Friday, July 18, 2014

More Island Model Works South Shore Car Progress: Pilots, Steps, Pantographs, and other details

Test running what we've got done so far. Pilots and steps epoxied in--note the stirrup step and taper profile on the end of the pilot next to the steps. CustomTraxx SCTC-40 Automatic Traction Couplers and Details West 191 Leslie Air Horns test fitted, and Sommerfeldt 968 single-arm pantographs mounted. End details like the gong bells, marker lights, and grab irons have been removed to be replaced by more delicate detail parts. Those vertical railings on the sides will of course be replaced with .015" brass wire.
Test fitting and mounting the delicate looking but tough and functional Sommerfeldt 968 pantographs. They are based on a French SNCF prototype. The provided mounting screws are long and were trimmed so as not to interfere with the lighting/DCC circuit board. I ordered mine from Euro Rail Hobbies
Pilots under construction.  I used Evergreen dimensional styrene strips and sheet and liquid cement for strength and delicateness. The 'foundation' (bottom beam) is a big fat .060" x .080" styrenes strip joined to trapezoid-shaped .020" styrene sheet. .040" x .040" strips are going in here; a small gap will form the stirrup step that that appears about half way up the side of the pilot.
 Building up the pilots. The .040" x .040" strips have been sandwiched between the .020" sheet and .040" x .060" strips, and a stiffening bit of .040" sheet has been added. Once dry, the sandwich of sheet and .040" strips will be shaped into a taper and smoothed.
The pilots, vestibule floors and steps epoxied in place. The steps, salvaged from the Walthers RDC that provided drive components are a little short and probably should be shimmed with .040" or .060" styrene strips. Live and learn! Also, the finish on the RDC steps is not paint--it is plating, which gives that RDC model such a lovely finish. Sanding and smoothing these components yields varying layers of stainless steel and copper colors (which are quite tough, by the way) but there is black plastic underneath.