Caboose-Coach Combine #844

Discussion in 'Passenger Equipment' started by yardmaster, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    MODERATOR'S NOTE - This is an article from the "Caboose Kibitzer" by Richard Napper, MMR. Richard was kind enough to share with me after an inquiry a few years back; he gave the OK to post to the Frisco Library some time ago...needless to say it's taken me a while.

    Drawings of the prototype along with more info on Trains #875/876 on the Hoxie Sub will follow.

    Chris Abernathy
    Columbia, MO
    (Modeling the Frisco's River Division in HO-Scale c. 1943)

    Modeling the Frisco's Caboose-Coach Combine #844

    The Master Builder-Car Certificate of Achievement states that you must construct at least one passenger car, and the car must be one that carried passengers, thus ruling out RPO and baggage cars as cars that will fulfill this requirement. I model the Frisco, and I like to model the unusual pieces of rolling stock instead of the cars more common to the modeler. Among the cars the Frisco had for passenger equipment were, at least, two Coach-Cabooses, #843-844. There is evidence that there may have been one more. These cars really appealed to me because they were used in mixed service on the Hoxie Subdivision, River Division of the Frisco between Chaffee, MO and Hoxie, AR. The only photo I have ever seen of this car is on page 247 of Frisco Power by Joe G. Collias. One photo is not much to go on for a model, so I just had to wait. Alan Schmitt, President of the Frisco Railroad Museum…prints the All Aboard magazine for the museum members, of which I am one. About a year ago, Alan did an article on these cars, and it included the Frisco drawings of the cars. So, I had the additional information that I needed to construct, from scratch, this interesting car. I reduced my drawing to HO scale when I copied it, so I could read all dimensions directly from the drawing because some of them just did not reproduce from the original blueprints.

    First, a little history. Car #844 was built in June 1889 by the St. Charles Car Co., later to become ACF Industries. The cost was $7,095.00 with a seating capacity of 40, and having open platform vestibules. The car was constructed for the Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis RR, which became part of the Frisco in 1901. The car was constructed of wood with a truss-rod underframe. In August 1935, an 18’ section of the car was rebuilt into a 12’ baggage section and a 6’ caboose cupola. The cupola was constructed of metal but the rest of the car was still wood. In May 1946, the car was sheathed in steel and new steel trucks replaced the old wood beam originals. The only photo of the car shows it in 1956 at Hoxie, AR. The photo was taken by Bill Sharp, Sr. and is in the collection of Don Wirth. I decided to construct my model with the wood beam trucks and wood car sides but with the cupola and baggage sections added to the passenger car. This made for a very interesting model of a passenger car for my Frisco mixed freight service.

    The model is constructed of metal and styrene and is over 95% scratchbuilt. Commercial parts used were Queen posts, marker lights, roundhouse plastic roof, ladder stock, exhaust stacks, air vents, and type K brake rigging, expect the piping which is brass wire stock. The floor, sides, ends and cupola, as well as all doors and windows are scratchbuilt from styrene.

    I started construction with an Athearn caboose. I only used the steps which I cut from the underframe. Using V-groove styrene, #269-4040, cut a piece the length of the car and .080” less than the car width which would fit between the two end steps I cut from the caboose underframe. Cut the V-groove so that the boards go across the car width, like they are RR ties. Now add four 6x12 ,#269-8612, pieces the length of the car and spaced equally across the car width. Cut off the step end sills and glue on new styrene pieces that will be shaped as per the drawing. You may add the Kadee #5 couplers at this time if you wish. Make two truck bolsters from styrene, and place them at the correct truck centers on the floor. The queen posts I used would not span the car width, so I cut them apart and glued them on the four floor runners (the 6x12s). I then built up between the queen posts with extra styrene. I then added the type “K” brake equipment, and used .016” brass wire for the brake pipes. I then added the truss rods using fishing line. I used a firecracker punk to melt the line. After pulling it tight across the floor, I used the punk on the other end of the line. After that, I pulled the lines into place on the queen posts. Be sure your wood beam truck clears the truss rods, etc. I used the correct type of truck from Roundhouse, but their trucks are not long enough in the wheelbase, so this is one compromise I had to make on the model. The underside of the car floor is now complete. I placed another piece of V-groove siding on top of the floor to represent the car’s inside floor.

