Way back in March of 2017 I posted about tackling a couple of Tichy pulpwood flatcars. Roger Sekera commented that these kits have long been in the "pay someone else to do them" class. As Roger is an extremely accomplished modeler, his comment left me with a bit of trepidation. Well, two and a half years later- and after a number of fits and starts- it turns out he was right.
The challenges with these two cars are almost too numerous to mention. Starting with the weight, or lack thereof, and ending with the trucks that didn't work, these cars almost didn't make it onto the railroad. Fortunately, I got a little inspiration along the way.
Just as I was beginning to tackle the grabs irons on the ends that make up the ladders, I came across the car that Allen McClelland built for the V&O. The picture below shows the car in Alloy Yard on Gerry Alber's Deepwater District.
Note that Allen skipped the individual grab irons and added a ladder instead. When I mentioned to him that this was a neat addition, he replied it's one of the benefits of proto-freelancing. Within reason, we can decide how our freight cars are equipped versus having to follow a specific prototype. Note also that he included a steel plate on the ends for the reporting marks. This wasn't included in the kit or even mentioned in the instructions.
Allen also scratch-built a removable pulpwood load for this car. After cutting about 4,850 little stubby sticks and realizing that they would make up about one-one hundredth of the load, I bagged that idea. I added lead shot underneath the car for weight and will run it as an MT.
So here they are- the next two shots show the completed cars.
I added some pencil shavings and sawdust to the decks and called it a day. And while I'm pleased with the results, I can assure you there won't be any more of these cars on the railroad. Unless, of course, I pay someone else to build them for me.