Detailing New Haven Passenger Cars

Jerry Poniatowski provided us with the text and photos of how he created these New Haven passenger cars. His layout is packed up pending a move at the time of this writing, but that didn't stop him from doing some actual modeling work. The focus of this article is mostly on the interior of the cars. All photos are copyright © Jerry Poniatowski; used by permission.

Jerry took six American Flyer New Haven passenger cars and generally followed Dick Karnes' article to create his models. Jerry did not intend for these to be contest quality, nor very detailed, but it was a fun project, nonetheless.

In addition to the A.C. Gilbert shells that he bought at the York, PA annual shows, he scratch-built styrene frames, added American Models trucks, some details, and lighting. The first step was to form, paint, and letter the shells, which he did following Dick's article.

Jerry had a hard time trying to figure out where to hide all the electronic components to enable the lighting of the cars. In the end, he hid them in the washrooms.

The interior of five of the cars used Palace Car seats, and LED strip lighting for illumination. The tile floor pattern was determined by information he had received from the New Haven Historical Society, and he then created it on his computer. He drew the pattern in a simple drawing program, then printed that with black toner on a light blue paper, run through his copier.

This is a construction photo of the seats and floor. The seats weren't directly glued to the floor. Instead he put them on risers, which were nothing but styrene blocks. This gives them their "floating" look, which is more prototypical.

A photo of the restroom area under construction. This is the area into which the electronics, mounted to the inside of the shells, disappears into when assembled.

And for the folks who smoked, the New Haven had a "smoking car" that had a slightly different seating arrangement with the smoking section separated by a partition.

This is a photo of the smoking section still under construction.

Like many of us who have many other projects under way, time is a limited resource, and so Jerry detailed the area under the cars only with components that suggest that there is a lot more there than there really is. His philosophy is "If you can't crawl under the car, you don't need to see it!".

Jerry is working on an article for one of the magazines describing the way he did the lighting system for these cars, so keep your eyes open for that. Once it is published, we will reference it here.

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