Friday, September 22, 2017

Baltimore & Ohio P-11 40' Flatcar Build Pt 1 - Unboxing & Unflashing

While staging trains for a recent operating session, I discovered that I need more flat cars. Unfortunately, despite my having a stash of uncompleted freight car kits (sound familiar?), I found only one flat car kit - and it was a resin kit at that. Not really something I could just bang together quickly - but figuring 1) I need flat cars, and 2) I really need to complete some of these kits, I decided to dive right in.

This kit, by Funaro & Camerlengo, represents one of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad's 40' flatcars, class P-11. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to find any prototype information on this car - and none is provided in the instructions (unlike Westerfield kits, for example). So if any of you can point me in the right direction, I'd love to learn more about these cars. And yes, I did consult The Google on the Internet Machine already...

Image from F&C's website
But I don't have to know that much about the prototype to have fun with the "unboxing" . . .

Here's what you get - parts & decals for the flatcar, as well as two crates for a load. LOTS of flash to remove in order to prepare for assembly. Most of the flash is pretty straightforward to remove - just be patient with a sharp blade and a flat mill file and/or sanding stick.

Unfortunately, the frame is a different story - lots of little nooks and crannies full of flash. Above is the underbody....

... and here it is viewed from the top. I was not looking forward to attempting to remove all this flash the way I had from the other parts, but I remembered reading about a tip somewhere that someone used to remove flash from stockcar sides (imagine all those slats full of flash!)

"All you have to do is" attach some sandpaper to a flat surface - such as a plate of glass as here - and then sand, sand, sand until the flash is gone. Sound easy? It's certainly easier than going at each little area with a blade and a needle file. But there's one important caveat . . .

You can go too far. Note that I managed to detach the supporting member in the lower left corner. Apparently, the resin casting - at least of the cross members - isn't a consistent thickness. Guess I shouldn't have been surprised. While the photo above shows that most of the flash is gone (and it only took me about 20 minutes to do), there's still some flash around the coupler pockets and along both sides of the center sill.

So I figured I'd just keep sanding. That was a mistake.

As you can see from this super close up, I went a little too far with the sanding. Yup - you can make out the back side of the rivets there, hanging by the slightest wisp of flash.

So, out came the scalpel for the final removal of flash from around the couplers and center sill. That took a bit more time to do carefully, but all the sanding didn't leave that much to do and what flash was left was very thin and easy to remove.

The photos above show the finished/flash-free frame. Lesson learned: Next time I'll strike a different balance between sanding and carving/filing. I'll definitely use the sanding trick next time I have anything like this with many crosspieces or slats - I'll just be sure and stop and switch to another method before I go too far.

And here are all the pieces (well, except for the stake pockets) all free of flash and ready for assembly. Nice contrast from the beginning photo and not at all bad for an evening's work.

Hope you enjoy following this build as I document my effort here. And if you've ever built this - or a similar - kit, I'd love to hear any tips (or warnings!) you have to share!


  1. That looks like a really nice kit...enjoy...George Dutka

    1. Thanks for stopping by George! Let me know if you have any tips/suggestions along the way...