section and a single light in the Train Baggage Man desk area in the baggage section. This means I'll be opening the car and closing it several times. Of course, if anything ever goes wrong (and it will!) it will be good to be able to open the car without destroying it!
|There is a hole for the future screws between the battery box and the needle beam. Another will go on the opposite side.|
|Blocks glued in and match-drilled with #50 drill.|
|End blocks glued in to secure the floor near the ends of the car to the body.|
I match drilled the holes in the floor up into the body. Be sure to hold the sides of the car firmly against the floor while doing this. Once these holes are located and drilled the sides won't be able to wobble anymore, so get this right! One option is to use rubber bands to hold the carsides. I had too much detailing on the underframe at this point to risk doing that, so I just held the sides firmly against the floor.
I will point out here that, like with anything dealing with a model like this, I'm not using very much force. The resin is extremely forgiving and has some flex to it. Even the pressure from a firm hand-shake would likely crush the body of the car without the floor installed. Also with all the detailing around the car care must be taken to handle the car with as light a touch as you can.
The holes in the side blocks are then tapped for 2-56 machine screws. I did over-size the tap holes in the blocks slightly to allow for easier tapping. Hold off on drilling and tapping the end blocks until the coupler position is figured out later.
|Body mounting screws installed, holding the body to the floor.|
|Overview of the 5199 with grabirons installed and stirup steps finished.|
|Left Baggage door with stirup and grab iron. - The center of the car and RPO apartment are to the left.|
|Grab irons installed and some slight chips in the primer coat of Dark Olive Green paint.|
If the hole has enough clearance that the ACC will form a good bond all the way around and not pool on the surface of the model, then putting a very small drop of ACC on the wire leg before inserting in the carside will work. If the hole is too close of a fit to the wire, then the glue will not be able to get into the hole, and be skreeted off on the exterior of the model.... and we certainly don't want that!
Star of the Baggage
|Smoke jack and plugged window on the right side of the car.|
I drilled a hole in the roof, located per photographs of the SP 5199. The plunger was slightly too large in diameter for the drill I had handy, so I quickly filed and sanded the diameter down slightly. Always test fit something like this! I think the top of the smoke jacks were a little higher, but as I know I'll have the car on its back several more times during this build and I don't feel like replacing this part several times, I kept the height to match where the max height of the other roof vents to protect it. I glued the plunger into the hole and conveniently the block that I glued in for the screw to secure the body with was in the right place to support the bottom of the pipe. I decided to keep the stack long, so it will be visible when the detailed interior is in place though the windows. I cut the plunger off even with the bottom of the body block at the floor level.
Time to get the DOG on (Airbrush Painting)
|Right side painted with Dark Olive Green|
|Left side painted with Dark Olive Green|
|Underframe and body securing screws painted dark gray-black.|
I applied the paint in several light coats and made sure to leave a glossy surface for the decals to go onto. Rough paint will make removing the air bubbles from under the decals very hard later. Best to just get a good smooth coat to start with.
Let There be Lettering
The decalling actually went very quickly on this car. ThinFilm 160 set was used with the post-1946 "SOUTHERN PACIFIC" letterboard per SP standards and photos. Thankfully the SP did have a pretty consistent set of painting and lettering standards for their passenger fleet. However there are some documented variations from car to car and class to class.
|Right side of the 5199 after decalling.|
|Left side of the 5199 after decalling|
|SP 4119, the Lark Protection RPO, with the "US Mail" lettering centered on the car body on 60ft RPOs.|
Since we're talking about the lettering, it should also be pointed out that the "US Mail - Railway Post Office" lettering is ONLY applied to cars that are internally setup the the apartment for use as US Railway Post Office. Fifteen-foot RPO cars were lettered with a more condensed version, "US Mail - Railway - Post - Office." RPO cars that were removed from RPO service had this lettering painted over. The big 60ft apartment RPO cars had the same "UNITED STATES MAIL - RAILWAY POST OFFICE".
Cars that were used for Train Baggage (for passengers) were so marked with "BAGGAGE". Cars available for lease to the Railway Express Agency were also lettered for that service. Of course the SP covered its bases by lettering basically all of their cars for both. Of course the SP also moved company express in these cars as well, so the "BAGGAGE" lettering also seems to cover that too.
|Notice the little star above the "SP 5199", that shows this car to have improved TBM facilities on board.|
Next Time - Building SP 5199 (Part 4)
That concludes Part 3 of this series on building the SP 5199. In the next part I will show how to fit the Hi-Tech Diaphragms and couplers.