Walthers and All Nation Passenger Car kits

I just bought two unbuilt Walthers passenger cars.   I believe these are basically the same as the All Nation car kits.  One is a diner, one is an observation.  I realize they don't complete with the new Golden Gate Depot cars detail wise, but I have always wanted to build a couple of them. 

Do any of you build these cars and if so do you have any advice?  The instructions recommend Walthers goo but I figured to use something else as an adhesive.

Any advice on rounding the roof ends?  I was thinking a rough cut on the band saw then sanding.

Any help/advice is appreciated.

Original Post

I have built a few of these.  They are certainly not shake-the-box kits, but with care do make up into a presentable car for a modeler who is not a novice.  Walthers made a soft-metal casting for the roof end contours which served as a sanding guide and is much more useful than attempting to free-hand a roof contour.   They were cataloged as Walthers part No. 941-979, roof beading.  In my experience Walthers GOO is the best adhesive because it holds dissimilar materials well and will not fail under flexing.  ACC glues have tended to fail after some time due to flexing or extreme temperature changes when joining large parts.  The GOO also remains flexible for a good working time before taking its final set, but clamping is usually called for and only experience will assist in helping you apply the proper amount of glue (not too much or too little).  Good luck with your project and enjoy the build.

I find these to be enjoyable kits and with care and practice they are quite convincing models.  I built the PRR Harbor series car shown below and it is a fair job.  The hardest part was keeping the old decals together for final painting.  This was a brass side kit.  I used CA glue and would recommend against it. The joints are failing and I will need to rebuild a significant part of this car.  The main thing was that it was fun to do.  I have several other kits that I hope to build when work, life, etc. permits me time to get to them. 

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These are cars I purchased.  Whoever built the observation was a true craftsman.  The interior has fabric on the seats, carpet, wood paneling with little brass doorknobs and interior figures.  This is what I hope to achieve one day when I build the remaining kits I have and future kits.  It was part of a nine car set where the chair cars, sleepers and observation were craftsman builds, while the coaches and baggage cars are of a lower quality build.  Still a cool set. 

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Just because it's old doesn't mean it can't be a great model!

Jonathan Peiffer

 

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Look at Jonathan's observation photos carefullly.  That kit and its companions were the high point of O Scale heavyweights.  Not the same as early Walthers or aluminum side All Nation.  Way better than brass Lobaugh.

Walthers Goo is a version of Pliobond.  You want some version of Pliobond, but I suggest "Top & Landau" or the equivalent used commercially.  

I run mine in preference to my string of PSC brass.  They make me happier.

Roof contour:  a simple wood rasp at first.  Bandsaw is overkill, and will make a mess of it.  When finished, four coats of lacquer sanding sealer.  Do the sides in gloss Scalecoat before gluing.

Walthers GOO is a contact cement.     Another option is Weldwood Contact Cement which you can find in most hardware stores.   

I recommend planning the cars for removable roofs or floors.    Making the floor removable is more complicated.     But having access to the interior allows you to glaze after assembly and paint.    And it allows you to finish to body and run it a bit before detailing the interior.

If you do the removable roof, it is worth soldering an angle along the inside near the top of the sides.    Walthers used to sell a compatible 1/4 inch L-angle in tinplate that soldered on easy.    You probably have to go with Brass now.

Bandsaw is definitely overkill and a small slip might cause a large gouge that is hard to repair.   

IMO the highpoint for O scale heavyweight passenger car kits  were the resin side models offered by American Standard Car Company.  Over 30 different prototype based window and floor arrangements and prime quality wood floor and roof materials.  The big improvement over older Walthers and All Nation kits was the shape and rivet detail on the belt rail.  Properly built they visually compare well with plastic and brass models.

Ed Rappe           PRRT&HS 421

We currently make all the metal parts for these cars as well as interior details for them. The roof bead castings that BILL CHAPLIK mentioned are part number 48-227  24pcs for $5.00. A removable roof kit is part number 48-371 for $8.00. I would suggest looking at our catalog which is available on our website for all sorts of details underbody, roof, interior, as well as trucks for these cars. Link to catalog is at the top of the home page.

http://www.scalecitydesigns.com

Formerly:  Keil-Line Products / Russian River

Scenery Details - Passenger/Freight/Diesel Details - Figures - Signals - Laser Cutting, & MUCH MORE!

