At our club, we have a teem track in Madison that has an overhead crane. One of the simple Walthers types. I know there are dozens of articles people have written on detailing bridge cranes, but I figure one more won't hurt. I've looked at this particular crane for a year, as it's at eye level, and Madison is essentially over the coke works. And the crane is something I pass by any time I walk in or out of the cul de sac where the coke plant is. In the last few weeks, it seemed as if every time I walked by it, I'd notice another part of the crane was broken or had fallen off. Last Wednesday, the crane itself was no longer on the crane-way, and the operators cab had finally succumb to whatever ghostly force had it in for the crane. So I decided to bring it home and fix it. Just that. Fix it, and return it to the spot in Madison.
But I can't just fix it, can I? I NEED to super detail it. (Insert eye roll).
The first thing I noticed was that the ladder to the operators cab had no safety cage. Even in 1950 it would likely have had one. And then to actually get to the platform on the operators cab required the guy going up there to take a leap of faith to get there. I had a Plastruct caged ladder left from when I used to use them. It's not that I wanted to skimp on this project, but it's an overhead crane on team track. And it'll look better than it did without one. I also added a platform to bridge the gap from the ladder to the operators cab platform, with some Tichy platform brackets for detail. I also decided to add the bus bars for the electrical pickups to ride on. As I added these, now I need to add the pickup bracket and pickups. Sheesh.
Next, I added some "glass" to the cab windows before replacing the roof on the cab and one of the brackets it hangs from. You can see the gap is now probably about 6-8", which I think is more realistic.
I figured while I was at it, might as well use a couple of the new electrical cabinets from Steel Mill Modelers Supply. A pipe from a Walthers refinery piping kit added a nice conduit to the mix. You can see the bus bar pickup bracket at top left.
Finally I added a drive to the crane bridge. Mounting the motor to the top of the operators cab may or may not be prototype, but it was convenient without the projects spiraling out of control any more than it already had. I fabricated the transfer box and added 2/3's of a Tichy small rivet plate for an access cover (black rectangle on the transfer box). Gear reduction boxes at the bridge trucks were also fabricated from Evergreen thick strip stock. The drive shafts and a carrier block were next to finish off the drive. Now for some paint and to weather the devil out of it, and it can go back on the layout on Wednesday.