View single post by Ray Dunakin
 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2012 04:31 am
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Ray Dunakin


Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1242
Ok, here are some photos and details, starting with the Hubley/Gabriel kit. It's a 1912 Ford Model T depot hack; most of the parts are zinc alloy castings but there are also some plastic parts. I bought it on ebay shortly after I started my layout, with the idea of someday converting it into a railcar. Originally I thought I would use the body more or less "as is", but since then I've decided I want something more unique. Also, the metal parts are quite heavy, so scratch-building most of the vehicle will reduce the weight.

The chassis unit out of the box, includes the running boards and fenders:

I cut off the running boards and the rear fenders. I also enlarged the motor opening and cut out another opening, to reduce weight:

To save myself some trouble trying to construct a drivetrain entirely from scratch, I'm using the rear wheel unit from a large scale Bachmann RGS railcar. This includes the differential and universal joint. The wheels are spoked, which is another plus. For the front wheels, I'm using a pair of replacement wheels from a Bachmann "gandy dancer" handcar. (I've been told that these are the same wheels used on the Bachmann 4-6-0's pilot truck.)

I made axle bearings for the front wheels out of 6mm brass tube and some .020" thick brass strip. The tube is a pretty close fit, so I had to sand the axles down a little to ensure a it would roll freely. One mistake I made was cutting the tube to the width of the mounting plate -- now I have to find a couple washers to keep the wheels from rubbing against the sides of the frame. If I'd made the tubes just a little longer I could have avoided that.

BTW, I drilled the holes in the bearing's mounting plate by hand, using a pinvise. I dipped the tip of the drillbit in some light machine oil periodically to reduce wear on the drillbit.

Here's a shot of the front axle bearings mounted on the styrene frame:

The metal chassis unit presented a bit of a problem. I needed a wider chassis, to fit the rear wheel unit. I also wanted to lengthen the chassis. I could easily scratch-build one and forget about using the kit parts, but what about the front fenders? Those seemed too daunting to attempt at this time, so I wanted to use the fenders from the kit. To do that, I built a styrene frame that the metal chassis drops into. Here's a shot of the front wheels attached to the styrene frame:

I decided against trying to build any sort of suspension on the front end. The rear wheel unit includes simulated leaf springs. I'm not really fond of them because they're nearly flat, rather than arched, but they'll do. Cutting them off and building something different would have created another set of problems. Here's how I mounted the rear wheel unit on the styrene frame:

Here's the more-or-less complete frame with the wheels mounted and the metal chassis installed:

The radiator from the kit consists of three parts: a "brass" frame, a "brass" insert representing the core of the radiator, and a metal insert that goes into the rear of the radiator. The fake brass insert has the Ford logo embossed on it. This would be fitting for a new Model T straight out of the factory, but I'm building something that is much older and has been heavily rebuilt. A shiny brass logo on the radiator core would be out of place. So I sanded the core texture and logo off of the insert, and cut a piece of O-scale, photo-etched brass roofwalk material to fit into the radiator frame. The insert was then pushed in, followed by the metal rear insert, and it was all glued together. Here's how it came out:

And with a little black primer:

Here's how the chassis looks with the radiator and engine hood temporarily in place:

That's all I have for now. Next I'll work on getting the motor mounted, and decide how to handle the joint between the hood, which will be attached permanently, and the body, which will be removable. Then I can work on designing the body.

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