Some of my projects are long term affairs but they eventually move forward. Here’s a peek at one of those projects. This freight car started about five years ago when Accurail released their very nice 41-foot steel gondola. Except for the ends and a couple of small details, the model is a close match to a Wheeling & Lake Erie prototype. 2000 of those gondolas were built in 1921.
There were a couple of initial attempt to model these ends. I tried to modify a Details Associates GS gondola end, but there was just too much to change. I tried to create a master so resin copies could be cast, but a household move put that into storage.
A couple of years ago a friend needed a project to create a digital file for 3D printing. He also liked the prototype and the fact it was a small project to modify an easily available kit. Eventually the part was printed and a few copies were cast. I’ve been working on several details and just finished installing grab irons on the sides. The prototype had one fewer grab irons than the model, of course, so the cast on grabs had to be removed. I also drilled holes in wrong locations and just filled in those holes with pieces of 0.020-inch styrene. The brake system needs some work, the couplers need to be installed, and there are a couple more details to add, but the project inches closer to the finish line.
The brown piece at the bottom of the above image is the gondola floor that came with the kit. I sanded off the detail and scribed boards into the surface. Add some paint, color a few boards with different shades of brown, splash on a darker wash, and a apply a couple of PanPastel weathering colors and this floor is ready to install after the model is painted. Proper decals are on hand, too! The excuses to delay this model are falling by the wayside. Soon it will enter service on my home layout.
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