No. 2: Modeling on the Road

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.

Golden - On the road 1 (1)

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.

Golden - On the road 1 (4)

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.

Golden - On the road 1 (3)

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.

Golden - On the road 1 (2)

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?

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