Full Version: doctorwayne's Get off yer duff Challenge (Part II)
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This second part of my Challenge will be for rolling stock. Not much done yet, but it may include some Westerfield kit-builds, upgrades to some Tyco gondolas, perhaps some scratchbuilt freight cars and/or cabooses, and maybe some kitbashed head end equipment for passenger trains - it all depends on how successful I'll be at getting off my duff will be for this part of the Challenge. Misngth

Here's a Westerfield CNR gondola, a recent bargain find at a train show - these are easy cars to build...my previous car of this type was a bargain at a nearby hobbyshop because it was lacking instructions...

[Image: FREIGHT%20CARS%20FOR%20CHALLENGE...%20001.jpg]

[Image: FREIGHT%20CARS%20FOR%20CHALLENGE...%20002.jpg]

This car will get painted when there are enough others to make it worthwhile to heat the paint shop. Wink Goldth

These are the Tyco gondolas, picked up at a another train show. They're very similar to Accurail's version of the AAR 41' gondola, although the details, mainly grabirons, are a little heavier. I'll replace the ones on these cars with wire ones, and add some basic brake rigging, as the underside is quite visible. (I also replaced the cast-on grabs on the Accurail gondolas which I have.)
Here, the lettering has been removed, but the rest of the work still needs to be done...

[Image: FREIGHT%20CARS%20FOR%20CHALLENGE...%20005.jpg]

Here's another Westerfield kit, this one for a CPR Fowler boxcar. I actually bought it, under $5.00, to make it into a NC&StL car, but it has CP's usual 5' door, whereas that on the NC&StL car should be 6'. Instead, the CPR car will be lettered for CNR (I have enough CPR Fowlers, and not enough of them for the CNR). The prototypes had some minor differences, but none of them concern me enough to make such changes. I will, however, likely toss the Westerfield roof panels - they represent a plank roof, typical of the early cars, and are fairly severely warped...

[Image: FREIGHT%20CARS%20FOR%20CHALLENGE...%20007.jpg]

More to come when I get to work...

Lest anyone think that I'm widening my duff through inactivity (well, I'm still sitting on it, but I'm not inactive Misngth ), here are a few more projects, mostly under way to some degree.

From train shows, here's an Ertl gondola. It was originally lettered for Seaboard (like one I already have, re-done as a CNR car in black paint). This one will get a similar treatment, and the new metal grabs and sill steps are already installed (the camera has given the car a humpback appearance, but that's only a trick of the lense):

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20001.jpg]

The car's original floor had been destroyed by someone who didn't know how to use contact cement, so I got it for $4.00. Some Evergreen .030"x.060" strip, distressed with a razor saw, made some useable planks for the floor. The detail should show up after paint and weathering:

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20002.jpg]

Another train show find, this Ertl boxcar needed nothing but its trucks and wheels painted, but when I discovered that it had working doors, I also painted the floor. Eight bucks for a nice car, which will get some weathering before going into service:

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20004.jpg]

This one's Burlington Route red paint has been removed and it's had a few details added.

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20003.jpg]

I'm uncertain as to the manufacturer, but I have an identical one, bought for $2.00 at my LHS. Both cars got some additional weight and a stretched underframe from Athearn 50' flatcars. Both will be in MoW service. The one shown was also two bucks. Thumbsup

The next bunch is from the "used" department of Just Train Crazy, my local hobby shop. It has no manufacturer's markings, but I thought it to be maybe from ConCor. When I got it home and decided to replace the cast-on grab irons, I was surprised to find that the car's sides are cast metal, while the ends are metal stampings and the floor wood. This car is from Ulrich, an older company which offered some very nicely-done cast metal cars - operating drop-bottom gondolas and operating coal hoppers to name a couple, along with some well-done highway trucks.

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20005.jpg]

Not bad for $7.00...I added a single grabiron at the left end of the sides, and replaced the metal ends with plastic ones left over from some Proto-2000 gondola kits. It also got a pair of Accurail Andrews trucks and a new brake wheel, and will get some weathering when I have enough projects done to make a trip to the paint shop worthwhile.

