New Year, New Freight Cars! 2-5-17

Six new freight cars to kick off 2017! Two boxcars, two covered hoppers, a gondola and a flatcar. More pictures of how they were each built are shown below!

As stated on my railfan blog, I'm rather embarassed that I haven't updated this in several months, but I was working 7 days a week through the end of 2016. Now in 2017, I'm back down to three jobs instead of four, so I now have PLENTY of time to spend in the workshop building things. Below are samples of each new freight car I've built so far, and there's more to come!

PS-2 Style Covered Hopper

First on my to-do list for 2017 was to finally start rebuilding my fleet of covered hoppers. I had slated my existing set of 11 colorblock covered hoppers for scrapping for quite a while, but simply hadn't had the inspiration on how to replace them. I finally found the spark in the "6x6x2 inverted quad slope with cutouts," piece, thinking to myself that it looked a bit like a bottom bay door on a covered hopper. A bit of research showed that this piece was available in several colors, all of which would look great on a hopper car, so a prototype was immediately constructed and additional parts ordered!

Gondola with Containers

I picked up a few sets of Lego Salt and Pepper shakers, as I thought they would make an interesting flatcar load. This changed to a gondola load after being inspired by an item in the MTH O Scale catalog. I built the sides of the gondola using hinged plates, and added ladders to both sides of both ends to keep the vertical plates (held together with a second layer of tiles and details) from looking too wide. I also added a road number by using vehicle license plate stickers (eventually all my rolling stock will have ID markings) and some blue and white tiles for a makeshift logo on the end.

Big Red Boxcar

I've had a Big Red Boxcar sitting on the "works in progress" shelf for a couple of years. I built it quite a while ago, but it ended up being just a bit TOO big to run smoothly on my railroad. This weekend, I finally got it out of the half-completed-projects bin and completely rebuilt it. I added a license plate road number, a LEGO logo, handrails, brake lines, non-functioning running rails for the doors, and yellow safety stripes across the bottom.

Green Weathered Boxcar

After building the Big Red Boxcar, I wanted to do another boxcar, and I had a lot of green pieces sitting in my parts drawers... but I didn't want to to just another colorblock, so I opted to try out a "weathered" look using the different shades of green available. It didn't come out BRILLIANT, but there's always the option to rebuild!

Round Covered Hopper

Another type of covered hopper I've had in my collection for a while is a rounded covered hopper using parts from set 3180. It was a bit of a rush job, and I always had the thought of rebuilding it... and then I found out the rounded upper and lower halves were available in several other colors. So, like my tank car train, I plan to have copies of this same car design in a few different paint schemes. For a prototype model to compare with, click here.

Basic Brown Flatcar

Nearly all of these builds took place in one weekend, and right before I went to bed before going back to the work week, I thought "wait a minute! I don't have a basic brown flatcar!" 20 minutes later, I did. Used two 6x8 and a 6x12 plate for the frame, then  gave it a second layer of different shades of brown for a worn/used look. Added an underframe, some trucks (spaced one stud apart) and a steering wheel (later changed to a tool wheel) for the "brakes." Probably should add some brake piping underneath as well.

Look forward to seeing updated versions of these cars in the near future, and as always, thanks for reading!