Friday, 1 April 2016

Completing a Pair of Pennsylvania H25 Hopper Cars - A Quick Project

The finished hoppers on Peter's ex-Thames Valley Modular Ry Club corner sections.
Commentary by Peter Mumby............Photos by George Dutka.

Our plans for last Monday's modelling get-together were a little vague.  We could continue with our ongoing boxcar project - unless something better cropped up.  Then, on Sunday I attended the Kitchener Model Train Show, and I spotted a group of six nicely constructed PRR hoppers on a vendor table.  As it turns out, they were assembled from all-metal kits put out years ago by Roller Bearing Models.  The cars featured individual stirrup steps and grab irons, were complete with trucks and couplers, and were painted boxcar red.  Only the lettering remained to be applied, and each car came with the appropriate Champ decal set.  The price was right, and the cars had been built by my friend Gary Crowther - two more good reasons to add one to my roster.  But wait - maybe I should pick one up for George as well.  I wouldn't want him to think he was being "railroaded" into an acquisition he didn't really want, but he models the 1950s, and for a layout depicting that era, you can never have too much PRR interchange equipment.  I decided to pick up two of the cars, and give him first right of refusal.

As soon as I got home and unpacked my show inventory,  I dug out the two cars and gave them a coat of Testor's Gloss Cote.  George sounded interested in the cars, and this way they would be ready for those Champ decals on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, our first hour or so was spent on a typical "show and tell" session, with much of the discussion related to layout preparations for the upcoming London and Area Layout Tour.  We then got busy lettering the two hopper cars.  We each got them about 75% finished, leaving us with a bit of "homework" to do before the following Monday.  With the remaining lettering applied ( along with an application of Testor's Dull Cote), a portion of the following Monday could be devoted to our typical treatment with weathering powders and PanPastels.  Check out the photographic record and see what you think.  Perhaps I should have picked up the other four cars!

George got so far ahead of me in lettering his car that he had time to run around taking pictures and doing the housework! How do you like our pink cutting mat. When Home Sense has them on sale this size for under $10.00 who cares about the colour.

The car in the foreground illustrates the "as acquired" appearance of the  models, while the car in the background shows one side fully lettered.
Peter's hopper car.

George's hopper car.


  1. George...which one are you going to sell !!! John

  2. The RBM H25s were actually true hybrids, sides and some parts urethane, ends and hoppers metal, and other miscellany wood. These were fiendishly difficult, and I congratulate the guy who finished these!

    1. Hi John...we thought they were well built also...made our job easy...George