These two are Walthers USRA composite gondolas. The black one was lettered for CPR and the red one for CB&Q...

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20007.jpg]

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20006.jpg]

Both cars got free-standing wire grabs and some better brake details, and the red one got new metal sill steps, as the plastic ones had been broken off. I also used my X-Acto to carve board details into the interior sides of both cars, which will eventually wear EG&E paint and lettering. The black car was $8.00, the red one $7.00.

This Accurail USRA hopper kit was still new-in-the-box, but also part of the same estate lot, and it cost only $8.00. Unlettered, it'll become a CNR car, in the black pre-war paint scheme:

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20008.jpg]

The next two are from the same hobbyshop, but, I believe, a different estate lot. Both were unbuilt Westerfield kits (the unbuilt CPR car was shown previously).

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20010.jpg]

As you can see on the not-quite-finished car, I did use the plank roof. The CPR car alone was going for $10.00, but I was told that I could have both cars for $9.00. "Well, I don't really need the second car...perhaps someone else would like it." "Your choice", the owner replied, "but that one's ten bucks or you can have the two for nine." My good friend Ed (cn nutbar), eager, I think, to get out of the store with a brass locomotive which was almost literally a steal, quickly chimed in, "He'll take 'em both!" while at the same time whipping out his credit card. Goldth

I was going to build the second car for him, but, after running into "difficulties" during the construction, opted to trade it for two EG&E MoW gondolas (to be replaced with the two re-worked plastic ones mentioned previously).

Here's the Westerfield N&W HP-class hopper:

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20009.jpg]

I think that both of these cars were from older runs, as the castings were extremely brittle. I lost count of the number of times I broke various pieces simply attempting to clean them of flash. The resin was also extremely hard and difficult to drill, dulling drill bits in no time. The instructions warned of this, and instead recommended surface-mounting most of the many wire grab irons. Foolishly, I slogged on, breaking more parts. Some were repaired by backing the pieces with styrene, while others were discarded and new ones fabricated from styrene. It's probably the most frustrating kit I've ever built, and I'm glad that it'll be painted black, which should hide some of my mistakes. The Andrews trucks are from Kadee.
On several occasions, I wanted to simply toss it into the garbage, but that's not normally what I'd do, so I plugged away at it for far too long for a car I didn't really need. The Westerfield CNR gondola mentioned previously, on the other hand, was a pleasure to build and turned out as I had hoped.
Even the CPR Fowler boxcar suffered breakage in my clumsy hands...the floor, one side, and one end, along with some smaller parts. Like all of my closed craftsman-type cars, I built mine with a removeable floor, rather than gluing it in as per the instructions...with a car so problematic to build, I at least want it accessible when I have to repair it. Crazy

This one arrived yesterday, direct from Tangent:

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20011.jpg]

While it needs its wheels and axles painted and a mid-'30s re-weigh date added, it's otherwise ready-to-run, and one of the nicest examples of that genre I've seen. It'll get some weathering, too.

This one came with the previous one, and is likely destined to get GILX reporting marks....

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20012.jpg]

...I hope that I can make it look as good as the ready-to-run one.

I think that those Tyco gondolas, shown previously, are next up for freight cars.

I was working to finish the Fowler boxcar today, and was excited to discover a method which prevents further damage to the older Westerfield cars with which I've been having difficulties.
It seems that the first step is to create some small details which need to be added to the car. Then, the parts, to be added, in turn, are dropped onto the floor of the workshop. As long as the car remains on my workbench, and I remain on my hands and knees on the shop floor, looking for the errant parts, no damage will befall the poor cars. Goldth Misngth

With my knees now somewhat the worse for wear, the car is ready for paint:

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20015.jpg]

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20014.jpg]

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20013.jpg]

Hi Wayne,

Could you provide some inside pics of gondolas where you have replaced moulded-on grab irons with wire? I'm having trouble visualizing how to drill - only part way, necessitating very short legs on the grab iron, or all the way through which would then require clean-up or treatment for the inside of the wall.


