Lake Terminal RR. 66’ gondola of 1899

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by modelsof1900, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    Russ, sorry for late answer.

    I hope that most of detailing but especially the wood texture will be visible after coloring.
    The wood will get a coating by very thin lacquere so that the wood structure must be visible after. The many metal parts get a thin colour and than I attempt to add a very rusted finish with chalks so that these details will be visible. But there are isn't a problem when I wash off the parts one or two times for starting e new coloring. I hope for success and good results.


    Here a picture yet of last model where the wood structure of the roof is good visible after coloring, aging and weathering.

  2. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    I didn't see where anyone answered your question about expressing opinions about the quality or lack of quality of products. I have never heard of anyone in the US getting into legal problems for expressing such opinions. In fact one reads negative opinions frequently on the various model railroad web sites. On one site I recently read a serious of rants about how one brand of HO turnouts was "awful, terrible, not worth buying".....
    You'd be doing us yet another service by expressing your opinions. You are, after all, a first class model builder, so your opinions should carry a lot of authority here on the gauge.
    And also --- my thanks for sharing your descriptions and photos.
    Bill S
  3. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member


    thanks for your post.
    When I have a good occasion in connection with next descriptions than I will make a few comments to materials which I use. I think there are a few differents however both stripwood maker, NorthEastern and Kappler have their specifics.
  4. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    Next step - body bolsters

    It has needed a few times after last post for my gondola project.
    Working for model railroad museum is past and the exhibition with the special jobs for it is history. So I could work again for my five Lake Terminal gondolas.

    First that I must add to frame are food blocks for couplers before I could add body bolsters and trucks to the models.



    Mounted couplers are the precondition in order to add body bolsters and to give the cars their correct high. I used for these coupler mounting blocks two layers of plywood because so I can use small and especially short wood screws for fixing the couplers without drilling the holes through the floor – and so the screws give enough power in the plywood for heavy fastening.

    Starting with the body bolsters:
    Material is I-shaped brass profile and thin brass sheet.


    The cross girders have got reduced end dimensions and the small angles will be the brackets for fixing the bolsters to side sills of frame.


    Here my small jig for solving the brackets to cross girders …


    … and first step is done after a few reiterations and small corrections.


    In next step I soldered center plates to bolsters …


    … and after I completed the bolsters by body side bearings, the center screw socket and a few braces to the brackets. Here I used AC glue for fixing these parts because it would be a too difficult job when I would solder all these parts together. I think that I can do a few things with enough success however soldering is not that what I really like to do. Here I mounted 14 single parts together to one body bolster and so I worked in a mixture by solving and gluing.


    Here the bolsters are glued in position to frame and the right model shows already to right high reduced screw socket and side bearings. And right high stand for me as modeling a three point basic for my models in order to avoid all swinging and rocking of moving cars.


    First time the first two models are standing on their wheels, couplers are in right high – however the models will need yet a long time until they can run with a model train.

    Here you can ask why I have built such difficult body bolsters. I think there are simple answers also.
    First, I have had good drawings showing enough details for modeling.
    And second I like to model as close as I can do it to the original. These original wood cars have had steel body bolsters as contrast to all other details and so I would like to build it from metal also. Wood bolsters would not represent these original cars so as I would like to model them. I hope you can understand my view of model building.

    Next step will be a reiteration these steps for my other three models.

  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Beautiful work on those body bolsters, Bernhard. You keep raising the bar far beyond what most modellers would, or even could do. It's almost a shame that this work will be mostly hidden when the car is in service. I must compliment you too on your extremely neat soldering work. As usual, two thumbs up! :thumb::thumb:

  6. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Wow! Id love to run that on my railroad! I wish I could scratch some cars together, but, hey at my age, theres plenty of time to learn. Good work.:thumb:
  7. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    Thank you Wayne, Kevin

    for your comments and compliments.

    Wayne, I think that there are a few compromises also when I attempt to work near to reality. Here at body bolster I have thought if I should add rivets or bolts for fixing the body side bearings to the bolsters. At last I have these parts glued only and I have disregarded the rivets because you must remove the trucks for seeing these parts and who will do this except the model must get an inspection or a small repair.
    I think that a few small omissions will not reduce extremely the value. On other side when I will model the very last details also then I don’t find an end with this project and so hope for leniency.
    I’m sure also with these missing rivets that the undersides of models will get a big number of details so that there will be a lot of work for me in next months. And I hope for enough patience but the models must be finished this year; this is my full intend.

    Second I must repeat my description.
    Not all parts of body bolsters are soldered. The body side bearings are soldered together with the foot plate to one part however these things like center screw socket and stiffeners for brackets are glued. I must write again, soldering isn’t the technology for which I have a special love.

    Sorry, I have corrected a few written mistakes in my last post and hope now for better understanding.

  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Bravo! Beautiful craftsmanship there Sir!
  9. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Bernard, very nice work. Thank you for sharing.
  10. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    First details - underneath of models

    Now after a couple of work all five gondolas have got their body bolsters …


    … and they are standing an their own wheels.


