Dear Friends,

the good thing about starting many projects at the same time (usually a bad thing!) is that you can easily finish something that's nearly done already. So did I today by finalising the weathering of my first C&S 55ton 2-bay USRA design hopper.

The car is kit built (I found it hard, especially with that poor instruction sheet. No chance doing the brake gear right without prototype photos) and I soon found out that the provided plastic grab irons come off like ****. I therefore used wire grab irons throughout. 

The Colorado & Southern had 300 of these cars in service. Oh oh, andrews trucks! I learn a lot from master builder George Podas who showed me a method to lower Atlas anderws trucks to the correct hight. Next problem were the decals for that class and road. I decided to go custom with a nice German company named who layed out the sheet with no grumble. I have now enough numbers to letter every particular car of that series between 1943 and 1946. And by that chance I learned a lot about car lettering in general. I am on the way to getting it right, still there are a couple of flaws, especially decalling and blending the weathering together nicely. I work under 4000 kelvin light in the workshop and the warm sunlight turns out the car totally different. 

C&S 18014 is the first of a fleet of hoppers and it took me quite a long time to build it. 


The car originally had letting as built in 1919. 

After priming the model I mixed a warm brown color with maybe not enough red in it. Custom decals went on. I primed the car with too much air pressure and ended up with a sand paper surface. Next time I will take care not to make that mistake again. 

Lowered Atlas Andrews trucks. 

Thanks for reading – I am here modelling all alone (that's O.K.) and really enjoy to share my work with you guys! Hopefully I'll make it to the O Scale March Meet in 2020!


Photos (9)
Original Post

Yes, the Atlas trucks have the bolster screwed together. What George Podas did was to remove the top part, grind or mill down the remaining bolster part and insert a piece of sheet brass with the center hole. The screws go up from below this time and have to be trimmed. Also the brackets of the side frame has to be cut back to allow for enough clearence.




Photos (2)

Sarah, you have done a wonderful job building, and weathering this car! I totally agree with Tom "Gilly" Gilsdorf, if this car was photographed in the right light and setting, it would be very difficult to tell that it's actually a model!


And as the sunset faded, I spoke to the faintest first starlight.
And I said next time, Next time, We'll get it right!


Great build,  Two questions on the Atlas Andrews trucks.  What gauge (thickness) on the brass strip and does the strip continue underneath the side tabs of the truck side frame or do they butt up against the tabs ? 


Ted Michaels   Riverside, Illinois - USA



Very nice job.    FYI, the Athearn Andrews trucks will fit on the IM kit built cars without modification.     I personally like the Athearn trucks better because the equalize and handle rough track better.    If you don't like Delrin (engineering plastic) wheels that come with the trucks,  you can replace them with IM metal wheels.

I don't know what comes with that kit, but IM plastic trucks work pretty well too if you replace the wheelsets with some with Metal axles.


Thanks, Jim - I chose Atlas trucks because of the better detail and scale accuracy. I agree with you completely about the IM trucks (Bettendorf, I think) that I like very much. I upgrade these with their metal wheels. Most rolling stock of the time had these trucks equipped so they will be all used elsewhere. 

I got my first Protocraft trucks not long ago and they are fantastic. They roll like a sledge down the hill. To equip a large number of cars with these is too expensive, however. I use such high quality on signature items. 

As it comes to rough track I must admit that I will do my best to avoid any. Measure my success or failure in the years to come :-)

Very inspirational Sarah !!!   Ironically I just found one of these 2 days ago, when I was digging through unpacked cartons of trains looking for something else....  I was actually thinking about selling it off, but now after seeing your work, and reading through this thread, I think I'll put it together, weather it and run it.   Thanks and keep up the great work.  

Your directions on modifying the Atlas Andrews trucks are most appreciated,  I have some of these trucks that I want to install on other rolling stock, and you articulated a great way to solve the mounting, and height issues. 

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653