CP 336702 65′ Gondola Painted and Lettered


Over a few evenings the past week I got this car painted black and applied all the lettering. After languishing on the back burner for about a year, it feels good to put some attention towards finishing this project off.

The body was airbrushed black and then given a shot of GlossCote to prepare for decals. Lettering is (mostly) from a Black Cat set for 52′-65′ gondolas.

(The black sure is difficult to photograph well, particularly with the crappy lighting I have available in my apartment.)


The digits of the car number are all individually applied. It would have of course been necessary to apply several numbers individually in any case to form the correct number, but also because of the narrow space between the ribs the numbers in this case had to be applied with almost zero spacing between them. The spacing of the C.P. initials was similarly reduced.

For this car I also applied the data to actually match the numbers on the prototype photo, and also a little trimming of the spacing was required for everything to actually fit. I left the capacity line off as this was no longer required and started to be painted over on many cars in the early 1980s and I hand painted a bead of black over where this would have been lettered.

The NSC builder’s logo and dimensional clearance Plate C stencil came from a Highball Graphics CP Rail flatcar set, and the nailable steel floor data stencil (rectangular data block to the right of the panel with the Plate C stencil) was included in the Black Cat set.


Interestingly, in the prototype photo of 336702 that I have, the end reporting marks are in the modern italicized CP Rail font, which would not have been in use in 1965 when the car was built. This was probably re-applied at some point due to weathering of the original lettering on be end. I chose to reproduce this detail and used the small end reporting marks/numbers from a Highball Graphics CP Rail gondola set.

Now this car is almost ready for some basic weathering to complete its in-service appearance.

Backdated CP 65′ Gondola – Grab Irons and Final Details

Here’s an old project I was able to bring off the shelf on a peaceful Sunday afternoon. I documented the start of this project earlier in a couple of postings here on this blog, (see part one here, and part two here) and it’s been over a year since I’ve gone and done anything with this. Time to finish a few things up and get this project ready for finishing.

The next step that was holding me back on this project was drilling and installing the grab irons for the left corners on each side. Not that this was really a tough job.


To aide in keeping everything neat and straight, I laid out the locations of the drill holes for the grab irons on a scrap piece of styrene to use as a drilling template/jig. The jig fits into the corner made by the top chord and first vertical rib on the side of the car. Then by drilling through the pre-drilled holes in the template into the car side, everything is lined up nice and neatly.


I also reinstalled the brake wheel and housing, and used a piece of scale chain to represent the brake chain heading down from the brake wheel mechanism. The brake platform/step was cut down from the original long piece removed from the factory Exactrail model with a pair of supports out of a Tichy brake details set.

At this point the car is ready to be cleaned up and prepped for painting; I’ll probably fire up the airbrush this evening to give is a primer coat.

Freight Car Friday #12 – CP 344702


This Canadian Pacific gondola is one of a series outfitted with coil steel bunks and normally has a protective fiberglass cover applied to it to protect the steel coils (you can see some similar covered cars in the background) but here the cover is missing and you can see into the interior and see how the coil bunks and bracing are designed.

CN and CP both supplied a lot of cars for steel loading at Algoma Steel, so covered gondolas like this would not have been an uncommon site in the Algoma Central yards in Sault Ste. Marie, and CP traffic to western Canada would have been interchanged at Franz.

This car was photographed on July 30, 2014 in the CP yard at Sudbury so it would actually be on the way to Sault Ste. Marie for a load of steel coils.

Updated Builders Logos on ExactRail CP Gondolas

So in a follow-up comment on one of my previous posts, I mentioned that the ExactRail CP 65′ gondolas are modeled after a series of cars built in 1979 by Hawker-Siddeley, and to which an identical series of cars was built in 1982 by Marine Industries. The ExactRail models all bear numbers drawn from the 1979 HST series, but have Marine Industries builders logos and 1982 NEW dates. (Naturally.) This is a little annoying, but fixable.

