Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Borden's Butterdish Milk Car Models

Two Borden's butterdish milk tank cars are awaiting lifting on the White River Division. My Borden's creamery at Westminster Center can be seen in the background. It ships both bulk and cans.

F&C Milk Car Kits
   Building a pair of butterdish cars
 Re-post from May 2012

The very first milk car I built was the Borden's butterdish kit, an offering by Funaro & Camerlengo. This was shortly after it was first offered, which I think was in the mid to late 1980's. This was a period of much milk train activity in the model press and modelling world. If one has a copy of the RRHS March 1989, Vol 3, No. 1 of  the Newsliner you can see my article on the prototype and model.

The early F&C kits are no comparison to the standards of today's kits. When I built my milk car I found most of what was included to be over scaled or of poor quality. The kit did have the basic needs to begin the project. The tank, fins, frame and I believe mine had trucks included...most kits did not come with trucks then or now. In my notes from 24 years ago I did note "trucks included."

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I began by filling all the pits and air bubbles in the tank and frame with auto body putty. There were many in the kit. Once dry I sanded it smooth. On the tank I attatched the end fins then drilled holes to accept eye loops. Back then I used Juneco #B112, but today there are a lot better ones available. Bended hand holds are then added from .015 piano wire. Today you have better choices also. The hand holds are slipped through the eye loops and secured. I left off the top fin which was removed during world war II.

My Borden's milk car as it looks on the White River Division.
 I used John's photo to add my end details. I installed a Hi Iron #265 check valve and breather piping from Detail West #BP111, which is actually a SD-9 fuel tank breather but looked close to my photo. The parts once attached best resembled what I saw on the car. The brake wheel is from my scrap box, but today's Kadee brake wheels would look great. The brake stand is scratch built from styrene and I used Juneco chain. Once again there is better choices today.

On the frame I installed Pacific Tractions grab irons, Kadee air hoses #438, Grandt Line #5130 stirrups, bent .015 piano wire operating levers and brake rigging. The brake pistons and reservoir are from a Roundhouse kit not in use. Kadee #5 couplers are added.

Between the tank and the frame I added a piece of styrene as the instructions called for, but thinner than what is included in the kit. I left off the end bumpers as the ones in the kit looked over scale and poorly molded.

The frame is painted black and the tank Floquil Old Silver before cementing together the tank and frame. The handrails are brush painted black. Once the decals are applied a coat of flat finish is applied. A note about the decals...the capacity on the decals is 12,000 gal. which is wrong, it should be 6,000 gal. I actually did not note this error till after I finished the car. I did go back and change it at a later date...guess I should pay more attention  to what I am adding.

Warren Dodgsons Borden's milk car.

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Warren Dodgson purchased the F&C Borden's butterdish kit also, but a few years after I had built mine. He used my article to add his details and the photo above shows you how his model turned out. Today the car is in my collection and servicing my area Borden's creamery.

The following are a few of the differences between mine and Warren's models. When Warren built his model he used the thicker styrene base and painted it black, mine is silver following the photo I had. The later version of the F&C kits seem to include a larger size font and a bit bigger tank size. You can compare the two models side by side in the photo below. One last difference was that Warren uses the much nicer Cape Line trucks on his model. I just could not part with the kind of money back then when you take into account that at the time our Canadian dollar was trading at 40% of the US dollar...George Dutka


Two Borden's butterdish cars en route to Bellows Crossing for interchange. You will note that F&C in later years changed the decal lettering to a larger size font.
A very short Rutland milk train departs Bellows Crossing with my two butterdish cars in tow.

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