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Model Railroading > Restoring a 50 Year Old Model


Date: 02/07/13 07:26
Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: birdman

I recently acquired a fifty year old, 1/2 inch scale, express motor from the estate of a deceased member of the East Penn Traction Club. When I removed the model from it’s storage box, I found it to be in terrible shape.  The car was entirely made of wood. Despite having been painted, the pieces making up the car body had shrunk leaving gaps in the body and paint had bubbled up and peeled off of the surface of the car - the roof being especially bad. The glue that had been used was probably a mucilage type and it had turned brown and dried up completely. The car was literally falling to pieces and most of the tiny machine screws that were used to attach the car body to the frame were missing.  There were a number of other problems as well.

To restore the model, I removed the window glazing that hadn’t already fallen off, sanded the roof and sides to remove blistered, cracked paint and to smooth out blemishes on the surfaces. Next, I cleaned up all traces of hardened glue from the car body and the roughly two dozen pieces that had fallen off of the car. I then started to glue and clamp the various pieces back in position, filled any gaps with tiny pieces of basswood or body putty, added basswood stiffeners to the inside of the car body for strength, and reattached the underbody details to the floor. Next, I brush painted the trucks, wheels, and underbody parts, painted the interior of the car a medium gray color, and attached the car body to the floor with new miniature machine screws. I then installed a 1/2 inch scale motorman, mounted a bell on the roof, and fabricated headlights for the ends of the car. Finally, I painted the car and lettered it for the Bucks County Electric Railroad and assigned it number 5 creating a reasonable model of the 1913 Brill built prototype that ran between Doylestown, PA and Newtown, PA about a century ago.

Photos attached.








Date: 02/07/13 07:26
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: birdman

Finishing the job.






Date: 02/07/13 08:41
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: Jesse6669

Very nice. A new lease on life for the ole gal!!



Date: 02/07/13 08:46
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: UPWPFan

Birdman;

I agree with the previous post. Very nice restore. I am not familiar with 1/2" scale. Can you provide a little more info on it. Are there any web sites to look at? Thanks.

Jere Ingram



Date: 02/07/13 08:56
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: wjpyper

That is better than nice, that is excellent! Beautiful job. Thanks for posting.
Bill Pyper
Salem, OR



Date: 02/07/13 09:11
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: birdman

1/2 inch to the foot or a ratio of 1/24. Track gauge = 2.5 inches. No web sites that I know of. Just about everything is scratch built. Some G gauge freight cars and buildings can be used. The freight car trucks have to be re-gauged to run on 2.5 inch gauge track. Rail is code 148 on ties made from popsicle sticks. Taking the round ends off of the popsicle sticks leaves a scale 8 foot tie. There are only a hand full of people of which I am aware that work in this scale. This prototype for this car was a 28 foot car which means the model is an actual 14 inches long. Essentially, 1/2 inch scale is 2 times larger than O scale.



Date: 02/07/13 09:18
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: doesyourdogbite

Nice work!



Date: 02/07/13 10:08
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: warrenpweiss

Great job! Where did you get the power trucks? Love your layout.



Date: 02/07/13 11:00
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: birdman

Scratchbuilt.






Date: 02/07/13 11:40
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: warrenpweiss

Now that's TRUE scrachbuilding!



Date: 02/07/13 12:09
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: bnsfsd70

Great job!

- Jeff



Date: 02/07/13 14:45
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: spandfecerwin

Great job, great layout.

Interesting switch in pic 4, please would you show it complete?

Thanks

Erwin from Austria



Date: 02/07/13 15:44
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: birdman

Viele Gruesse Erwin, Hier sind drei Fotos .
Greetings Erwin, Here are 3 photos.

Richard (Birdman)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/13 15:48 by birdman.








Date: 02/07/13 19:10
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: MMD

I like that track work, it looks very ' real'. Great work.

Malcolm
New Zealand.



Date: 02/08/13 13:09
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: mcdeo

At the Los Angeles fair grounds, they used to run 1/2" scale trains. I remember 2 SP passenger trains, 1 of them daylight, that I loved to watch yearly. Lots of SP and some SF stuff for the freight trains. Then around 1997, the relaid all of the track with a more popular G scale. I think it became more interesting to a broader range of members, but it became more common for sure.

http://www.girr.org/girr/gjrr/gjrr.html

Found that web site. Oh ya, and the trucks running around on the streets, great memories.

Mike ONeill
Parker, CO



Date: 02/08/13 22:46
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: mwbridgwater

Mike,

At the risk of a thread hijack, here is a bunch of information I provided on the L.A. County Fair 1/2" scale display:

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,2199466,2199466#msg-2199466

Mark



Date: 02/09/13 07:44
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: cf7

Even though I'm not in to this scale or even traction,
I have to commend you for doing an outstanding job on
this model. And yes, the track work is as nice as the model.Thanks for sharing it with us.
Russ



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/13 07:47 by cf7.



Date: 02/09/13 16:04
Re: Restoring a 50 Year Old Model
Author: spandfecerwin

birdman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Viele Gruesse Erwin, Hier sind drei Fotos .
> Greetings Erwin, Here are 3 photos.
>
> Richard (Birdman)

Richard, auch viele Grüße - wohin? Danke für die Bilder, sehr interessante Gleisabwicklung.

Richard, many greetings too - whereto? Thanks for the pic´s, very interesting track position.

Erwin



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