Scale City Designs posted:

We currently make all the metal parts for these cars as well as interior details for them. The roof bead castings that BILL CHAPLIK mentioned are part number 48-227  24pcs for $5.00. A removable roof kit is part number 48-371 for $8.00. I would suggest looking at our catalog which is available on our website for all sorts of details underbody, roof, interior, as well as trucks for these cars. Link to catalog is at the top of the home page.

Thanks for reminding us of that! 

Jonathan Peiffer

 

I agree with Bob about using a wood rasp for the ends. Get yourself a surform tool, it does a very good job. I recently formed the ends of a wood roof blank for a PRR B70 this way. The surform will get your rough cutting done, then follow up with sharp files, then finally sand. take your time.

by all means use Scale City's beading. I made mine out of strip wood that I wet and bent around a form until dry, to achieve the curve. rather not do that again.

I am John Galt !

Chris

I prefer using a Dremel tool with the sanding drums in different grits.I also like using the scale city roof beading.The dremel cuts out a lot of elbow grease and effort. Just my experience of over 40 years of building these kits with wood roofs. Just remember if you sand too much off you can use wood filler to correct. 

First off, thanks for all the advice. 

On the roof beading -- do you glue it to the existing roof then sand to that profile? 

I had planned to use some type of L angle, to assemble the side to the roof, from the cars I've seen in person it seems like the roof/side joint can have gaps and be problematic.

I will check out the Scale City parts, I have bought some interior detail parts from them for other projects.

I know these won't be state of the art cars, but I like to build kits and I've wanted to put a couple of these together since I first saw the kits many, many years ago.

 

Yes, the roof beading is to be applied to the roof before sanding to final profile.  You will need to notch the top roof overhang a bit to get the beading into proper position.  Then remove wood material from the roof ends until it matches the beading.  I've seen many of these cars at shows over the years where the modeler did not use the beading, and the result is most often a visibly inaccurate roof end curve profile.  Most often the result is a too gradual slope from maximum roof height to car end.  One poster here had a great idea I hadn't thought of, which is to use wood filler and build up excess material removed.  However, if your car is under initial construction the best bet is to do it right the first time; gradually removing material until you match the Scale City (old Walthers  or Keil-Line) roof beading contour.  If you are very careful with your Dremel or other power tool you might be able to attack the job more aggressively, but I would suggest doing at least one end with hand tools until you get a feel for what needs to be removed.  I also heartily agree with one other suggestion in this thread, which is to use sanding sealer until the grain of the wood is really gone.  Another common flaw in models found at shows are cars which have roofs painted with no sign of prior sealing.  While these may be retroactively corrected, it is a lot of additional work; and in my opinion lowers the value of the model.

Some of the American Standard Car kits (and maybe some of the late Walthers kits) came with wood roofs and cast plastic ends. This eliminated the need to contour the wood roof ends but added the problem of joining the plastic ends to the wood roof. Has anyone done this successfully and what glue did you use? I've got an American Standard heavyweight observation kit with this setup but have put it on the backburner as I've never quite figured out the best way to assemble the roof.

Ken

KANAWHA    The Walthers kits never came with plastic ends even after ALL NATION(BILL POPE) purchased the line along with KEIL LINE(JOHN KEIL). Keil line got the castings and Pope got the passenger and freight cars. All Nation had Keil line do all their metal casting which we have the molds for.

For the AMERICAN STANDARD roof epoxy would be you best choice but be prepared to do some "body work" to achieve a smooth roof. 

http://www.scalecitydesigns.com

Formerly:  Keil-Line Products / Russian River

Scenery Details - Passenger/Freight/Diesel Details - Figures - Signals - Laser Cutting, & MUCH MORE!

From my HO days, l learned model cars built with "model" cements like Ambroid tended to "explode", and build every one with two part epoxy.  I have built a number of these, since they had RPO's before the three rail mfrs. , And l have kitbashed a number into combine cabooses, etc.  (with a tin snips on the sides). Good advice in this posting!

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

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Erik C LindgrenMELGAR


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