Workshop Update

Not all the work being done right now is focused on research and track planning.  Ok, most of it is, but I’m still plugging along on freight car projects.  I have a trio of cars to share with you today that are nearing completion.

First up is an ATSF Bx2 (also known as a USRA double sheathed boxcar).  The car kit comes from Rails Unlimited.  By kit we’re talking about a roof, two sides, two ends, and a floor.  Everything else is sourced by the modeler.  I’ve been working on this car for several months, struggling with mostly the end ladders.  Taking a pointer from a friend, I built the ladders on the car ends, not separately, as the styles and rungs are different materials (the styles are from Chooch, the rungs are home-bent).  The result was satisfactory.  The other interesting piece for this car was getting the brake wheel, a Precision Scale brass part that closely matches the builders photo) bent.  The part is a flat casting, but the prototype appears to be slightly bowl shaped.  The part was pressed gently over a ball bearing to achieve the proper shape.  Once assembled, the car was primed with Tamiya primer, and then painted with Scalecoat Oxide Brown.  This car will be the first one through decals soon.  The decals are Protocraft products.  I’m really looking forward to getting this car on trucks and ready to go into service.

Next up, a Pennsylvania Railroad “FM” flat car stand-in.  The original model is a Red Caboose fishbelly flat car kit.  The model was rebuilt using KD brake parts from Wiseman Model Services and added car weight from Scale City.  I added matching brake wheels and equipment from Foot Hill Model Works to match photos of FM flat cars.  I painted the car with Scalecoat in a mix of 4 parts IC Orange to 1 part Oxide Red.  It’s quite bright.  That color will tone down with weathering once I weather and paint the deck of the car and get decals sorted out, this will be in service for delivering vehicles and other large items on the railroad.

The third car up is an Intermountain USRA gondola.  Neither of the major interchange railroads, the SP and ATSF, were assigned USRA gons.  However, the SP acquired some of this car type with their acquisition of the El Paso & Southwestern in the mid 1920’s.  As I need some gondolas, and kits are somewhat hard to come by in O scale, I decided to build an EPSW gondola from the SP.  It’s likely that the SP was repainting these by 1928, but I’ll keep the car as an EPSW offering for interest.  The car was an undecorated offering, and I have painted it with Scalecoat Black.

I’m very pleased to say that I have started another build.  The first piece of true Yosemite Valley equipment in Proto48 that I’m building.  The Mullet River Model Works YV15 caboose that I acquired this year is starting a slow process of gluing and drying to assemble the wood car.  I’ll be sharing more photos of this build as time goes on.

These three cars ready for decals, and the two UTLX tank cars I built earlier this year, puts me at about a car a month pace.  I’m good with that.  It means I have years of car building ahead, while also indicating that I’m getting better at my own supply chain for car parts, and learning how to assemble things more quickly in this scale.  While I’ve built cars in HO for years, relearning everything to a new size, and for a new level of detail, has some curve to it and I’m pleased with where my curve is going.

Back to the workbench!


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