Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ladder Lunacy

Actually I'm quite pleased with today's efforts.
This morning was fully devoted to assembling the ladders required for the 5 vans.
The starting point for the long van's ladders was an etching set from Sylvan Scale Models. The set included stiles for 2 ladders and open style caboose steps. Sadly this item is no longer available.
Using this photo as a guide.
I trimmed the stiles to length, bent up the top portions of the handholds and proceeded to assemble the ladders. I also cobbled up a wooden spacer to hold the rungs and the stiles while everything got soldered together.
The top hand holds were soldered to the stiles. Note that there will be left and right hand stiles.
 .010" wire was cut overlength for the rungs, threaded into the holes in the stiles, the whole mess clamped into the block of wood and soldered together.

The excess bits of wire are clipped away and a touch of a file to clean things up and voila! One ladder
Do that 7 more times.
 The secret, I've found for soldering these small items, is flux. I use good old plumbing solder flux. Works brilliantly. Just rinse it off once your done.
The ladders for the short van are a little different. For them I used a set of Yarmouth Model Works 14" ladder stiles which had to be trimmed to fit under the eaves of the roof. As well these ladders have a different shaped set of handholds at the top.
 I used my newest favorite tool, my Hold and Fold etching bender to fold the angles in the stiles and using the prototype photo as a guide created the handholds.
 I used Tichy 18" grabs for rungs, clipped the legs very short and one at a time inserted and soldered the rungs in place. This is the first time I've attempted to soldered my ladders rather than using CA. I felt the extra strength was required. I pleased to report the mission a success.
 The handholds were then soldered in place and the ladders were done.
You'll note that with both types of ladders, I've left the wire on the handholds rather long. They'll get trimmed once the ladders are actually installed. I plan to drill down through the roofs and have those bits of wire pass through the roofs far a more secure mounting.
These cabooses (Cabeese?) require careful planning as the end nears. The cars require painting and weathering before final assembly. The floors are CN Red #11, the car bodies are Morency Orange and the roofs are black. The paint, the flat coat to seal the decals and much of the weathering has to be applied before the windows get glazed. Then everything can get finally assembled. Have to be careful not to build myself into a corner.
And now we wait. I had to have a set of cupola ends cast up since one of the kits was missing the cupola ends. It was faster for me to run down to see Clare Gilbert at Sylvan Scale Models, than it would be to have F&C send me replacement parts.
Think I'll build a boxcar for a change of pace.
Stay tuned.

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