Sorry for the late reply: I started it this morning, then went out for most of the day working elsewhere. It's now about 8:00PM, and I've just now finished - nice to see that it didn't disappear, like a long-winded in-progress composition over on the MR Forum usually does.
If I don't have suitable photos available, I pause to shoot them, then edit as necessary and place them in photobucket...,.and, as usual, also tend to ramble on a bit. I hope that this reply won't make you regret requesting "more information". Crazy Misngth

Andrew, I usually.... well, probably always, drill right through, and then after placing a spacer between the car's body and the grabirons (a strip of .030" thick styrene seems to work well, and I store one in the drawer where the grabirons are kept) I use my X-Acto knife to bend-over the protruding ends inside the car. With the spacer centred - not touching the portion of the grabs which enter the car's body - ca is then applied inside the car to the area where the wires protrude through the side. The placement of the spacer is to guard against the ca wicking through the hole and cementing the spacer in place.
For house cars, that's usually enough, unless the folded-over protruding ends will interfere with something inside the car...the car's floor or a weight mounted inside the car, for instance. I often leave the ends sticking into gondolas, too, as they're pressed against the inside surface and, once painted, aren't all that noticeable.

Here's a boxcar with the grabiron ends left inplace...

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20022.jpg]

...and a gondola with the same...

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20024.jpg]

If you don't like the looks of them, though, let the ca fully cure, then use an old #11 blade in your X-Acto to pick at the exposed ends until they're free of the inside wall of the car, and bend them back the opposite way to what they were bent during installation. Usually, the metal will fatigue and the protruding piece will simply break off, but some may need to be flipped back and forth a couple of times.
Here's a gondola with the bent-over ends cut off using the method outlined above:

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20023.jpg]

I save the trimmed-off bits of wire Crazy and dump them into a plastic blister off the piece of cardstock which comprises the packaging for Krazy Glue, but any such plastic bubble will work. Metal trimmings from other projects are also tossed into the same container, and when enough has been accumulated, I dump in enough A-West Blacken-It to more or less cover the heap. This is left for a day or two, then, if any of the liquid remains, it's carefully dumped back into another container - usually an empty bottle of the blackening agent and re-capped. This prevents contaminating the new blackener, and can be re-use (with whatever amount of new blackener might be needed) for your next batch of "scrap".

Here's a just-started collection of scrap wire, shavings, trimmings and broken stuff...

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20016.jpg]

...and some processed and dried material...

[Image: Freight%20car%20projects...%20018.jpg]

I should also mention X-Acto blades. I use mostly #11s, but also #17s and #18s. The latter two are very easy to re-sharpen, and the ones I have have been in-service for many years. They're also easy to shape using a cut-off disc in a motor tool, allowing use in some confined or unusual situations. Here's one example (the coupler was the actual subject when the photo was taken):

[Image: Olderstylecouplers006.jpg]

When a #11 blade is new, I use it mainly to cut-out decals, although the initial cutting is done with an older, re-sharpened blade, staying well-away from the desired images. Each cut-out piece is then trimmed, using a new blade and working on a piece of glass or other hard surface, using a downward chopping motion rather than simply slicing. This is done as close as possible to the image itself. Chopping pushes the cut edge downward, whereas slicing raises it, which makes settling the edges more difficult during decal application. I also trim the corners where the image does not come right to the edge as on an "O" or ""8", for example. All of this rigmarole is to aid in making the applied decal film less obvious. To carry that topic a little further, the decal is applied on a gloss surface, and once fully set and dried (overnight at least), another gloss coat should be applied over the entire area. This equalises the finish of decaled and undecaled areas, making them more similar in appearance. After that, the clear finish of choice (flat or semi-gloss) can be applied.

