Weathered Wagontop (or, “See Rule 1”)

One of the disadvantages of modelling a lightly-trafficked branch – even if it does belong to a major railway system like the Canadian National Railway – is that it can severely restrict the variety of freight cars that should appear on one’s layout.

Case in point: It’s highly unlikely that visitors to the Port Rowan branch would’ve seen a Baltimore & Ohio wagon top covered hopper. But I’ve always liked these cement-carrying cars. Years ago, I even built a resin kit for one in HO scale. So when I stumbled across an S scale brass model of one for sale online I snapped it up. I will employ Rule 1 (“It’s my layout”) to justify its occasional appearance on the branch.

River Raisin Models imported 158 models of the B&O “N34” class in July, 1993. I replaced the wheelsets with P:64 wheels from Northwest Short Line, which are the standard on my layout. I then lettered and weathered the model.

Cement cars get really grubby – and since the prototype was built in 1940 and I’m alternating between 1953 and 1957 as my chosen era, it would’ve had a good 13-17 years of weathering by the time it showed up on my layout. So, I’ve given it a heavy dose of weathering:
Weathered Wagontop photo BO-630382_zps085cc587.jpg

I started with an overspray of gray to fade everything, followed by concrete, white, and grimy black, as appropriate.

The lettering is almost obliterated under the grime, although it appears someone has tried to wipe the road number (“630382”) a few times to keep it legible.

I’m really pleased with how this car turned out, and grateful that Dan Navarre at River Raisin Models produced this excellent model. It won’t see a lot of use on the branch, but it’ll be a real treat when it appears.

Now, to find one of River Raisin’s 40′ Milwaukee Road boxcars with the horizontal ribs…

6 thoughts on “Weathered Wagontop (or, “See Rule 1”)

    • Thanks Matt!
      It’s nice to have some interesting pieces for the layout. S is not as well served as HO, or even O, when it comes to equipment variety although it’s getting better thanks to the efforts of people like Dan at RRM, as well as resin kits.
      This car sure stands out in a train!

  1. Nice work, as usual, Trevor!

    Of course, cement cars could get really crusty with spilled cement on the roof (which then gets rained on and sets…). Allen Mende had a good article in MR many years ago, using real cement powder from the hardware store. I suspect that plaster stained with Polly Scale concrete color would also work.


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