Friday, 23 March 2012

B&M Milk Car #1920

B&M 1920 is finished and ready to roll on the White River Division. This car was delivered to the B&M in late 1957 or early 1958 and is one of the last milk cars ever built.


A Single Door B&M Milk car
 - Converting a Walther Express Reefer -

One of the milk cars I have yet to build for my fleet is from the group of 20, B&M 50' single door milk cars. They are the 1915-1934 series delivered in late 1957 and early 1958. I recently found a Walthers express reefer done in the REA scheme for $12.00 at one of our local RR flea markets. I have a few photos of B&M #1920 and a part decal set of unknown origin to work with. Walthers product number for this particular car is 932-6242 if you are thinking of building one.

The Walthers Express car prior to beginning the conversion.

Pine-Sol was used to remove the lettering.

The lettering was removed with Pine-Sol and a Q-tip and a few passes of 400 grit sandpaper as see in my March 5th post. The grabs are included but not attached to the Walthers cars so I did need to drill holes and attach the required wire pieces. I added one large grab at each door. I also added lift rings which I bent myself. I changed out the couplers with Kadee True Scale #58's.

The roof takes a little effort as milk cars do not have hatches on the roof that open as are found on the Walthers car. I removed the 4 hatches. Using my hobby knife I cut away the hinges and latch details. I just cut 4 small square styrene pieces that fit snug in the openings. I did not fill or sand the hatch areas as two are then covered by new corner roof platforms (these are metal not wooden) from my parts bin. The other two covered openings, one would not notice unless closely examined or pointed out. I did take the roof off for this part of the project. The roof is best removed by reaching in the hatch openings using a screwdriver to pop the four corner end tabs. The tabs can be seen in the photo below.

After my B&M prototype milk car post I was asked about the roof details. None of my photos show the roof clearly and these days it is not wise to crawl up on the rolling stock to take photos in yards and museums anyway. The B&M plans found in Feb. 1986, RMC do reveal the roof details of both the two and four door versions. They are diagonal-panel roofs which are replicated on the Walthers cars.

The roof has been removed and hatches are filled with styrene. Note the location of the corner tabs.


The under body was painted Floquil grimy black. The sides, roof and ends are painted Floquil engine black then coated with gloss coat. After drying for a couple of days I added the decals that I have had on hand for a couple of decades. They are thick but came off the sheet nicely with little effort. I believe I purchased them from John Nehrich when the NEB&W ran a hobby shop. I am not sure of the origin but you may purchase a nice new set from Highball Graphics, #F-191 that will do two milk cars.

Lastly I applied a coat of dullcote over the entire car, then chalk weathered the model. This was a really easy project to complete and adds a late 1950's feel to my milk train when #1920 is added to the consist.

The real challenge would be to convert one of these cars to the four door version. RMC did published plans for this milk car on pages 95-96, Feb. 1986...happy modelling...George

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