In my previous post, I outlined the various possibilities for modelling 86′ hi-cubes in HO from the old Athearn blue-box model. In this post, I’ll describe how I plan to move forward with improvements to the model.
I decided that I would try to improve the Athearn four door car into a representation of the Greenville prototype. The Athearn car more closely represent an early Thrall car in that the model has single welds between the side panels and the indent behind the ladders have a beam at the floor and roof. But I wanted to try to bring the car closer to a Greenville car, despite the fact that all of the Greenville cars were riveted. I decided I could live with the concession of the welded panels for this one.
My decision to live with the welded sides was partly influenced by the fact that the factory paint on my NYC car isn’t too bad. I felt that a model of a Greenville car would result in the least amount of repainting required. Also, I’m confident that I can weather the factory finish more easily than a custom paint. I’ll expand on that in a later post.
To begin the the upgrade, I removed all of the cast-on hand rails and grab irons, the stirrups, walkway across the B-end of the car, brake equipment, and tack board. I shaved these off with a chisel blade hobby knife, then shaped and shined the ends with three consecutively finer grades of sanding sticks.
Once the cast-on details were gone, I removed part of the beam at the top and bottom of the indent behind the grab irons. Here’s a nice illustration of the indent on a Greenville car. In this photo of a Thrall car notice that there’s a beam at the top and bottom of where the sides are indented (near the ends). That’s the part that has to come off of the model. Here is a sequence of photos taken during the removal of the cast-on bits.
I’ll need to do some drilling for grab irons and the handrail & walkway across the B-end. I haven’t checked my parts box, but I’ll proceed when I find or buy the grab irons that I need.
In the meantime, here are some links to old articles about HO hi-cubes built from the Athearn model.
Railmodel Journal January 1994 – Part I D. Scott Chatfield
Railmodel Journal March 1996 – Part II Mike Budde
Railmodel Journal June 1996 p42 – 48 – Part III Mike Budde