Monday, October 24, 2016

Building SP 5199 (Part 6)

When I left off with the build last (Part 5) I'd just finished the exterior of the car and drawn up the interior parts for 3d printing.  This time we'll look at the interior in more detail and how it was assembled.

Let's get the Postal Clerks to work setting up the interior of their RPO!

3D Printing Interiors

Normally I'm not a huge fan of replacing actual crafting and modeling with something made from a machine.  I believe in the hobby there will always be a place for the modeling craftsman in building a model.  I believe this series of blog posts about Building SP 5199 clearly show that there is still a modeler behind getting the model built and finished.  Currently no machine can do it all, and I'm sure for many more years this will be true.

CAD Model for car interior

The 3d-Printed parts were made by a friend of mine.  These are really "first articles" so I expect there to be a few small issues with fit and having never worked with an RPO interior I'm sure there will be changes to any future re-prints of these parts.  Let's have a closer look at the parts.

 Edit: Parts Now For Sale - These parts are now loaded to the OwlMtModels Shapeways store and are up for sale.  The 30ft RPO parts are in the 4031-4035 part number series, the overhead sorting box racks can be ordered in the cheaper White-strong-flexible material, while the all the parts are also offered in HDA resin-plastic.

Various 3D printed parts for the RPO interior.

On the right are two Letter Sorting Cases, Center are two Electrical Cabinets (one on the 3d printing stand, and one desprued), Top is one of the Train Baggage Man (TBM) toilet enclosers and desk.  Below that are two of the Cardboard Box Bins that go above the windows, below that are the two Bag Racks with pouches hung for sorting.  Bottom center is the sorting table which is set up next to the bag racks.  Bottom Left are three of the larger pouch-bags, one pair sit at each end of the sorting table.

About 20 minutes after I sent the drawings to be printed, I realized that the SP 5199 didn't use the same letter case as the floor plan drawing I'd used showed.  Not to worry, a quick redesign of the letter cases resulted in the correct case for the SP 5199.  The other cases are correct for several other cars I will be working on soon, so not to worry.  The correct case for 5199 was also sent to the printer.

Prepping the Body Interior


While waiting for the 3D printed parts to be done, I worked on preparing the shell and painting some of the rest of the interior walls.

Here the RPO Apartment is painted a lovely industrial standard Sea Foam Green.

I masked off the windows with tape and shot the inside of the RPO Apartment with StarBrand Sea Foam Green, which was the standard industrial color used all over in the 20th century.

The baggage end painted with Tamiya Wooden Deck Tan

I decided to change the colors a bit for the baggage section, using Tamiya Wooden Deck Tan to contrast against the TBM's toilet walls and electrical cabinet.  The door glazing has not been installed yet.

3D Parts Arrive


About a week passes... Here, I've shot some of the parts with paint and start to mock-up how they will fit in the car.

The basic parts that will be visible immediately behind the side windows.

Here the interior parts are placed on the interior floor of the car to check how it all fits.
Some researching from various videos and clips and color photos from restored RPO cars, such as Santa Fe's 60 at Orange Empire Railroad Museum, showed the colors that I should use.  I painted the walls with StarBrand Sea Foam Green along with the TBM toilet walls and electrical cabinets.  The desk will be a darker brown along with the cubby holes.  The bags and sacks will be a light gray and the racks the bags are hung from will be black.  The overhead sorting bins will be a Freight Car Red (FCR) color (a medium brown) with Sea Foam Green on the bottom.  The front faces of the letter case will be Sea Foam Green, with the sorting desk being the medium brown (wood).  I shot FCR from above and this caught on the lips of the sorting case, highlighting each pigeon-hole on the rack.

Sorting Table


One of the things that 3d printing does not do well at is thin features or columns, wires, and other free standing items.  The stanchions and bars used to mount the sorting tables on would certainly not work to 3d print.  I planned to have holes marked in the under side of the sorting table to drill out, then solder up the stanchions and bars from 0.015" phosphor-brozen wire and mount them into the sorting table.

Using the Jig to make the Stanchion for the Sorting Table.


Installing the stanchions and bars to the sorting table.

Detail photo of the second Stanchion

I made a jig out of styrene to hold the bars in place while I made the top of the stanchion and then the vertical part of the stanchion.  The trick became I had to solder up the second stanchion while it was assembled into the sorting table!  In this view I've already glued the larger sorting bag pairs to each end of the sorting table and painted the table with Roof Brown.

Newspapers were also sorted into the Bag Racks, so here's a bunch of 0.010"x 0.020" styrene "Newspapers rolls" to stack.

I designed the Bag Racks and other parts that mount next to them to be short and require shimming to match up with the window sills of the RPO body shell.  It will be much easier to shim up parts than have to sand down a completed set of interior parts.

Here's the fully finished interior parts with letter bundles on the case desk and newspapers on the large sorting table.
The floor of the sorting case module is painted Roof Brown as well as the vertical ends of the letter case.  Further research has shown that there should be desk drawers under the letter case desk, however these can't be seen on the completed car.  Such details can be added to the next round of CAD drawings and prints.  Also notice the styrene across the back of the TBM Toilet compartment.  This is to keep the 3d print straight.  Having a U-section print this size tends to warp, so future prints will have an enclosing bar to help keep the part more stable and provide a mounting surface to the car's interior wall.

Window Safety Bars & Security Bars


A simple styrene jig for soldering brozen strips and 0.015" wire parallel for the security/safety bars.

All RPO cars had safety and security bars installed on the inside of the RPO windows to prevent break-ins.  These are very prominent when viewed from the outside.  Many brass RPO models have these soldered in place, but they are too close to the window for even a thin piece of clear window material to be slipped behind.

Here, I gently pry the bars from the jig.

I soldered the wires in place with my small iron.  Additional vertical strips are added to fit between the windows.

Additional vertical strips installed and cut to length.

Once the sets of bars are ready, I taped them to the inside of the windows while aligning them.  A few drops of canopy cement attach the vertical strips to the inside of the car.

Gluing bars in place with canopy cement.

Here we see the bar assembly installed on the car.
The bars tend to breakup the view of the interior of the car, but only when there is strong lighting outside the car.  At "night" when the car's lit, it would be obvious that there's no interior.

Wrapping up Part 6


Here's the right side of the car, with the safety bars installed and trucks remounted.

I'm going to leave it here for the moment.  In Building SP 5199 (Part 7) I will cover installing the pickups, the rest of the interior, and lighting.

Jason Hill

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