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


Next, I removed the flash from the roof's windows. These were relatively easy to remove. The body of the roof, however, on the bottom of one side there was a substantial amount of very thick flash. It took a lot of filing and elbow grease to remove that and make it look like the other side. It is hard to describe, but compare both sides and, if it is there on your model, you'll see the difference.

Next, I installed the roof walks. Not shown in the photo, I also installed a grab iron at each end of the roof walks. The kit's instructions don't mention those grab bars, but there were holes for them in the brass roof walk ends. Next, I formed and installed the roof top grab irons. The last detail was the smoke stack. I also drilled out the tubes of the smoke stack to make them look more realistic. I thought about it for a while, but I decided not to install the typical PRR antenna. I wasn't convinced I could build them nice and straight. The PRR didn't start installing the Trainphone system on N5c cabin cars until 1946, and by 1957 only about a third of them had the system installed. There were only certain mainline sections where the system was used. Since I model a branch line, the antenna could be skipped.

The next photo shows the roof airbrushed. I mixed about 50/50 Floquil "Grimy Black" and "Engine Black".

After I had painted the roof, I was looking at the brass sprue and noticed the leftover brass window inserts. Oops!!! I had forgotten to install them before painting the roof. This photo shows the parts installed from the inside.

This photo shows what the window frames look like from the outside. A subsequent airbrushing session took care of painting those. I also painted the inside of the roof at that time.

Now that the underframe, body, and roof sub-assemblies are complete, I just did a dry-fit to see how everything looked. As you can see in the next photo, I was surprised to find that the roof didn't fit properly. This is a well-designed and executed kit, so I was surprised to find this problem at the end. I went back to look at the kit's photos of the model and studied them for a while. It is hard to see in the kit's photos, but I finally concluded that the top of the brass end wall is supposed to sit outside (or in front of) the roof's front/back edge.

What I concluded was that the vertical styrene parts of these end walls needed to be sanded down. I placed the roof on the body, as shown in the next photo, and slowly moved it forward. It is supposed to slide over the vertical pieces and hit the brass wall. I just kept filing and trimming the pieces' tops until the roof was able to slide across them cleanly.

This photo shows the correct position of the roof. It is supposed to butt up against the brass wall. It is then effectively squeezed between the two brass walls. Now the fit was perfect.