It seems that whatever prototype one follows, one thing or another makes it different than what other railroads use. Then the challenge is to figure out how to model it. Such was the case with my Russell snowplow, NYC X662.
A unique feature on NYC snowplows is the hand railing found on the roof behind the cupola.
I spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out how I could replicate this. I decided to use what I call now disposable fixturing.
The first thing I did was make a jig to drill the holes in the roof of the plow. The picture above shows this made out of .060″ sheet styrene with strips below the sides to centre it onto the car body. The railing holes were drilled into the jig first. Then the jig is placed on the model and the holes are drilled into the car roof using the positions from the jig.
Then the jig is used to drill holes in another .060″ sheet. This sheet is a fixture where the hand railing is built. Shown above, we see the holes for the hand rail posts along with styrene strips positioned on either side of the pencil lines that define the shape of the length of the upper hand rail. .020″ phosphor-bronze wire from Tichy was bent using the above guides and the result is shown in the next picture.
The formed upper shape of the hand rail is shown above, along with styrene walls and strip guides that hold it up to the correct height. The vertical portions of the wire actually extend past the bottom “floor” of the fixture by 1/8″. Note the holes drilled into the walls.
Then a vertical post is inserted from the bottom through the pre-drilled hole. Ladies hair clips hold the upper railing in place. The joint where the vertical post meets the upper hand rail is soldered, hence the large hole to avoid the heat. Note the styrene strips in place for the lower hand rails.
After all the vertical posts are soldered in place, the lower railings are added in place using the strip styrene guides on the wall. Where the lower railing meets the vertical post, the joint is soldered.
The completed hand rail in the fixture.
The walls are removed and discarded. The soldered joints were then cleaned up with a small file. Next it is mounted on the model roof.
After gluing it into position at the right height, the angled posts were fitted and soldered to the hand railing. The joints were cleaned up with a file and sand paper.
So a unique problem solved!
One thing I know about model railroading is that there is always an answer even if one does not come immediately to mind. Practically everything is fixable. Sometimes it just takes more noodling.