Well this is interesting.
I was skimming over the product announcements in the latest Model Railroad Hobbyist online magazine and prominently displayed under Walthers was an announcement for several new paint schemes on their 65′ Thrall mill gondola – including Algoma Central.
A little bit of searching managed to turn up the product listing on Walthers’ site.
Of course these aren’t remotely accurate – the real cars from Algoma Central series AC 1001-1400 are 61′ (not 65′) inside length cars with riveted side construction (not welded like the model) and distinctive bulkhead ends.
On the other hand, the lettering style and font matches that used on the 61′ cars and looks well rendered, and if you’re careful and can touch up the paint cleanly, it could be possible to take a decorated car, shorten the end panels and scratchbuild the end bulkheads to come up with a pretty reasonable representation of one of these cars, which could be a huge advantage to modeling these cars as a decal set matching the font used on these cars doesn’t actually exist (the CDS dry transfer set is for the 52′ gons, matching the lettering font on the AC 601-875 which is a bit “blockier” in the curved letters like O and C) and adding a scratchbuilt bulkhead end to an existing model is easier than scratchbuilding the entire car, particularly with all of the side rivets.
Of course, since you’re chopping up a modern welded car to represent a prototype that was actually of riveted construction, this is still only a general representation, but with 400 of these cars rostered, they were actually more numerous and wide ranging than the 52′ gondolas and any serious ACR modeler really needs a fleet of these cars. Their large size and bulkhead ends made them particularly useful for everything from pulpwood logs to steel products, and loaded with steel from Algoma Steel these cars ranged all over North America, which means modelers of other Canadian railways can definitely also justify running one of these.
I might just pick up at least one of these to try the conversion and see how I like it.