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January-February 1985 - Page 37


Weigbting and weathering EU Valley's 85-loot mill gondola
Rib edges were l ighlly sa nded as p art o f the weathering t reatment for the Penn Central 65-foot mill g ondola . Loa d of p ipe ( actually p ainted stra ws) c onceals the weig ht that was a dded to imp ro ve t racking.

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B Y T HE P M S TAFF
P HOTOGRAPHY B Y J IM S IX

MODELING CONRAIL

nt reat L akes Iondohe oGfecameUnited sSteel p,roducingf a rea t he tates t he m ill g la b a p rominent p art o t he r ailroad i ndustr y. N ot t oo m any y ears a go , b efore t he E PA, s ubsidized f oreign s teel a nd t he s lumping e cono my o f t he l ate 1 970's a n d e arly 1 980 's, t he o pen h earths a nd e l ectr ic f urnaces o f t his o nce p rosperous r egion k ept t housands o f t hese g ons r olling d ay a n d n ight . T he P ennsylvania , N ew York C entral , B altimore & O hio , P ittsburgh & L ake E rie , B essemer & L ake E rie a nd o ther r ailroads o wned a nd o perated l arge f leets o f m ill g ons. F errying s heets o f s teel , p ipe , s labs, c h annels, s crap a n d o ther p roducts , t hese e xtended c ousins o f t he s horter , s tandard g ondola l ived a f ull a n d a ct ive r ailroad l ife. W hen E &B V alley R ai l road C ompany r eleased t heir H O s cale v ersio n o f t his p opular f reight c ar, w e h ad a f ine m odel t hat w ith o n ly m inor m odification b ecame r ight a t h ome o n t he m odel r ailroad. O ne m odification n eeded i s t he a ddition o f w e ight ; b ecause o f t he c ar 's l ength a nd l ack o f "o ut o f t he b ox " w e ight , i t t ends t o b e p u ll ed o ff t he t rack w hen r ounding e ven t he s lightest o f c urves. We a dded a w eight r emoved f rom a n A thearn b oxcar k it , p lacing i t b eneath a l oad o f p ipe ( so d a s traws p ainted b lack). T he p roblem c l eared u p i mmediately. T h e c ar 's o ther g laring p roblem i s t hat i t r ides t oo h igh o n t he t rucks i n i ts u naltered s tate. T his i s c orrected b y f i lin g t he b olster f lush w ith t he b ottom o f t he m ain f rame b eam . A f ew s mall s him w ashers ( avai lable f rom K adee) a re t hen u sed t o a djust t he h eight a fter c oup l ers a re i nstalled a nd t he c ar i s
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1985

r eady f or p ainting . We r emoved t he s tirrup s teps a t t he f our c orners o f t he c a r , r eplacing t hem w ith T uttle s teps. T he c oupler p ockets w ere c ut a way a nd K adee N o. 4 's w ere i nst a ll ed . We p refer t he N o. 4 's f or t heir a ll-metal c onstruction a n d m ore i mpo rtant ly , f or t heir p ositive c entering a ction ( the y d on 't g o l imp d angling t o t he r ight o r l eft ). A fter f astening t he w eight t o t he d eck o f t he c ar (Walth ers G oo w orked f ine) , e veryone 's "favorite " c o l or w as t hen a pp li e d. . P C G reen! F loquil P C G r een t hinned t o 4 0 p ercent p aint/60 p e rcent l acquer t hinner w as u tilized. H erald K ing G -360 d ecals w ere a pplied , b eing c areful t o m atch t he n umber t o t hat o f a r ea l c ar i n a p hotograph . T h e e ntire c ar (less t rucks , r emove d ) w as t hen s prayed w ith T estors D ullcote t hinned t o 2 5 p ercent D ullcote /75 p ercent l acq u er t hinner. We u sually w ait a w eek f or t he p aint t o d ry b efore a pp l ying w eathering. O ur w eather ing c o lo rs a re t hinned w ith 8 5-90 p ercent l acquer t h inne r , a nd w ith s o m uch t hinner t he n ew p aint m ay i nteract w ith t he e ar li er p ai nt j ob u nless i t i s c omp l ete ly d ry , a nd t his w o uld l imit t he e ffect o f t he w eath er in g. We k eep s everal w eather ing c o lors o n h and , e ach a c ombination o f t wo o r t hree c o lors m ixed t o o ur t astes. I n t he c ase o f t he g on , w e u s ed F loquil c o lors. We b egan b y a irbr ushin g t he e nt ir e b ottom o f t he c ar w ith a d arker w eathering' c o l or a nd u sing t he s ame c o lor o n t he t rucks. We a llow ed t he p aint t o

s et s omewhat b y w a iting a n h our o r n lore. N ext w e h ighlighted t he u nderfr a m e s tructure w it h a l ighter c olor. O ne w eat h ering f eature w e t ried t o r eplicate w as t he t endency o f s ome o utside r ibbed c ars t o accumu l at~ m ore d irt a nd g rime o n t he s ides o f e ac h r ib t han o n t he o utside e d ge. I n u p a nd d own p asses , w e s pray ed t he l ighter c olor d irectly o nto a ll t he e dges o f t he r ibs. B ecause o f t he " thinness " o f t h e pa int , s everal p asses o ver t h e s a m e a rea w ere m ade , f eathering a n y ove rspra y o nt o t he s ide " panels. " A gain , w e a llowed p aint t o s et s omewhat by w a iti ng a n h our. T hen, u sing " worn o ut " 6 00-g r it ( or f iner ) w et -and dr y s andpaper , w e w et-sanded t he o ut er r ib e dg'es v ery l i g htl y- just e nough t o "clean " t he s urface a nd g ive t he c ar a p rototypical a ppearance. W hile t he l i ghter c olor i s lo aded i n t he a i rbr ush , y o u c a n a l so w eather t he c ouplers ( w hich y ou'd p robably w ant t o f irst p aint a r usty b rown) a nd t rucks. T h ey s hould b e s prayed f rom a n a ngle r epresenting d irt c oming u p f rom b eneath t he c ar-from t he r oadbed a nd g round. L ater y ou c an e ven a dd s treaks o f r ust i f y ou w ant t he c ars t o r eflect t he s poradic p eriods o f s ervice t heir r eal-life c ounterparts h av e e ndured i n r ecent y ears. M ill g ons w ere t he s ubject o f a t wopart a rticle by R ichard H . H endrickson t hat a ppeared i n t he S eptemberOctober 1 982 a nd N ovember-December 1 982 i ssu es o f P M. T he a rt i cl es t old h ow t o k itbash A thearn 's H O s cale m ill g ondola i nto l onger m ill g ons u sed b y C &O, D T&I, E J&E , E rie , N YC, P M, S P a nd W P

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