MDC/Roundhouse Ore Car Detailing

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by ocalicreek, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Hello All,

    I'm starting this thread to kick myself into gear on finishing another project that's been sitting around too long half completed.

    I purchased a set of 6 ore cars that were at one time drawbar connected by the original owner, in two groups of three cars. Not sure how I want to do it as there's no mining industry currently set up on either of my layouts, but that's another topic altogether.

    What I'm really after are any ideas on dressing up these cars with better details. Has anyone here done anything with these cars besides air hoses and weathering?

    I've also got one lettered for the G&D that'll actually be first in line for completion.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I haven't had much of an interest in ore cars, never did a mine, so I'm not completely familiar with the MDC ore cars.
    That said, there are always things that can be done to "dress up" cars. Replacing cast on details with separate castings, and wire hand grabs and ladder rungs, is a start. there are door operating rods and levers that can be modeled, and brake rigging can be added. The internal supports of the hopper area can be researched, and added.
    You're looking at what could turn into a very ambitious project, but, if these cars are going to be prominently featured on your layout, it will be worth the effort.
  3. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Yeah, I've got my hands full with an ambitious steam engine detailing project at the moment, so I was thinking somewhere above basic but not anywhere near 'museum quality'. The cars won't be a major feature of the layout, but will be part of regular service and switching at a mine...someday. Until then, I'm just going through unbuilt/halfbuilt kits and deciding how to take them up a notch.

    Thanks for your reply!

  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I bashed some of these cars into 13’ On30 hoppers…I won’t get into that as that’s not really what you’re asking about…
    That said, one of the best improvements IMHO, was to replace the wheels & trucks with Kadee archbars…it makes a huge difference!
  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    please, go ahead!


    Go ahead and tell me more about the conversion (especially if you've got pictures). You're the first person in a few months to reply to this thread, and since I started it, I say go ahead! Thanks for your reply.:thumb:

    I plan on replacing the wheelsets with metal wheels, but I hadn't considered the whole truck...hmm...that would add some weight....and back date the cars...hmmm
  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Sorry for the reply being so late…I haven’t stopped in here at The Gauge for a while…
    I’m at work at the moment, so I don’t have any pictures on hand, but I will see if I can dig some up at home…
    You’re right…the Kdees probably do add some weight, but those cars were not really short on that to begin with…
    As far as back-dating…I’m thinking that those original trucks were also the archbar type, just not as nice as the Kadees…
    Either way…I’m pretty sure I do have a before & after picture somewhere…I’ll see if I can find it!
  7. Summit

    Summit Member

    I'll be the next to drop in on this thread waaaayyyy too late.

    If you don't have a mining industry or theme on your layout, then I'd suggest making them into ballast cars. See the cars and information featured in the following link:

    The cars featured on that page are not too much different from the MDC ore jenny. Great Northern had 500 of those cars built in 1899 and 1900 for the iron ore trade, and after they retired the cars in 1924 the equipment dealer that bought them up found a ready market for those cars in ballast service all over the west, including a good many logging railroads. It seems that every road had at least a few of them in company ballast service. If you really want to add some visual interest you could include the knock holes in the sides of the car (which were used to insert poles into to loosen loads), and these cars also had wooden walkways down one side of the car.

    Just a suggestion...

    Jeff Moore
    Elko, NV

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