Joe's 1/22 Artesania Latina San Francisco Cable Car

flyjoe180

Joe
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Hi all. Thank you for your comments and interest in my cable car build so far. Another update, longer since the last one than I would have liked.

After the trellis saga, I got the assembly fitted to the car body and rear structure. I won't be exercising the trellis extension/compression for the reasons given earlier, but it does swing freely and it's in this state I'll leave it for now.
20200812_104437.jpg

These are the three main control levers (and pedal) used by the grip-man in the front of the cable car. They'll be painted correctly according to the instructions and reference pictures; the black is some primer. Below my photo is a reference shot of the grip-man's controls.

The long one on the far left is the grip lever. This is what enables the grip-man to engage or release the underground cable that runs under the road and tracks. The cable runs at 9.5 MPH, but the cable car can run faster when free-wheeling downhill without the cable engaged.

The second lever is the emergency brake lever, hence it is will is to be painted red. Application of the emergency brake lever forces forces an 18-inch steel wedge into the steel slot between the tracks, stopping the car immediately. The force of this is so great that sometimes it takes a cutting torch to get the wedge out of the slot!

The pedal is the normal brake control. Each wheel has a soft steel shoe that can be pulled tight against the wheel to stop the car. These are crew-activated by foot pedals on both ends of the California cars, and on the front end of the Powell cars. A conductor’s lever on the rear platform activates rear track brakes on Powell cars (as Rick kindly explained earlier). The wheel brakes are crew-activated by foot pedals on both ends of the California cars, and on the front end of the Powell cars. More on the wheel brakes at assembly time.

The final item on the far right is the track-brake lever. Track brakes are simply pieces of wood located between the wheel sets on the cars. There are four for each car, two feet long each, made of soft Monterey Fir. When the grip-man activates the track-brake lever, the blocks press against the tracks to help stop the car. Check the reference photo below. I'll be creating brake blocks later.
20200806_193835.jpg

Left to Right: Emergency brake, Grip lever, Track brake lever, Wheel brake pedal on floor
Grip controls.jpg

Reference photo showing the track brake blocks in various states of wear.
Brake_blocks_of_a_San_Francisco_cable_car,_in_three_different_states_of_usage.jpg
 

flyjoe180

Joe
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Time to skip ahead while paint is drying. It's time to construct the front and rear chassis assemblies. There are some differences to the front and rear chassis, I'll point these out as we go. But essentially construction is the same. Here are our main components for the front chassis. I've already attached the rings and screws that will hold the wheels at the correct spacing on the axles. For this chassis I followed the instructions. For the second, rear chassis, I deviated and developed my own method which I found to be easier.
20200806_194035.jpg

One side is connected to the front and rear frame. Long bolts are used with nuts to secure them, which is a very fiddly process which takes many hours. It's just as hard on the eyes and patience as it is on the fingers and tools. Not for beginners! At the end most of the bolts are trimmed down with cutters.
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Here the wheel axles are slotted in. And a problem is discovered. This is part of the reason why I did things slightly differently on the second chassis.
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This is the gap caused by the excess length of the axles:
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Using the approximate excess difference, I taped one end of each of the axles. And hack-sawed through the hard steel. I like hack-saws. A lot. Is that normal?
20200807_142048.jpg

Success and the basic chassis structure is created. The underside piece was a real pain to assemble after everything is in place. I did this at an earlier stage for the rear chassis.
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Note most bolts have been trimmed down. The two extending out from the front are for a board which will be attached after painting white. Then those bolts too will be trimmed. I secured all these with a drop of CA glue to help ensure nothing comes undone over time...
 

flyjoe180

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This was the next hurdle, as demanded by the instructions. I also elected to connect this piece at an earlier stage of the rear chassis construction. It's just too difficult to get the bolts through between the other bits and pieces, and to secure them while the nuts are tightened.
20200807_143539.jpg

This piece, apart from the protruding bolts that will hold the front board, is what differentiates the front from rear chassis. Through this rectangular gap, the grip-lever end protrudes below the level of the cable car, under the road and tracks to connect with the the underground cable. This piece is CA glued into place. I am using gel-type medium CA for most of my build. I love it. I use thin CA for helping to secure the nuts and bolts, along with CA accelerator spray to aid the bonding.
20200807_143813.jpg
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The knob on top of the chassis rotates. This gives the truck (chassis) freedom to move when installed under the cable car body.

Here are the two assembled chassis next to each other, after hours of lessons learned, blurred eyesight and lots of swearing.
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20200810_152857.jpg
 

flyjoe180

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Wheel brakes. Slightly larger bolts, slightly larger nuts, still very fiddly and time consuming. Eight wheels. Eight wheel brakes. Assembled thus:
20200810_154541.jpg
20200810_163016.jpg
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All four suspension units are CA glued into place, ensuring that the coils are rotated to hide any casting seams.
20200811_154406.jpg
20200811_154438.jpg
 

flyjoe180

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Time to make some track brake blocks. Refer to the earlier post about these blocks, usually made of Monterey Fir.

We start by trimming the 28 mm lengths of the appropriate wood type.
20200811_161747.jpg

They will each need to be sanded down to the corrected width to fit into their track-brake slots under the suspension bogeys, and then shaped. 80-grit to get the width, 180-grit to shape, 240-grit to finish them.
20200811_161815.jpg
20200811_162900.jpg

These are not secured in at this stage, as the entire metalwork needs to be painted gun metal grey. I would point out the instructions indicated every single metal chassis part should be painted prior to construction. As paint doesn't stick that well, particularly to cast metal, when scraped, bashed and sanded, I decided on my course of action which was to assemble them completely and then prime/paint.

