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D&RGW Fowler Clone Resin Kit by Westerfield Part 1


This time around is my second resin car kit build, a 40′ Fowler clone box car from Westerfield, kit number 6453 [6453 FOWLER SS BOX CAR CLONE, MODERN, D&RG, D&RGW]. Protocraft has some prototype photos, as does Eric Hansmann.

Sanding Out

The first thing to do in this kit was deal with how thick the flash was on most pieces. First, to sand out the side and end ladders.

Wet sanding is gross but necessary for resin. I managed to destroy most of the ~9 ladders supplied with the kit during the sanding stage, and those that survived did not end up looking too great. An optimal result probably requires a combination of more experience than I have as well as thinner flash.

Side Detailing

Despite my ladder woes much of the rest of the kit came together well. Detailing the sides was much less momentous in this kit than the previous resin build, which I assume arises from that first step in skill building where you are so low on the practice scale that every rep represents a big improvement.

The door detailing included adding a metal handle near the bottom and the door latch, which went together smoothly. A little cleaning up with a jeweler’s file and the doors were ready to go. The placement depends on rubber cement because the instabond effect of CA is not compatible with adjusting their placement. One of them would end up haunting me throughout the build by popping off; eventually I left it off until the final step before painting.

Sides of the Westerfield Fowler Clone box car before assembly.
The A and B ends.
You can see the effect of the door roller on the bar where it would slide in the prototype, which is very thin on the kit.
I love the little wire grabs on the doors.

Assembly of the Sides

After the Bx-12 build, this side assembly was a relative breeze. Here, a small amount of Tamiya masking tape holds the side on.

Despite my best efforts, there were still small gaps between the car floor and end. This picture shows it after the end was glued, but before the side on the left was permanently attached.

After the ends and sides were attached, the result was mostly presentable.

However, there was a noticeable gap between one of the ends and the floor:

This minor issue was flooded with CA as a gap filler. It also required a little gap filling from the bottom:

Note presence of inevitable cat fur.

Roof Frame

Requiring another round of wet sanding, the one-piece roof frame eventually fit well enough.

Floor Frame and Brake Detailing

The crossbeams on the bottom frame went together better than the last kit. A close inspection shows the difference between a part that was sanded out (left) versus being sliced out without sanding (right). I doubt this will make a huge difference to the observer; they mainly look a little worse only for being side-by-side and the photo exaggerates the effect. It is on the bottom of the car so I decided to live with it.

The trainline was added in three pieces, but it looks mostly continuous. The brake cylinder is from the Tichy K-brake set, which mostly means that it looks rough pre-paint because of the level of smoothing out needed. It fit onto the mounting brackets with no interesting issues.

Next was the couplers. I used Sergent AAR compatible (EC87K) in Kadee coupler boxes. It was a few days’ project to prepare the couplers, along with a number of other couplers for future projects.

Brake detail ensued. Thanks, perhaps, to the overly thick flash, I ruined the smaller brake lever and had to use a leftover from the Bx-12 kit:

The cylinder looks a little tipped from this angle but this was less bothersome than the prospect of trying to take it off and reposition it.

Continued in Part 2.


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