Back to blades. Once the decal chopping has been done, the blade is usually resharpened and used for whatever tasks may be required, and continued, with re-sharpening as needed. This phase ends when the tip of the blade breaks off, which it will. Don't throw it away, though: it's still useful for heavy-duty cutting (thick styrene, for example, which requires several scorings before it can be snapped apart). Continue to use such blades where the missing tip will not affect results, re-sharpening as required.
You'll eventually end up with a bunch of such slightly damaged blades in service, and those in the worst condition can be moved a little further down the useage scale. If you need to cut brass, or phosphor bronze wire, one of theses blades will do the job quite neatly: working on a hard surface (glass or metal), simply place the heel of the blade (the sharp edge at the deepest part of the blade, near the handle) at the proper point on the wire, and press down very firmly, taking care to restrain both pieces of wire on either side of the cut. This works well up to about .015" or .020" in diameter. For heavier wire, place the blade on the target area, then press down firmly, using the blade to roll the wire beneath it. A couple of back-and-forth moves will either sever the wire or score and work-harden the cut point to a degree where it can be easily and cleanly broken by hand.
These techniques will also work on stainless steel wire, which is much harder, but the upper limit of diameter is probably .015" or .012" at most.
This useage will further damage the blade, usually by create indentations in the cutting edge, but the blade will remain useful for further such work until most of the cutting edge is ruined.

Don't throw it away yet, though. If not too much of the blade's tip has broken off, or if the blade is already used for wire cutting but still has its tip, it makes an excellent applicator for ca: simply pool some ca on that hard work surface, then dip the blade's tip into it, and apply a controlled amount of glue to the place required - if it's an easy-to-reach spot, you can use the blade held in your finger tips, or secure it in an X-Acto handle for a longer reach, such as applying ca to grabirons inside of a boxcar. When each such job is completed, use the back (non-cutting) edge of another blade to scrape off the dried ca, leaving it ready for the next time.
Another use for old blades past their cutting prime is for mixing epoxy. I use a piece of .060" sheet styrene for a mixing surface, and simply squeeze out the proper amount of epoxy and hardener onto it. Then, hold a blade either in your fingertips or a proper handle, and thoroughly mix the two components. After wiping the blade to ensure that there's not an excess of either component left on it, you can use the blade, tip end or, using your fingertips to hold it, butt end, to apply the epoxy where it's needed. Once the epoxy has set, I use a #18 chisel-type blade to scrape the remaining hardened epoxy from the mixing surface, leaving it ready for the next use.

Hope all this blather will be useful to somebody. Goldth

doctorwayne Wrote:nice to see that it didn't disappear, like a long-winded in-progress composition over on the MR Forum usually does

Gidday Doc, at the risk of trying the equivalent of “teaching my Grandma how to suck eggs” I now write all my forum posts on Word, then copy and paste. Then if the forum gremlins play up, I still have the original.
i fined this also helps wif me speling Punkchewation and Gramma!! Thumbsup
Alas it offers no assistance for improving the content. Nope

doctorwayne Wrote:All of this rigmarole is to aid in making the applied decal film less obvious.

I can see I’m going to have to try harder with my decals.
Cheers, the Bear. Smile

Thanks very much for the info on the grab irons, and the additional treatise on the many and varied uses of Xacto blades. I never would have thought to use them to apply adhesives.


Finally had some time to get back to these Tyco/Mantua gondolas. The first task was to add some very basic brake gear, as the underside of these cars will be quite visible, especially when they're running at eye-level on the upper part of the layout.

The low relief cast-on brake components (reservoir, AB control unit, and brake valve) were shaved off the five cars with plastic underbodies, and replaced with slightly better representations. The reservoirs are from Train Miniature cars which got K-type brakes in a previous Challenge, but I had no reasonable size brake cylinders nor enough identical AB valves to do all five cars, so I made the parts, mostly from styrene...

