Update on build - I tested version 5.0 at Cherry Valley a few weeks ago and it ran nice and smooth. No weight has been added yet, but plan on some sort of steel bar sandwiched between the car bottom and a secondary bottom from .020 styrene. Besides concealing the weight, it hides the tabs from the under frame assembly that are visible.
Road test. After I left the club and was getting into my truck, I dropped the car from a height of about 3-4’ onto and asphalt pavement. The only damage was the .020 x .125 rim trim separated for about a half an inch in either direction at the corner. Quick fix with liquid cement. The combination of the acrylic body and the .100 styrene ribs make for a solid car.
Moving on, the car has been painted and I’m still trying to sort out stencils vs. decals. I laser cut stencils out of Tamiya masking sheet. They stick great and no doubt will produce crisp lettering, but they are tricky to apply because they are sticky, and the Penn Central worm logo is almost impossible to apply as the masked section between the worms is so thin and delicate. Looking for low tack double sided tape for polybacker version of stencils, and also exploring decals, or maybe a mix of both.
Version 6.0 assembly is underway. Since the difference between V5 and V6 was only a slight (1mm) extension of the end frame, I’m moving forward with mass production, so to speak. I am think I will build about 4-6 at a time. Shown in tray above is V5.0 (black) and four of V6.0 in various stages of assembly. White car on top is a G-38 ore jennie.
The G-38 was the predecessor to the G-39. It was the same width and length, but was 18” shorter in height. Also the end/ladder assemblies are a little simpler, and hopefully easier to model. I realized looking at the contemporary photos from the PC era, and even Conrail, that a third or more of the ore train consists were typically the smaller G-38 cars. I hadn’t intended on modeling this car, but for prototype fidelity I will have to make a dozen or more.
The under-frame is the same on both cars, but the car sides and ribs needed to be modified and the ladders and some end details need to be drawn. I will also have to create - either on laser or 3D printer small portholes on bottom half of car sides that were used to insert steam lances to thaw the ore.