The various CP series that may be represented by the ExactRail model (with varying amounts of work) are:

Series Builder Date Notes
CP 336700-336799 NSC 10-11/1965 Flat ends, high brake rigging
CP 337185-337299 HST 11-12/1979 Ribbed end, low brake rigging
CP 337300-337449 ? 6-7/1969 Flat end, high brake rigging
CP 337450-337549 MIL 4-5/1982 Ribbed end, low brake rigging

You can follow my efforts to model a car from the 1965 336700-336799 series in this other series of posts.

I’ve been endeavoring to correct some of the other ExactRail cars I have, removing the Marine Industries logo and adding in the Hawker-Siddeley logo. The old lettering can be removed by VERY carefully scraping with a curved scalpel blade. Done very lightly and carefully, this can remove the printed lettering without damaging the paint underneath. Another method I’ve used to successfully remove lettering is to rub it with a Micro-Sol soaked Q-tip.

The Hawker-Siddeley logos came from a Microscale data set of various freight car builder logos (set # MC-4309).

The original Marine Industries logo is at left in the below photo, and the Hawker-Siddeley logo and placement is illustrated on the car to the right.


I haven’t addressed changing the new date by the weight data lettering below the car number yet; I probably will, but that will involve piecing some things together from some proper CP data lettering (which I will need to make sure I have).

To maintain a little bit of variety, I also wanted to leave one car as representing the later Marine Industries, which would allow keeping the existing MIL logos and build date data, but require renumbering the car into the new series. The snag here of course is that the numbers on these gondolas are a bit smaller than the standard numbers on other cars, so the reporting marks and numbers from standard CP Rail lettering sets don’t fit here. Naturally I fully realized this after I removed the car number from the car. (D’oh.) Hopefully I’ll be able to turn up some appropriate letters to redo the car number on that car so I can have a car from the MIL series. If not, I suppose I’ll have to rebuild it into second black NSC car from the 1965 336700-336799 series…



Last week I stripped up to 20 of my Walther hoppers in preparation for detailing. I’m currently working on the interiors of these cars, puttying the slots and holes where the bulkhead pieces used to go and preparing for the interior bracing remodeling. This brings the total number of these cars currently in production to 27, and that’s less than half of what I have stockpiled. I’m hoping to bring this batch of about 2 dozen up to about the same point and then proceed with the next steps as I figure them out in assembly-line fashion. So it might be a little bit while I catch up, and then hopefully you’ll see new posts on that topic.

Backdated ExactRail 65′ CP Gondola – Part 2: Corner ladders

In my previous post, I cut away and replaced the ends on an ExactRail 65′ Hawker-Siddeley CP gondola to backdate the model to an older National Steel Car version of a similar car. After a couple more evenings of work, the car now has its new corner ladders installed.

The last bit of major surgery on the car body was to carve away the top chord over the last panel on the right hand side of the car, as the NSC cars have a notch here for taller ladders. Comparing prototype photos of the NSC and H-S (which the stock model represents) versions, the NSC car has a 5-rung ladder with closer spacing compared to a 4-rung ladder on the H-S car. With the top chord cut away, the area was filed smooth and the new notched bit formed out of a scale 2″x6″ top piece and an angled bit cut and filed from a piece of 6″x6″. This little assembly was then cemented in place, and the cracks and seams filled in with Bondo body putty. (At this time the seams between the new end and the sides of the car body were also touched up with body putty.)


After the putty set up overnight, everything was filed and wet-sanded smooth. Then the ladders could be installed.

The ladders are cut to length from Tichy 8-rung boxcar ladders, and the rung spacing works out perfectly. Note the sides have a 5-rung ladder, and the ends have a shorter 4-rung ladder. The rungs of the side and end ladders align which each other. Note also that on the H-S car, the ladders are mounted below the heavy top chord, but on the NSC car that the modified model is intended to represent the top rung of the ladder is in front of the shallow top chord on the end, and located within a notch in the heavy side top chord.


Also unlike the later H-S car, which has ladders at every corner of the car, the opposite corners on the NSC car just have a pair of grab irons instead of full ladders. The next step will involve drilling and installed these, and a few other minor details, and then I’ll be able to tackle the underframe modifications.