Wheelsets and Trucks

Compare the trucks of these two box cars. Follow the post for tips on weathering wheelsets and trucks.
Compare the trucks of these two box cars. Follow the post for tips on weathering wheelsets and trucks.

In our freight car building and detailing adventures, we sometimes forget about finishing the wheelsets and trucks that carry the latest builds around our model railroads. Here are a couple of tips to enhance these components and the final freight car effort.

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Weathering Railroad Models – A Pair of Box Cars

The latest box cars from the weathering factory have been spotted in the team track yard. Read more about the weathering techniques used on these two models.
The latest box cars from the weathering factory have been spotted in the team track yard. Read more about the weathering techniques used on these two models.

It has been a while since my last post. My hobby activity ebbs and flows and sometimes there isn’t much inspiring a report here. At a recent op session on an HO scale Las Cruces layout, Mike (the owner) noted a need for more box cars. I had recently gone through a few boxes of stored equipment and had found a couple of old kits that were built but not quite completed. He has another op session soon, so I thought it would be good to ready these for service. Details on Mike’s layout were posted earlier.

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Scratchbuilding a Shed

A mostly completed end wall.
A mostly completed end wall.

Building models using a minimum of commercial parts or set directions is often referred to as scratchbuilding. Anyone who is building a model railroad that closely follows a specific prototype location will need to scratchbuild a number of structures to capture the look and feel of the real place. In some cases, commercial models can be modified and altered to represent an actual structure but those instances are infrequent. Scratchbuilding has challenged many model railroaders over the years. The fear of failing or messing up a project inhibits many modelers. I think all model railroaders should attempt at least one scratchbuilt structure. I recently finished two small buildings and learned new skills in the process. Click on any image here to review a large size. Let’s take a look at one of these projects.

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Upgrading Accurail hopper cars

NYC Hopper Upgraded

This post began as six separate email updates with a few friends to share¬†upgrade ideas and techniques for the HO scale Accurail USRA hopper models. Since everything worked out pretty well, and the images are decent, I thought I’d share it here. Most of the images on this post can be seen in a larger size after clicking on them.

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