    I next made the two sides of the car from the same V-groove siding as the floor. Note that the two sides are not the same, the plans show more windows on one side than the other, but the two baggage doors are on the same end of the car. I cut the window openings from the car sides, as well as the baggage door openings. The baggage door opening is framed with Plastruct A2 angle. I used 2x6” styrene pieces as the spacers between the windows. I then made the windows in place on the car sides. The three side pieces of the windows are 2x2” while the bottom rail is a 2x4” The baggage door is plain .020” styrene glued from behind the car side. The two baggage door windows were cut from the door but they are not framed. Glue the two finished car sides in place with the bottom of the side even with the floor 6x12” stringers. The drawing does not show the door type used on this car, but it does show that the car ends do not have any windows. Still using the same styrene V-groove siding, cut a piece to fit between the car sides. I cut out a door opening that was 2’2” wide. Using the A2 angle, I framed the door opening, and then I built a three panel door with a window in the top. I used my own design for the door, but one that I thought would fit the car era. I added a door knob from a cut down straight pin. The car ends were then glued in place. I then used A3 angle as end posts on all four car corners.

    I decided to use the Roundhouse Plastic Clerestory roof for my car. I decided not to try and build the duck bill ends on the roof. The roof is too short for the car, but that is ok because you have to cut it apart to add the cupola to the car, and when you do that, the roof will fit just fine. A lot of the car character is due to the cupola, so take your time and built it right using plain styrene .040” sheet. After you have correctly cut the clerestory roof into the needed pieces, glue them in place on the car. Now Cut the two end pieces for the cupola, and cut out the windows. Now add the cupola side pieces – they align with the car sides – again cut out the cupola windows. The cupola roof is not flat; it has a very slight slope to it. Glue the cupola roof in place. I made the roof walks out of the same V-groove siding by cutting just three boards from the siding. The roof walk supports are nickel-silver flat wire which are bent to fit the location, and then superglued in place. The end pieces have grab irons on both sides of the door. There are grab irons on the cupola roof and the ends of all of the roof walks. I formed these from .016” brass wire. The end platform guardrails are hand-formed from .016” brass wire. The brake wheels are from Kadee. I originally hand-made the end ladders from wire and styrene strips, but with the bend in them, they were just too fragile, so I finally used Walthers stock in their place. The roof is Mulehide, which I simulated with nylong stocking painting in place on the roof before the roofwalks, etc. were added. The effect is excellent. I added marker lights to the sides of the caboose end of the car, and stove vents, and air vents to the roof. The stove vents are #585-31457 and the air vents are cut down #247-146. Add the steps under the baggage door; they are #190-386. I painted the car sides, ends and cupola Pullman Green, while the underframe and roof are engine black. The decals are Frisco Gold by Champ. The windows are Microscale Kristal Clear and the car is weathered with both gray and black chalk while the trucks were spray painted with a dusting of Floquil dust. The car is so dark that the gray chalk adds a nice weathering that lightens the car roof just a little.

    The car really looks great behind a few freight cars and a Frisco decapod. I hope you like it as much as I do. Ship IT on the FRISCO!
  2. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Any photos of the model out there? I also don't have the issue of All Aboard with the article in it. Would really like to score a copy, or a hi-res scan of it as I've always wanted to build one of these.
    It's an interesting car and deserves modeling.
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Don -
    Richard's original Caboose Kibitzer article had one photo but my copy's dark enough to where I don't think it would turn out.

    I'll try to contact him OL and see if he can provide photos. This one's always been high on my list to build. Fatherhood's now getting calm enough that I just might stand a chance this century!
  4. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    I have a photo of it, the same one that's in Joe's book. Wouldn't turn down any more photos, but the drawings are what I would like to get a good flat hi-res scan of, plus the written article.
  5. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Don - Give me a call. I'm sure I have the "All Aboard" issue with the article and the plans for the cars. Hopefully, it will copy well. I'll be glad to make copies for you if you promise you will build one of these critters!


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