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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

Rolland

 

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That is great!  I was talking to another forum member about making these cars and was (still) looking at the Atlas 89' foot flatcars.  We were also looking at containers, but undersized ones from Lionel and MTH, and gluing a thin sheet of plastic on the outside to give it the smooth look of the AFT equipment.  I like how you sanded the braces down but would need to buy the sander and make time for it (maybe I'll stay with the plastic sheets).

Waiting to see your finished cars.

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

Here are some pictures of the first wagon box.  It turned out very well.  The decals provided by Accumen Media are very good quality and easy to apply.  I had to do some more sanding on the box once I primed it since the ribs were still showing thru.  This is where the detail sander worked its magic.  It looks like a small clothes iron and shakes like crazy!

The under carriage is a work in progress with lots of small fiddly bits and not much to go on from pictures.  This one will have a towing yolk like in the pictures on the Freedomtrain.org site.

The first flat is nearly done and I will post some pictures of the wagon on the flat next week.

Rolland

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Rolland,

Looking good!  Two questions:

1)  I cannot find Accumen Media.  Is it spelled right?  I noticed Microscale has decals for the Freedom Train, but no the AFT, and only in N and HO.

2)  Did you get decals for all the wagons?  How about the vehicles?

Thanks.

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

Ron;

First, it is Accuen Media, my mistake.  Their store is at http://www.themetrains.com/theme-trains-store.htm

Second, they do not advertise decals in O scale, but were very gracious about making them for me.  I don't remember what they cost but they were not cheap.  I bought the decals in 2014.

I bought decals for the three flats, all of the wagons (10 total wagons), the Chevy Blazer, the fork lift (several sizes were sent to fit what ever fork lift I could find), the Step Van and the GMC utility truck.  Also included was a small scale plan view of the wagon tow bar.  Additional information was included on placement and sizing.

I am very pleased with the quality and they were sent well packaged to prevent damage. 

Rolland

Here are a few pictures of the first flat complete with the first wagon box on it.  Since the cars are 68' long I will only be able to carry 3 wagons on each flat but that is all right with me.  I am trying to convey the idea of how the Freedom Train was composed, not produce an accurate scale model of it in every detail.  That said the car looks great to me.  The weather here has taken a turn for the nasty and I cannot paint during the day (too hot, long experience with this) but it is supposed to be cooler later next week.  I was hoping to have all 3 flats done by the 4th to display at the local club but that looks unlikely now. 

The under carriages are not coming along as well as I had hoped.  Looks like I will be adding them later once I get an assembly I am satisfied with. 

Rolland

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Over that last few days I have been able to finish the three flat cars and five of the wagon boxes.  I have not made any progress on the under carriages and am waiting on a new order of wheel sets ( the first ones were too large.)  I think the flats look terrific and the wagon boxes turned out great.  I have to wait for the wheels and working out the under carriage before I finish the souvenir wagons since they had a deep skirt which will require some modifications to the basic box.

Here are some pictures of progress to date.

Rolland

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