Now that you have learned a little bit about our work, we want you to see what our customers say after they receive their completed model. We know you will be just as satisfied with your Custom Project!

The N scale Copper Range stuff arrived Saturday. Very, Very Nice! Wish now that I had picked up a third engine to be painted.

Tom R., Battle Creek, MI

Scratchbuilt BCRail Wood Chip hopper  

Larger view

Mainline Modeler is an excellent source for scratch builders. In the December 2005 issue the publication ran the drawings for the BC Rail wood chip hopper. Being one who enjoys the BC rail color scheme and scratch-building, and with a little free time over the Christmas Holiday I quickly placed the magazine on my workbench. Almost all of the construction was done using sheet and strip styrene. A few off the shelf detail parts were used, as well as trucks and Kadee couplers.

I began by laying out the sides and ends of the car on .040 sheet styrene. The .040 is thick enough to prevent warping after the model is completed. Using a straight edge I marked all the rib locations, and also noted where holes for grab irons and other details were to be installed. It is much easier to mark these on the flat sheet rather than wait until the sides are attached.

I followed the same procedures for the ends and the floor. The ends were a bit different since the “A” end has a door that is to swing up for unloading. This end also required that I fabricate the hinges from strip styrene to look like the prototype.

For the under-frame I marked off all the point of the center beam and the cross members. The center beam was install first using strip styrene to fabricate the double channel. The cross members were all cut from styrene I beams. The trickiest part to fabricate was the bolsters. I first laid out the pattern of the profile on a sheet of .020 styrene then cut them to shape. Since I had already marked the locations on the under-frame floor all I had to do was glue them in place on the line. When the glue had cured the holes for the truck and coupler-mounting screws were drilled and tapped. Brass wire was used for the brake rigging and piping.

The ladders on the ends of the car were fabricated by using strip styrene attached directly to the panel. I measured for the increments on the rung spacing then, using a straight edge marked both sides of each ladder to ensure the rungs would be straight. Each hole was drilled with #80 bit. The distance was measured again and after the first grab iron was bent to fit I made a jig so the remainder could be done quickly.

With the details of each side, end and the under frame complete it was time to glue the body of the car together. When the sides and floor were together I fabricated the hinges for the top of the A end of the car. I made a pattern for the shape of the hinge and then cut them from strip stock. The upper parts were also cut from stock. I had marked the locations for the long section on the front of the door. They were attached first and then I “sandwiched” them with the upper pieces. NBW castings were used to complete the hinges. The cross bracings at the corners were installed next, using more strip stock and a few NBW castings on the ends.

The car was painted with Floquil light green, glossed and decaled. At this time the completed car can be seen in our “Models for Sale” section of the website. It is un-weathered at this time, however if you wish to purchase this model we can weather it before shipping it out.


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