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Author Topic: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: May 12, 2018,
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Loading cattle sometimes is a lot of work and patience. I recall when I was a kid we loaded 1 & 2 year old steers into a 1966 Chevy C-60 for transfer to rented pastures getting maybe 8 or 9 on board per trip. Even though we used a chute they could be cantankerous and stubborn. So loading at a railhead railroad men were dealing with many more head at a time. So yes perhaps the partitions did help manage the work.

In my research, it is difficult to come across photos of loading rail cars and the photo below show a poultry car with the ability to load from the ends. The Hicks Car that CGW had during this time period of 1907 I have not seen ends designed for loading the Hicks Cars in that manner. That is not to say they did not exist, I just have not run across any of this time period from Hicks that CGW purchased.

The second photo is another CGW Hicks Car for further historical reference. This shot was taken on the Hanover Railway which was a 2.5 mile line connecting into the CGW from Hanover, IL. just slightly south west of Elizabeth. I like this photo because it shows a slightly different lettering on the side of the car where the company name was stacked words.

The third photo I think is a 1881 drawing of what I believe is 1st class travel not coach for a cow. Enjoy!
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John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: June 6, 2018,
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Time between postings seems to be dictated by how much additional model building I get done on the car. Since the last posting, I have been concentrating on 3 areas. Building out the interior detail about the partitions, accessories that potentially go with the car or found around stock yards and third a little more exterior detail.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier postings about scratch building I am not really interested in an idealized end result in a stock car that looked like it just came from the manufacturer. I get enough of that in a sense when I see plastic models. Rather, I prefer to try and develop the idealized version of what a piece of rolling stock might look and function like with some age and practical road use. It feels to me anyway that is harder to replicate and of course decision points are always questionable. Thus it occurred to me that in order to help with my imagination in this regard, accessories were needed and not just for the sake of detail. Little by little I made a few items that might be found to go with a stock car. They include a ramp, rope, bales of hay, water drum or a latter, tools, etc. Why a ramp? Some small farm towns did not have a holding yard or loading chute. The farmer would just back up their wagon or truck to the stock car and the ramp allowed safer transfer of live stock into the car.

In any event, the accessories also gets you thinking about colors and textures, combinations and contrasting such that it makes details stand out. My original thoughts about painting that seems rather standard, priming and then applying the desired colors and a layer of dull coat was changed after thinking about accessories. I am now experimenting with different ways to chemically tarnish the brass to a certain color I have in mind and so those parts such as the wooden sides would not require a primer. I think less detail would be lost from layers of paint. There are a good number of recipes on the Web that people have developed such as rapidly making a brass look like an antique finish. From black to brown and yellowish-brown to orange-red for brass some of which may be hot or cold immersions techniques. Of course dipping the model is not going to happen with this brass stock car.

John Wubbel
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John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: June 6, 2018,
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The partitions could be viewed as an accessory because not all stock cars had partitions including 6517. Ordering them from the factory was probably an option. In this case I take artistic prerogative and decided to install partitions. This model features 4 partitions. Two partitions are in their upright position, one is in the down position to divide the car and the 4th is broken.
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John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: June 20, 2018,
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What do you do when you can not find the correct coupler for your vintage railroad car? Answer, you make one from scratch.

I scrounged around the shop looking for useful material to start construction.

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The CGW Hicks Stock Car according to my research had Hinson Couplers. While I am not perfectly sure of the specifications as far as primary sourced, I think the list below is fairly close as a reference however I suspect Hinson had more than one model or interchangeable parts.

Reference: Annual Meeting of the Railway Storekeepers' Association

It is possible the Emergency Knuckle National Car Coupler Co. was used on passenger cars:

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http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/P0391/id/1106

but on the other hand the coupler on the stock car could have been a standard knuckle at that time by American Steel Foundry. Other parts included the knuckle trunnion, improved lock or lock perfected No. 3, a hanger, the knuckle pin 1 3/8 x 11 3/4, a bracket and the lift. Regardless of trying to ascertain a parts list, sometimes a picture is the best source to study.

With various pieces of scrap leftovers from other projects below is my first attempt to prototype a coupler that hopefully comes reasonably close to the original equipment on the Hicks Stock Car. After studying many types of couplers developed during the 1900's time period and reading about the testing companies conducted to validate
various designs, I think this is an aspect about prototype equipment overlooked as we try to build time period models. It is by far easier to simply install a Kadee which looks pretty good and operates with little trouble.

In this case what I think is unique is the shank and the internals on the Hinson with the crank rod and chain. First I soldered the brass tube with a short length of square brass using plenty of solder on the joint and then turned it down to achieve the contour. The face plate on the front of the shank has a countersink hole matching the diameter of the tube. I machined down a Monarch Coupler from the junk box and modified it in several aspects including to make the Monarch shank to precisely fit into the brass shank cylinder. The bottom of the square shank has a hole for installing the steel bracket for the crank. Given this is the first attempt, I will have to decide if it is a satisfactory replicate of the original equipment. Therefore, I may make several more attempts to scratch build a pair to match the photo.

