model flat car weight was Union Pacific flat cars

Bruce Smith <smithbf@...>

On May 24, 2005, at 1:31 PM, shile@... wrote:

Al Westerfield has a "new" technology that he is using on some turn
of the (20th) century inside stake coal gondolas that uses a lead
filled resin casting for an under frame component that will add
some weight to what would otherwise be quite an empty car without a
load. Perhaps this could be pursued for the basic body casting for
a flat. You would think a Harriman "standard" design might fit
his line well AND offer some uses into the 50's on UP and SP. Is
it total heresy to suggest a laser cut wood deck from someone like
Modeler's Choice to complete the package?

What brought this to mind was the CB&Q flatcar that Sunshine did
for one of the earlier Naperville meets that was quite light when
completed with not much space for weights.

My 2 cents.

Steve Hile

Weight is definitely an issue with flat cars. My sunshine PRR F30A
is perhaps the lightest car I have ever seen and there was no way I
wanted to hide any of the beautiful underbody work. Obviously, metal
trucks help, and of course loads, but there is always that desire to
have a few empties too. Sitting at the crossing, waiting for a CSX
freight to go by on my way back from lunch today I was reminded that
the prototype has a similar problem, and as a consequence tends to
run empties at the end of the train.

As for laser cut decks... nice, yes, fast, yes, but it is also very
doable to plank your own, which is my new standard. Visually, I
think board by board is superior, since the individual board fit
tightly and their subtle shadings cause them to be delineated, unlike
the big grooves caused by the laser (sort of like the car siding
issue). To do the floors, I cut pieces to length, stain in leather
stain, and glue with thick ACC. It takes surprisingly little time to
do a deck this way. Oh yeah, start at each end and work towards the
middle. That way the board you trim to fit won't be the first one
you see (and anyway, the prototype used variable width boards many


Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin
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