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October 2003 - Page 27


ACL 31474 received medium weathering using the same Q-tip method used on the other cars. f ive different cars a single car (Item #1910) and a 4-pack (Item #19104). I bought the 4-pack feeling that four of any one freight car that is not in unit train service is enough. Tools that you may need include the ubiquitous X-Acto #11 hobby knife, hobby tweezers, de-spruing nippers, small flat blade and small Phillips screwdrivers, cotton swabs, a few small paint brushes, liquid styrene cement and I also recommend Cyanopoxy cement. The time required to take one of these kits from box to completion will depend upon your experience and developed skill level. I have built many such kits and can complete one in a little more than an hour, though it typically takes me a relaxing evening putzing around on one of these models. In order to address what details go where it is recommended that you locate photos of the prototype you are modeling. Paul Faulks Atlantic Coast Line Color Guide is a good place to start. I found that the notched sidesill of the Branchline model was accurate for the ACL O-31 boxcars with one exception. There needs to be one more notch to the left of the doors (on each side of the model). This is easily fixed by using an XActo knife and a small file to cut and file the sidesill to match the model to the photos. Cut away the unwanted plastic, then scrape and file the roughed edges until they are smooth. With this one correction complete, what else can be done to the Branchline kit to make it even better than it already is? There are certain detail items that I add to every freight car that finds its way onto my roster. This includes coupler cut levers, scale brakewheel, air hoses, metal stirrup steps, scale or near-scale grabs and ladders, and Kadee near-scale couplers either #58 or #78 couplers. I prefer to use the Kadee #78 coupler whenever its installation is reasonable because it has a scale draft gear box as well as a scale coupler head. Another item to consider replacing is the plastic roofwalk. Though I have used the included roofwalk with other Branchline kits I chose to replace the ones on these cars

ACF photo, Larry Goolsby collection

OCTOBER 2003

MODEL RAILROADING 27

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