Friday, October 28, 2016

Window Shades

Window Shades

Passenger car window shades are subjective thing. When riding in a 1:1 train some passengers like to have the window shades up so they can view the passing scenery, others may choose to have them partially or fully pulled down to block light from coming in. Modelers are equally subjective, some like their passenger cars with shades all at the same height, some at varying heights and some with no shades showing at all. It is no wonder that model manufactures are hesitant to put shades in their RTR passenger cars.

Rapido Support

The Rapido Trains recently released New Haven 8600 fluted stainless coaches are no exception and come without any window shades. To support their customer base that would like to have window shades, Rapido has thoughtfully chosen to put downloadable window shade sheets for the 8600's on their web site for those who would like to self install shades.

These downloadable shades from Rapido can be found on their web site support page under HO New Haven 8600 Passenger Cars. Below is an example of this downloadable sheet.

click to enlarge photos

Installing Shades In The 8600's

The Rapido New Haven 8600 coaches are a fabulous high quality model,  like most New Haven modelers in HO scale I am very happy to finally have accurate well made models of these coaches.

To their credit, the Rapido 8600 coaches are very easily disassembled for additional interior detailing if desired. The car body and roof are one piece, to remove the body one only needs to slightly spread the coach sides to release chassis/interior.

The window glazing strips are not glued in from the factory and are simply slid out from the retaining slots making the installation of the window shades an easy on the bench task.

The shade color on the sheet is a good match to the prototype and just so happens to be very close to a color I mixed up to paint styrene shades that were previously installed in some passenger cars that are already in service, so for color consistency I am happy with that. I like the simulated metallic band across the bottom of the shades that imitates that of the prototype.

When printing the downloadable sheet of shades I found that with my computer/printer combination I needed to print the sheets at 104% for the shades to fully cover the individual windows from side to side. I do not use the interior lighting on any of my cars, so I do not know if the factory lighting would bleed thru the copy paper that the shades were printed on.

Years ago I built some passenger cars and installed paper window shades by taping them at the top, in time those shades warped, pulled away from the glazing and a few fell out. This time I glued them in and backed them up with a simple strip of sturdy styrene to hopefully keep them from warping and keep them tight against the inside of the glazing.

I started by cutting the shades in strips of various heights, then .060" x .060" strip styrene pieces were cut to a length a little shorter than the window width to back up the shades. The shades were cut from the strips one at a time and a small 45° chamfer was made at both of the top corners to compensate for the curvature of the window corners.

Canopy glue was used to install the shades. The glue was applied to two surfaces of the styrene strips, one surface that mates at the top of the inside of the window and the other that mates to the back of the shade, see photos below.

Adding Shades To The Rapido Osgood Bradley Passenger Cars

I have been putting off adding shades to the Osgood Bradley 8200 coaches and 8500 smokers for some time. I was going to make shades for them with thin styrene and paint them the same blue that was used on the other completed cars mentioned before, but the thought of all that repetitious work had me working on more interesting projects instead.

I decided to try the same Rapido paper shades and same installation process on these cars as well but without the simulated metallic band at the bottom.

The model Osgood Bradley cars have a slightly wider window than the 8600's (on the prototype this is actually two separate windows) so the sheet of shades was printed out at 110% to compensate for the difference in width, again using my computer/copier combination.

The window glazing strips on the RTR Rapido Osgood Bradley coaches and smokers are glued in from the factory, that necessitates adding the shades and styrene backers thru the open bottom of the body shell which is slightly more difficult than adding the shades to the 8600's.

Using a sharp #11 blade to stab the styrene backer strip before applying the glue aids in placing the strip in place thru the bottom of the body shell.

I like the color and the way these shades look after installation, they will be used on my passenger car projects going forward, thank you Rapido for making these shades available as a free download.

Below the installed shades in a 8600 coach in the fore ground and a 8500 smoker in the rear.

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