John's Initial ZCS Blog
I have always wanted to start a blog, but 'starting' it is usually the first stumbling block. This is true with a 2' by 5' canvas behind me for a layout. I have projects and a test track on it, but nothing resembling any work of 'my' dream layout. I am really hoping mid January to start some layout planning. I do know I want to include a curved trestle bridge, a pickle plant, turntable, a couple of other types of bridges, and keep the scheme during the transition period. I have some Marklin steamers and MTL F7's that will work well together. But more on that project(s) later.
I do want to share different aspects of my modeling experience, along with maybe some ZCS website aspects. I think mixing things up will be interesting. Maybe some personal details too, so you can get to know who Soccrdad30 really is. I do not want to 'plan' blog entries, so do not expect scheduled entries.
So, with that in mind. I would like to share "My Favorite Z Project" Contest entry. My project is a gas! Okay, bad pun. I am "Kitbashing" an MTL 40' standard single door boxcar, and turning it into a Navy U.S.N.X. Helium Freight Car. What is interesting, is there were 3 container helium cars and 30 container helium cars produced. And these were in the gray paint scheme. I am working on the 30 container freight car.
In the below photo you can see the car so far. I used Plastruct channeled strip for the side supports, while cutting out the middle of the car but leaving the roofwalk. I have the containers glued together and painted in gray. I used 3/32” Plastruct tubing for the containers. And you can see some of the tools I used, including my cheap 10.00 chopper that I bought at a train show (bonus!). Slugger got me hooked on Plastruct Plastic Weld – Love it! And for Christmas 2010, I received a couple of Railway Prototype Cyclopedia’s. What is interesting is in this booklet has an article about brake wheels, but look at the Ajax April 1943 Brake Wheel ad showing a U.S.N.X. helium car. The side supports are configured differently from the research images and from commercial RTR cars. Oh well, I will stay with what I started.
Okay, here is a closer view of my contest entry. I just need to paint, create my decals, then apply the decals before inserting the containers. I know some thoughts are going on about the finer details. But, on my next one, I would like to get it more proto. This one I am happy to finish, and to be learning new modeling skills. My next photos will be of the finished helium car, and will be entered into the contest.