Stirrup Step repairs


I started working on replacing broken stirrups on my CNW boxcar project. I’m using Tichy Train Group #3047


It’s my first time doing something like this, the process is pretty straight forward of scraping off the old ones and drilling holes for the new ones. Except I’m having trouble getting my holes drilled at the right spots and I broke my drill bit.

As frustration was building I decided to set the boxcar down and practice on a more simple model… my car shops flat.


I had originally done this with custom bent brass (that in retrospect was too big in diameter) and I think for a beginner it was a good start but while I was at the hobby store last weekend I picked up some of the square stirrups with this project in mind. I tried lining up the Tichy nubs with my existing holes but they were too high and again not straight. I decided to try cutting off the Tichy nubs just gluing them over the holes and viola a pretty good result.


After the glue dried I was a little surprised how sturdy the stirrup got because it had been so flimsy getting it off the sprue and gluing it on. I suppose that’s a nice feature though.

I’ll need to repaint the car but I haven’t been terribly pleased with my first weathering attempt that’s probably not a bad idea anyway

Car Shops Flat Car construction finished


I’ve been building a unique prototype used by the DM&IR car shops, more information and build progress can be found here.

Shortly after my last update I ended up finishing construction (I’m just way behind in my blogging). All that remains now is some painting and weathering. Since I don’t have an air brush and have a number of other projects that will eventually need air brushing I’m putting painting on the back burner. Until then here are some pictures with the finished assembly.

Car Shops Flat Update


This is a project that kind of stalled for a while for no real good reason, (if you are just joining us this is what I’m building: link). When I last posted about this (link) I was short a piece of styrene, grab irons, and paint.

Today I made a trip to the hobby store and picked up some styrene, brass, and drill bits (#61-80). The drill bits were for a number of projects but will also be useful for installing the grabs I’m making out of the brass. I’ve finished the styrene and got started on the grabs:

Car Shops Flat Update


I’ve had a couple short opportunities to work on this project but until today haven’t had much progress worth reporting. Today I managed to get it rolling. In fact I’ve only got a couple things to finish before paint. But before that pictures:

I need to make some foot grab irons, rivets, and the end pieces on either side of the coupler box for one end (I ran out of the right sized styrene with just a little left to go).

I think I may put off painting for a while, after all the prototype is white, and focus on getting my module functional enough to take it to a free-mo event.

Car Shops #1 Flat Car Project


I made a little progress on my little scratch building project last night and have a photo album up on TrainLife detailing progress (click here to see, it should be visible to non members as well). I got the top and sides done last night, all that’s left is truck mounting, coupler box mounting, end pieces, and then detailing (grab irons, rivets, and paint).

I even mocked it up on some borrowed trucks (I’ve yet to pick up the set I’m going to use) and a piece of styrene to get the height correct:

Missabe Model Ideas


I was browsing the Missabe Railroad Historical Society website the other day and found a couple of really cool prototypes that would make some interesting scratch building projects.

What really draws me to these items is the uniqueness most of them have. Many of the items I’ve listed below appear to be old ore cars being reused for new tasks which I think is really cool.

Car Shops Flat Car – MRHS Link

Photo Copyright Doug Buell

This is something I’m going to try and model (which is why  I’ve posted a picture rather than just linking). It appears to me that it’s the remnants of a ore hopper putting it at about 22′. I’m really excited about the idea of building one of these but I have yet to decided how to start.

One obvious advantage to this project is that no lettering is needed!

Tie Car #6352 – MRHS Link

This is another project I’m going to try and model. I already have some flat cars that I once tried doing a custom paint job on that I have lined up to be made into Missabe flats. Other than paint and decals (available through the MRHS) all that I’d have to build is the end racks

Sand Cars – W-24158, W-24187, W-24456, and W-24899

This projects would likely make the most sense to do as kitbashes on ore cars (old MDC kits are fairly easy to find online). I’ll have to some more research if/when I get around to it but it appears from a glance that I would basically need to build covers for ore cars.


Ballast Cars – W-1410, W-1460, W-1465, W-1494, W-24350 and W-32675

These would be a little bit more difficult to build but it might be feasible to kitbash ore car models since they appear to be retrofits of old ore cars.


Scale Test Cars – W-32499 and W-132499

These cars could easily be kitbashes as well as they appear to be plated over ore cars. Since they are basically just boxes on wheels it might be just as easy to scratch build them.

Ore Test Cars – MRHS Link

What interests me in these is the uniqueness of it. The Missabe was testing three different air-operated dumping doors from different manufacturers and painted the three test cars different colors to easily tell which is which.


As regular readers may know I recently picked up a nice brass RDC on a trade. My original plan was to model it after the Missabe’s only RDC but after a lot of research I decided that with a nice brass model like that I was going to do it up the best I could and try to be as prototypically accurate as I could (which is why I’m taking that RDC and modeling it as the Budd demostrator).

I still have a lot of interest in doing the Missabe RDC if I find a good accurate model to start with

Decals #1 and decals #2