At the NMRA Division 7 show last Fall, I picked up a couple of gondolas. I started working on these not long after the show, but as usual, a number of other projects caught my interest. These two languished in the paint shop until a week ago when I finally finished them.
The first is a Tangent Scale Models Bethlehem 70-ton gondola decorated for the Lehigh Valley. This is a beautiful model, and the detail is simply amazing. I wanted to depict the car as it would have looked in 1976, so I searched the Internet and found a photo of one taken in August of 1976. Here's a link to the photo on the RRPicturesArchive.NET website: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2477310.
The model paint scheme matches the picture exactly, so no modifications were required.
The exterior of the car was weathered using artist's acrylics and water soluble oils. The interior was weathered similarly but with the addition of some MIG pigments. I was hesitant to deform the sides of the gondola with heat, so I took a different approach to represent damage along the sides. I took a piece of Plastruct angle, touched the sides to a small dab of artist's acrylic burnt umber, and then pressed the angle over the location on the inside of the care where each outside rib is located. The burnt umber went on somewhat randomly and the final weathering blended it in even further. This captured the look of the areas where the sides have been pressed out around the ribs on the outside of the car. The final weathering included some Woodland Scenics Earth, some fine pencil shaving soaked with a wash of burnt umber and Windex, and some scrap pieces of wood.
Next up is CWE 34795. This is a Walthers Proto 2000 kit, and it's a very nice model, too. The floor is a separate piece which makes it much easier to weather than the floor of the Tangent model. Again, artist's acrylics and water soluble oils were used along with some powders for weathering.
I added some Highball N-scale cinders and limestone ballast to represent the remnants of some former load. Some pencil shavings were added as well.
Next up, I need to make some removable loads for these cars. I hope they don't take as long to finish as the cars themselves.