I recently completed building my Rutland Car Shops kit of Rutland flanger # X111. I followed the instructions throughout construction and frequently referred to the kit-supplied photo as well as the photos and diagrams that are printed on the instruction sheet. I have built a lot of resin kits and have found times when modifications to the basic kit are necessary in order to come up with better results and a more accurate model. These modifications can vary from changing the order that construction steps are listed in the instructions to using different materials than what are supplied with the kit. For this particular kit I did both.
For anyone who has this kit, and has yet to build it, I will outline some of the changes I made and perhaps it will help them when constructing their kit. Rutland Car Shops did a fine job on this kit and the finished product will help expand your Rutland equipment roster. I will not go into step-by-step construction but will focus on the areas of the kit to which I made changes.
Body, Cupola and Roof
I assembled the basic body and cupola per the instructions, making sure everything was square and even and using a lot of 1/8″ square stripwood for interior bracing. When it came time to add the body and cupola roofs I found that the castings were a little on the small side and warped. Instead of trying to straighten them I decided it would be easier to use .020″ styrene and make brand new roofs. I used the resin castings for a guide and cut all the sections a little oversize. Once they were installed and braced with .100″ x .100″ styrene I went back and filed all the roof sections until I got the desired overhang. After this was done, I added roof walk supports from .030″ x .030″ styrene and roof walks from the kit-supplied 2″ x 6″ styrene. The roof grabs were added and Detail Associates NBW (nut-bolt-washer) castings were used for the bolts that held the grabs in place. I also got a little lazy and used Precision Scale smoke jacks instead of building them up from styrene as shown in the instructions. Once the bodies were completed I turned my attention to the underframe work.
The only major change I made to the underframe was to change the six beams that run from the bolster to the end of the underframe. In the photos it shows that these beams ran under the end platform and also under the end beam but the kit is designed so they stop at the end platform and do not extend out under the end beam. To correct this I carved the cast-in beams off of the floor with a wide chisel blade and added new ones that I made from .060″ x .060″ styrene. I cut these so they extended about .0125″ beyond the end of the platform and glued them in place with ACC.
I was not really pleased with the fit of the resin end beams so I made new ones from .100″ x .100″ styrene. After adding all the details to the styrene end beams that I copied off the resin ones (NBW castings, grab irons, handbrake bracket and holes for the end railings) I attached them to the tops of the new beams and the end platform. Once secure, I filed off the underframe beams flush with the end beam.
There were a few other changes I made while constructing the flanger kit. Although the etched brass end railings are very nice, they are extremely fragile and I knew right away they would never stand up to any kind of handling. I decided to replace them with .015″ brass wire. To do this I bent two railings using the kit-supplied ones as a guide and inserted them into the pre-drilled holes in the end beam. I then inserted .015″ wire into the other holes for the vertical supports and when they were in the correct position I soldered them to the railing. They were then removed as one piece and the joints were cleaned up and the posts were cut to the correct length. They were then installed into the end beam. These railings proved to be much more durable.
The etched platform steps are also excellent and when they are secured in place they seemed to be quite stable. Attaching these so that they were nice and straight took some time but is worth the effort as they are painted yellow and if they are crooked it will really stand out. To mount these I glued one edge against the end beam with a tiny spot of contact cement just to hold it. I then got it aligned to where it looked good and added a bead of ACC to secure it. Once the steps were secure, I carefully drilled #78 holes through the holes in the steps and into the end platform and added tiny NBW castings, also secured with ACC to further strengthen the steps and also to add detail.
The rest of the kit was pretty much done using the supplied parts and following the instructions. Even though I made a few material changes and deviated from the instructions here and there I think this is an excellent kit and Randy and Mike deserve a lot of credit for producing such a detailed and accurate kit that builds into a unique piece of Rutland equipment. Thanks Guys!
Bill Of Materials
|Precision Scale||31455||Caboose Smoke Stacks (2)|
|Detail Associates||2203||NBW Castings|
|Detail Associates||WR2505||.015 Brass Wire|
|Kadee||#58||Scale Size Couplers|
|Evergreen||175||.100″ x.100″ Styrene|
|Evergreen||153||.060″ x .060″ Styrene|
|Evergreen||131||.030″ x .030″ Styrene|
|Evergreen||9020||.020″ Styrene Sheet|