The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Update: Two cement hoppers

Back a few months ago I posted about a group of three cement hoppers I had nearly completed but had not yet painted.

These two have now been finished. As described in the other article, the car in the back was created from scrap parts of two Schorr hoppers, a brass import, left over after kitbashing projects by a prior owner. The paint really brings the project together, and at viewing distances on the layout you would be hard pressed to note it was pieced together as it was.

The car in front also came off well. It was a completion of a project someone started where they were converting a Picard wood hopper car body into a covered hopper. Noting that it has a bit more "husky" look (and is a bit larger than the finely scaled Schorr car), I chose to decorate it with an approximation of a 1960s/70s era scheme. Both cars were lettered with scrap parts of several sets of decals, don't look too close at the fine print!

The Schorr car has Schorr trucks and modern Kadee couplers. For the Picard car I took another approach, it has vintage Kadee couplers and Nason trucks. Or at least trucks made with vintage Nason sideframes and other upgraded parts. I had noted these trucks (their Vulcan type truck) look really heavy and are likely somewhat overscale. As a result they have some of the look, to my eye, of a more modern truck (in spite of actually being a type of replacement truck for Arch Bar trucks), and fit the car pretty well. I used upgrade wheelsets and new bolsters. They take some careful adjustment but roll nearly as freely as Schorr trucks, making them worth the effort to build. Painted flat black you can also imagine they are actually roller bearing trucks pretty easily; I will likely work over more of these for the modern cars I operate.

Both cars look great on the layout! In particular the Picard car matches in detail and style the scratchbuilt modern cars made from wood by Bill Johann such as this Railbox car. They took some effort but great to see the results rolling on the layout.

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