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Stumpy’s Station – “Out of the Woods” Part Six

August 8th, 2014 · No Comments

The windows are in, the door installed and the roof is ready to go on if you’ve filed the braces to shape. Go ahead and glue it on, allowing a bit of overhang on each end and the sides.
Obviously, the roof had to be covered to keep it from leaking. This was often done by applying tarred canvas, and later with regular roll roofing material. The roof was covered in the same manner as any other building. To depict either of these in texture, common ¾” mashing tape will stand in.
Start at the bottom edges of the roof and overlap the next layer slightly as you move to the top of the roof. Wrap the ends of the tape over the edges of the roof at each end of the car and trim off the excess. Also trim off any excess tape when you reach the roof peak. Cut a 3/8” inch wide strip and apply it to equal width along the center of the roof peak to overlap the tape on both sides of the roof. This keeps rain from getting under the roll roofing at the peak.
If you wish to give your Outhouse Caboose a “worn” look, you might wrinkle the tape as you apply it or tear pieces of it as if the roofing was coming loose with age. When done, paint the roofing black. Under the roof, paint the underside of the roof overhang the car’s color.

Many of these tiny cars has a small wood stove inside for winter heating, so we need to add a stack of some kind. This can be as simple as drilling a hole in the roof and using a piece of brass or plastic tubing. To keep rain out, use a paper punch to pop out a disc of card stock and add it to the top of the stack.
An alternative is to use a small diameter flexible alcoholic beverage stir straw to have the stove pipe come out an end wall, turn 90 degrees and go up the side of the car. A regular “flexi-straw” is really too big in diameter, but could be used. Stove pipes would be black, maybe with a little rust.
How does anyone get into the car? Well, next we’ll put handrails on either side of the door. I like to use “mechanic’s” or “farmer’s” tie wire. This is a very flexible mild steel wire less than 1/16” thick. Cut two pieces of tie wire 1 3/8” long and make a 90 degree bend in each end with about ¼” “legs.” These legs will go into holes drilled in the side of the car either side of the door frame. To attach them, put a drop of glue in each hole and carefully place each end of the handrail in the hole, leaving a gap of about 1/8” between the railing and the car side.
Often, anyone entering the door would grab a handrail and use the truck as a step to get into the car. However, some companies used a ladder of some kind, usually made somewhat like a strap step, while others preferred wooden steps on iron hangers.
To make the wooden with iron hanger style steps, all you need do is cut seven pieces of 1/16×1/8” strip wood ½” long, or cut these parts out of left over scribed balsa sheet. Two of these will represent vertical “iron hangers,” one will be the horizontal brace across the “back” of these “hangers” at their upper ends. The other three will be the evenly spaced “steps,” one at the bottom, one halfway up the hangers, and one just below the top of the hangers.
Once the gluing is done. Glue the “brace” end to the car floor directly below the door and handrails. The “hangers” could be painted black, the rest the car’s color, or the entire part could be the same.
An addition to this car could be a small red flag sticking out of the opposite end of the car from the coupler. A length of “cable” might be hanging on the side or rear of the car. This might be just string painted gray, black, or “rust” color. The paint drying stiffens the string and makes it easy to glue to the car body. A detail casting of a lantern and a few “waybills” or “notices” tacked to the car side would make a nice addition as well.
Since Outhouse Cabooses tended to “get no respect” you might try your skills at “weathering” the paint job, very suitable if you have made the “roll roofing” look damaged.
The construction methods you have learned will also allow you to try building wooden “house cars” (box cars, reefers, etc.) and if you leave off the truck, coupler, hand railings and steps off, you have a nice model of a small trackside shack.

This completes the series on logging. These cars seldom saw mainline use, but the theme of a small logging line would be excellent for layout builders with limited space. As I said at the beginning, this would be a good use for the AF 0-8-0 switcher or 4-4-0 Casey Jones, the SHS 2-8-0, the Flyonel 0-6-0 “Docksider” tank loco, or in more modern eras, diesel switchers or road switchers like the “Geeps.”

For scenery, just buy up a bunch of model trees, some small footprint buildings, and a few ragged old trucks. You might even find researching logging railroads and operations a lot of fun too.

Stumpy Stone

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