Scrapheap Challenge

The operating cycle called for a gondola spotted at Sanford Scrap for loading.

NPP Switching Sanford Scrap

Astute readers will note that a mill gondola would be an unlikely candidate for a scrap job, but that’s what I have, and the regular gons have been designated and detailed for sawmill duty.

I’ve been working on open-car loads this year, and the scrap loads were the last remaining. I’d been a bit ambivalent, as I thought they’d be the most interesting and the most difficult. My experience with the scrapyard was that random scrap takes an inordinate amount of time to model. Well, time to fill the gon.

I looked through my workspace and came up with everything scrap. I was happy about getting rid of a bunch of junk. In truth, I knew I’d need this stuff just for this project for a while, and like everyone else I saved it.

NPP scrap load starting material

A fair start. I planned to make three loads: two long and a short if a standard gon was assigned. I cut up some random styrene sheet to represent sheet steel, along with whatever structural shapes I had. Arranging the parts for painting:

NPP scrap load painting scrap 1

A shot of Flat Red to simulate red lead primer, then Flat Black, and a wash of Rust in acrylic:

NPP scrap load painting scrap 3

The pieces on the left are simulating galvanized roofing, and will be toned down later.

The idea was to use a 0.030″ styrene sheet painted Flat Black for a base and then build a styrene form the size of a gondola interior around that.

NPP scrap load forms 2

After the scrap dried I put it into a cup, shook a bit to mix, then poured into the forms placed on a scrap of cardboard. I was looking for a random loading effect, but of course adjustments have to be made. After arranging things, I soaked the whole stack, forms included, with wet water and diluted white glue.

After drying, the forms were easily separated from the scrap stack. I found that the method sort of worked. I ended up gluing things together with CA, and a lot of it. These would be handled regularly, so had to be robust. After things were reasonably tight and I’d adjusted the height of the load, I dressed the sides with an emery board. I wasn’t worried about exposed edges as they’d be hidden by the car sides.

Test fitting:

NPP scrap load fitting 1

That looks pretty ‘scrappy’.

The loads press-fit in and are removed with a hobby knife. After fitting I dusted them with earth-tone and black powdered pastels, then sealed the deal with a matte finish.

NPP scrap load final 2

NPP scrap load final 3

When not used the loads live in the load box:

NPP scrap load storage

Happy to finish that project.

Coal Trestle Detail

While looking for scrap I found a piece of ladder left over from building the Cheney Lumber crane. I’d wanted to add a ladder to the coal trestle for a while; people were complaining about access. As I was painting a bunch of parts for the scrap load project, I figured I’d whack this project in, too.

I cut the ladder to length and added four pieces of styrene to simulate anchors and hold the ladder away from the wall.

NPP coal trestle ladder 1

After painting I used CA to attach the ladder to the wall.

I also added a figure. I’d bought the Model Power 72-figure set a couple of years ago, and looked through it to see if anyone suited. I found a guy in a green uniform with an implement. I changed the pant color, then dragged him through a bag of coal for that working look.

NPP coal trestle ladder 2




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