Monday, August 22, 2011

DEEX Redux

I should probably just buy a prototype of the car so I can measure every nook and cranny, but instead the never ending effort to get the proportions just right on the DEEX coal gondola continues, through trial and error. Each new iteration reveals something that can be improved, pushing me on in my efforts.

Last night offered a few minutes to start on the most recent attempt, and I continued this morning before work and after work today. I've got it to the stage shown here:

A couple of things about this build-first, rather than use Evergreen strips for the ribs, I decided to try and cut pieces from my trusty signs-thus, the multi-colored ribs. However, this seems a necessary part of a real "scratchbuild" to me. Second, the prior attempt was better than the first, but still not really right. I detailed a couple of the problems on my Flickr page, but I also don't like the overall proportion. The car is the right overall height but sits too low to the ground. Watching these cars pass by in a train, the side sills are about the same height as coalporters, and the copy on the flickr page shows a car with the sides too close to the ground. I've tried to correct that in this version:

I wasn't thinking about illustrating that when I shot these photos, but you can get an idea of the concept from this shot. The lower sill on the unpainted car is about the same height as the lower sill on the BNSF car ahead of it, whereas the painted DEEX car shows the difference in side height.

Still got a fair amount of work to do before painting. The car needs underframe details, stirrups, couplers, and some clean up work on the bolsters to make sure it sits level. I also need to figure out how to add some weight.

This is a lot of work and fun, and it doesn't cost much. If there is a prototype out there that hasn't been manufactured, why not try knocking one out yourself? The only thing you have to lose is a For Sale sign and some time, while the upside is practically limitless. That's the kind of cost/benefit ratio we could use more of.

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