I’ve actually had this model for a while, way back in 2013 (More hoppers and a switcher) and after initial build they’ve just been sitting in a box.
The short back story is I picked up what I thought was two cement hoppers but ended up being a paired set which was two hoppers connect with a drawbar. I built it right away but it needed better couplers, metal wheels, and the drawbar made putting things on the rails a real pain so it went back in the box to be improved “later”.
I had the fortune Tuesday to have the my lovely wife and kids run some errands just before I got home from work so I was home alone for a while so I ran down to the train room to find something to do. I started by touching up some of the hoppers I was painting/weathering the trucks on. Basically there were some fiddly parts that were loose. While glue was drying I started digging through the my parts/projects boxes and decided to take a stab at it.
I stole some metal wheels and couplers from some worse off projects (not getting finished anytime soon type projects). Then I took some dummy couplers I had laying around and replaced the drawbar.
This brought them a little closer which I think looks a little bit better and most importantly it means they can be put on the rail independently. Next steps will be weathering and painting the trucks, wheels, and dummy couplers but that will have to wait for a new airbrush.
Check for more posts on this project here
I’ve managed to get some actual modeling done lately (in addition to mudding and taping drywall), both projects were picked up at the Granite City train show in St Cloud, MN last weekend. The switcher is a Proto 2000 SW9/1200 (CNW 1125), it’s actually my Dad’s. My job was to find and install a decoder. I went with the NCE SW9-SR decoder, it fit perfectly in place and hooking up the power and motor was a piece of cake. It runs like a charm which I suppose is a pretty good achievement since it’s spent it’s entire life in the box in someone’s basement till now. I’m not sure when these were originally released but the instructions were fairly yellowed.
The only remaining task for the switcher is to get the lighting figured out, NCE says it can’t use the forward light because the resister would generate too much heat and melt the shell, but they can use the rear light. It appears though that this is technically true but not the best solution. When I find replacement lighting for the forward light I’m planning on replacing the reverse light as well.
The hoppers were a little bit of a surprise when I got them home. It appears they also were from someone’s basement “hobby store”, but at a glance appeared to be a pair of hoppers that I could put into service at my concrete plant. When I got it home I was annoyed to find that both cars were the same number until I realized (a.k.a. looked at the instructions) and found that they were an 84′ Paired Airslide hopper which I enjoyed for learning about a new prototype.
The kit was pretty much what I’ve come to expect from an older Walthers rolling stock kit, a paint to put together but worth the effort. One of the tricks I’d recommend is using a small drill bit and a pin-vise to ream out the holes that the pins to hold the hatches go in. That really made them go in a lot easier.