The one project that has been hauled out and put away the most have been the intermodal cars. These kits are from Proto Power West, now Proto Power West/A-line/Arrow Hobby. I have two sets of Gunderson Twin Stacks and two sets of Thrall well cars. A set would be a five car set( although somewhere over the years I have “misplaced” one of the intermediate cars for the one of the Gunderson sets ).
I bought these sets somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 years ago. They are no longer available new but can be picked up on the secondary markets. You can also pick up parts for them new on the PPW-Aline website.
When building the kits you can build as basic cars or if you want highly detailed cars, complete instructions for super detailed cars are provided. The basic assembly on the Thrall cars are merely adding the walkways and the brake equipment to the well bodies. The Gundersons need to be fully assembled ( sides, ends, car bottoms, walkways and brake equipment ) for basic assembly. I had done a basic assembly on one of the Thrall sets and had painted them with rattle cans. The paint is a bit heavy, but I decided not to try and fix it. I had also done a basic assembly on a Gunderson set but did not paint it.
The Gunderson well cars…
I started by doing the basic assembly of the other Gunderson set. Once together I started the extra detailing, doing the two like cars at the same time.
The finished yellow car is from a factory assembled/detailed set from A-Line/Intermountian. I had forgotten that I had the set, but it was nice to have for reference.
The extra detailing added to the Gunderson cars are:
- External brake piping along the outer side.
- Brake piping protectors over the lines.
- External brake rods and chains on the sides of the B and C units.
- Control rods for the container flippers.
- Grab irons.
The Thrall well cars…
On the Thrall well cars there was more detailing to scratch build then on the Gunderson cars.
First I decided to make this set a generator set. The generator was there to provide power to refrigerated containers. This means the walkways between cars had to be reworked.
Then there was the basic brake piping added. Additionally there was a lot of styrene scratch building added. These included side sill reinforcement, reinforcement to the bottom of the cars, gussets added to the lift rings and the electrical connections between cars.
Also, stirrups were added and I would have added grab irons but I ran out and have to order more for the Thrall cars.
I didn’t realize it when I started this project that Plano Models has etched brass walkways and supports for both types of cars. If I knew they were available I would have ordered them. The fine detail would have made these cars really stand out.
Finished (kind of) and waiting for paint…
I ordered the grab irons and decided to line up paint. The problem is, thanks Rust-Oleum, that Testors has discontinued the whole Model Master line. This after they bought and then discontinued the Polly Scale and Scale Coat paint lines. I know that Vallejo has a wide range of colors, but as far as I know not railroad specific. And Micro-Mark now has railroad specific colors in their acrylic paint line but not much depth.
I shall wait for the grab irons to arrive and while waiting figure out my paint problem.
Till next time, happy modeling …