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Branchline 40-foot reefer - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jun 10th, 2015 08:45 pm
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BCDR
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This one is for the North American modelers amongst us, as well as those who use Kadee's. I finished up the Branchline kit of a 40-foot beer reefer (refrigerated car, ice bunkers and hatches at either end) last night. This is the one with steel nuts for weights that I posted on earlier (Nuts, No Bolts!). No pictures of the build (boring, cut things off the sprue, stick things into holes and glue, repeat several times).

The reefer is a depiction of one used by the Blatz brewery in Milwaukee, WI in the 1930's. It was built by the American Car and Foundry company, and leased from Union Refrigerator Transit (URTX). Blatz in it's heyday produced over a million barrels of beer a year. Termed a "Billboard" car because of the prominent advertising on the sides. Banned in 1937, they were gone by WW2. Makes an interesting freight train. Reefers tended to be used for all sorts, onions and potatoes for example. Often run with the ice hatches open if refrigeration was not required.  I was looking at a photograph the other day in a supermarket in Scranton, PA, of one being loaded with Heinz canned goods. 

This is a Branchline Trains Blueprint kit (now owned by Atlas, who are doing the passenger cars at the moment). I got this at a meet for $5.00, a real bargain, as the RRP when being made was around $25.00. Lots of delicate parts, takes a bit of patience. Some points to note:

1. Kadee fine scale whisker couplers, medium center shaft, instead of the Easymate ones supplied. Magnetic pin removed as I do not use magnetic decoupling.

2. Plastic air hoses at ends replaced with Hi-Tech Details AAR air hoses (#6039). These are made from bendy, flexible rubber, and do not break-off. Drill a hole for the fixing peg, secure with a dab of CAA. The plastic ones supplied in the kit are too fragile, and break if looked at.

3. Open ice hatches. The bottoms are cut out underneath the hatchs, I intend to put a Soundtraxx "Soundcar" decoder in the body with connection to the wheels for pick-up (clickety-clack, flange squeals, brakes, etc). The wheels as supplied are fully insulated, it needs pickups for the wheel-backs or I'll replace with live wheel sets from Reboxx (#33-1-1.-02) and tap the axles for power with some DCC Concepts wire coils.

4. I used Testors liquid cement, #3502. This contains MEK (butanone) and acetates (ethyl probably), and is applied very sparingly to the parts with a fine paint brush. Ideal for ladders, hand-rungs, etc., which are put in their holes first and then glued-up. Doesn't mess up paint finishes (unlike Humbrol or the like).

Needs a bit of light weathering to pick out the individual planks*, some track dirt on the bottom and ends, and weathered trucks.

Nigel

*I read recently in the NMRA magazine for June where a dab of artists acrylic (which is almost a paste) diluted with Windex cleaner does a great job of getting into the joins between the planks when used as a wash. I shall investigate, as a tube should last for years and costs less than $10.00.

Side view.




Brake end showing open hatches, brake standard, ladders and knuckle cut-out lever.




T'other end.




Cut-out lever, Kadee coupler and flexible air hose pipe, slightly out of focus. This replaces the removed Kadee pin. In real life there would be a chain or rod from the end of the cut-out lever to the knuckle to lift the pin.





Under the hood. KC brake system (integrated air resevoir, triple valve and air cylinder), and the various pipes, brake levers and rods.




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 Posted: Wed Jun 10th, 2015 09:47 pm
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BCDR
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Location: Reston, Virginia USA
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My photos:
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Correction re weathering. It was in the May 2015 edition of the NMRA magazine (pages 32-36). This was a  Rapido Trains meat reefer, which retails for just under $60.00 RTR. Makes my Branchline Trains reefer a real bargain, considering as the detail is about the same.

There was mention of Bragdon weathering powders that apparently do not need a matt fixative. Another one to investigate.

Nigel



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