Model Information

Rustbucket Challenge 7- Accepted! ATW 53020
This model represents an Atlantic & Western steel decked 68í flat car, formerly in service of shipping steel rods & rebar, but has since had its racks removed and is now in general service. In this case, it has been pressed into duty to ship a damaged tank car back to General American for servicing. The flat car model was an Accurail 89í flat car that I once had in TOFC service; however, my layout has curves that just wonít accommodate a car that length, and so I had the option of selling it or doing something with it. I took the latter path for this challenge. First I cut the car down, cutting equal amounts off each end to get it to the right length. Then I shaved off the rub rails, and filed down the side sills to make them more vertical. I glued styrene strip to the side sills, to add some depth; and styrene sheet to the surface. I also had to rework the underframe a bit, cutting it to a bit shorter length, and reducing its height as well. The stake pockets were a bit of a hassle. I first tried brass, but couldnít cut it to short enough lengths easily. I then switched to styrene strip, and dremeled out a channel before gluing to the sides. Then it was time for painting and weathering the car. I painted it steel on the surface, and then GN orange all over. I took a Dremel buffer wheel and started buffing away the orange to reveal the steel underneath; overall, I thought this led to some decent results. I added a lot of rust spots as well corresponding to the position of the racks which have been removed from the car.
The tank car began life as a Walthers 54í funnel flow kit. I wanted to make the car like one I took photos of on a flat and later set down in the Oakland CA yard. That car had suffered damage somehow, and had its end platform bent up and the railings twisted a bit. The Walthers kit didnít fit great out of the box, so some filler was needed. Then I added some Plano parts for the end platforms and upper platforms. Paint, weather (lightly- prototype didnít have much) and a little tagging too. The tank car was glued onto the flat, and then chains were added. Interestingly, my prototype photos showed no support blocking at all on the tank car while it was on the flat. Cut levers finished it off (at least for me). This was a lot of fun- thanks for putting out the challenge TWS team.

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