Monday, September 12, 2016

SP 60-C-5s, (Part 1) SP 1005

In this series of posts, I'm working on some Soho 60-C-5 coaches.  The first two are both the same class, yet quite different cars as examples of what happened to SP and T&NO's large fleet of 60 foot coaches over the years.  Both the SP 1005 and the T&NO 777 are based on the Soho model of a 60-C-10.

SP 1005, 60-C-5 Chair

SP 1005 with window shades and replaced roof vents.

SP 1005 started life as Northwestern Pacific (NWP) 401 and was fitted as a "smoker" coach with a partition mid-car.  The NWP 401 spend her early carrier working north of San Fransisco Bay until 1935, when it was transferred to the SP and renumbered 1005.  Like all 60-C-5s it was built with transom windows of colored glass and end windows.

Here's the SP 1005, before I changed the roof vents.  The end-window can be made out in this photo as well.

In 1940, the SP was short of cabooses, so SP 1005 was reassigned and numbered into the caboose series as SP 998.  Mid-war it was decided that the SP needed more coaches to deal with the crush of the troop movements and was short passenger capacity.  SP regained her status as a revenue passenger car in 1943 by having 60-seats worth of second hand chair seats installed.  Only a handful of the SP 60ft coaches were equipped as chair cars instead of coaches, but didn't go all the way and get air conditioning.

SP 1005 lasted through the war and was one of the few cars that still retained its gas lighting in 1945.  I've not really tracked down any more data on the 1005 as it kicked around between various unknown assignments until it was photographed in Oakland in 1947 by E.R. Mohr, Pg 120 in SP Passenger Cars Vol1., by the SPH&TS.  The green glass of the transom windows were still intact in the photo, by 1950 most SP coaches and chair cars had these plated over.  The last being covered in 1952.  This was mostly because of problems with leaking in the transom windows.  The 1947 photo was only 6 months to a year after the SP changed to "Southern Pacific" lettering above the windows, so it's very understandable that this car wasn't a priority to repaint.

In 1952, the SP 1005 was retired.  A year later, it was reactivated as a caboose for the second time as SP 953.  Another car had taken over the Caboose SP 998 number.  By 1954 the 953 was retired again and what happened after that is unknown, it was probably scrapped at that point.

Modeling the SP 1005

Here's a Soho 60-C Coach in similar starting point to where the SP 1005 started

I started this project with a Soho 60-C-10 with transom windows.  My problem is by 1948-1952, when I model most of my equipment, these transom windows were becoming VERY rare.  I chose the 1005 because of it's somewhat unique history.  It would also fit well into my Tehachapi Mail (Nos.55/56) consist to mix up the regular 60-C-coaches, or in other mixed assignments typical of the "wandering" SP non-A/C coach after WW2.

Soho SP 1005, 60-C-5 in-process - Note the green glass in the transom windows.
I'm modeling the SP 1005 after its 1943 conversion to a 60-seat Chair Car, this means I do have to make some modifications to the "early" Soho Coach.  The car is painted Dark Olive Green and my standard mix of off-black gray for the roof and underframe.  "SOUTHERN PACIFIC LINES" decals are used on the car to show another car that hasn't been repainted since 1946.  Also, remember this car is pretty clearly not in the best condition.  It's been retired once already, and but for the needs of WW2, it would have stayed as a caboose.

Here's a photo to show off the Tamiya Clear Green painted glass transom windows

Windows were installed using clear sheets of styrene.  I masked off everything except the top 18" of the windows.  This leaves what will be the transom windows exposed.  I used Tamiya Clear Green to tint the upper glass a lovely green color.  Be sure to tint the inside of the windows!  This will help prevent scratches to the tint and also keep the mounting glue from de-bonding the tint as well.  Once dry, I installed the window sets with Testors Canopy Cement.  Be extremely careful to have the green glass and clear glass change fall behind the narrow header of the main windows.

The diaphragms are again from HiTech.


Basic Underframe

John Ruehle made me a new underframe for the car.  John used a piece of 0.040" sheet for the main floor.  Then C-channel 0.185"x 0.150" was used for the main centersill.  Crossbeams of .070"x 0.050" I-beam were glued on to represent the floor supports.  This underframe doesn't have any of the diagonal bracing that the 69-BP-30 (SP 5199) or the rest of the SC&F kits have.

John mounted passenger brake "UC" type gear on the bottom of the car.

Electrical Generator was already fitted to the underframe

Looking at the SP 1005, with its "rare" gas lighting by 1947, certainly rare by 1952, I will be adding the gas tanks.  However, I will probably add a battery box, because I'll be adding the OwlMtModels 10002 Gyralite Marker Light.

Styrene shims added to bolster of Walthers 920-2124 on SP 1005.

I shimmed the bolsters and installed a sheet of 0.02" styrene across the top bolster of the Walthers 8ft Pullman 4-wheel trucks to result in the right coupler height.  I plan to fit the car (in Part 2) with my standard LED lighting strip and OwlMtModels Pyle Gyralite marker and tailgate kit for end-of-train service.

