Remembering the Rutland - Modeling the Rutland

Rutland Wood RPO-Baggage Car No. 181
Modeled in HO Scale by Jim Dufour

RPO-Baggage 181

Image: Doug Goodwin 

It's often said that one should work from photos when detailing and lettering models. This is not often easy for those of us who model the period immediately after World War II.  But sometimes a photograph makes it difficult NOT to model a particular protoype and that is how this model came about.

This HO scale model of Rutland RPO-Baggage No. 181 was scratchbuilt about ten years ago.  The inspiration came from a negative of the car by the late Donald T. Haywood which I had purchased.  My good friend Wayne Hills produced a print, which I photocopied and resized to HO scale using an HO scale rule and the "inside length" dimension from an Official Register of Passenger Train Equipment.  This made it possible to transfer measurements from the "HO scale" photocopy to the model. Measuring from this photocopy with the scale rule, I also created paper templates of the car sides with cut-outs for the doors and windows, drawing them full-size in Autocad and plotting them in 1/87 scale.

After I had the templates, the next order of business was to create a roof of the correct length.  I did this by cutting two shorter Walthers (ex-Nickel Plate Products) plastic roofs and splicing them together (in truth, my friend and co-worker Chuck Spence made the cuts on a Bridgeport milling machine, resulting in perfectly square cuts). 

The body and underframe were built of Evergreen styrene.   The stirrups were formed and soldered from Scale Scenics flat nickel silver wire (.030" x .010").  The windows were cut from a Rivarossi coach and then re-detailed to approximate the sashes of the prototype car.

Much of the underbody and end details are from the Precision Scale catalog, including those nice, full-size UC brake cylinders and the generator.  (The PSC parts catalog is a tremendous source of detail parts for the passenger car modeler!)   The battery box and queenposts are scratchbuilt of styrene. The truss rods, drip gutters and grab irons are made of brass rod from Detail Associates, who also makes some of the other little details such as the roof vent and ladder grabs on the roof. Cal Scale steam, air and signal line connections, vapor traps, air tanks, and mail catchers are used.  The trucks are Central Valley.  The couplers are Kadee, but I always snip off those annoying "glad hands."

The body of the car is painted with Scalecoat I Great Northern Empire Builder Green.  The roof and underbody are, of course, Black.  I don't remember whose letter jungle I used for the lettering, but we Rutland modelers desperately need accurate Rutland HO scale passenger car decals.

-Jim Dufour

Copyright 1998-2001 Remembering the Rutland
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