Kadee Skeleton log car
I had another modeller give me a Kadee Skeleton log car to build for him (Kit#102) After I built that one I decided to build the three that have been sitting on my shelf for a couple years. Now that I'm building a layout with a dedicated logging area and sawmill these will be prefect. I already built the one for the other modeler but I'll take you through the building of the others.


The entire car is cast white metal for weight and the parts are in sealed plastic bags.

I did some initial cleanup but most of the casting and pretty clean and flash free. Any flash that was on there cleaned up in only a few minutes.
I didn't entirely follow that instructions step-by-step for the build after I built the first, some things I found were better the assemble before others due to the fragile nature of some parts and assemblies.  For instance, the instructions want you to build the entire brake system before attaching the  coupler pockets. I found that the coupler pockets can take a good amount of force to get the on and it's better to attach them first than to damage the brake components.


The brake wheel is attached to the 'b' end coupler pocket. It and the brake chain is pinned with a 1/2" nail that is pinched at both ends to hold everything in place.


Finished assembly, ready for installation.

I then installed the coupler pockets and  assembled the brake system.


I did appreciate how almost all the components fit where they were supposed to. I did have to do a bit of trimming of the brake rods but that was about it. The frame is pre-drilled so I didn't have to drill any holes, just glue the parts in with either thin or gel CA.
That is a lot of small parts. Be interesting to see it all come together.
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
Thanks Tom. I'm finding that you almost need the skills of a jeweler to assemble one of these. I think my real challenge will be painting them after assembly with all the moving parts and hanging chains.
Thank you for posting this thread.  It’s always interesting to see other modeler’s work.  I would like to see more from other modelers.  Really nice work here.  Thumbsup
Guy from Southern Quebec.
Thanks Guy.

I continued the project by building the four stakes.


A length of chain is attached by threading a metal rod through the stake and the chain. I suspended a length of chain from my 'third hand' to make the job a bit easier. The instructions call for you to flatten the rod on both ends to secure it but I found it easier to use thin CA for the job.


The next step was the couplers. If you buy one of the newer cars, you are lucky enough to have a wisker coupler. If you have an older one, you get this. The small spring goes into the slot of the coupler shank in the coupler box but before you add the spring you have to insert the tiny metal cylinder into the spring to limit it's travel. 
It's best not to have a few cups of expresso before attempting this.
after the coupler box goes together, it's it slid into the car frame and 'pinned' with a small nail into the frame.
I have to give you credit. You are doing good work. With all those small parts if it was me I would have lost my mind.
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
Thanks this project is giving new meaning to 'patience'

I built up the bunks, starting with adding the stakes to the bunks.

Like the chains, the stakes are held into the bunk with a short piece of wire and a plastic bushing. Getting it all to line up is a bit tricky, but not impossible.


After inserting the wire through bunk, stake and bushing I stimmed it to size. No glue was needed as the bushing provides a friction fit.


and now the stakes are 'hinged' for either a loaded or unloaded car.


Next it to attach the other end of the retention chains to the bunks. That is done by attaching these very small rings to the ends of the chain. These are like miniature key chains.


and fitted to the chain.

Then you thread the chain through a slot in the bunk and glue the ring to a pin beside the slot. After that I glued the bunks to the car frame.


Then I attached the hand brake rod, remainder of the train air line and the truck boss.


And with the addition of the trucks two of the three are done. I'm now entirely sure about the Kadee archbar trucks. They seem a bit finicky and fussy over some of my track. I'll try them for a bit when I finish up my tracklaying but I may change them out.
Very nicely-done, Glen.   Applause Applause Applause

In the past, I had quite a few of those Kadee couplers with the spring in the shank, but at that time, they didn't have the gladhand for magnetic uncoupling.

I also have some of those older Kadee archbar trucks, but I didn't care for the see-through look of the spring package.  I left the springs in place, then used ca or WeldBond Kwik epoxy, to affix a small piece of black styrene to the backside of the sideframes...




As long as the truck's sideframes are not skewed, it should track as well as any one-piece plastic truck.

Thanks Wayne. I think the problem with the Kadee trucks is that the kingpin is a bit too close a fit with the trucks mounting hole. It won't let the truck pivot or 'rock' enough for slightly uneven track or commercial turnouts.  I think reaming the hole out very slightly might do the trick.

I finished assembling the last log car this evening:

Now to paint. I'll do a light gray primer, sprayed as thin as possible, then a freight car red-brown.
Over the past week I've painted the three. I started with a light gray primer then a coat of Boxcar Red:

I ended up using a spring clamp on the coupler glad hand to hold the cars while airbrushing, then hanging them to dry on an improvised 'clothesline' on the workshop. 


And ready for decals. I think I'll just put some car numbers on them as they would be in private hands.
Sorry I've been away from the workbench for a bit. I got sick in April (not covid) with something and it's taken a few weeks to get back to feeling normal. I did finish up the logging cars this weekend though. 


I numbered the three and then weathered them with a mix of airbrushing and washes. They all came out with different degrees of weathering.


Then I made some log loads for them. Since I'm not modelling west coast logging, the Kadee logs would be too big so I used some pruning trimmings that a friend gave me a few years ago. I used the same logs when I made the loads for my two logging flats so they're consistent. I airbrushed over the glue that showed but I'm thinking I might add a bit of woodland scenics ground foam to add some texture over the glue. 


And on my photo diorama. The logging and /or the sawmill scenes on my layout aren't close to being done yet.

The logging cars came out well and so did the logs.
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery

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