Richard Townsend asked:
"I was going through my junk box this morning and came a cross an AHM 40-foot, eight-panel gondola. It got me wondering: is there a prototype for this car? A quick look through several Carbuilder Cycs came up with plenty of nine-panel cars, but no eights. Any suggestions? Oh, by the way it's solid bottom. No drop doors."
Bill Welch wrote:
"Hard to tell w/o a photo of the model..."
Photo attached - this is one of the most common models out there, originally introduced by Varney during their switch to styrene, copied by Rivarossi and Cox, and later offered by Walthers, Life-Like, and Bachmann. It's a plausible model - it's not outlandish like the Athearn 50 ft gon, but the problem is it doesn't match any known prototype.
However, it's so common that I'm considering using it for a bunch of ersatz "Tan Dot" SP gons as I have more than a few on hand, saving the Red Caboose and Detail Associates models for foreground models. Here's Jason Hill's approach on doing this: