When we moved to Germany I sent most of my hobby supplies with our household goods (they went by ship) and stored a half a crate’s worth of books, railroadiana and keepsakes in the St. Louis area. I also set aside a small tool kit and a few models in my luggage so I could get some work done while we lived in temporary quarters on the road.
I began building up a Tichy 10,000-gallon large dome tank car while living in temporary quarters on base at Scott AFB. This will be a US Army car, or a Canadian Tank Car Lines car, or a M&StL company service car or something appropriate for the type of model.
My son took the photo of me building up the Tichy tank while watching TV. I was using a plate as a modeling/cutting surface. I like to build in the den with the wife and kids nearby. That way I’m not isolating myself in the basement and I can still watch TV and talk with the family while getting a few things done. Normally I use a 2 x 2 dinner tray for modeling building in the den but in this case a plate will do fine. I used a baking pan as a modeling surface when I lived in Korea and only managed to stab myself once in 12 months.
The Tichy tank car is a spectacular model and it went together well. I took these photos of the completed models in February after I got everything completed and the workbench set up.
Also held aside was an old Sunshine ACL Ventilated box car kit (class O-17). TSA let me keep my traveling tool kit and my glue so I was in business. Both cars will be built for as circa-1950 models. The door was left off the completed model so I can sandblast the car before painting. I don’t want to blast the doors since they have the delicate mesh material already secured.
A Funaro & Camerlengo B&O N-11 car was built up as well. This car was a pretty easy build thanks to Steve Funaro’s exceptional ability to cast most of the car in once piece. I ran out of parts and had to wait a month for Tichy gussets for the top chord and Hi-Tech air hoses. Ordering parts is another challenge to living overseas, as I can’t just run down to Red Board Hobbies in Belleville and get what I need any more.
I thought I planned well and brought everything needed to finish the cars, but after getting along on building I realized I forgot a lot of basics–extra grabs, Hi-Tech #6040 air hoses, and other small details. On the vent I ended up bending all my own handrails using Tichy .010 phospohor-bronze wire because I neglected to bring extra grabs. It was tedious work, but when you’re living on base in Spartan quarters for seven or eight weeks, what else do you have to do?