Workbench Update – June & July 2020

Summer is one of those sluggish hobby seasons. Lawn and home duties often pull our time away from the workbench and hobby activities. The pandemic has been a bit different as trips to visit family, concerts, RPMs, and vacations have been curtailed. So there is more hobby time, even though the lawn and home duties remain.

I have two work areas. I have a model bench and computer workstation in the lounge above the garage. My paint booth, photo area, and soldering table are in the garage. Summer in middle Tennessee can be hot and humid, so I try to work on hobby tasks before the afternoon heat. Both work areas heat up through the day. The garage heat floats up to the lounge above it and the A/C can’t keep up well. There isn’t a cool basement.

But I’ve moved a few projects forward. I’m very happy with the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh boxcar upgrade that had a spot on the May workbench update post. The model is an HO scale Roundhouse Old-Time boxcar, but was a custom run by the Old & Weary Car Shop.

I used an Accurail fish belly center sill underframe, new end sills, and new side sills. The large lettering and weigh data are original. I have found ZERO BR&P boxcar images from the 1920s. Much of the lettering data is conjecture. The weigh location and date, and all the lettering close to the side sill are new, as is the draft gear lettering on the car end. Some of this follows the information on a builder image.

If you find a decent 1920s car side photo of BR&P boxcars, please let me know in the comment section. I will need more of these but want the rest to wear proper lettering for 1926. We might even encourage Accurail to produce one of their 36-foot boxcars in BR&P lettering. The railroad rebuilt their fishbelly underframe cars with Murphy ends and roofs in 1924.

Remember the poor paint jobs I shared in the last blog post? The 36-foot boxcar is now lettered and ready for the weathering factory. The decals are newly created by Dave Campbell using NYC lettering he created a few years ago. The data presentation reflects mid-1920s NYC practices. The model is one of two NEB&W cars I’ve built in tribute to the hobby work of John Nehrich and the many RPI Club members efforts that have influenced my hobby direction. Cheers to them and the work they have shared to inspire us all.

I started a different project at the end of June. This is a styrene kit for a FWD Model B truck that was very popular in World War 1 with 15,000 used by Britain, France, and American forces. Many surplus vehicles were sold in the US after the war. The kit is produced by Roden and slightly larger than HO at 1:72 scale.

Assembly was straightforward with only a few tedious steps. Tweezers and an enhanced visual aid are critical tools for assembly. I assembled the parts into three main components to ease the paint process: cab, frame, and cargo bed.

I still need to touch up a few parts and add the last couple of details. It was a fun build.

As with almost any workbench, there are projects to push further along. The Canadian Pacific automobile boxcar above needs decals. It’s a Yarmouth Model Works kit.

I shared a couple of these models with a few local modelers. One of them noted he had several unfinished projects in his “Drawer of Disappointments.” I gathered a few of mine together for the group shot above. It’s time to move these closer to the finish line.

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5 thoughts on “Workbench Update – June & July 2020”

  1. F22s are disappointments. Say it ain’t so. A legion of SPF’s are coming for you 🙂

    1. Brian, those models are disappointing only because they have not been completed. Except for the grey pickle tank car, all of those models have sat in an uncompleted state for about five years. It’s time to push them further along. – Eric H.

  2. Eric,
    I like your BR&P box car redo. I wish “The Old & Weary Car Shops” hasn’t closed their doors. As you have said that finding side photos of the BR&P box cars is a challenge. If you have access to the book “Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway” by Paul Pietrak you could find two photos. On page 250 the box car is a truss rod arch bar truck era. It’s lettering is similar to what you have done. On page 104 there is a 1933 partial image of a box car that hasn’t been repainted to B&O scheme. This shows the reporting marks on the left with the BR&P boxed logo on the right. It also has Murphy ends with fish belly under frames.
    The BR&P Rwy is my favorite railroad to model. I keep on looking for more info. I’ll keep you informed.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Peter! I grew up in Indiana, PA, and have been a BR&P fan for decades. I bought the first edition of Pietrak’s book when it was released. I need to dig out my copy and check that 1933 photo. Thanks for the tip! BTW, it looks like Accurail has a BR&P 36-ft boxcar in the works. I think it’s the fishbelly centersill version with wood ends. Keep an eye on their new releases. – Eric H.

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