Thursday, September 28, 2017

Building SP 5199 (Part 7) - Finishing & Lighting

Last time in my blog on Building SP 5199 (Part 6), I covered the beginnings of the 3d printed interior and some of the interior detailing.  This time I'll be focusing on the mechanical upgrades to the Walthers trucks of the SP 5199 and installing the power pickups for the lighting in the car.

The finished SP 5199, scroll to the bottom of this page to see more photos of the finished model.

I've delayed posting this last part of the build blog for the SP 5199 because I was using pre-production Pickup Lugs (#10001) for the Walthers Passenger Trucks from OwlMtModels.  Today OwlMtModels released these parts for sale, so I can show you how I wrapped up this project last year.

Underframe Work & Lighting Prep

Here's the electric belt-powered Dynamo for lighting the SP 5199

Earlier in the build I'd intentionally left off the belt-driven Dynamo from the underframe to keep from breaking it off.  Here it is installed and painted.

Underframe with the trucks removed for mechanical upgrading to the trucks.

Rebuilding Walthers Trucks

I had also avoided regauging the Walthers trucks until this point as well.  The Walthers trucks require some work to get to run their best.  Basically all HO wheelsets are about 0.015" tight for the standards to operate on the LMRC's massive layout.  This problem comes from manufacturers currently making wheel flanges that are narrower than RP-25 contour max profile standard.  While the wheels can be made to check "ok" in the NMRA wheel gauge, they are on the narrow side of nominal flange gage.  Basically broadening the wheel gauge by about 0.015" will find the best balance and tolerance with the newer thin flanges.

The process of rebuilding the trucks is started by disassembling the truck.  Back out the truck sideframe screws.

Top of Truck, painted.

Underside of truck before disassembly.

First pull the top equalizer bars off the truck, this will "unlock" the sideframes and allow them to be pulled off.  This in turn, will allow the wheelsets to be removed.

The Walther truck completely disassembled

Here we see the truck completely disassembled and the axle reaming tool.  The upper sideframe center hole is painted over by Walthers.

The wheelsets are stretched by the distance that they are regauged by, so they tend to bind up in the sideframes.  The sideframes need to be reamed and cleaned up.  Hand holding the reamer, which is designed to be used on assembled trucks, is rather hard on my fingers with the pointy 'blind end' towards my hand.  One option which is easier on my hands, is to put the reamer in a drill motor chuck.  This allows me to carefully but more quickly remove the 0.008" or so of material from the bearings and widen the bearing gauge for the longer wheelsets.

The Walthers trucks also have a larger bearing surface cone than most brass trucks, so this procedure is part of my standard rebuild for any car getting re-trucked.  I usually use NeverStall conductive oil, from Daylight Sales to both lubricate and provide better rollablity.

Here the truck is reassembled and two screws are left out for adding the OwlMtModels 10001 - Pickup Contacts.
The wheel treads are cleaned off with thinner or Easy-Lift-Off.

Installing the Pickups 

Using OwlMtModels 10001 Pickup Lugs for Walthers Passenger Trucks for the pickups works pretty well on scratch built or modified underframes.

Here's the illustrations from the OwlMtModels website on how to assemble these etchings and mount the wire.

Here's the same Lugs installed on a 4-wheel LW Pullman truck, I think on my 10-5 SP 9207 or 9208 for the Marker Light.

Each 'fret' of etchings is enough to do two complete cars worth of pickups.  I've also been using these on the other lit passenger car projects, such as the SP 2701, SP 1005, SP 2337, and several others.

Here the Pickups are installed on the truck just inboard of the outer axle.

The wire is marked with a silver Sharpie so that I don't mix up which side is which when it comes to connecting the wire from the two trucks together inside the car.

Wires through the floor, just inboard of the coupler boxes.

Interior Preparations 

My usual method of using the LED strip lights is to mount them with ACC onto a piece of 1/8"x 1/4" styrene strip.  The ACC is needed because I've noticed a tendency for the adhesive backing on the LEDs to come loose after a little while.  The styrene strip also provides good structural support and a place to glue it to the plastic bodies of the car if I want to.  For brass bodied cars I usually use RTV Silicon Head-Gasket material.

3" LED Lighting Strip - Warm White color

The inside bulkhead between the RPO Apartment and the Baggage-Express section needed a small notch for my lighting strip to mount though.

Lighting LED strip installed. - Note the dropping resistor at the far right side to dim the lighting.

I used a small amount of Locktite Fun-Tak (available at Walmart) to secure the strip to the bulkhead and to the overhead 'spine' that I put on the floor of the car to attach the wires from the trucks to.

LED Lighting bar installed and wired up. - 2 LEDs are over the RPO sorting section and one in the Baggage section.

Passenger Car models differ greatly in what style of construction they use.  Some cars have one-piece bodies and roofs (Soho Brass and SC&F Resin cars), others have one-piece floors and sides (SP 2701, and Walthers cars).

I ended up gluing the left side sorting bags to the inside of the carside with Canopy Cement.  The right side bag racks and sorting tables were glued to the floor of the car.

The interior parts are available now on OwlMtModels' Shapeways Storefront.  Currently the 30ft Apartment is available in the 4030-series which cover several sorting rack styles to suit various prototype configurations.  The 15ft and 60ft Apartment interiors are also being worked on.

Showing Off the Lighting

The lighting on this car turned out very well.

Here we can see a better view of the interior being lit by the LEDs.

Here's a nice 1/4 downward view of the interior detail through the safety bars.

Here's a nice view of the TBM's desk in the right window with plenty of light for him to do his paper work.

Here's a flatter view of the sorting rack and the TBM's washroom.

These two views (above and below) show the Sea Foam Green painted Sorting Bins above the RPO windows.  The bin doors themselves are painted FCR-brown color.

Package Sorting Bins over the bag racks and windows shows nicely when viewed from a below track level view.

In Closing

The unbuilt SP 5199 as it came out of the SC&F box with Walthers Trucks and Cal-Scale RPO Catcher Arms.

Overall the SP 5199 project using the SC&F kit was fun to build.  Each step being taken in order and with some amount of care the model turned out very nicely.  The new process making the custom interior and being able to light the interior really makes this car stand out in the dimmer lit areas of a layout as the train's running.

Unlighted SP 5199

Lighted SP 5199

In future posts I'll be continuing to cover modifying the SC&F kits for use on the 1941-1951 San Joaquin Daylight.  Both the HW protection car SP 5124 and the streamstyled and upgraded SP 5069 and SP 5070.

Jason Hill

Related Links:

OwlMtModels #10001 Pickup Lugs for Walthers Passenger Trucks - Sale Link for new OwlMtModels parts used in this build.

RPO What & Why - Links to various RPO sites and brief description of why they're interesting and important for steam-transition era modelers.

Modeling Mail Trains (SP Nos.55/56) - The Tehachapi Mail - Covers various consist and operational aspects of Mail Trains.

SP 2701 Chair Car (Part 1) - Rebuilding and upgrading Model Power's 67ft coach.

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