|The trio of Rapido gondola's are in-route on the WRD. My car got a lighter weathering job using Bragdon powders while Peter went hard at it with his PanPastels. All three look well used.|
Photos by George Dutka.
About a year and a half ago Rapido Trains introduced what it referred to as the "Ultimate Canadian Gondola." Based on prototypes assembled by Canadian builders between 1943 and 1957, this is another nicely detailed Rapido model. When we were able to get a good buy on some undecorated versions, another modelling project was underway. We each decided on a black CP car and Peter chose a boxcar red Pacific Great Eastern car as well. Nice prototype reference photos were tracked down in three Morning Sun books by John Riddell; Canadian Pacific Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Volumes One and Two, and Canadian Railways Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Volume Two. On page 85 of the CP Vol. 2 book there is a nice broadside view of one of the cars in almost exact HO size, so we were able to verify lettering sizes before we got started.
No additional detailing was needed prior to painting, so George got right to work with the airbrush. The painted cars were then treated to a decal-friendly coat of glossy finish, then set aside to cure. As it turns out, this turned into about a six month interval; the modelling urge sometimes operates in fits and starts! Once the project was revived last month, the hunt was on for appropriate lettering. The PGE car was no problem - a set of CDS HO-87 dry transfers was on hand, and they were rubbed onto a sheet of Walthers blank decal paper prior to application. We did not have a specific set for the CP cars, but a thirty year old Set No 1 Canadian Pacific Freight and Work Car Set by KG Decals provided the needed road name, reporting marks, and numerals. Data and various other markings came from a variety of Herald King and Champion decals. A coat of flat finish prepared the cars for the weathering and interior detailing phase.
Peter's PGE car was weathered from the inside out using PanPastels. The prototype photo showed a load of rail, so this came next. A piece of strip wood was stained with Hunterline creosote black Weathering Mix, then cut to make four supports for the rail. I found a piece of code 70 rail and cut it into nine segments ( each a scale 39' length, of course!). The rail was painted a weathered rail brown colour, then everything was mounted in the car using Canopy glue. A bit of rust coloured powder applied to the finished load completed the car.
CP 330540 was similarly weathered and the strip wood piece was cut into tie lengths and placed randomly into the car. Small piles of residual ballast were created in the corners. George provided a few tie plates whichever were attached with a bit of flat lacquer. This proved to be just the finishing touch that the car needed.
|This down-on view of the PGE car shows the weathered appearance of both the interior and exterior.|
|In this view we see that the local crew has thoughtfully posed both of Peter's cars in a particularly scenic location on the WRD.|
|A 1950's lettering job on this once un-decorated Rapido 52' gondola.|
|A coat of boxcar red with CDS dry transfers applied, plus a good dose of PanPastels really look good.|
|Peter updated his CPR gondola for a more modern era.|