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Friday, June 27, 2008

Birney Project ~ Lets Open A Window!

Early 20th Century air conditioning = opening up a window. A majority of historic trolley photos I see depict the trolleys with their windows in various opened positions. Only in the colder areas of the country are trolleys seen with all their windows closed.

Unfortunately, San Diego has the finest weather in the country (now there is something I don’t think has ever been stated before!), so windows are almost always open to take advantage of the fair weather. Why “unfortunately”? ‘cuz now I gotta open some windows on this model as all traction models are made with all their windows closed. Which is fine because if they did, the pattern of open windows would be identical on every car of that make. And it’s easy enough to open them, just takes some time and precision.

Before. Here in this close up of the Birney car you can see the vertical posts of the window frames coming up out of the side wall, up through the transom and into the upper side wall. The window sash can be seen on either side of the post and the lower sash rests on the side wall. These, or a portion of, will have to be removed in order for the window to appear opened.

After. So I took a file to the sashes. The window on the left I filed away all the sashes to depict the window fully opened. The center window I left closed. The window on the right, all of the lower sash was removed and only filed away half of the side sashes to depict the window opened half way. The filed away lower sash will have to be re-added to its new, opened location at the bottom of the window glass.

Adding glass is one of the very last things to be done to a model (especially after painting). So, through the magic of Photoshop, I’ll simulate what would happen last. The “glass” (clear styrene) would be one big piece glued on from the inside. The styrene would be cut to fit the various sizes of the window openings. The lower sashes I’m going to cut from styrene strips, paint and then glue onto the clear styrene from the front. The upper sash, where seen, will be glued onto the clear styrene from the back to simulate the effect of being behind the transom glass.

And there you go! Opened widows. Now “Ride & Relax” and enjoy that fine breeze, yessir, enjoy that fine San Diego breeze!


1 comment:

  1. If you want to make your Birney as prototypical as possible, one of the key changes is to file off the rivet detail on the ends.

    The front sheet metal on Birney cars was not riveted in place, it is merely sheet metal over wooden structural members, nailed or in some rare instances, screwed in place, no rivets.