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20031.jpg]

The detail on the Mantua car with the metal underframe was better-rendered, but I used a cut-off disc to remove the brake cylinder, to allow easier addition of brake rods. The replacement was from an Accurail boxcar, and is similar to those used on two identical cars done some time ago...

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20038.jpg]

I cut blocks of .125" square Evergreen strip material and cemented them into the space in the centre of the frame, which allowed for easier drilling when installing the actuating rods.

Despite the unprototypical curve in the rod connecting the brake levers of the Mantua car, it looks okay under normal viewing...

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20040.jpg]

...as do the other cars...

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20041.jpg]

I also removed the reinforcing ribs cast into the interior of the cars' sides. This will allow the use of built-up removeable loads that will fit both these cars and the very similar ones from Accurail:

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20019.jpg]

...and also re-visited the two previously detailed Tyco cars for the same alteration. I used a brush to touch-up the interiors on these two, but they'll get a new paint and weathering application on their interiors when everything else goes to the paint shop:

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20030.jpg]

All of the cars got couplers, of course, mostly ones re-cycled from other cars which I had re-equipped with scale-head Kadees. The final detail work was to add metal sill steps and grab irons. The steps are all from A-Line, while most of the grabs were bent using .0125" phosphor bronze wire from Tichy, as the sizes on the model are non-standard. Here's all six cars...

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20001.jpg]

...with the Mantua car, in the foreground, already equipped with its brake wheel (from either Tichy or Cal-Scale).

For those who go to the trouble to add free-standing grab irons, I'm sure that a few of you have the same problem which I have....namely crooked-looking grabs which look even worse than the cast-on ones which were such a nuisance to carve off. 35

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20010.jpg]

All six of these cars had some crooked ones, although the one shown above was the worst. The problem is caused by two factors: holes which are not drilled perpendicular to the surface of the car's side, instead angled up or down, and grab irons (usually custom-bent ones) in which the two "legs" are bent at angles which, when viewed straight-on on the car's side, point either up or down relative to horizontal. Sticking a mis-bent wire into a hole which has been mis-drilled in the same direction only compounds the problem.
I'm pretty sure that, even using a properly set-up drill press, I am capable of drilling holes which are not near perpendicular to the surface being drilled. Crazy Misngth

The solution to this unsightly problem is, however, simple...even for me.

Once the glue (ca...one of few tasks for which I use it) has set, I use a small pair of smooth-jawed pliers to twist the offending wire into position. Place the pliers against the car's side, then grasp as much of the wire as possible and lever it up or down as required...it may take a couple of attempts to get it to a point where it looks good, especially if you need to do several in the same group. Occasionally, you may break the bond of the ca or destroy a grab or two - keep calm and carry on.
Here's the progression of things on that poorly-done car...

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20012.jpg]

[Image: TYCO%20GONDOLAS...%20015.jpg]

That wraps up the gondolas, leaving only the Tangent tank car kit to be built. Oh, yeah, and a couple of scratchbuilt cars to be done, too, and, of course, paint and lettering for all this stuff.

