Starting on a passenger car

Well, you may as well know I’ve started on my next Proto:87 project. It is going to be the passenger car here, which I sadly know little about except that it ran on the Pembroke Southern behind my locomotive. I believe it was a GTR car, about 60 feet long, but the number and all other information seem to be lost in time.

Now for the approach. When I was in Houten, I got a chance to handle some models made with 3d printing by Shapeways. This got me thinking about the best way to make the roof, which, as you can see, does not present any useful flat surfaces to make construction easy. So, I’ve been busy modeling this part in Google Sketchup with a mind to getting it made for me. Then, I thought, well why stop there? So the whole sides, ends and roof are going to get printed. I’m going to do the underframe in wood because it would have been unpainted wood on the prototype.

Exciting times! Here is the quarter roof after I figured out how to do the compound curve. I spent a number of evenings figuring out Google Sketchup before finally getting this together. The trick turned out (for me) to be to draw longitudinal contour lines in AutoCad. Then I transferred this drawing to Sketchup and moved the lines so they lined up with their locations on the transverse section (that’s what the ticks are on the far edge). There is a whole lot of work involved in stitching the adjacent lines together to form a surface, and I guess I could then go and smooth all the lines. I’m happy enough with the triangles; they should be small enough and even enough to be hard to discern in the finished product.

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