Friday, December 1, 2023

Modeling UP Gondola (Part 2) - Re-sanding & Painting

I left off on this project in 2021, when I had filled in the board grooves on the side of the car around the ribs to replicate the replacement steel siding.

UP Steel Gondola - Owenyo Trestle - SG side - unknown calender photo, circa 1951 - Ronald Grau collection (cropped to show only foreign gondolas)

Here's a new photo from 1951, with a freshly resheathed UP ex-composite gondola.  Oddly this photo also shows a D&RGW steel gondola, I'm not sure why there's a Rio Grande car at Owenyo.  One thought is that they were shipping in coal from UP and D&RGW, but then they probably would have had to be unloaded by hand across into the NG cars.  Another thought would be if they were empties from somewhere else, like Monolith or LA, and then planned to be reloaded for movement towards home.

Continuing Work on Red Caboose Model

See my previous post: UP Steel Resheath Gondola (Part 1).  I also sanded the interior walls to remove the board details.  The next step is to shoot some primer color over the body and see how the new side finish looks.

Steel sheathing of UP ex-composite GS gondola

I "witness coat" of light FCR StarBrand paint used to check how the fill has been done on the body.

Other side of Steel Sheathing of UP ex-composite GS gondola

This sanding work is done with the tip of a narrow sanding stick over the Squadron White putty.  Since these photos, 

Sanded & Primed Interior Steel Sheathing

I've picked up some Tamiya liquid putty, which I look forward to using on projects like this in the future.

Other side - Sanded & Primed Interior Steel Sheathing

One of the challenges of this new car, is that these cars I believe should have flat-plate drop doors, which I'll have to deal with making.  I probably won't modify the bottom of the doors, as it will not be seen on my layout when it's completed.

Underframe primed with lightened SP/UP FCR

I went ahead and primed/painted the underside of the main body at this point.  

Second Round of Sanding

Left side of UP Steel Sheathed Gondola

At this point I went through a exhaustive round of detail sanding to get the 'steel' sides heet sections smoother than the 1st time.Some sections still show brown pain in the lines between the old boards.

Right Side of UP Steel Sheathed Gondola

By this point, I've sanded down to the tops of the original board level and even into that slightly.  The goal is to get everything smoothed out.  I don't mind a few 'wrinkles', as the prototype steel sheathing can have some ripples and dings from various loads being dropped into the car over the years, although I'm modeling in the period of only a couple of years after the steel sides were installed.

What's the Final Coat of Paint Going to Be?

Now it's time to give the body another try at a witness coat, and if it's good it will also become the body paint for the finished car.  This UP car will get special 3d printed ends, so I'm not too worried about building the body up at this point.  Also some weight materials are on their way to me.  So soon I'll be able to assemble the body and put the extra weights into the floor.  The floor with plate doors may need to be 3d printed as well. 
The other UP cars I have are a lighter orange-ish shade of FCR than the stock SP/UP FCR from StarBrand.  As I'm also working on some PRR X29s right now as well, which need paint I'll probably mix SP/UP FCR with some Daylight Orange and see if I can get a 3/4 match towards the lighter color to give some variety in my fleet.

Standard Steel UP G-50-13, built 1951 showing the lighter orange-ish FCR from Red Caboose.

We'll see how that goes.  Until I get around to really super-kitbashing the composite side UP gondola, I may just build up one of the UP steel gondola kits that I have as a stand-in model.

In Closing

Here's the photo from the original post that sucked me in.  I believe this may actually be the same day, as both photos have lineage back to the collection of Ronald Grau.  I'm looking forward to pushing this car forward a bit more as I get back to building the Transfer Trestle over this winter.

SP 3203 at Owenyo with UP steel-sheathed composite gondola. Eddie Sims collection

After looking at the prototype photo again, I might stay a bit closer to the original UP/SP FCR StarBrand color, and plan to do light dust weathering, with maybe only a small amount of orange in the mix.

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

UP Steel Re-sheath Gondola (Part 1) - Blanking Composite Sides on RC gondola. (My first post on this series)

Utahrails net Info on UP G-50-11 Gondolas - Researched by Dick Harley circa 2017
Built Feb-March 1943
UP 64000-64999 composite, LT WT 49300 lbs
July 1947 UP Lettering from White to Yellow.
1950-1951 convert to steel sheathing, LT WT 51800 lbs
One-Inch reporting mark bars removed Nov 1952.
"Be Careful" Slogan added in June 1953

Notes: My model should be Yellow lettering, with bars and without slogan for as-rebuilt version.  The new photo near the Trestle shows that the car in question still has the bars over and under the lettering.

UPHS org Info on Lettering Drawings for UP cars - G-50-11, and others 

Dick Harley's UP Smugmug page has some useful information as well.

Decals by National Scale Car - Probably better than the Tichy set I bought so far... I'm probably going to get a set of the NSC decals soon to actually finish this car with.

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