Re: Jerry Hamsmith kits

Nelson Moyer

The unit body gons are a vast improvement over the Sunshine flat kit version. I bought eight flat kits from Martin toward the end of Sunshine, and cleaned up the parts intending to build the cars, but I shelved them when I started building my layout. Meanwhile, Ed and Jerry came out with their kits, so there was no rush to go back to the flat kits until now, as they are the last flat fits in my stash, and I vowed not to build any of the newer unit body kits until all of the flat kits were built. Five cars are built up to the Wine lock stage. The locks consist of angles supporting the drop doors and Wine mounting hardware to lock and release the doors. Yesterday I installed 80 door angles, and today I sorted 80 Wine locks to install on the sides to engage the angles. Having built 17 of Jerry’s gondolas, I was curious about how many resin parts were included in the unit body compared to the same part count for the flat kit. The number is 47 parts, 32 of which are for the Wine lock door mechanism. That’s a LOT of parts that Ed and Jerry have saved you from cleaning up and using for your body build. The hardest part of the body build was installing the corner pieces on the top flange of the sides and ends. Unlike some gondolas, these corner pieces do not mount on top of the flanges, but are mounted on the sides and ends flush with the flanges, requiring the builder to cut off the casting flanges to fit the corner pieces. That’s delicate work, and any miscalculation leaves an obvious gap between the flange and the end of the corner piece. Be thankful you don’t have to do that with the unit body! Fortunately, I didn’t mess up any of the corners of my five cars, but it took a long time to do them right. The angles and locks are a pain to clean up, but installation isn’t hard, just extremely tedious and time consuming. I’ve decided to complete the build on these five GS-5/7/8 gons up to the priming step, then go back and build the remaining three GS-1/2 gondolas, which are identical to the GS-5/7/8 cars except that the wood sides are replaced with Murphy end panels from scrapped boxcars.


I’d put the Sunshine GS-5/7/8 builds at the top of my most difficult list, topping the B&Q wagon top by a lot. But then, I still have several Sunshine tank cars to build, and I hear that some of them are not easy.


Nelson Moyer


From: [] On Behalf Of Rob & Bev Manley
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2020 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Jerry Hamsmith kits



All of Jerry's decals and gons are highly recommended. 

The gons that require a double step stirrup can use Pierre's excellent etchings for the tank cars. YMW-220 Tangent GSC Tankar Stirrups. 


Rob Manley

"Better modeling through personal embarrassment"

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