    And then that!
    While working with a screw driver mounting the couplers I glided of from the screw and a big hole was taken in one of floor boards. What should I do?
    Removing the board was not a heavy problem – and replacing it by a new one?
    Really a new board! Yes, I will insert a new board after coloring, aging and weathering of this one model and so it will be show a small repair after damaging by a improper loading or unloading process. I think that this not a bad idea and very close to reality. Or what do you say about this?


    Yet a view on bolster …


    … and a second view after adding first details around bolster. Coupler and bolster are stiffened additionally by high wood beams and all parts are secured by steel bars and screw bolts (brass strips and NBWs).

    Sorry if I repeat my words; I love these details also when they will be visible only by a second view and than when you will the models take off from the track and you turn over it.
    Next parts will be yet smaller however I can not miss them for modeling after a correct railroad car technology. I hope for your understanding. (Sorry, a small joke only.)

  11. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    the gons look incredibl bernhard! and a great idea to turn an accident into a prototypical repair job :) :thumb: --josh
  12. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Bernhard I am truly impressed have book marked this and will be trying it myself when I have the confidence.
  13. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

    I'm sure that's not right - as Triplex says, the car is arched to take the load. The truss rods have turnbuckles on them, and can be tightened to put an arch into the wood body of the car and prevent the car from sagging. Most photos I've seen of wood cars in good condition show a slight arch to the body. A car with any sort of slight sag is past its serviceable condition.

    Of course for drawings it's much easier to draw it all square. The amount of arching depends on how much the truss rods are tightened.
  14. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Oohh boy....!!! Truly amazing work...!!! Crafsmanship in wood I understand...and might aspire to do some day....:mrgreen: In metal..?? :cry: Beyond the capabilities of most mortals....Those bolsters are fantastic....and then they're mounted with straps that have nuts and bolts on them...!!! Too much...!!!

    Congratulations on the BEST work I've EVER seen..!!:thumb:
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It has been a few months since I visited this thread. Those gons are gorgeous!
  16. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member


    thank you very much for your reply.

    Sorry, but I cannot agree with your argument. In my opinion these specific cars must be arched up while years of use in railroad service in addition to the aspect of rain and humidity.
    Wood is an usable material that everyone knows as well as usable in connection with compression. However, wood is often lesser usable when you will use it with traction force like the frame of a railroad car and there especially the center sills. Couplers must be fastened by bolts and not one of these connections is so fastened that those are fixed while the whole life time cycle of a wood car. And what is with the wood?
    Further I have written already that it will be performed when it will be wet and moistly. What does it mean when these wood cars will be stretched coupled in a long and heavy train? And the trains were long and heavy in times around 1920 where I have seen these cars in service yet. I think that than the truss rods will take over the traction force when the wood and especially the center sills again do not convey this traction force from the one to the other end of the car.
    The truss rods will be tautened and straightened and they will push up the queenposts against the frame sills and therefore the body will arched up – additionally to what climatic influences like rain and humidity will do.
    This is my opinion and I hope that you can understand my arguments that these open cars must be warp while their service and they did not have this as prevention against sagging.
    All pictures that I have seen do show these cars after a long life time in service after 15 or 20 years and in fact they were arched up – all.

    Samples of these cars can you find on the homepage of the Black River Historical Society. And I am very interested in more information if you will find other pictures or descriptions of these gondola cars.

  17. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    Preparations for truss rod mounting

    Last week I prepared the first model in preparation adding the truss rods.


    Altogether each model will get 12 truss rods mounted below of car. Four truss rods are installed already while a longer time ago; they are guided over center of side walls. Look the last pictures for this.


    You see here at the outer queenpost row that all truss rods will be installed as pairs. Four more truss rods are guided over two inner queenposts.
    These posts in two different shapes are cast after master models which a precision model maker has built after my description. These parts have an excellent quality however they were also expensively. However I could not build these models without these very specific queenposts.


    Here the basic for a few more small parts …


    The ready parts and their use as posts for the truss rod guiding between floor planks and body bolster. Twelve such small parts are needed per model only?! (These four truss rods like you can see in this picture are temporarily mounted for demonstrating the final installation.)

    However before I can add the truss rods I will finish all other four models to this state and than I must build the brakes and mount them because the brakes would not be mountable when the truss rods are installed before. And I think that I will need a longer time doing this all.

  18. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Take your time.....We'll all be here waiting to see the progress of a most amazing piece of work....
  19. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Bernard, those are very nice castings.
  20. belg

    belg Member

    Bernhard, this is the first time I'm seeing your work and it looks great, I like how you break things down logically and proceed only when sure. I was wondering if when finished will these units need to be weighted to meet NMRA standards, if so will you do this with a load simulation or some other clever way?
    Someone mentioned your barrel car but after visiting your albums I did not see it listed, do you have a link to that build?
    I have sent you a pm back in return of your Email this time as my original reply must have gotten lost in cyber space, thanks again for the pics, Pat

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