PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Jerry Britton's PRR Middle Division in HO Scale

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The PRR-Pro group, its 32nd project, is building N8 cabin cars. The project began on January 1, 2019.

I am modifying and detailing six Bowser N8 kits. The models feature American Model Builder window glazing, Cal Scale trainphone supports, Precision Scale #31001 generators, xxxx markers, Tichy eye bolts, phosphor bronze wire, Kadee couplers, InterMountain wheel sets, and Mount Vernon Shops decals (of which I facilitated production).



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After stripping the Shadow Keystone lettering with 92% isopropyl alcohol, I installed the underbody equipment included in the kit. Approximately half of the fleet had the battery boxes.

IMG 3183 Next the brake lines were added, though I later discovered that installation per the instructions was not only incorrect, but interferes with rotation of the trucks.

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Since I plan to model crude interiors, I wanted to paint the interior walls. I masked off the external sides.

 IMG 3192Here the cars have been sprayed with a creme color which represents the top half of the two-tone interior.
IMG 3198Next I masked off the upper portion of the interior in preparation for spraying a buff color on the lower half of the interior. Note that the buff extends the full height of the doors. IMG 3285The end result of the two-tone interior.
 IMG 3229Back to the underbody, I removed part of brace to fit the Spicer Drive (generator).  IMG 3230The Spicer Drive installed (Precision Scale #31001).
 IMG 3231All grabs come in yellow plastic, but photographic evidence shows that the "porch" railings were Freight Car Color. To facilitate complete paint coverage without overdoing it later, I pre-painted the backsides of these grabs as well as the end bracing assemblies.  IMG 3232That's better!

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The porch grabs are now installed, having been pre-painted on the back side. As you can see, some of the interior color did find its way to the exterior. No worries, and sorry about the blurry photo!

 IMG 3286Since the cupola grabs are the incorrect color also -- yellow instead of black -- I went ahead and installed them. They will be painted with the roof.

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Since I will have interiors, I had to remove the roof portion that extended underneath the cupola. A fresh #11 blade made quick work of ths.

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Cal Scale train phone stanchions installed.

One "gotcha" of the kit is that Bowser puts "dimples" on the underside of the roof for where one needs to drill for optional trainphone antenna equipment. This should be a good thing, right? For the stanchions, they are fine and welcome. Oddly, the dimples for the receiver disks are "inline", but the posts on the Cal Scale parts are "offset". Seems odd since Cal Scale is owned by Bowser. Anyway, I spent too much time worrying about drilling outside the dimples that I failed to notice that Bowser placed the dimples on the wrong end of the car! The receiving disks should be on the same side of the roof as the stove pipe! So after having everything installed, I had to remove the disks, patch the holes, and measure, drill and reinstall the disks on the opposite side of the car! IMG 3367I fixed the vacated holes with Squadron putty and a fine grit emory board.
 While fixing the above issue, I noted that three of my six cupolas had the drilling dimples for the train phone bracket on the wrong side. I didn't even look when I drilled these from the underside. I just drillled in the dimples and went to town! Bowser must have figured it out at some point and moved the dimples. Guess I have another Squadron putty task! IMG 3366
And if that's not enough, two of my six kits contained incorrect roof walks... specifically, the end walk. The roof has two holes per, and the provided walks only have one peg. Plus, they are too small; obviously from another kit. I have e-mailed Bowser asking for replacements. IMG 3368
IMG 3381Meanwhile, back to the bodies, with a coat of Scalecoat II PRR Freight Car Red.

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Drilling out the holes for the trainphone gear... in the correct location!

IMG 3567Installed.