Parts Department, may I help you?

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by doctorwayne, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    This is a little kitbash I did using a K brake cylinder from a Walthers 50' singlesheathed automobile car, a Tichy brakewheel, four covered hopper hatches from Detail Associates, a pair of Proto2000 Andrews freight trucks, and doors from some old Train Miniature boxcars. I was waiting for New England Rail Service to release their kit (now further delayed by litigation) for the 36' Fowler cars when I stumbled across the plans in the June, 1985 issue of Mainline Modeler and decided that the parts listed above would make an appropriate version of the car for my free-lanced Elora Gorge & Eastern Rwy. I thought it best to add the carbody in order to keep all the parts together. :rolleyes: :D :D
    The body is constructed from Evergreen freight car siding, with zed (this is in Canada, eh?) bracing built-up from styrene strips. The roof is sheet styrene, with "tee" battens built-up from strips. The drop steps are from A Line and all of the grabirons, including those on the runningboard laterals were formed on jigs from .012" brass wire. The runningboards are individual 2" x 8" styrene planks. Hatches, as noted, are from Detail Associates.

    The floors and underframes (I built four of these cars) are constructed from sheet and strip styrene, along with the aforementioned brake cylinder. Brake gear is limited to the basic levers and rodding, since the four scratchbuilt longitudinal hoppers preclude viewing of most of this kind of detail.

    The cars were airbrushed with Floquil paint and lettered with custom dry transfers from C-D-S. The lettering on the doors reads:


    The two cars pictured are spotted at the older bulk loading facility of GERN INDUSTRIES: for an overview of the plant, check here:
    If it's GERN, It's Good
    Hope you've enjoyed reading about these cars.
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

  3. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    A real good job, I must say!

    TrainClown ;)
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Nice work Wayne...!

    What was shipped in these boxcar/covered hopppers?

  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Nice work and may I also express admiration for your excellent looking grain facility in the background? Beautiful scene!
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Thanks for the compliments, guys. The story of the cars and the facility in the background is, like all my posts, pretty long. The covered hoppers/boxcars are in assigned service carrying "flux". Flux is used in the food and beverage industry, in steel and glassmaking, and even in patent medicine. It all began when my younger brother Steven and I got a table hockey game one Christmas. You know the ones where the players slide up and down the ice and twirl around to shoot, all of this controlled by rods under the "ice" surface. He was around 7 or 8, I'm three years older. Anyway, we made up a league in which we both owned three teams. Every player had a fictitious name, usually kind of silly, and we kept stats on each player through the "season". One of his star players was a guy called Cookie Gibson: if I recall correctly, he played for the Shawinigan Syrup Kings. Now my brother is a really quick-witted and imaginative guy, and he dreamt up a whole biography for Gibson; turned out to be sort of a Howard Hughes kind of fellow (back when Hughes was sharp and powerful). The cornerstone of his empire was GERN INDUSTRIES LTD. To sorta egg-on Steven, I asked him what this company produced and he quickly replied, "flux", so Gibson became "the flux magnate". Now, we knew what flux meant from having watched our Dad do soldering, but we never really made a connection between that kind of flux and the GERN kind of flux. When I started, a few layouts and many years later, to build my current layout, I knew that Mr. Gibson would have to somehow be included. Many of my industries are named in honour of family or friends, sometimes with their name and other times with the name of a real company with which they were associated. In the thread on scratchbuilding a turntable, the ice house in the background of my photo is named for my brother and me. Talk about an ego trip!
    Anyway, I decided that one of the main shippers on the Erie Northshore sub of my Grand Valley division of the Elora Gorge & Eastern would be GERN INDUSTRIES. You've probably seen the thread about how it was built (a post on "a Walthers kit"). I call it the Gibson Works - Mining and Milling Division of GERN INDUSTRIES. It's modelled in Port Maitland on the layout, which bears absolutely no ressemblance to the real Port Maitland, although my railroad does interchange here with the TH&B, which did run to that town. I just kept building the thing until it looked right, as if anybody out there could dispute this point. The actual mining operation takes place under Lake Erie, much like the salt mines under Lake Huron at Goderich. The older part of the plant, in the foreground, ships granulated flux, in bulk, in the cars shown. The same commodity, bagged, is shipped in regular boxcars from a loading dock just out of the picture to the right. Even farther to the right is a small tankcar loading facility for the shipment of Liquiflux, Fluxene Peroxide, and Flux sludge. (I've built tankcars labelled for all of these products. Gern also leases regular covered hoppers from the EG&E: all Gern cars carry GILX reporting marks.) The large silo building in the background is for the storage and shipment, in regular covered hoppers, of bulk powdered flux, the most widely used version of this product. Incidently, the EG&E covered hoppers used on my mid-to-late '30's layout bear a remarkable ressemblance to the ACF version offered several years later. Rumour has it that Gibson is receiving royalties on certain patents for these cars. The rich get richer. The rest of the big structure in the background of the Walthers structure post is the milling facility, with a warehouse on the eastern (left) end for the shipment of powdered flux in bags.
    So that explains the building in the background and tells you what's shipped in the EG&E's first covered hoppers, pictured in the foreground. But what is flux? Well, I think that my brother and I both look on it as something kind of ethereal, sort of almost whatever you need it to be: more like the flux in the expression "in a state of flux". Anyway, that's our story, and we're stickin' to it! And don't forget, "If it's GERN, it's GOOD".


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