Inspiration for projects can come out of nowhere sometimes, and that's what happened with the two hopper cars I'm working on right now. I had been planning to buy some Microscale trim film decals for another project and the idea came to me to use the trim film on these old cars. They were the first two cars ever painted and lettered for the Chesapeake, Wheeling & Erie and are old Athearn Blue Box 50-ton hopper cars.
The photo below shows how these cars look today. They were painted and lettered before I had come up with the CWE herald and long before I put together a comprehensive numbering system for the railroad. I have no idea where the 3,000 series numbers came from- these cars would have been competed in the 1980- 1981 time frame.
These cars also show some of my first attempts at weathering. I've long forgotten exactly what I did, but I'm fairly certain that most of it was done with an airbrush. I do remember that I weathered the interiors using techniques that Bill Darnaby outlined in an article in RMC in the late 1970's. That article convinced me that every car on the layout should be weathered to some degree and I still use some of his techniques today. The photo below shows the interior of the cars.
Both of the cars are now in the shop. The cut levers have been replaced and will be painted along with the Kadee wheel sets. I'm not sure when the wheels sets were added, but they were never painted. I then plan to add some Microscale trim film over the reporting marks and update the cars with correct numbers. With some updated weathering on the trucks, couplers and car body, they'll be ready for regular revenue service.