Loads For Open Cars

I previously talked about adding "junk" to the mining area on my layout. (Chap 10) Well, now that MSHA and OSHA are getting to the point of demanding it be removed, I came up with a new reason to build something. In theory, a lot of the clutter around mine sites may have ended up at Abe Solomon's junk yard on the site of the old Vulcan (Chap 11) plant in Wilkes-Barre. How's that for sticking with a theme? So now the method to transport the metal.....
I mentioned being impressed with Jim Homoki's scrap steel gondola loads earlier. When I saw them in Collinsville last year I was impressed by the look but, intimidated by how tedious they seemed to construct. I finally came up with a simplified approach that looks good and suits my style of building.
I trimmed a 1/4" piece of balsa to fit into an Athearn 52' gondola. The trimmed shavings are glued to the top to start adding a 3-D look. Becasue the finished load will not take to much handling I added loops of wire through the balsa toward each end (I do this on loads for coal hoppers as well) Removal can then be done using a tweezers.
Small rectangles in varing sizes are cut from an old photo print.

The resulting pieces are glued ramdomly onto the balsa sub-base.

When I was satisfied with the look of things, I painted it with random mixes of weathered black, roof brown and tuscan.

When the paint was dry I added bits and pieces of "super-detail" I had lots left over from my experience in mine site clutter. There are small unused parts from old kits, bits of sprue, scraps from scratchbuilding projects. various gauges and lengths of wire, etc. I think I added, at most, 100 of these bits.

The weight/density of the load dictates the car won't be loaded too high. I kept it about 2' below the top chord. If you attempt adding dents to the side panels on the car, work from the inside and keep the top chord straight. In adding some variation to the shades of rust, I used chalks. Keep things SUBTLE.
Oh, the time involved? I spent about 3 hours plus some additional fiddle time.
Have fun.....
Wayne Sittner

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