Thumbsup Applause
Lest anyone think that I'm back on my duff, here's another addition to the work load.  A friend acquired this Proto-2000 automobile car kit, partially-built, at a train show.  He was impressed by the fact that it had an end door, but didn't realise that it also had a 1942 BLT date...not so good if you're modelling the late '20s/early '30s. Crazy  I keep telling him to get some better glasses and to wear, or at least take them, to train shows so he can see what he's buying.
Anyway, I received it as a gift (my favourite price), but was reminded, when I got it home and took a look, why I had not bought these cars back when they were first released....more on that in a minute.
However, the original owner was apparently even more blind than my friend.  He had installed the car's doors, along with the tack boards on them and on the car's ends.  However, he totally missed all of the mounting holes when installing the ladders.  To make up for that, glue (apparently the tube-type stuff used back in the day before most of us became aware of liquid styrene cements) was applied liberally to the ladders and they were then place in the wrong location (not too far off, though  Misngth ).
The same glue was used for the doors and tackboards, too, and for the roofwalk and to attach the car's weight to the floor.  
It's good to know that liberal use of such cement will hold most stuff together fairly well, and we know why it's held because the glue is so highly visible.
Besides that, the excess cement warped the roofwalk beyond salvage, and while it didn't do a great job of holding the car's weight to the floor, it, and the same cement holding the frame to the floor, did manage to warp both the frame and the floor.
I didn't take a photo of the car as received, as my intention was to give it back or simply toss it (after removing the trucks).  However, seeing it sit there, I saw a true "Challenge" candidate, so set about trying to salvage it.  If worse came to worst, I could still trash it and say nothing.
I used a #17 chisel blade to scrape away as much of the excess cement as possible, then started to attempt removal of the parts.  The roofwalk came off easily, but is too warped to re-use.  The ladders came off fairly easily, too, but in pieces - that fragility is one of the reasons why I hadn't bought these cars originally.  This was borne out further when I later started adding the detail parts (grabs, steps, etc.) and found that every time I handled the car, something would break.
The doors were the most difficult to remove, and I broke two of them when portions remained stuck to the door tracks (one was improperly placed and the remnant was simply scraped off and replace with strip styrene.  The other was part of another door's lower edge, and since it was in its proper place, was left and the door re-cemented in place with much less glue.
I attempted to straighten the frame/floor assembly, but broke the frame.  After chiselling away most of the excess glue holding it to the floor, I applied MEK to the joint between floor and frame, and as the original glue softened, was able to force the chisel-type blade into the joint and separate the frame from the floor.
Anyway,  after getting everything apart, I began to re-build it.  This involved some interior changes simply to accommodate the revised method of holding the weight in place, which also allows the weight to keep the warped floor and frame straight.  That also necessitated fastening the floor assembly to the body with screws.  At the same time, I modified the coupler box covers from glued-on (yes, too much glue) to screwed-on.  Here are some photos....

This is the modified floor, showing the strip and sheet styrene used to hold the weight to the floor - the weight itself is not glued in place, as the warped floor, cupped somewhat, does not provide enough contact area.  In most cars nowadays, I prefer the method shown.  Also visible are clearance holes for the screws which hold the body and floor/frame assemblies together.  Note, too, the cut-outs at the floor's corners to accommodate strip styrene added to the bodyshell so that A-Line sill steps could be installed...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20017.jpg]

Here's the body, with threaded holes in .125"x.125" cemented in place for the body/floor attachment.  Also visible are the styrene strips cemented to the body for sill step installation...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20018.jpg]

Because of the excess cement used by the original owner, the doors were all bowed-in somewhat  (the doors and sides of these cars are fairly thin (another why-I-didn't-buy-em reason), so, after I had re-installed them, I backed them with a sheet of .040" sheet styrene, then backed that with a sheet of .060" styrene to make the entire car more durable.  It can now be grasped at the door area and picked-up, without the sides caving in.  The .125"x125" block (there's one on both sides) is to force the upwardly-warped  centre of the floor into its proper position, and that forcing action, in-turn, forces the ends of the floor downward, requiring the screws to hold them in place...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20019.jpg]

This is a close-up of one of the damaged doors...mid-way between the door rollers and not too visible...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20021.jpg]

...and the other one, which lost its original top.  It was replaced with an appropriately-sized strip of styrene (one reason why I keep a good range of strip styrene on hand)...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20022.jpg]

Here's the A-end, with the doors which so enthralled my friend.  Because the Tichy ladders which I used aren't made specifically for this car, I had to improvise on the attachment method.  The ladders were originally intended for my Seaboard 1932 ARA car (Part III of my Challenge), but attaching them to that car would likely have been even more difficult.  The tackboard is from Intermountain, and the grabirons are from Tichy...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20025.jpg]

