We haven't had an enclosed passenger car since the line started operation. The original double truck cars - 10 and 11 - would have made good prototypes to model, but I wanted something a bit more modern -- say 1910ish!
A number of years ago I found out that Bachmann had a few trolley bodies from cars that had been returned for various problems. They were complete except for the bricks. So, for $10 a pop, I wound up with two open cars and two closed cars. One of the open cars was repowered with an Aristo brick; the other became a street sprinkler with the addition of a tank from HLW and some can motors and gears.
That left the closed car bodies to languish on the shelf. But now that the weather is getting colder, it's SAW TIME!! Thanks to Mark Sims of the Yahoo carplandrawings group I had a drawing of a car similar to 12 and 13.
However, in 1:24 the finished product would have been about 19" long. I opted to condense things a bit to wind up with a car closer to 15". The windows aren't quite right, but close enough for government work. The single truck bodies have curved sides below the windows. Those would need to be filled in as I want to reproduce a car with straight sides.
Here's the starting point for those of you unfamiliar with the basic Bachmann car.
I chopped the bulkhead and platform from one car. The other was severed to give me an end platform, bulkhead, and two-window section. It was interesting to note that one of the cars had a partially painted floor and all of the parts had been glued together. The color of the clearstory windows doesn't match the other car as well.
Before and after: The end bulkhead has been changed to provide a larger passenger entrance. Steps and end radius bars have been removed. V groove siding has been applied to the floor in the motorman's area.
Sections have been glued together. Window boarded up. Larger opening cut for baggage door. Door had been an end door from the single truck car. Interior partition came from a Bachmann combine coach.
Styrene strips at bottom of car side help to provide strength and are part of the sheeting that will mask the curved side. The baggage door is going to need a little work.
Bottom of car has been plated over. Baggage doors cut down and installed. Once some more body putty has been applied it'll be time for a coat of primer, finish coat then reinstallation of windows.
Casting masters look like things should fit! Platforms will be trimmed once the ends are configured. Anti-climber strip and couplers to follow.
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I needed to make enclosed ends -- can't have the motorman getting wet, you know! I could have waited a bit longer for the complete detail castings promised by Light Rail Products, but decided instead to forge ahead and build/cast my own. The "new" ends needed to be about a half-inch wider than the originals due to the added width of the lower car body. The only tricky part of assembly was making the arcs for the top of the windows. Russ Miller at TAP plastics was the source of Platinum Silicon mold material and clear surfboard resin for the castings. My thought was that if the entire casting was clear, then I'd have built-in windows and headlight lens. The rest of the body work and window frames would be painted.
Above photos show development of masters. The car end is built on parts of the original end including some windows, plus odds and ends of Plastruct. At right is the master for the small, bi-fold passenger door. Will need to make four of those. I painted these with glossy paint in the hope that the molding rubber will separate from them more easily than with a dull finish.
More to follow.
The project is on indefinite hold. The carbody is finished and now I'm just waiting tosee what I can do from trucks. NWSL no longer makes magic carpet drives for G. Bachmann does have some interesting trucks under their Peter Witt cars, but they rarely have any surplus.