Tuesday 27 March 2012

Sheffield Farms Milk Car

Rutland Ry. RS-1 405 leads a milk train on the White River Division with a Sheffield Farms wooden 40' milk car first up.
Sheffield Farms Milk Car Model
Built by John Blatherwick

Last year I purchased a few completed models from my late friend John Blatherwick's collection. A little about John first. I met John at the first CVRHS convention many years ago. We made a connection as we both had a great interest in the CV and Rutland Ry. Both of us also became involved with the CVRHS and RRHS writing and contributing at times. We both lived in Canada a two hour drive apart plus we had some mutual friends that John visited on a regular basis. These modellers and rail fans live near me. So over the years we spoke a lot of New England RRing. John had just retired as an Architect about the time we met. John also has a New England connection as his parents lived in Brattleboro, Vermont at one time.

John built a nice layout of northern Vermont including Swanton, Alburgh, plus one of my favourite locations which he built using features from Brattleboro and Bellows Falls, calling his town Brattlefalls. Unfortunately I never did get the chance to photograph his layout, only because he wanted a few spots to be totally done before we took the photos. That never came to be as he became ill a few years back and past away a year ago this month.

I was lucky to pick up some of his built and kit models that were sold from his estate. I  recently was able to purchased a few more, mostly passenger cars. So from time to time I will cover John's models and what I have done to complete some of the unfinished projects.

This is how John Blatherwick's milk car looked when I got it home. There had been some damage when his equipment was packed away. Two missing ladders and some stirrup steps needed replacing.  I had already pulled out the grab irons so finer wire replacements could be added.
The Sheffield milk car is one of the F&C early kits that are made as a solid block, not one of my favourite kind of kits to work on. Johns car was completed but had been damages with a few parts knocked off. I decided to update the car a bit, touch up the paint and add some weathering. This was all done in one afternoon and sure makes a difference. I took a photo before I started so you can compare this mini project.

I began by adding Kadee true scale #58 couples, some under body piping, bleed rods and chain. I changed out all the stirrups with Tichy #3045 double step stirrups. Two ladders did need adding from my parts box. The side grabs needed replacing with finer Tichy brass wire grabs.

The under body and roof got a coat of Floquil grimy black. The body paint condition was in good shape so only the ladder and grab irons needed some touch ups. This I did with Floquil coach green which seems to be a good match. I then added some weathering to finish the milk car off.

The updates are done and the car is now operating on the White River Division.

John had added some of the under body details. I added additional chain and piping that could be see during operations.
Sheffield Farms was a large company that later became Sealtest. Sheffield Farms in the late 1940's owned about 34 wooden 40 foot milk cars similar to this model. They also used and or leased a lot of GPEX cars during the same era which also where 40 foot cars. The Sheffield Farms milk cars are SFCX series, randomly numbered from 995 -1050. John Nenrich has found 34 car numbers in this series. John's car is numbered 1081 which is outside that group. Knowing John modelled from photos he must have found a car with that number. I left the car numbered as is on the model thinking I may find the photo John had used. If not I may change the number to one I have seen in photos at a later date.

So there you have it a quick update then back in service on my Rutland milk runs...George Dutka

Brake end details.

The prototype.

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