Freight Car Friday #70 – GBW 8077 Model

This car started out as an Athearn RTR boxcar factory decorated for the Providence & Worcester Railroad which I picked up “used”/new in box at a train show about a year ago specifically with this patch job in mind. It was weathered, patched and re-stencilled following a 1989 photo on rr-fallenflags.org. I have a certain fondness for shortline boxcars and patched out reporting marks of cars in second-hand ownership and I’ve been working on collecting a few appropriate cars from nearby US connections that can fit in to my area and era. These ex-PW cars, as well as other cars from the New Orleans Public Belt (NOPB), East Camden & Highland (EACH) and Wabash Valley (WVRC) Railroads, were acquired by the Green Bay & Western in the early 1980s.

Weathering was done in a few layers/stages. The body was given a general airbrush grime coat (with particular concentration along the lower edges and some vertical “wheel spray” patterns on the car ends) and the rust effects on the door were hand painted with acrylics and a fine-tipped brush. The original reporting marks were painted out with some SOO red I had on hand and new reporting marks and numbers added with Microscale stencil alphabet decals. A bit of work with pan pastels blended the rusty areas, added some streaking off the ends of the door tracks, and added light surface rust to the galvanized steel roof. A final coat of Flat Haze sealed the decals and pastel effects and slightly dulled and faded the body colour.

Painting/Weathering Modern Gondola Interiors

If you actually look at most modern gondolas out there today, you’ll find that most open top cars from the last 30 years or so actually don’t have any interior paint or coating, but instead the interior of the cars are raw, unpainted steel (other than perhaps some overspray from the painting of the exterior of the car).

Of course, with some exceptions, most model cars do not reflect this and instead of masking and painting the interior a rust or brown colour (which would really still need to be painted/weathered for a proper rusty steel look anyway) the whole car, interior and exterior, is painted the body colour.

I was having a bit of a painting and weathering weekend this weekend, and got out this sextet of Atlas Trainman SIECO gondolas to paint the interiors “rust”.

Six Atlas Trainman gondolas with the interiors painted to look like bare steel with rust. (Exterior weathering still to be done in this shot.)

To get a good steel colour, I start by giving the inside of the cars a good base coat of Gun Metal. This gives a nice dark metallic colour as a base to work on. Then the rust colouring is added with several very thin coats of Rail Brown, Roof Brown and Rust. These brown/rust coats should be very light and thin, not going for solid coverage and allowing the lower colours to show through. The layers of colours and natural variation created by the light, uneven coats of brown/rust provide a nice rusty steel look.

I may complete the weathering with additional application of rust-coloured powders and some bits of debris from former loads, but the basic painting of the interior to change it from the main body colour (bright blue for the two GTW cars) to something that looks like unpainted steel really gets the cars popping with minimal effort.

Rollup Baggage Room Doors for Wawa

The baggage/express room in the Wawa station featured 8’x8′ roll-up freight doors on both the track and street sides of the station. I scratchbuilt these from a .020″ styrene sheet back and .010x.030″ strip for the grid pattern on the door sections. The outer door frame is .020x.060″ strip on edge.

Doors and corner posts (angle bits in the middle) airbrushed Sylvan Green. The corner posts are made from a 2×2 spacer to match the door frame and a 1×6 front piece with a corner filed off to a curve.

Front (track side) baggage door and corner posts installed:

Wawa Station Siding

And Wawa station finishes another step forward to completion.

While the lower story was brick, the upper level of the structure was clad in cedar-grain asbestos shingle siding. I reproduced this with strips of grey cardstock. It took a little while, and my technique rather refined as I went along, but I’m generally happy with the result.

A number of ACR structures used this type of shingle siding, so expect to see this sort of finish again on other future projects…

Tar and Gravel Flat Roof Surface

A bit more work with paint and gravel and the roof of the station is now surfaced.

As noted in a previous post where the slope of the roof was built up from styrene sheet, the “flat” roof is not, in fact, actually flat but does slope in order to provide drainage. That slope is in fact there, although with the gravel surface added, it almost completely visually vanished, except in that one subtle spot in the corner where the roof actually slopes against the top of the wall. (That reminds me, I need to go in yet and actually add a couple of round plugs to represent the drains, as well as a vent pipe for the toilet plumbing. All easy bits to add…)

Actually flat or not however, the technique for making the tar and gravel roof is pretty simple. After applying a thick brush coat of black paint (just regular flat black acrylic) and while the paint is still wet, sprinkle on a liberal coating of gravel and let sit. I used some fine ballast which I sifted to make sure I was only left with the finest grains. The effect is good, however it’s still a bit coarse actually for a gravel roof. I may yet scrape this off and re-do it with finer hand-sifted natural materials – I’ll have to sleep on that idea yet for a bit – but the technique is still sound.

You’ll also notice I sprayed the Sylvan Green colour for the trim before doing the roof, as the trim borders the roof surface, and that would be more than a little bit impossible to mask and spray after the fact. The bold green colour on the upper walls though will not last – only the trim is actually this colour, and light grey siding is yet to be applied to the wall surfaces, so the station will have one last drastic colour change for completion.