Re: bonsallscalecarshops D&RGW Gondolas

Corey Bonsall

Maybe it's time I step out of the shadows to explain some of what I've been doing with these 3D printed cars...

Let's start with some history, most of which I have gleaned from Jim Eager's article in the second quarter 2002 issue of The Prospector (Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society, Volume 1, Number 2):

Overall, ten series of steel GS gondolas, built between 1908 and 1954, totaling 8,251 cars.

(All lengths are interior)

They started with 2501 of the 36 ft cars (40000-42500) in 1908-09, followed by 350 of the 40 ft cars (43000-43349) in 1912-13.  The big "offset" cars of 46 ft length (700 total in the 70000-70699 series) showed up in 1922, with 500 of the shorter offset 42 ft (45000-45499) cousins in 1926.  

I think Mark Hemphill (Thanks, Mark!) has me beat on the details of the rest of the fleet already in another thread that just showed up in my email...

Those are the cars I have designed and printed to this point, since I really wanted a fleet of D&RGW GS gondolas, but other than the brass W&R cars, and the somewhat close Red Caboose class of 42ft 46k series cars, there wasn't anything close.  As the time spent drafting up the cars is one of the larger investments I have, I started with what I wanted (cast grabs, for durability, and for large fleet expediency), and am working through adding a "blank" option for all of the cars for those who want the option to drill and form their own grab irons, and spend more time on the brakes.

The cars are all printed on a Form 2 printer, using their standard black resin (methyl-acrylic-something-something), but in response to Bill's question, it does NOT carve like styrene.  It can be sanded, or filed, but using a knife-edge makes it crack. Some of the dimensions I have to compromise, due to the limitations of the printer, but I think the overall result has easily passed my normal "Two Foot Rule" I use in my modeling.

Some of my finished cars should be visible in the album links below:

I have not attempted resin casting, as there are a lot of overhanging details that I felt would not release from the molds, and I wasn't quite ready to jump into a second new avenue for myself.  I am doing this as a side hobby from my normal day job, so the progress can seem eternally slow.

I am grateful for the support I've received on this endeavor, and I hope to continue working through the many related possibilities in under-represented models as time allows.

Corey Bonsall
Bonsall Scale Carshops

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