|Steve Wintermeier is working on putting together N scale rendition of
the Denali Star. Here are his lessons learned:
"I would like to pass along a couple of tips for better operations. Many thanks to Curt Fortenberry for passenger car decals and to Roundhouse Hobbies for the diesel decals. Based on my research, the typical consist is as follows:
If you intend to model the full train, this is a long train with fifteen 85' cars. It should probably be run only on the largest of layouts with large radii!
1) McKinley Explorer cars (also available in N scale).
I have 5 cars. The typical consist is 5 or 6. These are very colorful and get rave reviews at the club however, a few improvements for operations/appearance:
a) The three large round tabs on the side of the shell are a little unsightly. I used a fine pointed silver paint pen used to make them match the sides better. I have not done this yet, but the best solution is to fill the holes with a rod of styrene. This can be easily carved/filed to match the corrugated sides and a touch of silver paint should leave it almost invisible. Feel free to repaint the whole side if you like - but it's probably not worth it. Leave about 1/32" of the styrene rod protruding on the inside. VERY lightly taper the tip of the protruding portion on the inside with fine sandpaper or a nail file to make it easier to insert into the frame later. Cut off the tabs on the car frame and drill a hole the same size into the frame - err on the small side and make it larger later. The key is a snug - not tight - fit. Reattach the shell by inserting one end first and then the other end by bending the car frame in the middle. Finally, spread the sides and insert your styrene tabs into the holes that you made in the frame of the car.
I did some further research and you are correct. The closest approximations to the ARR are Rivarossi cars. I would recommend buying one set of baggage, diner, dome and coach plus two coaches for a typical consists. The diner, dome and baggage are very good approximations to the UP origin cars such as numbers 400, 500 and 100 respectively. The window arrangement on the coaches are quite different due to the rebuilds. The Rivarossi coach has about 11 windows, the real coaches on the ARR have about 16 windows. The rivet (and window) counters can see a very good article in the March and April issues of Model Railroader about how to reconfigure windows to the prototype. I'll reconfigure the windows in about 30 years after I retire. For improved operations:
a) Body mount your couplers unless you have very sharp radii (under 24"). If you have sharp radius curves - as they say in Japan, rots a ruck!3) Princess cars.
Right now, you will need to purchase the Three Brothers SP 6 window bi-levels for your base model shell (recently launched in N scale - I think there is an announcement in the March or April MR). According to the website on 4/2/02, the Three Bros. HO versions are still in stock at Walthers (item #713-602). However, it APPEARS that Walthers may have purchased the molds for these and will be making them eventually. This is based on the recent launch of the CNW 4 window bi-levels which appear to be remakes of the Three Brothers Versions.
I am going to wait. I have my hands full painting ARR cars and renumbering Atlas GP-38s for now. Making the Princess cars is a project in itself and involves cutting off most of the top of the car and building the smoked glass domes from scratch. It may involve changing a double door to a single and I will need to find a source for decals.
Pictures coming soon!