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 Building a Rio Grande flanger
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Author Previous Topic: SRM Rugg Manufacturing Kitbash Topic Next Topic: BTS Fire Train in HO Scale
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Frederic Testard
Engineer



Posted - 04/25/2009 :  5:37:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
About two years ago, I entered the MOWchallenge with an Sn3 rotary project which, after a number of conception mistakes, was finally abandoned (but I plan to restart this build someday) and replaced with another one, that of a Rio Grande flanger. The pictures below were posted in a topic dedicated to this challenge, which has unfortunately disappeared since. So, after some forumists' suggestion, I thought I could repost it for those who would be interested. The story below relies upon the messages I posted then on a French forum.

Pics in next post to avoid the famous first message problems...
Frederic Testard

Country: France | Posts: 17602

Frederic Testard
Engineer



Posted - 04/25/2009 :  5:53:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is a picture of Accucraft large scale version of this car with its early red paint :



here is one of the original car



painted gray (around the forties), and here is a shot of my own version on my currently defunct Sn3 layout.



The D&RGW had quite a lot of these cars, aimed at cleaning light snows on and in the neighborhood car. The Sn3 model I built was a kit by Rio Grande Models which had been peacefully sleeping on my shelves for about 10 years.



Here are two shots of the first moments spent on this kit : the assembled upper part of the chassis (except the handrails) and the lower part being assembled.





The two next shots described the work on the lower part of the chassis (bolsters, end beams, sills) and my reflection about the placing of the upper parts. On the second shot, most of them where only test fit - and sometimes even this was not so simple since you have to make your own supports or to add your own detailing parts. This is counterbalanced by a very low cost of the kit.





I was not very enthusiastic about the texture of the wood, so I seriously sanded it before painting its chassis and wooden structure, and starting its detailing.









After seeing these pictures, I decided I would have to sand the sides even more.

More later...



Frederic Testard

Country: France | Posts: 17602 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/25/2009 :  6:39:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking at your model just struck me: The frame from those old "Gramps" MDC old-timer tank cars would be -perfect- for scratchbuilding/bashing a flanger in either HO or SN3 (or even On30!)

dave



Country: USA | Posts: 4406 Go to Top of Page

LLIAXTEP
Engine Wiper



Posted - 04/26/2009 :  01:01:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice, and thanks for posting, Frederic
I have an Hon3 Version sitting in my to-do box. (too bad mines is not Sn3)
This will surely be of help.



http://narrowgaugeshops.wordpress.com/

Edited by - LLIAXTEP on 04/26/2009 01:02:18 AM

Country: Canada | Posts: 209 Go to Top of Page

Greg Rich
Engine Wiper

Posted - 04/26/2009 :  07:29:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frederic,
Very nice build! It looks to me like you may be in a rolling stock phase right now.

Also, that is a very good looking Sn3 layout shot in this thread. You say it is now defunct?

Greg Rich



Country: | Posts: 374 Go to Top of Page

Mike Engler
Fireman



Posted - 04/26/2009 :  2:32:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frederic- Interesting build of this flanger- great rust detail. Any links to more photos of the railroad? Mike E.


Country: USA | Posts: 1237 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard
Engineer



Posted - 04/26/2009 :  4:10:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, I think that even a simple scratchbuild of the frame wouldn't be very hard. But clearly, using existing and available frames is a good idea.
Alex, if this can help, it's even better...
Mike and Greg, thanks for the comments. The layout is featured there :
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22575
This topic describes how the layout was when I decided to dismantle it and the beginning of the rebuilding process.

I forgot to post this shot of the beginning of the building.



Maybe some more shots and story tonight.


Frederic Testard

Country: France | Posts: 17602 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard
Engineer



Posted - 04/26/2009 :  7:56:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Let's continue the project. A number of details had been added when I shot these pictures. Some were easy to do - for instance, the PBL trucks - which I chose to use instead of the Rio Grande Models white metal ones - are an instant model. Others were more tricky, and resulted into some wordy modelling... The fit of the couplers was difficult, and required some heavy surgery on Kadees #58, with the consequence that I couldn't even install the metal springing device that maintains the coupler centered. Holding the upper cylinder was tough too, and at that stage I thought I would have to find a strategem (such as only shooting profile photos... ) to avoid showing its bad shape (later I decided I couldn't live with such a badly made part and I redid it - there was none in the kit, just a sentence : make a support for the top cylinder, or something alike).









