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Discussion Starter #1
I've been busy the past couple of weekends working on a few rolling stock projects.

The first are two pipe gondolas made from LGB 4073 gondolas. The ends were cut off and then styrene was installed on the interior to simulate wood planking which the original LGB model did not have. I also added removable cribbing to support the pipes.

Cutting the ends off of the gondolas was a little tedious, especially where the bottom of the ends met the frame of the car. A Zona saw worked well for this though.

Here's one of the two pipe gons with most of the fabricating work completed. Still have to add a brake wheel and other details, and paint/lettering of course.










Since my three Hartland flats are now going to be used as idler flats for the pipe train, I wanted to add a general service flat to the roster. I like the looks of the D&RGW 6500 series fishbelly flats. So initially the though of using an Aristo flat made sense since it has a fishbelly. But the more I looked at it the more it seemed to be too much work.

And then I remember there were two USA flats I had that were long unused. One was an old auto flat (1720), and the other was a piggy back flat (purchased solely for the Rio Grande trailer).

With some styrene for the fishbelly, the two USA flats make a fairly good representation of a 6500 flat. I also wanted a wood deck, so I ended up cutting out individual styrene strips for each plank. With a total of 140 planks (70 per car) I nearly went nuts cutting them all. And they were cut by hand too! The rivets were real fun as well, having to drill a #76 hole for each one. You might notice the white rivets running above the fishbelly. These were cast on USA rivets that I filed off. The paint should cove them up nicely. Lots of work, but it's fun and I didn't have to buy any new cars.


Here is one of the two 6500 flats (the old USA piggyback flat) with a fishbelly, rivets, and planking. The planks are not glued down yet and it was a trick not dropping any to take the photos. Still have other details to add and paint/lettering.





 

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More of the "twin" 6500 flats. They are done as far as plastic work and detailing. Next up some paint and lettering. I may try to remove some of the existing white lettering first though.

Not too far off from the prototype, and good enough for me. And to think both of these old USA flats were just sitting in boxes unused. Now they'll probably get used a lot on the layout.






 

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Third type of car I've been working on...an idler flat car for use with the pipe gondolas:












I've got three of these for use with the two pipe gondolas shown above. These flat cars started out as Hartland flats. Getting closer and closer to finally painting all of these cars.
 

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Looking grand Matt! Question, looks like you added some rivets to the 6500 flats, to what I think are called side sills, what technique did you use for the rivets?
 

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Yes, I added rivets to the new plastic sills on the two 6500 flats. The real ones had rivets along the bottom so I thought it was worth a shot at duplicating.

I needed 1mm rivets as 1mm came close to matching the existing molded on rivets on the USA flatcars. There are a lot of techniques to do rivets, from anything to glue dots, to using actual rivets. After searching all over the internet, I decided to use some brass rivets that had a 1mm head from Scale Hardware


Yep this means for each rivet you see, I had to drill a hole for the rivet


It wasn't the easiest of things to do ensuring the rivets all lined up, and I used up a few #76 drill bits too. Those little bits break very easily. And yes it did take forever to do. But I like the results, and they probably turned out nicer then glue dots. I wanted to use 3D decals (basically plastic rivet heads on a carrying paper), but could not figure out what size to use knowing I needed a 1mm rivet head.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Finally got some paint on the cars last weekend. This weekend I finished painting the undersides.

Here is one of the 6500 flats. I'll paint the "wood" deck by hand next, and then comes lettering. After that a weather/sealer coat and the cars will be finished and ready for some revenue runs.




 

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Great looking cars Matt! Please post some more pictures when they are in service.

Aaron
Silver Creek & San Juan R.R.
Loyet Logging Company
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not done yet, but I did finish up hand painting the "wood" decks and interiors.

The hand painting took a lot longer then I thought it would. Since we are leaving for our place in Colorado this week, I'll have to finish up the lettering there. Time to pack these up.



Here's one of the two 6500 flats:




And here is one of the three idler flats (the trucks for these idler flats are awaiting us in Colorado)


 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's been a long time since I've updated this thread


I'm currently in Colorado at our outdoor layout and it is nearing the time when we have to close down the line as we have to head back to California soon. But I wanted to update this post about the kitbashes that I started many months ago.

All the cars have been lettered and are finally finished.

Below is one of the 6500 series flats with a tractor load. I still have to get some scale chain to simulate tie downs. But with the "wood" blocks glued down, the tractors don't move while in transit on a train. The decals for this flat along with the decals on the tractors were made by MLS' own Stan Cedarleaf.















I also took a few photos of the pipe train. Still have to get some pipe loads for them, but I kind of like the empty train look too. The idler flats use Microscale decals, while the pipe gons have CDS dry transfers.







I hope you like the photos. My sister, who's back in California, has our good camera. So I apologize if the photos look a bit distorted, and are not as crisp as can be.
 
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