I got bit hard by the Freedom Train bug in 2014 and began to collect all that was available at that time. I also found the freedomtrain.org website which led me to Accumen Media and their HO decals for all of the cars. I contacted them to see if they could supply decals for the cars which were not manufactured and they sold me decals for the flats, the wagons and the Freedom Train Promo car #200 Splendid Spirit.
Well, a few years later I am now retired and have time to pursue all of the projects I put in the queue over the years. I started on the flats and wagons today. Back when I was planning this project and buying the decals, I was searching for an acceptable flat car that would 1) be representative of the real flats, and 2) run well on my layout. I could not find any 85' flats for sale and was skeptical about their running characteristics anyway so I settled for Atlas O Trainman 68' flats. They were short but with 3 20' containers on board they would look just fine. On top of this the cars have a nice heft to them and when I tested them with the train they tracked well. The next task was to find the containers. I decided I would not scratch build the boxes but would use something commercially available. The Atlas O Trainman 20' containers looked good so I bought 10 of them.
The first step was to remove the lettering from the flat and paint it white. Next I sanded the outside bracing off of the containers with an orbital sander. This took about 1 hour per container. Next I painted the containers. I used Krylon Dual Superbond Satin white for both the cars and the wagons. I painted the deck of the cars flat black.
My next project is to build the carriage which was under the wagons. I have sourced some wheels and am using styrene shapes to fab the carriage. I also have some 0.005" styrene sheet for the signs for the wagons. I hope to have the first wagon finished next week.