Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mt. Nebo (Part 2) - Internal Lighting

In Mt. Nebo (Part 1) I talked about the basic upgrades to the old metal Walthers 10-Section-Observation-Lounge car and the interior.

Pullman Mt. Nebo with lounge interior lit for service.

In this blog post, I'll quickly show how I added lighting to the Mt. Nebo.  This will be a brief overview of the lighting of a car like this.  I'll be covering it more in depth in SP 5199 (Part 7), which I'll be posting soon.

Lighting Systems

The time has come for the interior lighting to be put in the car.  This was easily done with a 3" strip of LED lights which I'm using as my standard lighting installation in passenger cars now.

The lighting comes in rolls like this, which are easily cut to length with scissors.

The 3" LED section has ground and 12VDC contact patches which are tinned and wires attached to.

A strip of 0.125 x 0.250" styrene strip is ACC'd to the back of the LED strip for support and mounting in the car.


Four 1/16" holes were drilled just outboard of each bolster and next to the centersill.  I use these to run the 32-gage (TCS-brand) wire up through the floor from my truck pickups.  Once inside the car, I used some Tacky Putty from Lock-Tite (Walmart) to secure the wires inside the rear observation door posts, making sure to leave enough slack in the wires for the truck to move freely.

The trucks are using OwlMtModels' new #10001 Walthers Truck Pickups, which are designed to fit Walthers trucks and provide a good way to attach wires to the truck sideframes.  I will be covering those next post in more detail once they are released for sale.

Lighting bar installed in the Mt. Nebo.  The wires to the right go to the front truck.

I tried first installing the lighting strip pointed up, however it was too far up inside the clerestory of the roof for the light to bounce down into the interior of the lounge, so I reversed the strip and remounted it directly on top of the bathroom walls and the Tacky Putty on the rear wall of the car.

The Right Rail wire is run along side the plastic strip to the 20K ohms of dropping resistors (two 10k Ohm) which are soldered to the LED strips' +12VDC contact patch.  This car will spend most of its life on DCC power (AC-current) so the positive and negative comments are simply to keep things straight while wiring.

I also like to have the lighting subtle in the car, not like there's a nuclear power plant under the car, so even though the LED bar is designed to operate on 12VDC, I'm dropping it WAY down so the LED's don't blast the inside of the car, only an inch away, with too much light.

The Results

The effect is hard to photograph, but these give some idea of how it looks.  The human eye can adjust better to low light and not be blinded by the subtly brighter lights inside, where as the cameras try to adjust to one or the other.

Left rear corner of the lit Mt. Nebo.

Left side of lounge with mantle at left and the desk beyond, and lounge chairs to the right.

Lounge seats, writing desk (blue chair), center mantle desk (behind), and men's lounge (restroom) with sink at right.

Writing desk's chair and men's lounge (restroom) sofa.

Right rear corner overview photo of the lounge section.

Off into the Night

It's rather amazing that a Walthers metal kit, like this one....

Unbuilt Walthers 10-Section-Obs-Lounge Kit

... can be turned into a car like this!

Left side of PC Mt. Nebo

Right side of PC Mt. Nebo

The last two steps on the Mt. Nebo will be installing marker lights and redetailing the underframe with new, more accurate parts.  That will wait until next time however.

Jason Hill

Related Links:
Pullman Mt. Nebo (Part 1) - 10-Section-Obs-Lounge

Index for Modeling Pullman Pool HW Passenger Cars

Index for Modeling SP HW Passenger Car Classes

Modeling SP 5199 - 69-BP-30-3 from SC&F Resin Kit (Part 1)

Modeling SP HW Clerestory Coaches (Part 1) - Starting Over with SP 1050 

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