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hendie

Scratch Build of 1951 Pullman Carriage

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hendie    6,281

I have been making threatening noises about this build for some time now - and now it's time for me to make a start.

I have been gathering materials and resources over the last few months - still a few critical items to lay my hands on but I think I have enough to make a start.

A bit of history: A few years back I was lucky enough to be given the job of redesigning an original Pullman carriage. The owner wanted it to run on the tracks again and after a spate of rail crashes in the UK, rail regulations were tightened considerably. This carriage was originally a wooden bodied carriage so there was no way the authorities were going to let that back on the tracks without some serious modifications. My job was to survey the carriage and come up with a design (in steel) that would allow it back on the tracks. I was lucky in that many original features were still contained in that wooden shell, which we were able to reuse.

In short, we brought the carriage up to Edinburgh, removed (or rather, smashed) the wooden structure until we were left with just the chassis. The carriage was then rebuilt (in steel) as close to the original design as we could, while being very sympathetic to the original styling.

Since then I have always wanted to build a scale model of the carriage - I still have all the drawings I made during that two year stint, and my model is going to be based on those, at 1/32 scale.

I have some idea of how I am going to tackle some of the build, but mainly no idea about most of it. I just know that I am going to have to scratch just about everything.

Here's a few shots of the drawings I am working with. First up, the chassis and sideframe structure.... (just an overview)

 

12-9-2014%252012-30-00%2520PM.png

 

The vestibule ends - which gave us a lot of trouble to design, as structurally, they take the brunt of any collision forces.

Incidentally, my name, along with others on the project team, has been stamped on the shear plate in the vestibule ceiling.

 

12-9-2014%252012-31-14%2520PM.png

 

Lastly, here's what the carriage should end up looking like.

 

12-9-2014%252012-32-30%2520PM.png

 

This particular carriage was important as it was the last of it's type ever constructed, way back in 1951. Unusually, it has square windows at the kitchen and toilet areas - these were usually oval on Pullmans.

I believe this is running today and can be booked for private charters - a bit more expensive than your standard BR ticket though.

As always with my builds, this is not going to be a quick one - I reckon on about two years or more to build this one, but I have to make a start somewhere!

So, to begin, the chassis plans printed out to 1/32 scale

 

S5002419.JPG

 

Some bits and bobs ready to begin. As you can see, this is going to end up around 600mm or so in length

 

S5002421.JPG

 

The first cuts begin.... oops did I mention that I am building the chassis in brass ?

 

S5002530.JPG

 

I should also mention that I am going to try and stay as true as possible to the original chassis structure/design.

 

S5002529.JPG

 

What on earth am I doing here??? Too late - I've started..... now I just need to learn how to solder lumps of brass together

btw I placed this thread in the vehicles section as it seems to get a lot more traffic than the trains forum. Mods feel free to move it if I have broken any laws

Edited by hendie

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Codger    1,051

A hugely ambitious project and well started. Best luck and enjoy the challenge.

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Stu    437

Brave man so good luck with this. Any reason you've chosen 1/32nd rather than the "usual" railway scales ?

Stu

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Pete in Lincs    6,096

now I just need to learn how to solder lumps of brass together

Where's Nigel when you need him?

Love the design of those old Pullman coaches.

Good luck.

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snapper_city    2,701

Wow, real modelling. Its great seeing them go by every now and then. One of the joys of being near the line I guess.

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hendie    6,281

Brave man so good luck with this. Any reason you've chosen 1/32nd rather than the "usual" railway scales ?

Stu

Yup, there is a reason to my madness.

I realized that pretty much everything in this build will be scratch made with a few exceptions (hopefully wheels for example). I really wanted this to be a display piece, and I wanted to add as much detail as possible to try and do the subject justice.

This train carriage "should" be around after I'm gone and it's nice to know that it has my name stamped on it, even if only I (and a few others) know it's there.

It may not be seen from the photo's/drawings above but this car was split into 3 distinct sections.

