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Peter's Model Railroading | Articles | Rolling Stock | PRR N5c
Construction: Exterior


On the main body there were some small bits of flash here and there. I also found three cylindrical pieces inside the body near the corners. These are shown in the photo. They must be left over from the manufacturing process, because they are in the way of the underframe. I cut them loose by first cutting near the bottom of the cylinder using a sprue cutter, and then cutting along the length of the cylinder against the body. They can then be removed without damaging the body.

Removing the flash from the round windows in the body was a bit more challenging. The flash in the end walls' windows came out very easily, but the ones in the side walls were very thick. They required quite a bit of careful cutting. The concern here is to make sure the windows maintain their roundness, because what you are left with is the final shape of window; there are no window panes to cover any miscuts. I found using a #11 blade and continuously circling the windows from the inside, out, worked well.

The next step is to form and install the various grab bars. The ones on the outside of the cabin car are one of the most distinctive features of a Pennsylvania Railroad cabin car. I followed the instructions and formed one using 0.012" brass wire, but it just looked too skinny. I settled on 0.019" brass wire. The holes in the body were expanded with a #74 drill bit. Each grab bar was individually hand-formed. I used a half-round (round on one side and flat on the other) wood file as a guide, because it had just the right curve. I studied prototype photos very carefully to get the right curve and the various bends just right. Though not perfect, I think I have come close. There are two of these on each outside wall.

There is a prong in the "corner" of the bend. I simply fashioned a very small piece of 0.019" brass wire and superglued it into place. This is an extreme close-up of the installation.

The grab bars at the ends of the car are a bit easier to form and to install. I used the curved back of a pair of needlenose pliers to form the curve. I then made a square of styrene to use as a temporary stand-off to hold the grab bars away from the body at some uniform distance. I then superglued the bars in place.

These grab bars also need a prong in the corners. I made these the same way I did the ones for the side grab bars.

Two more brass parts need to be installed to the exterior of the body. I'm not exactly sure what their purpose is, but I see them in prototype photos so I decided to glue them in their spots. The tiny rectangular brass grill goes into the rectangular hole in the side of the body (there's only one such hole, although the kit provides two grills). The other part is a rather large rectangular item that is supposed to be some sort of access hatch. There is a tiny strip on the top of that brass hatch that needs to be bent down at an angle, which I gathered from looking at prototype and other model photos. These are installed in the next photo. To be able to install the large brass hatch flush on the body I had to remove a number of molded on rivets from the body. I used a flush blade to remove those.