Speaking of grabirons, the Proto car came with plastic bracket-type grabs, but they are so flimsy that several broke when I attempted to remove them from their sprue.  They're too clunky-looking for my tastes anyway, so I fashioned plain-style grabs using Tichy phosophor bronze wire (they're wider that what Tichy offers ready-made).  Because they looked so plain and since the attachment details for the original grabs were part of those grabs rather than cast onto the body shell, I decided to add bolt attachment details.  In this case, the "bolts" are simply short pieces of the same wire used to form the grab irons, inserted into separate holes drilled above those for the grabirions...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20020.jpg]

This is the revised B-end.  I had originally used the Proto detail parts, but most of them broke during installation or later handling...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20010.jpg]

This is the scratchbuilt roofwalk, with the warped original alongside the car.  I used Evergreen HO scale 2"x6", distressed somewhat by dragging a razor saw along the length of each strip before cutting them into the various lengths which make up the walkway.  The corner grabs are scratchbuilt, too, using more Tichy phosphor bronze wire...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20009.jpg]

Here are the 1-72 screws holding things together...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20008.jpg]

...and, finally, the car itself.  I scraped off the original 1942 BLT and NEW dates, and replaced them with decals showing it built and weighed originally in June, 1937, which better-suits my layout's era.  Don't tell the Lehigh Valley, though.  I'll brush-paint the revisions, then add some weathering before it goes on the layout...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20006.jpg]

The other cars in this Challenge are mostly painted and lettering has begun, but I'll update them when they're a little more presentable.
I also have finished a couple of the other cars which make up this Challenge.
Here's the PRR composite gondola, from Ulrich:

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20011.jpg]

...and the Ertl almost-r-t-r USRA boxcar:

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20012.jpg]

...and the r-t-r Tangent tank car...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20014.jpg]

Love the Valley car Doc. Big Grin
Awesome work Doc1 Cheers
Finally, some progress to report. Crazy

Here's the HPc hopper from Westerfield. Most of these cars would have been rebuilt with the more familiar below-the-floor pocket-type hoppers by my operating era, and it's unusual, I think, for an N&W hopper to be delivering coal in Canada. Nevertheless, it'll see regular layout use simply because it was such a "joy" to build. Wallbang Crazy
Here it is, about to be dropped at Hoffentoth Bros. coal outlet in Lowbanks...

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All six of the Tyco gondolas have been painted, but only three are currently in service...

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The other three are also painted and mostly lettered, but I ran out of heralds and will have to order more custom lettering in order to finish them.

The two Walthers USRA drop-door gondolas also got finished....their exterior bracing doesn't allow enough room for the regular -size heralds, but the ones meant for flatcars fit in just fine....

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Also completed was work service gondola 115....

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...a companion for the already-in-service 121...

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Interchange partner CNR also gained a couple of cars, among them this Westerfield gondola...

[Image: 2016-2017%20CHALLENGE%20CARS...%20033.jpg]

...which joins this car, already in-service...what's new is the load of heavy timbers, which will also fit in some other cars...

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Also for the CNR is another open hopper car, shown here with a sister, and both from Accurail. Lettering is from C-D-S...

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After the initial repairs, the LV automobile boxcar got a brush-applied touch-up of its paint, followed by some airbrushed light weathering....

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The Fowler boxcar, from Westerfield, was also completed, but its C-D-S dry transfers were well-past their "best before" date, and I couldn't salvage them, even by trying to apply them to decal paper. I thought about buying a new set, but instead, turned it into a company car for work service duties...

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The windows are from either Tichy or Grand Line, with lettering a combination of decals and dry transfers. I also added a step below the doors and a long grab beside each door, too. I hope, though, that the LPBs won't attempt to use them, as the doors are cemented to the car's sides and reinforced internally with heavy sheet styrene. Misngth

I've still got another gondola in addition to the three missing Tycos. It's the one from Ertl, and is painted and waiting for the CNR decals to come from Westerfield .

Next, I'll return to the scratchbuilt Seaboard boxcar, and have received material yesterday to begin work on the NC&StL Fowler boxcar. If I get bored with those, there's more work to be done on Part I of my Challenge.

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