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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Two Gondola cars built on Picard bodies

These cars are an interesting pair, built relatively recently with a mixture of new and vintage parts.

Both are built I believe on vintage wood Picard gondola car bodies. These are not often seen built up, as really they were a product that on one hand was needed but on the other their model lacked any details on the sides or ends, how do you build it up? It was really just a jumpstart toward scratch building a model, and the sides and ends are unrealistically thick. (More on Picard here).

What builder Pierre Bourassa did sometime in the 1980s (more here) was an interesting solution. What he did was glue sheet styrene on the sides and ends and build up the details on that surface. His work was a little rough but for sure the styrene surface is a much better one to simulate a steel car.

The ends and sides of the Picard model are thick and now thicker! His solution was in two parts to “fool the eye.” The cap piece on the sides/ends is approximately scale size, then there is a load and the eye does not really “see” the thick sides as the wood parts blend in with the loads, made from wood shavings and painted to resemble scrap steel.

The FEC car did not require much work to get in shape but I did replace the trucks with Schorr trucks and work over the couplers. The paint scheme is believable but so far as I know not prototypical.

The ATSF car, it did not come to me decorated as ATSF. It was CN in a minimal and not very believable version of a modern CN paint scheme. Wanting to back date the car a bit to actually use it on the layout (!), I repainted it (with a brush, for a change, matching his paint as closely as I could) and reworked the trucks/couplers. It is now on a nice pair of rebuilt Nason trucks, nearly as free rolling now as the Schorr trucks on the other car.

It feels good to get these cars through the shops and out on the layout. Has been a busy few months, working on projects such as these is exactly why hobbies are such a benefit to quality of life. And more projects are moving forward, be watching for more.

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