Saturday, February 27, 2021

Tool Car 91094

The shops have been busy. The most recent addition to the roster is tool car 91094. I had planned to convert a couple of passenger and/or baggage cars for wreck train service ever since I read an article on kit-bashing them in Model Railroad back in the late 1970's. There's just something about MofW equipment and wreck trains that appeals to just about anyone interested in railroading.

The original plan was to modify a couple of Athearn Blue Box passenger cars. These cars measure a scale 74' over the coupler faces and are right at the limit of what will operate on the railroad given the tight tunnel clearances and 30" minimum radius curves. At some point, I started looking at shorter cars. Most of these have 4-wheel trucks, and I'm preferential to the look of 6-wheel trucks under passenger equipment. Fortunately, I found a Rivarossi 60' baggage car on eBay and it was reasonably priced. In addition, it came with wire grabs and some great looking underbody detail.

A trip through the paint shop followed by decals and weathering resulted in Tool Car 91094.

The sides were painted UP Armor Yellow and the roof was painted Vallejo aluminum. I studied a number of photos of various baggage cars in MW and wreck train service and was surprised at the lack of dimensional data and lettering. I had planned to add small "MofW" lettering or "Tool Car" on either side, but passed for the simplicity of what you see here. I am absolutely certain that I have never put so few decals on a piece of rolling stock.

The grab irons were painted white per the standard paint scheme for MW equipment and the ends of the diaphragms were heavily weathered with oil paints. The sides and roof were weathered lightly using artist's acrylics to represent a car that had recently been repainted.

This last shot shows the car in wreck consist. It will be joined soon by the Tichy 120-ton Brownhoist crane that's about to go into the paint shop.

When the wreck train is finished, it will occasionally make an appearance during an op session. It may also be stored temporarily on one of the RIP tracks at North Pierce.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

"What a long...

 ...strange trip it's been." At least with regard to getting this freight car on the railroad!

It all started back in the fall of 2017 when I purchased an Accurail covered hopper car at the local NMRA show. It was decorated for the PC and I intended to patch it and reletter it for Greg McComas' Michigan Interstate. You can read more about this car on this post: I finally got the car painted, lettered for the K&LE, and prepped for weathering. And then into the paint shop drawer it went- a year ago last month.

While I am generally pretty good about finishing projects that I have started, there are those occasions when I just lose interest somewhere along the way. Such was the case with this car. It sat waiting to be weathered for over a year. About a week ago, I started perusing covered hopper car photos and sure enough, the inspiration came. I got out the gouache and powders and went at it. The photos below show the results.

This car was new in 1972 so it was weathered to reflect just four years of service. I mixed up a wash of light grey gouache using Windex and white, ivory black and a little burnt umber. The wash dries fairly quickly but can be manipulated for a long time. I took a rough bristle brush, wetted it with Windex, and then drew it down the sides to get the rain and dirt streaks. The same mix was blotted on the roof with a cosmetic sponge. The trucks received the usual mix of artist's acrylics and powders. While certainly not anything close to an award winner, it will look fine running the railroad in a grainer. And it's great to finally have this one done!

Monday, February 1, 2021

Back to the Future

The incredible M.R. Snell is at it again. He recently decided to add several buffer cars to the Conrail Shared Assets Operation fleet and he included a CWE car in the mix. As you would expect from Matt, the car includes all of the appropriate markings. He even went so far as to number the car in the same MofW/Company Service series that previous non-revenue car have been assigned. The photo below shows the car on the Oak Island Runner during a recent op session.

And speaking of back to the future, you'll note that the boxcar in the lower left hand corner of the photo is a Suffolk Northern Railway car. That's the proto-freelanced railroad of Keith VandeStadt, another one of the local crew and a frequent operator on the CSAO. The SNR is set in the late 1950's but there just happens to be a modern car roaming the rails in New Jersey.

It's a great looking car, Matt- thanks for including the CWE in the project!