From below :



As I said above, I quickly decided to change this cylinder support and fabricated two out of brass. I used war economy techniques : two small strips were cut on a photoetched sheet, they were filed to the right width and bent to the correct size. Then the toughest part of the job began. Despite the remarkably good modern glues, it was a hell to have this little devils hold the cylinder and their position on the car. Finally, I won the battle but the small round indicator that shows if the blade is up or down was killed by a stray bullet . I decided that I had been stupid to install a piece that fragile so early, when the model had to endure lots of handling, and that I would wait until the end of the build to replace it.





The next step was much easier, with the toolbox installation. I wondered when I was doing it if on the real model it was used as a weight to help maintain the car on the track when it did her hard job against snow. I decided that it would have that use on my model, and added a few 1:1 bolts, which seriously improved the rolling qualities of the car. The uncoupling bars were less easy to install, since the small pin at the end of the eyelets were a bit short and thus couldn't be held very well. Considering that there began to be a lot of interfering parts, it was a bit difficult. Finally, I put the brake staff : easy.








Frederic Testard

Country: France | Posts: 17602 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard
Engineer



Posted - 04/27/2009 :  6:52:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here are some pictures of the car almost complete. The railings, signs and a pipe going from the brake cylinder to the lower part of the chassis have been added, as well as the famous round target accidently broken earlier.
The "Flanger" sign is really not a chef-d'oeuvre. I remember it as a tricky job since you have to position the transfer sheet, letter after letter, in a place where many parts interfere. If I really happen to hate it someday, I'll cover it with a good thickness of dust and will let just a hint that someday there was a sign.

The only work still to be done when these pictures were shot was the addition of some NBWs above the stirrups, the making of the toolbox hinges and, last but not least, the cutting, shaping and glueing of the blade.









Here are the first shots of the blade. It was cut out of a piece of thin styrene using a template provided in the kit instructions, then curved around a file until the fit looked right, and then the two halves were glued using a MEK type glue. The fit was not totally perfect but half an hour in the solvent vapors was enough...





When the glue had set, a little sanding and puttying allowed me to improve the appearance of the blade.





Installing it below the car, and adding the rods that hold it was much easier than expected.








Frederic Testard

Country: France | Posts: 17602 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard
Engineer



Posted - 04/30/2009 :  1:13:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is the last, conclusive, post of this car building.

Another shot of the flanger, from above for a change.



When I thought I had completed the model and the challenge, Eric Bracher (the owner of Rio Grande Models and, consequently the designer of this kit) noticed that I had forgotten to install the brake shoes on the rear truck (only this truck had some on the prototype flanger). I felt a bit disappointed since the model wasn't complete any more, but it was easy to fix and again, the flanger was completed in time. I also installed stirrups on the end beams, which I had forgotten too.





In conclusion, I would say that it is not really an easy kit, with very sketchy instructions definitely aimed at the seasoned model builder. Some parts have to be fabricated, some have to be installed in places quite cramped (but this is due to the complexity of the car itself, not the kit). The materials provided were good, I simply decided to replace the white metal rigid trucks by free rolling, equalized, PBL trucks. The weight loss is minor compared to the improvement provided by equalization.

On the plus sides, you get with the kits the drawings of the blades of all D&RGW lettered flangers (about 12 different possible models), the kit is very inexpensive, and all the difficult parts are provided, with the exception of the blade, for the sake of versatility.



Frederic Testard

Country: France | Posts: 17602 Go to Top of Page

BigLars
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/30/2009 :  2:23:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frederic,
Great build!
Larry


Larry
CEO Tagish & Marsh Lake RR
CFO Yukon Northern RR
COO JR Mining

Country: USA | Posts: 9064 Go to Top of Page

desertdrover
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/30/2009 :  3:32:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As with all your projects, simply fantastic work!

Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

Country: USA | Posts: 12700 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard
Engineer



Posted - 04/30/2009 :  5:58:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Louis and Larry. It was really a good challenge project : quite challenging...

Frederic Testard

Country: France | Posts: 17602 Go to Top of Page

elwoodblues
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/30/2009 :  9:28:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit elwoodblues's Homepage  Send elwoodblues a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Great build Frederic. I along with a love for narrow gauge, I also like snow clearing equipment. It may be caused by all the snow shoveling I get to do every winter. I think I might have to see if I can get one of those kits as I see great potential in modifying it to On30.




Ron Newby
General Manager
Clearwater Valley Railway Co.
http://www.cvry.ca

Country: Canada | Posts: 5751 Go to Top of Page

onl26
Fireman

Posted - 04/30/2009 :  9:56:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Frederic
You are a true craftsman!! Really fine modeling!!!
Kevin



Country: USA | Posts: 1283 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/01/2009 :  04:31:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great photos, too!

dave



Country: USA | Posts: 4406 Go to Top of Page
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