Approximately half of it held the bar area. We allowed ourselves a bit of artistic license in the bar and it is one of the few things which differs in form from the original. It has a nice flowing curved form and we finished the bar top in Uba Tuba granite.

Next was the dining section which also contained a small Private dining area secluded from the rest of the car. There remainder of the car was taken up with a small kitchen and a bathroom. Here's a shot of the original dining section. We managed to salvage all the light fittings and vents along with the brass luggage racks. Unbelievably, we located the original chairs and had them refurbished with a custom material.

pegasus01.JPG

So, as you can see, I have a LOT of scratching ahead of me - and I wanted as much of it as possible to be visible. So, 1/32 allowed the car to be a manageable size, and large enough to add some good detailing. (and I believe it is also a "rail scale", though not a common one any more)

I have some more renderings of the interior which I'll try and look out.

For those with any interest, here's a link to the current owners site... http://www.semgonline.com/coach/pull_3.html which contains some nice pictures of the interior.

A hugely ambitious project and well started. Best luck and enjoy the challenge.

hugely ambitious ? or superior stupidity at it's best ??? Honestly, I have no idea how much of this is feasible, or if I can even solder the brass together. Some of the joints are so close, I don't know how I am going to be able to solder one without melting the other.

I may have to resort to more mechanical means of assembly - I guess time will tell.

Edited by hendie

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Nigel Heath    13,615

Count me in for the long haul. I can recommend damp tissue for the close soldered joints.

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hendie    6,281

I may well pull upon your experience in soldering. I haven't soldered in over 30 years, and never attempted soldering big chunks of brass like this

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georgeusa    3,755

Good luck. I will be here in support as I know absolutely nothing about trains. So, any path you take will be a correct one by me. A possible solution, cut the parts, send drawings to Nigel, see if you can con him into soldering them up for you. Delegation at its finest!

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Codger    1,051

Some of the joints are so close, I don't know how I am going to be able to solder one without melting the other.

There is a commercially available heat sink putty for soldering. Search for it in the UK.

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roymattblack    3,876

Amazing build this will be.

I built a whole batch of Pullman coaches as well as a fictional Pullman motor railcar in Garden rail scale a few years back for a friend.

They weren't anywhere near as detailed as yours will be but for Garden railways - particularly narrow gauge - it's frequently more about the 'feel' of the thing than total accuracy. Each coach was around 28" long.

They were fun to build and seeing 3-4 of them behind a steam loco on his railway looked great - it was about 10 feet long.

I'll be watching with great interest here.

I don't wish to highjack your thread in any way, but I've posted some pics that I have from long ago.

BTW... The little green battery powered loco 'Bobbob' was made of cardboard!

Roy.

snow9_zps0021461c.jpg

MVC-620F_zpsdbda42f9.jpg

MVC-618F_zpsa0a6ca7d.jpg

royale1_zpsba7ea7e4.jpg

STAGE6a_zps0acb6497.jpg

interior1_zpsda27a90e.jpg

dining2_zpsaceb5f32.jpg

dining1_zps24862993.jpg

Edited by roymattblack

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heloman1    2,142

Hendie, I admire your bravery, I'll follow the build with interest. We've got a guy down the road who restores the real thing for Reef Steamers up in Jo'burg. He worked on the Seven Valley Railway Preservation Group.

Colin

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POTKC    158

Interesting, I shall be watching this and observing all the amazing scratchbuilding which will no doubt be happening.

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hendie    6,281

Amazing build this will be.

I built a whole batch of Pullman coaches as well as a fictional Pullman motor railcar in Garden rail scale a few years back for a friend.

They weren't anywhere near as detailed as yours will be but for Garden railways - particularly narrow gauge - it's frequently more about the 'feel' of the thing than total accuracy. Each coach was around 28" long.

They were fun to build and seeing 3-4 of them behind a steam loco on his railway looked great - it was about 10 feet long.

Very nice!

