G Scale Model Train Forum banner

Bachmannn log cars

6357 Views 27 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Big65Dude
Take two... seems I'm having trouble posting tonight...

After triming our bottle-brush er, bush (a bit redundant, no?) I thought some of the thicker branches might make fair scale logs.

So a quick trip to the LHS (Roy's Trains in Clovis CA) and I picked up two Bachmann log cars, complete with plastic logs. Roy only had two so that's what I got.

Here's one before any paint and still displaying the plastic logs (seven) that come with...

Some acrylic paint helped a lot but replacing the plastic logs make a world of difference...

Overall, I'm pleased with this first effort.

I've enough logs to complete the two cars and possibly a third.

See less See more
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
They look great, TJ! A major improvement!

Take care,
Nicely done. Hopefully you can find a few more cars by the time you have to trim again. Of course you can always keep an eye out in case your neighbors do any trimming.
Yes, much nicer with real logs. I love that bark.
TJ... I've wondered why my plastic logs look so ------ plastic! What an easy fix! Thanks.

I appreciate the encouraging comments, I really do. The bottle-brush makes for a nice scale log. The color is too light so in the pics above note that I "painted" the bottle-brush logs with Olympic deck stain marked "redwood tone" on the can.

TJ -

When I "bashed" my B'mann log cars, the first things to go were the plastic logs. I also replaced the stock trucks, with their oversized talgo-mounted couplers, with the Carter Brothers-ish ones from Bachmann's series of "1:20.3 scale" 20-foot cars. (Available from the B'mann parts department.) After adding Ozark link & pin sill-mounted couplers, brake wheels, pawls, and chain; then repainting, this is how they look now.

The original models have very good wood grain cast into them, but I added end grain to the longitudinal and transverse members (also to the truck bolsters.) This was done by dragging a razor saw blade across them with a twisting motion and accentuating here and there with a #11 X-acto blade.

Please don't ask me what kind of wood this is, I got them from my friend Noel Crawford who doesn't know either. They aren't supposed to represent any particular tree species, I just like the looks of them. They have a good tight end grain and "scale" bark texture. In any case, they sure don't look like plastic.

See less See more
Really nice TJ! The real logs make it. Your weathering looks good too!

Jack, I think you messed up and posted some 1:1 pics by accident ;-)

> Your weathering looks good too!

Well, of course if I had Jack's cars I'd just throw mine way.

I replaced my logs with real logs. I ran wood screws up through the bottom to hold logs together and in place. I use the 1:20.3 rule. Don't look at it any closer than 20.3 feet.


See less See more

> I use the 1:20.3 rule. Don't look at it any closer than 20.3 feet

LOL! I like that rule. Unfortunately with my postage stamp size layout it's hard to get that far away. The mainline runs within 3 feet of the viewing area (picnic table).

BTW, love that trestle! That is really some outstanding sight.

That is a mighty impressive trestle Richard.

I have a good idea of the work involved: I built a trestle bridge about 3ft. in length and that was quite an effort (for me anyway).;)

There is nothing to beat real timber logs: those plastic one just look very tacky.
I have used cherry wood, there is always plenty available when pruning trees.
Nice work on the log cars!

As far as Richards tressels, he is one VERY talented person! Believe it or not, that's NOT his biggest tressel. You know you are at his house, when you pull up the driveway, and you are looking at the first tressel which stands over 5' off the ground. He does beautiful work, just check out his website.
I've been lucky enough to run some of mine during a past open house.
Thanks guys! This looging ops has turned into a major woodworking center. No photos yet. I am experimenting with materials for large buildings.

> I've been lucky enough to run some of mine during a past open house.

I'm jealous. Sigh.

I took Jack's example to heart and re-did the end beams on the main center and cross beams. Used a hobby saw to add some grain to the plastic.

Not the best close up but you can see the scratched in grain if you look close.

Thanks Jack!

See less See more
Adding the grain is relatively easy and looks much better in person than in my photo. Just some careful scraping with a hobby saw blade and there you go. Did the same thing with popsicle sticks when I built my covered brider. Should have throught of doing it on plastic.
I always thought the Bachmann cars looked too short so I extended mine about 4" each.

See less See more
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.