Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spumoni Club Coach: Going on a Diet

After basic construction was finished, Cal used the newly painted engine to push the coach onto Ma's siding out back behind her place. The boys were sittin' around enjoying the sun. Once they've done loafing, there's the interior to outfit. Luckily Cal's cousin had the foresight to take a short movie of this auspicious event.

For a removable roof you'll need a piece of balsa 9" thick (3/32" for HO) by 10 1/2' x 21 1/2'. Round the top of this by sanding, then taking a sheet of 1/32" balsa measuring 11 1/2' x 22 1/2', cement it over the rounded length to form the top of the roof.
I did exactly as Mr. Moore specified on this part of the build. That's a piece of 3/32" balsa in the above photo and I've just started to sand in a curved shape. I drew a line down the centre so it was clear to me where the peak was supposed to be.
My curve wasn't as smoothly elliptical as his. Free form sanding is something I need to practice, but it's serviceable and doesn't look too bad when painted up and installed on the coach.

When you paint this, press a tissue against the wet paint, then follow up with a second coat, this giving the effect of a canvas covering. 
I applied a single-ply tissue as specified. There was wrinkling that I tried to smooth out as best I could. When the green paint was dry I washed on a very thin flat black.

Now, as seen in Photograph A and in the drawing [JDL: Note both the photo and drawing are missing], a 15" strip of sheathing is cemented to the under side of the roof leaving a 9 1/2 x 20 1/2' center clearance so as to fit down over the coach sides.
15 HO scale inches translates into about 4.4 mm. If I used that height for a sheathing strip, the roof would have rested on the trim pieces above the windows. I wanted the roof slab to rest on the coach walls, so I made the strip 2 mm high. This leaves no room for lettering, but I like the roof fit better. It gives the coach a little sleeker look too.
The roof's inside surface was painted flat white.

Bumpers and couplers of your choice can now be added to the ends, also the door step and door grab irons.
I used standard Kadee couplers glued to the floor's bottom. It turned out they had just the right height without any extra shimming or adjustment. A lucky break! The bumper is a little different than the one used in E. L. Moore's model and the prototype. His used a different coupler and I built something from balsa and stripwood scraps that looked right with the Kadee couplers and didn't interfere with the wheels.
In this view it looks like the two couplers are skewed off the floor's centre line, but in fact everything lines up ok. As you can see there is a gigantic screw holding the truck to the floor :-)
The door grab irons were bent from small diameter piano wire - I don't know what exactly the diameter is.
The trim around the door was drilled to accommodate the grab irons so that the wood wouldn't split when they were pressed in place. The step is a plastic stair unit is cut from a molded set of stairs meant for a building. I didn't have any coach stairs on hand, so I made due with what I had.

I painted the outside and roof of my coach a light green and added a trim of yellow.

Yeap, me too. Now it's onto installing the interior...and giving up on dieting and seeing what's in the pantry for lunch.

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