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Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:54 pm
by Andrew Brandon
Like any good modeler I cannot finish a model without a distraction or two. While I've been working on a number of projects off and on in my "spare" spare time, they've taken much longer to complete than I'd have liked. My latest delay has been related to a model I'll be building in the near future. For those of you that don't already know, I model the Virginia & Truckee Railroad circa 1900 in HO scale. Obviously not all of these projects fit into the theme here on PacificNG, but I thought I'd share what I've been working on.

Within the last year, Rio Grande Models Ltd released a kit of the V&T's Caboose-Coaches 9 and 10. At present my roster of equipment is non-existant, the need to fill my cabinet with a model or two (of my own) prompted the acquisition of a kit for #10. A little research into the history of cars 9 and 10 revealed that between the 1880s and 1908, both #9 and #10 were more or less identical to #10's present restoration to a 1920s appearance.
V&T Caboose-Coach #10 as restored at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
In this form they would be known as Miner's Coaches. #9 did however had a noticeable difference between her sister: during restoration it was surmised that #9 had never sported a letterboard. The reason for this is unknown although the cars as built did not had letterboards. What prompted #10 to receive them I've not discovered. In 1908, #9 was converted to a MOW Construction Sleeper with the addition of a small clerestory in the center of the car. Fans of the C&C will be pleased to know that the clerestory that shows up on La Mothe boxcars used in Wells Fargo service is of the same design. In 1913, #9 was rebuilt to resemble a more traditional caboose with the removal of the center pair of windows and addition of a traditional cupola.

In order to understand the model I needed to build, I wanted to get a feel for what the thing looked like, to do this I decided to make a mock up illustration of the car as it would have looked in my area. This initial drawing was not to any scale nor was it accurate, it was simply a canvas with which to experiment with paint concepts. Michael Collins and Kyle Wyatt were kind enough to share notes they'd taken during initial research on the car prior to restoration. After seeing my initial mockups, Mike asked if I had a copy of his CAD drawing. He was polite enough to share it with me, which lead me to scrap my initial drawing and start over, this time doing a much more detailed drawing to reference. Armed with these notes, additional notes from other sources and Mike's excellent CAD drawing of the #10, I set down to bring the car to life properly.

My illustration reflects how the car likely appeared after this rebuilding around 1880. With passenger equipment repainted with less frequency during the 1880s, the V&T's cabooses recieved handsome, spartan paint jobs. Gone was most of the fancy striping of the previous decade, utility was key in a time of shrinking profits. The Comstock Lode had begun its long decline, the construction of the C&C offered some hope which wouldn't last long.
During the mid to late 1880s the V&T painted #9 in a dark green scheme. The V&T was never afraid to experiment with color. From the earliest days the V&T tried out differing paint schemes in search of shades which took well to the dry, dusty desert climate. While the paint data shows us that they favored Yellows for their body color, they did on several occasions break from this trend and experiment with Greens. It is not known how many years the car wore this paint job as repaintings were becoming fewer. It is known that in the boom period, cars would get repainted every 2 years. I've estimated the repainting frequency to be around 3-4 years (Cars were still varnished which aided the paint's durability), with this in mind additional data from truck and door layers of paint indicate the car retained this dark green scheme for a few years, long enough to warrant a repainting of the trucks and end doors. This illustration depicts the car as it would have appeared roughly in 1885.
This illustration is part of a series of 10 which will cover #9's entire service life.
Colors used in this illustration were matched to Pantone colors during the restoration process when applicable. Those colors are as follows:

Body: 560C
Trim: 5535C
Trucks/Underbody: 5535C
Iron Work: Black
Door Panels: 490C
Door Framing: 490C W/ 560C Stripes (1/6th inch).
Roof: Grey

Counting this drawing, I've completed 3 of the 10 unique paint schemes I've identified. At present I am finishing up the versions of the car in it's Miner's Coach form.

Re: Distractions

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:01 pm
by Randy Hees
Andrew, like you I have a soft spot for V&T and am playing with modeling it in HO...

Keep posting the reconstructions with colors... I have some public and private resources...

I am thinking that a Bachman "Jupiter" can be made into a good Dayton or Columbus, or maybe an Inyo with a little work and some paint... Craig is willing to do decals for the c.1890 warm brown with yellow gold lettering in CP style... We need to think about a etched builders plate (between the wheels)

Beyond the Rio Grande models cars, has a new resin kit for a short CP car and may make other CP cars again...

If the Mogal men's engines ever come through I am on the list...

What about a V&T area on the boards... probably under Miscellaneous....

Re: Distractions

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:33 pm
by Andrew Brandon

I'll be posting more in the future, I've been taking a break to clear my head from sorting through the layers. As I had been working on them I'd begun to over think my interpretation of the layers and made a few mistakes. On top of this my home PC blew out it's power supply, I've not had a chance to replace it and have been unable to work on many others. I've currently got the 1873, 1882, 1892 and 1900 drawings more or less finished, if I get a chance I'll post them this weekend.

I'd been curious about how to go about building Dayton and Columbus. Starting with the Bachmann 4-4-0 is an interesting idea, I'd like to look into that more.

I've got several V&T decal projects that will be ready soon. First will be the freight decals, I've worked from every photograph and bit of detail I could find including some wonderful information from Mike Collins. I've got a test set on my workbench that I'll be trying in the coming weeks. This isn't an off the shelf set of letters or something 'hacked' into an approximation, each letter was recreated from scratch and will include a couple spare variant letters. The interesting thing about the freight lettering is the consistency with which the V&T uses in its lettering. If you look closely the shapes are identical be it early or end of operation. Having this done will knock out a majority of the V&T freight and MOW equipment. When these are done I'll be turning my attention to passenger cars and start with the striping style used on Coach 4. My illustrations being drawn in HO scale are all done in Vector format as well, this of course means I've technically got the striping sets for the early caboose/coaches 9 and 10. As I continue to work up new illustrations of V&T equipment, I'll use the opportunity to develop future decals. I welcome your assistance in these projects. One of these days I'll get back to work on the Ore Car project, that one has sadly dropped off the radar lately.

I recently purchased one of the Silver Crash CP 25' footers, it's a nice little car and I look forward to building the kit in the future. Since I am modeling the 1900 era I've been picking up kits when I can from Silver Crash, I've got one of the CP 28' footers and the "Wide-eyed" Baggage kit. One of these days I'll finish enough old projects to start on them.

I have no reservations about making a V&T forum here, but I am a little biased. ;)

Re: Distractions

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:49 am
by Andrew Brandon

I've not yet setup a V&T forum, but we'll add a sub-forum soon. I was able to attend the V&T Historical Society meeting in Virginia City and met a good number of folks I'd only ever communicated with via email. I showed off a few of my illustrations and they were greeted warmly. They'll be available in the future on the V&T website: Once I have the car 9/10 illustrations done I'll be turning my attention to the M&SV combine paint schemes (which is another story). My plan is to go between the V&T stuff and items for our site.

The Mogul Men took an informal poll about what resin kit folks would like to see after Caboose Coaches 7 and 8 are released later this year. We nearly all agreed on Brill coaches followed by Detroit cars.

Attached are 2 more of the illustrations of car 9, this will fill in the gap between the 1873 appearance and the dark green version I shared previously.

Re: Distractions

Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:56 pm
by MAC

Mogul Men is alive and well. We are waiting for the final samples of the early Baldwin Moguls. In the meantime we are producing combines 7 & 8 (originally Nos. 1 & 2). These are styrene plastic kits with trucks and decals. More V&T passenger car kits to follow.

Mike Collins