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John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: July 2, 2018,
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As usual I am never satisfied with my first attempt to build a component. So goes the coupler work. Rethinking the whole situation, the use of the monarch knuckle and like the Kadee, both seem not to scale in terms of looks. While an installation might be okay for heavy operations use on the layout, I decided to take another stab at it to reconfigure toward a smaller coupler. To understand the nature of couplers for me it is to understand what is under the car floor behind the sills. To study the topic at the time around the years of 1906 or 1907, the draft rigging or draft gear improvements came around the time of automatic couplers and air brakes. A patented tandem spring design was the most likely mechanism to host a Hinson Coupler on the CGW Stock Car.

An excellent article on the patent history of draft rigging can be found at:

https://www.minerent.com/pdf/The_Amazing_Story_Of_The_Miner_Tandem_Spring_Draft_Rigging.pdf

Thus, starting from scratch again I have some raw materials to restart this phase of the project. Round brass tubing, some square brass tubing and a PFM/PIA coupler kit from Wiseman Model Services. Various other things I think might be needed to complete a draft rigging, springs, screws, etc.

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The PFM kit is actually a design to accommodate magnetic uncoupling on the model railroad layout. While the actual coupler knuckle mechanics are operable, the tension wire with the steel pellet as per the kit instructions is of course not prototypical.

For reference you may be able to tell from the photo the reduction in size from the original Monarch knuckle and shank compared to the beginnings of the smaller exterior that houses the coupler shank and would be part of the draft rigging housing. So, lots of work yet to do and fun to be had doing it. There may be some additional
problems along the way to complete this phase though minor ones in my opinion.

For an interesting read on modern rail car components, visit https://www.minerent.com

John

John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: August 4, 2018,
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I finished up the development work on the one car end coupler and draft rigging. I think the treatment from a raw structural standpoint is where I want it presently. The model has been difficult to photograph such that it illustrates the Hinson coupler detail that was originally installed on the prototype. Regardless, the very close up photos makes the modeling details look som what crude but I do not know how else to do the photography better since taking pictures is not one of my best skills. I do have minor clean up to do and some screw removals with final under flooring on the ends once the truss rods are installed.

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I wanted the assembly design/deployment on this model so that I could easily take the Hinson apart and put the Kadee back in its place for running on the layout. The coupler had to have some swing motion and work similar to a real draft gear with tandem springs to near replicate the patented component that would have been installed either by Hicks or the railroads. Thankfully I was able to get the sideways motion and the spring action to work so this coupler may never be replaced by a Kadee on this model as I originally anticipated because I like the details and the function.

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I will post some more photos in the next post.

John

John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: August 5, 2018,
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The process of assembling the PFM kit components is made easier with the right drill bits for reaming and the use of soldering paste. Tiny parts are contankerous to work with and given the choice I'll take soldering paste and a little resistance over glue for this finer work any day. Because, on certain parts you need a very small deposit of paste in order not to weld other moving parts. So regular solder even the fine solder wire for electronics is to clumsy in terms of risking mistakes on the assembly of the coupler kit. Using the resistance soldering method you simply spot weld the part quickly.

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The 2 primary brass screws I am using around this application are 0-90 Hex 1/2" and 00-120 x 1/2". Some of my rods happen to be guitar string wire of various gauges. Early in the construction of the model I incorporated the heavy brass on the ends specifically for hosting the heavy duty rigging and coupler details where by the mounting would give details more stability and a reliably longer life span by me not knocking things off during operating sessions in the coming years.

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John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: August 5, 2018,
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On the Hinson coupler, the link pin does not release from the top. Rather, the hardware component along side the shank with brackets shows a crank to release the mechanism. The chain is used as the interface between the crank rod and the pin as the PFM coupler accommodated the chain links underneath. It seams like a very clean look to the car end however further improvements in coupler design later had the linkage from the top of the couple and the railroad man did not have stand between the cars to release the coupler. In later years men could facilitate uncoupling from along side the car.
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John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: August 13, 2018,
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Building this model was an opportunity to exercise new ideas and try them out to judge the results good or bad. Now that the draft gear is finished I am well on my way to install the brake hardware and truss rods. However to multi-task the decoration of the model has started little by little weeks ago by testing my ideas. Given that a cattle car built around 1907 where we only have a few black and white photos, it is hard to determine how the stock cars were painted. Some had white lettering on dark sign boards, others have black letters on lighter surfaces. So, consequently, one has to sit back and dream about what a vehicle would have looked like after some years of being in service. I have been thinking about this for over a year knowing the day would come where I ran out of detailing work and it was time to get the paint bucket out.

As previously mentioned I like texture and so I did rough up the surfaces on the stock car sides. Since these cars were built out of heavy lumber and keeping in mind that manure, ammonia and white wash would age the wood and likely leach original paints off, I decide to use chemicals to modify the brass instead of going the route of primer and airbrush final codes. And frankly I am pleasantly surprise with the effects I have been getting.

