Wednesday, November 24, 2021

New Haven Deluxe Diner part 5

Filling in the details

The car body components of this diner kit are a blank palette, not only lacking color but the specific add on details that will help to paint an accurate model of the prototype.

There is no one particular or complete source of information available to answer all the questions about detailing a model of the New Haven deluxe diners. Collective data and photos from many sources was the guide in detailing this model. 

The two prototype photos of the same side of diner #5247 are the only era specific reference available that show proof positive details that could be added that would result in a more accurate finished model. A New Haven Railroad Deluxe Diner diagram also offers a wealth of dimensional and equipment data that helps in understanding what can be derived from the photos and fill in the voids of the unseen.

Choosing details to add

Details other than hand grabs and steps, the details chosen to add to the model are pointed out below.

If there are only prototype photos of one side of diner #5247, what is on the other side?

A total of 10 heavyweight dining cars were built by Pullman in the same lot, 8 standard 48 seat cars and 2 deluxe 36 seat cars. All car dimensions are the same except the spacing of the seating and the number of corresponding window pairs. Standard diners #5239-5246 had the same equipment in the era being modeled as #5247, so an assumption that using an era correct photo of the opposite side of a standard diner would be useful in choosing the correct details for this model. The below 1957 photo of #5244 was used in selecting what to model.

Modeling kitchen side details


Range and broiler vents - BCW.

Clerestory vents - Tom Madden. Vent style #1 are made from cutting down vent style #2

Water fills - Details West #FF-166. There are two water tanks located in the kitchen clerestory, these water fills for the tanks were no longer in use during era of model. Ladder rests for roof top service and water tank vents have been removed but fills remain, new ground service water fills are located between paired steps on kitchen end of car and tank vents now inside car.

Drip rails - brass wire

Clerestory vent block off plates - .010" styrene.

Under Body

All equipment boxes scratch built with styrene, applied handles and hinges harvested from molded styrene equipment boxes from various manufactures. These equipment boxes were the most difficult step in modeling this diner. Good close up photos of the prototype equipment for modeling were not found, these are modeled as best as could be determined from a combination of photos of several NH dining cars. Information about these modeled equipment boxes has been forwarded to BCW and may become 3D printed parts included with the production kit.

All Westinghouse brake components are from Rapido.

Car Sides
Door safety bars. These are represented by a piece of brass rod covered at the door frames with short
strips of narrow .005" styrene.

Modeling the passage aisle side details.

The sources and modeling methods of the details on this side remain the same as the kitchen side of the car with the addition of the A/C air intake that is also scratch built although this part is available from BCW.

Modeling car end details.

Hand grab rails are fabricated with .015" wire.

Brake gear and chain are harvested from a Athearn round roof coach. The brake wheel is from Kadee and flattened to take some of the dish out of the wheel, this being the closest wheel on hand to a Peacock wheel as indicated on the NH diagram. If a Peacock wheel is found it will be swapped for the Kadee. An exterior brake wheel is only used on the dining end, an interior hand brake is located in the kitchen end.

The diaphragms are from Branchline, available from BCW.

Also visible in this photo, the joining seams between the cast resin ends and the 1/4 round styrene strips added to each side in part 2 to widen the car ends has been fill with Evercoat #400 finishing putty (a catalyzed automotive product) and sanded smooth for painting.

These are the parts that are ready to be painted then begin the final assembly next time.



  1. Awesome work, Joe. Your level of research and pursuit of correct details is nothing short of inspiring!
    -Jim Dufour