|The two updated BAR reefers are seen on the White River Division. My car is 8409 with open hatch doors and Peter Mumby's model is 8405. Peter decided to leave his hatches closed.|
Upgrading a 30 year old Athearn kit
My old BAR reefer sat for at least two decades on my photo box in my bookcase along with a CPR boxcar covered in a past blog. This past winter I finally decided to update the model and renumber the car with the proper number. When I was originally decaling my model in the early 1980's I had very basic information and for this BAR reefer I just worked from the decal sheet instructions. Today there is many options to find the correct numbering and history of any piece of rolling stock. This particular reefer was included in a group of leased BAR cars. 100 MDT reefers #8400-8499 were leased in the early 1960's which had been built in 1946.
|My model as it looked before updating is seen along with the photo I used to properly letter and detail a BAR reefer. The photo was taken by Stephen B. Horsley in Palmer, Mass. in the early 1960's. Prototype photo used with permission.|
Stephen Horsley took a nice photo of BAR #8417 at Palmer Mass. which I used to re-detail my model. This photo can be found in Northern New England Colour Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, by David Sweetland with Stephen Horsley. If you are a member of the CVRHS you will see other nice photos and features by Stephen. I have touched base on numerous topics with Stephen and he is always been a great help.
When I began the project I showed the model and prototype photo to Peter Mumby who also had build the same model and as it turned out with the wrong number such as mine. This became a project we worked on together. We planned to change the numbering, add new etched roof walks and whatever other details we could without doing much damage to the original paint and lettering. This was to be a one day upgrade not a rebuild.
|The etched roof walk and brake stand has been added along with a new Kadee brake wheel, cut levers and stirrups.|
|The two finished reefers are ready for some reefer orange paint and chalk weathering. Peter's car is in the foreground.|
I decided to use Solvaset to remove my numbers with limited success. Peter decided to use Microscale Micro Set which worked much better. Since my car had Dulcoat and Floquil dust weathering over the entire car I had a smear mark that I had to over coat. Peter's car had no sealers or weathering and turned out to be an easy number change.
Additions to the my car was Kadee brake wheel #2022, wire bleed rod, Detail Ass. # 6215 cut levers, Walthers trucks which I removed from a boxed kit, Plano #206 steel etched walkway and brake wheel platform. I also used Details Ass. RD-215 Refrigerator car details for door latch hooks and commodity card boards. Since the car would only run on trains beyond my main modelling era I left the Kadee #5 coupler on. This reefer will probably not see a ton of action. During the original construction I changed out the grab irons with wire ones of the day. I also had left the stirrups as is. Peter and I decided to cut off the stirrups and use leftovers from our parts box collection. It has worked well for us as we have been sharing what we have, so no parts ordering is normally involved with this type of project, plus we are both slowly cleaning out our store piles.
I still had the original decal set and the decals still came off the sheet well. I changed the 0 to a 4 and also added the word "refrigerator" across the door. The decal set used is Accu-Cals, BAR, H2-RO1a. Peter did the same changes with his lettering.
I over sprayed both cars with Floquil orange to blend in the new lettering and cover up the new parts added. I also gave the under body and trucks a light coat of grimy black. This was followed by chalk weathering to blend in the areas that needed it.
Another successful upgrade completed with a model saved from my flea market sales box...George Dutka
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