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Monday, December 29, 2008

Birney Project ~ Car Body

You know, if this project works out and the Birney performs well on the layout, I would most likely want to add more to the roster. But this time, instead of looking for an eBay basket case Birney, I think I would rather go with this resin Birney body offered by Miniatures by Eric. I haven’t seen these in person, but if you have, let me know what you think.

Seems to me that a body shell would be much more fitting for the complete overhaul that’s required on this project. And if Hollywood Foundry can work out the bugs and get its Birney mechanism released, then this project would be a definite go! Then I can build up a nice fleet of Birneys. Yessir! A nice fleet of Birneys!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Birney Project ~ Painting and Detailing the Seats

Now that the seat assemblies for the Birney are built, it’s time to paint and detail them.

The trim color on SDERy equipment is brown, so I’m going to try out Scalecoat Roof Brown on the seats to see if it’s a good color for the trim.

Scalecoat is a high gloss paint, great for decals, not so much for seats. So I weathered the seats with some weathering chalk and then sprayed the seats with Testors Dullcoat to kill the shine. The seats on the left are freshly painted with Scalecoat, the seats on the right have been weathered and sprayed. After they have dried thoroughly, I can glue the figures in place.

I had to cut and file the feet off of the figures, not a natural thing to do! I also had to file some of the material off of their butts to get them to seat properly. None of this will been seen when the figures are riding in the trolley.

Once the figures are seated properly, I super glued them into place. The motorman I was able to leave fully intact since he sits higher and doesn’t have to deal with the mounting bar. Which is good because he is fully visible through the doors.

There! How’s that! Don’t quite notice the motor as much, hmmm? Yessir! Don’t quite notice the motor as much!


Monday, December 01, 2008

Birney Project ~ Installing the Seats

Now comes the question "which direction is the trolley going?". Almost all trolleys are double ended. When they reach the end of the line the conductor simply walks down the isle and flops over the seat backs so that the seats are now facing the other direction, no need to turn the trolley.

But thats impractical on a model like this. If I permanently attach the seats to the trolley, then the car will have a definite forward / back. I'm going to try to mount the seats into an assembly that can be reversed from time to time, to help the motor maintain even wear. So I soldiered the seats to a bar of brass.

Notches are filed in the bar to clear the motor bolsters mentioned in the previous post. Also, a notch was carved behind the motorman's seat to clear the screw. These notches also help keep the seat assembly in place and prevents it from sliding around inside the car.

Because the floor of the model is higher than on the prototype, there isn't room enough for the legs of the seats. (Or for the passengers for that matter!!! Preiser actually offers plenty of legless passenger figures because this is a common occurrence with models!). So mounting the seats to a bar works out just fine.

I tried snapping an interior shot so that you can see how the seats fit around the motor. Difficult shot to get. I tried.

Here is how the seats look from the outside. Each seat will have a figure or two riding in them, filling the window and hopefully, distracting from the big ol' motor inside. Works for me! Yessir! Works for me!