The SP tank car had a handrail that looped around the exterior of the tank. This isn’t necessary for a tank car that is re-purposed for use as a water tank but I think it would have been left in place anyhoo. The question is .. how could I do this in 1:48? The handrail is probably about 1-1/2 in. dia .. or around .030 in. in 1:48 and is held off the tank via stanchions/brackets. There are a total of 12 such brackets arranged with five on either side of the tank and on each on either end.
To the left I have applied some dimensions to the drawing. While not by any means exact .. seriously .. I brought a drawing into Sketchup, scaled it and applied dimensions. They are at best .. approximate. In any case though, gives us an idea of what to work with.
The stanchions are as shown, 0.041 in. wide and 0.121 in. tall and extend 0.092 in. out. Full size that would be 2 in., 5.8 in. and 4-1/2 in. Let’s just call it 2 in., 6 in. and 5 in. .. .042 in., 0.125 in and 0.1 in.
|Sooo. Let’s brainstorm here. I thought about cutting stanchiions out of .005 in. brass .. but I know that would be a stone cold bit*h. How about cardstock that has been plastized with super glue? It might very well work. Wrap a piece of paper around the wire (handrail), bend to shape and soak with superglue.|
.. and .. dimensions. Using cardstock came to mind because it would be easier to form than brass .. and it could be darn near scale dimensions. With that in mind I drew up a stanchion based on the dimensions I pulled from the drawing earlier and came up with this.
Will it work? Donno. Might. Seems to me that what I have is a plan .. which might or might not work .. and the best way to tell is simply to make one (or .. attempt to do so) .. and see what happens. So that will be next.
Following the drawings, I cut a strip of #110 cardstock and bent it around some 0.040 in. dia wire and secured with Rocket Card Glue. Once that dried I plasticzied it with super glue. The photo was taken using my NIKKOR 40mm Macro Lens, using Helicon Remote and Focus.
Looks pretty good to me, there is even room for a couple of rivet heads.
|I used steel dressmakers pins to act as stanchions/brackets. This isn’t prototypical but sometimes you have to go with what works in scale. I glued them into the drill holes with superglue and that worked .. well enough for the purpose.|
|I made up a quick jig to align the handrails. Here, some .040″ dia styrene rod is sitting on the pins/stanchions. I used small pieces of stripwood to space the styene rod out from the tank.|
|I glued some small pieces of cardstock under the pins so it would look more like stanchions. I sprayed a coat of primer over everthing and came back afterwards with a couple of rivets on each bracket (water slide decals).|
|A coat of black primer followed by various weathering powders. It was at this point that I realized just how delicate the handrails are as .. everytime I bumped it I would break loose the glued joints. drats. Still .. it would work ok for display.|