Repeat the brake block process four times for this:
20200811_163940.jpg
20200811_164003.jpg

I've now removed the brake blocks and set them aside for later installation.

The chassis will both be primed, and then sprayed in gunmetal grey. The cabin side boards from earlier will be completed with regards to paint, and attached. The front board that attaches to the front chassis will be painted white and secured, the bolts trimmed. The front and rear chassis will then be secured to the cable car body. Then we will move on to some decal application, before beginning the final main stages of the cable car.

I'm also planning a display base for the cable car. It won't sit nicely on any flat surface, because the cable grip will hang below the bottom line of the wheels. I have a cunning scheme which will solve that.

Stay tuned, keep safe everyone, and I thank you all for looking in and any comments you leave. I'll be back in a few days.
 

John Race

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As Ron has said Top Work , a great build to follow Joe, full of supprises at each post. Those boggies in themselves are a engineering masterpiece.
 

Tim Marlow

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Interesting update. The bogey design is relatively crude compared to railway construction, showing the age of cable car design. It reflects contemporary narrow gauge railways of the late Victorian age. Are there brake rods etc to add? I can’t work out how the wheel brakes are activated. Never come across track brakes before though, that’s a new one to me. All in all great stuff!
 

flyjoe180

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As Ron has said Top Work , a great build to follow Joe, full of supprises at each post. Those boggies in themselves are a engineering masterpiece.
Thank you John, I'm glad you are enjoying the build.

Interesting update. The bogey design is relatively crude compared to railway construction, showing the age of cable car design. It reflects contemporary narrow gauge railways of the late Victorian age. Are there brake rods etc to add? I can’t work out how the wheel brakes are activated. Never come across track brakes before though, that’s a new one to me. All in all great stuff!
Thanks Tim, glad you like it. The cable cars were mostly rebuilt or new-built in the 1980s in a major refurbishment of the cabel car and transportation system. Buses replaced some of the cable car routes. Some of the originals were placed into the cable car museum, which is well worth a visit if you ever get to San Francisco. The cable cars were refurbished or constructed to the original specifications, which date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are no brake rods to attach in this build. I guess the wheel brakes would be rod activated, or some sort of crude pulley system? Victorian no doubt, as you said.

Fascinating stuff Joe!
Pete
Cheers Pete

thats bloomin marvellous !
Thanks Steve, appreciate your comment
 

flyjoe180

Joe
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What a great build, Joe.
It's a real pleasure watching it all come together.

Top work!
Ron
Thank you Ron, it's a bit different isn't it

Amazing work joe , the trellis looks superb , cheers tony
Cheers Tony. I'm enjoying this, but looking forward to getting back into some plastic!

Hi Joe
Well done indeed with that trellis. Great thinking and great patience and it looks brilliant.
Jim
Thanks Jim, glad you like the trellis

that's just NUTS!
Yep, and bolts
 

Jim R

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Hi Joe
Most interesting to follow this. Those chassis/bogies are great. Real accuracy in miniature. A labour of love.
Jim
 

flyjoe180

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The front and rear chassis were both primed. All being well, I proceeded with painting them gunmetal grey. I had some reservations about getting the paint where it needed to be, but my decision to paint the assemblies after construction was vindicated. I used thin applications of the paint and took my time to ensure the wheels especially received a good coverage.
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The front guard board, painted white earlier, was attached to the front chassis, and the bolts trimmed.
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Next up, the cabin side running boards were finished ready for attachment to the cable car's open ended sides. Painted white, with a black anti skid strip added, and the blue colour painted to the tops to blend with the cable car body, per references (not indicated in the instructions).
20200821_141822.jpg
 

flyjoe180

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The three levers then received some attention. Primed and painted gunmetal grey, I then added colour and detail as required once they had dried, including some dry brushing of steel on the cog teeth.
20200821_131637.jpg

Emergency brake lever
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Cable grip lever
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Track brake lever
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flyjoe180

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The levers and side running boards will be attached to the cabin once I'm sure everything is ready. The grip lever needs to be inserted through the front chassis and attached, and will hang below the level of the wheels. Once the chassis and levers are attached, the build will proceed to the roof area, the final main component of the build. There is some decal application to come at some stage as well.

The first step for the roof is to paint white these parts, and glue them into the recesses at each end of the enclosed cabin.
20200818_173531.jpg
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These form part of the upper (raised) section of the roof, into which small windows are to be situated.

That's the project up to date, so now you know as much as I do... :smiling5: Roof construction will commence shortly.
 

Tim Marlow

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This really is a cracking build of what looks like an excellent kit. I’m enjoying it immensely. I’ve only just cottoned on to the fact that the car has a clerestory roof as well, one of my favourite design features.
 

flyjoe180

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This really is a cracking build of what looks like an excellent kit. I’m enjoying it immensely. I’ve only just cottoned on to the fact that the car has a clerestory roof as well, one of my favourite design features.
Clerestory, thanks, I did not know that was the term for a raised section of roof. Model making is educational :thumb2:

This is really looking good.
Thank you Paul, glad you are enjoying the build.
 
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