Monday, March 12, 2018

Modeling SPMW cars with Musical Parts (Part 1)

Let's look this time at a weird trio of SPMW cars that I started around 1999, and the SPMW 1168 I've still not totally finished.  In previous posts I've been nibbling away at modeling the SPMW fleet and operations.  This time I'm going to covering some models that don't fit well into other posts.

Here we see Caliente loaded up with work equipment, outfit cars, and a Baldwin AS-616 on the Mt.Work Train.

These projects are a case study in being frugal with your modeling budget with reusing all the components of the cars you're cutting up.

SPMW 174 - Ex-B-50-13/14

I started this car with an Accurail wood sheath boxcar back in about 1998 or so.  Tichy stake pockets are added, a Walthers Automobile car end door is on the B-end of the center section.  I believe the prototype cars didn't have this feature.  Someday I might scratch build a simple wooden post end for this car.  The car is based on a photo in Bruce Petty's Southern Pacific Maintenance-of-Way book, which was my go-to book for prototypes in the late 1990's and early 2000's because we simply didn't have much else to go on.

SPMW 174, a Canadian-style Carmen's Repair & Tool Car. - classified as a "Tool Crane" car.

I chopped the ends off the boxcar body and kept the lower sills around the end of the car.  The Accurail underframe was used.  The weight in the car was a challenge, as I couldn't use the stock strip weight.  I made the wooden decking from lead sheet, scribed wood board details on it and then painted and weathered it to look like wood.

The toolbox on the A-end is scratch built and the stakes on the B-end match the photograph.  Mostly this style of car in Canada was dispatched out of a terminal when a car was bad ordered on the road, often for a hotbox.  If the car had damaged brasses and needed to be jacked up to be repacked.  These cars were basically a mobile Repair-In-Place car!

It might have been possible that SP was using cars like this in the cold climates of Donner, Syskiyou,  and Shasta Routes for the same purpose as the Canadian cars.   In later years, this service was replaced with better road access to the trackside setout spurs were bad ordered cars would be left.  SPMW 174 was retired from revenue service B-50-13 on 12-13-1948.

Some of the Canadian cars on the non-toolbox end would have had a spare freight truck and a jib crane to unload it down onto the track if the bad order car was damaged so badly that they had to replace the truck.  Of course the center section of this car would have all the replacement brasses, jacks, blocking, waste, and lube oils to repair almost any damage that could happen out on the road, which would not allow a crippled car to be hauled into the terminals to be fixed.

Building this model, and now learning about how cars like this were used operationally, will allow for more interesting operations!

SPMW 3165 - Ex-B-50-13/14

I decided to build this Crane Tender-Tool car to match a photo of a car assigned to an SP pile driver.  I used a Accurail boxcar end (from SPMW 174) with plastic sides and underframe from Tichy Crane Tender kit and lower stiffening sill made from styrene strip.  The Tichy stake pockets were used along with a section of Tichy Tool Car sideboard.  The center section of the Accurail boxcar went to SPMW 174, which I believe was a Carmen's Tool & Repair car.

I'm not really going to spend much time talking about the crane as it's basically an upgraded Athearn 250-ton Wrecker Crane. with a few details added.  SP's two heaviest cranes were of course only about 200-ton capacity.  Bakersfield's was one of the common wrecker cranes on the SP, only rated at 160-tons and only a few of the SP's "wrecker" cranes were as light as the Tichy's 120-ton models.

SPMW 7110 200-ton Wrecker based in LA.

SPMW 1168 - Crane Tender - Ex-Auto boxcar

I planned to build a 50ft tool car and boom tender (SPMW 1168) for a friend's heavy 200-ton SP Wrecker Crane 7110, the LA Wrecker.  While it's been about 15 years and I've not finished this car, it'll get done one of these days.  For now I've assigned the SPMW 3165, an old B-50-13/14 class boxcar which was cut down to be used as a boom tender-tool car.

Left side SPMW 1168.

Tichy flatcar kitbash with Walthers Automobile boxcar end doors, Tichy Crane Tender/Tool car roof section and MDC sideboards from one of their old 3-in-1 kitbashing sets.  MDC trucks are used, and I believe either MDC or Accurail underframe centersills.

Right side SPMW 1168.

 I think this kitbash is one of the craziest Franken-bashes I've done yet.  Not really any prototype info, other than this car is listed as a crane tender and it came from an A-50-series wood sided automobile car originally.  If I ever get around to finishing it, it will certainly be a head turner.

Going For the Quit

SP 3259 pulling the Mt Work Train back down out of Allard.

Well, hopefully you've enjoyed this trio of SPMW cars, which don't really fit into any other category.

Jason Hill

Freight Cars - SP Flatcars (Part 1) Overview

Modeling SPMW Supply Train (Part 1) - Overview

Modleing SPMW Supply Train (Part 2) - Caboose

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