Window Shades

Completed window shades installed in the SP 1005

Window shades for the 1005 are made from manila card stock file folders.  One folder will do about 30-50 sets of window shades.  I don't use normal 3-5lb paper because, unless painted, it is too translucent for use with the LED lighting installed, even at lower settings.

Cut a strip of card stock a scale 24"x 50'6" and make pencil markers where the window columns are across the full shade.  I then mark where I want the window shades to be cut off at.  This will be on average, make the shade 12" high, however I like to make somewhat random cross cuts with a Xacto to show passengers using the shades and moving them to where they want to be.  These horizontal cuts are then connected with small vertical cuts to make a prepared window shade.

Abbreviated shades to keep the green transom windows clear. Tamiya tape used to mount the shades.

Remember that cars freshly out of the coach yard should have all their shades nicely trimmed 1-3" below the top edge of the window, or whatever the railroad considered "standard dress" starting position.  A car ending its trip will be all over the map, some shades high, some low, some in the middle, some unused if the seats were empty the whole trip.

Once trimmed to length (This time I was also making standard longer ones for my SP 1050's window shades) I used 1/16" wide by about 1/4-3/8" long strips of Tamiya Masking Tape to hold the shades in place.  The tinting on the windows was actually thick enough, once the mask was removed to make a nice stopping ledge for the shade material to catch on.  The tape was then applied with the end of a knife blade vertically where the window columns are.

Bathroom window covered with Scotch Tape

The toilet annexes will have etched glass or prism glass, I use standard Scotch Tape (not the magic clear stuff), so that when I apply it to the clear plastic windows it will remain foggy.

"Globe" Roof Vents

Here's the 1005 with new MDC "Globe" vents

I removed the Soho stock Utility Vents over the main seating area.  I still need to remove the vents over the car ends.  There was a slight mishap and I scratched the roof paint pretty badly there in the center of the car.  When I do the additional end vents I'll touch up any other scratches.  The square holes left from the old vents were roughly in the right place on the roof, so I used my ~0.085" drill bit in a pin vise.  As always drilling through brass sheet, be careful when 'breaking through' with the tip as the drill will tend to catch.

The MDC vent pieces were easily glued into the holes with ACC.  Make sure not to put the car floor back on for a day or so after gluing.  This will allow the glue to "gas-off" and not fog the windows.


Here's the SP 1005 with the seating strips of PSC 33312.2 Chair Seats

Because the SP 1005 was pulled back into service as a chair car, she lost her original 72-seat coach configuration.  Instead a 60-seat chair plan was used, probably from second hand chairs from other 60-CC-1s upgraded in 1941-42.  Trying to find exactly the right seats is a bit challenging.  For this car I'm using Precision Scale Co. #33312.2 chair seats were used and mounted to a strip of 0.03"x 0.188" strip styrene was used to space the seat pairs apart.  The inside of the car sides have flanges, which add strength, however they do make the installation of interiors a bit tricky.  Once glued up, these strips of seats will be able to be easily mounted to the inner ledge of the car side.

The 15 rows of seats are evenly spaced every 3.28 ft over the 50'4" length of windows.  In laying this out I come to find out that the car is about 2 feet too short, all in the toilet windows section of the car.  That doesn't really effect the modeling of the interior though, just interesting to note.  The last pair of seats are showing in the floor plan reversed.  These would have been the walk-over type seats, possibly from the A/C'd 60-CC-1s, which new seats in 1942.  SP had a way of reusing second hand seats on older cars.

The center isle will be purposely left open for access to the lighting strip in the roof.

LED Lighting

An example of a car I installed this type of lighting in

I don't plan to mount the interior seats strips until I have the LED strip installed and lead wires for the trucks and marker light are installed.  As a sneak peek, here's the light strips that I make myself.  I use 0.100" x 0.250" styrene strips as a backing support for the LED light strip.  The leads are easily soldered onto the ends of each 3" section of LED strip.

LED lighting components

In the center of the LED coil, is a 3" strip for the SP 5199 project I'm working on, and above that are two 6" strips for the 60 and 70 foot coaches I'm working on at the same time.

Beauty shot in closing here

That does it for this part of the SP 1005 Build.  In SP 60-C-5s, Part 2 T&NO 777 I cover building a car without the green transom glass windows and more detail of the underframe construction.  Please follow to be notified when I post the next blog update!

Jason Hill

Related Links:
Of some interest is Sunset Import's new announcement of plastic 60-C-5s coming to HO, follow this link to my blog post with my thoughts on it. GoldenGateModels Harriman Cars in HO

Or you can follow this link to my blog on building the SP 2701, a 60-CC-1 (Part 1) from a Model Power Coach

1 comment:

  1. Impressive work, Jason. Thank you for sharing all your stories and projects for this old SP modeler to enjoy. Truly appreciated! John in Maryland


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