Replace the side panels on the Con-Cor auto rack with etched brass parts from N Scale of Nevada to capture the "see through" appearance of the prototype cars. An index of previous articles in this series on upgrading N scale equipment to match typical HO scale models appears on pages 62-63 of this issue.
New etched metal side panels and Micro-Trains couplers bring the Con-Cor N scale auto rack much closer to being a dead-accurate replica of the prototype car.
A close-up of the side panels on a typical prototype auto rack.
Use a jeweler's screwdriver to gently pry the side panels from the Con-Cor model.
Remove all the side panels. The model will not require painting for this upgrade.
Etched brass side panels for the Con-Cor model are $12.00 plus $7.00 shipping and handling from N Scale of Nevada, 15150 Sheri-K-Bar, Reno, NV 89511. The kit also includes finer ladder castings, but they have not been applied to this model to avoid the need to repaint the sides.
Use a sharp hobby knife to slice through the small tabs that hold the panels to the sprue.
Gently rub the cut edges of the panels on a flat file to remove any traces of the metal sprue. Test-fit each panel to the car. The panels on the prototype cars are galvanized steel. Paint the panels with a single coat of Floquil 110144 Platinum Mist (for a new car) or a mixture of four parts Badger Accu-Paint white and one part CP Gray for an older, weathered car.
Use a straight pin to apply a small dab of thickened hobby type cyanoacrylate cement to the four edges of each recess. Gently lower the pan els into their recesses in the car side so you don't smear the cement. Use a thumbnail, if necessary, to get the panels seated firmly before the cement sets. The finished model has been upgraded with Micro-Trains couplers and trucks as described on the following pages.