Talking about garden railways.... our client for this project was a real train buff - he also had a garden railway..... he actually had about 2 miles or so of track in his garden - Full Size track that is ! along with steam engines and a variety of carriages

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richellis    968

Im watching, Id love to see some pictures of the 1:1 restoration. As for puting the WIP here, Ive asked Mike about putting the rail forum in vehicles to get more visitors, maybe Ill start nagging again!

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hendie    6,281

thanks for the replies. It's not been forgotten, just on the back burner while I am working on the Wessex. I spent last night cutting some more brass. I have about 30% of the chassis parts cut and hope to start experimenting with soldering this coming weekend.

I have a soldering iron and a bunch of different tips. I also have a soldering torch on order as I think it may be better suited to the task.

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Nigel Heath    13,615

I also have a soldering torch on order as I think it may be better suited to the task.

Good luck with that, it sounds a bit scary.

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georgeusa    3,755

I take it you will be doing most of the soldering outside if you are using the torch? Inside with the fumes could be interesting. (I'm just going to ignore the indoor fire issue. You do live on the edge!)

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griffsrw    103

use solder with different melting temperatures, use the highest first, lowest last, then all of your joints won't fall apart. it looks a great project.

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hendie    6,281

Good luck with that, it sounds a bit scary.

My reasoning and probably somewhat skewed logic was that the soldering iron will probably take a little time to impart enough heat to the brass, allowing time for some heat to propagate through the brass (even with the wet tissue trick). The torch is a much higher temperature and should get the brass to temperature almost immediately and I'll hopefully be able to hit it with solder before the heat gets time to propagate.

It could well be that the soldering iron will be plenty sufficient... I won't know until I try

Of course, on rare occasions I have been known to be wrong!

I take it you will be doing most of the soldering outside if you are using the torch? Inside with the fumes could be interesting. (I'm just going to ignore the indoor fire issue. You do live on the edge!)

Not at all - isn't that what insurance is for? (I do have a mask)

use solder with different melting temperatures, use the highest first, lowest last, then all of your joints won't fall apart. it looks a great project.

Will definitely look into that - thanks

Lots of experimenting to do.

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hendie    6,281

(I told you this would be slow going!)

I have spent a few nights over the last week or so, cutting and filing little bits of brass. To be honest, I really expected to be further into this build by now, but the Wessex has kind of taken on a life of it's own.

At this point, I have most of the brass cut for the main chassis, including the solebars. The biggest pain was a number, 8 to be exact, little cross spars that fitted between the two inner chassis longitudinal beams. Because those two beams are "C" channel and they open side faces each other, I had to shape the brass so that it would fit inside the open part of the "C"..... like this (top and bottom)

S5002611.JPG

I finally finished that tonight, and thought that it was time for me to start some serious soldering on this build.

Well, after my recent soldering efforts with the Wessex, I was full of confidence and bravado as I attacked the Pullman..... Massive FAIL!!

I had my 70W iron turned up full, and the brass sucked the heat right out of the thing. The brass isn't massive, it's something like 8mm deep, 3mm wide and 1mm or so thick, but it was big enough to make this an extremely difficult task.

Thankfully I have a gas soldering torch on order and it should be here in the next week or so.

Here's a shot of my neanderthal soldering technique....

S5002614.JPG

The center section complete, and I have started to dress the joints.

S5002616.JPG

It's difficult to take decent shots of this because it's so large - here's the best I could manage....

S5002617.JPG

and a shot from the opposite end - you can see the open "C channels facing each other better in this shot.

S5002618.JPG

There's a very slight bow in the section I have just completed - but I can compensate for that by adjusting the length of the chassis cross members.

I am not too concerned with the finish of my soldered joints here. This is still very early days for me and I hope to become better as I go along. In addition, the chassis is going to be almost completely hidden by the time this is finished. So, as long as my joints hold, I can dress them to look a bit better, but joint integrity is the main thing here.

I really need to try and get a better surface to work upon for this. I am using my wooden work bench, which is fine for soldering with an iron - but using the gas torch is going to cause some real damage. I must try and see if I can get my hands on a granite off - cut or something similar.

Edited by hendie

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