The following photo shows off the car doors and freshly applied chemical that is starting to do its job. I think if all goes well I am in the process of achieving a better weathered or age effect then if trying to do the same via over-spraying or hand painting because the final result when dry looks like nature did it. It is mostly a browning with some very light greenish tint which can be rubbed out gently and a residue of white wash where you would expect it to be as run off. My only concern is when I apply the decals those will look to new and out of place.

The second photo is the roof. I did prime the roof inside and out and taped off the roof walk. The letter board sides will be gray with white decal lettering, the underside maroon. As you may recall from previous forum posting I applied roof boards such that the board joints were a little over emphasized. I thus spray painted the roof flat black and let everything dry real good. Then taking a high grade can of contact spray cement for mounting photos I gave the roof a quick lite even coat of cement and dusted it quickly with coffee grounds. I filtered the coffee grounds through a very fine screen so it was not absolutely a powder because once again I like textures. I then immediately turned the roof over to shake off the excess material getting an nice even effect that still shows ever so slightly the board joints. I am trying to achieve a tarred canvas effect without overlaying or sweating some other material on the brass. The tape was removed from the roof walk and treated with several coats of chemical to weather the walk way planks. I hope you enjoyed this post.

John
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John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: August 21, 2018,
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Nearing completion!
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John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: August 22, 2018,
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I think this project is just about done and this stock car has been fully depreciated by the CGW. Purchased from Hicks in 1907 the equipment is showing its age. I may redo the small lettering later once I have time to make the custom decals on my printer as I had to scavenge or pirate from other decals in my collection since there are no sets on the market to buy. I am very happy with the result and hope you enjoyed this project as well.
John
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Ed Bommer

Posts: 398
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: August 24, 2018,
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An mazing, super-detailed model, executed with impressive workmanship!
I've been following this project from Day One on this forum.
Excellent, all around!

Ed Bommer

John-
Wubbel

Posts: 89
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: August 31, 2018,
Quote

Ed,
Thank you for following my progress and I really appreciate your audience and comments. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. Why did I chose to develop this model in the first place? Aside from being a CGW fan, I realized this was a unique piece of equipment that earned large revenue streams for the company and now the model is a one of kind that no one else has on their layout or in their collection. That is my value aside from the time and material that went into making the model.

The work affords one the opportunity to try new ideas out, fail sometimes but arrive successful upon 2nd & 3rd tries. Or, you simply find out your new idea was a real boneheaded flop so you try something else. Over the years having attended many weathering clinics and not being to successful myself in deriving results with paints or dyes, it was not until I took to a new perspective in thinking about how a heavy piece of rail equipment evolves in its practical day to day use on the road once it leaves the original manufacturer. Going in the railroad yards, visiting museums and seeing restorations, these things get banged up, welded on repairs, etc. Looking at the old 1900s black and white photos forces the imagination to envision what the conditions of stock cars were in those days. That is when I came upon the idea of forgoing or minimizing paint on brass, copper or nickel silver and experimented treating the surfaces chemically. I was very surprised with my results and happy with the effect that I could achieve. Not only the aging effect or the residuals from car sanitation or white wash, but it turns out there are no symmetries or patterns visible across a car side or car end nor from a side to side comparison. I guess the chemical reaction on the metal and the procedures for treating makes it look like nature had a hand in the aging weathered end result.

I would also recommend extensive experimentation doing this before trying it on a finished model because not all brass is the same. A brass import from Asia, K&S brass stock, shim materials to lost wax castings can give you fits until you know how the particular chemical(s) will behave. Multiple applications may be necessary with dry time and spot touch ups might also be required. I had the most difficult time aging the trucks the way I wanted them to look but I think it was due to the alloy or surface density where as on the car sides I used a fine burr tool to give texture to the brass surface before chemically treating it. And finally, I was also happy the solder aged okay as well when treated, meaning I could not see a marked difference at joints or where solder may have coated the brass in places. The nice thing about a stock car also is if you back light it, you can get another graphic perspective when decorating since with stock cars you can see through the car and catch the shadows or shading. I did not learn about putting a light behind the car until the tail end of chemically weathering it. One thing for sure, I will not have to worry about the paint chipping off. The only paint I did do to the car was on the roof and the big sign board which was the embossed brass. With a couple of extra coats, it toned down the joints in the boards to make it look like there were some multiple years of shop repaint maintenance done. My expectation was that the higher up portion of the car would have less aging from natural elements associated with hauling live stock.

Finally, the finished weight of the car without live stock was 1 lb. 14.5 oz. I took the car for display to the Rockville O Scale National Convention and decided to enter in the contest to get the judging feedback. They awarded 1st place in the freight car category. You cannot do better than that plus everyone attending had a chance to see it up close. How about it! 🙂

John-
Webster

Posts: 21
Post Re: Old Weedy Buys Stock From Hicks
on: September 1, 2018,
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Congrats on the contest win!

The best result was your sharing of extensive research on little known aspects of early 20th century railroad car construction. Well done!

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