Author Topic: Some Quick Improvements to a Micro-Trains PC flatcar  (Read 1455 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Dave V

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8844
  • Gender: Male
  • The Route of the Galloping Goose
  • Respect: +3793
    • Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy
Some Quick Improvements to a Micro-Trains PC flatcar
« on: October 11, 2010, 10:32:29 PM »
I picked up a Micro-Trains Penn Central depressed center flat car today.  This was an August release, so it has the new medium-profile wheels that roll well on code 55 track.  The car itself is a foob, but is a reasonable stand-in for a PC Lot 125-F flat, a two-car class.  The 766058 is one of those two cars, and appears at the bottom of page 90 in your Penn Central Color Guide if you'd like to follow along.  The picture in the book is from December 1978, and so is probably representative of how the car might have looked in the summer of 1980 (my era).  The main spotting difference between the Micro-Trains car and the prototype is in the brakewheels.  The prototype had one bracket-mounted wheel whereas the model has dual straight shaft-mounted wheels.  I chose not to change these out.

The car comes with a generator that looks an awful lot like the Westinghouse generator load in the Color Guide photo.

This is the car from the box:

It needs some TLC.  First off, the swirly plastic of the generator load doesn't look good.  It may look "weathered" to first approximation, but the generator loads I see with depressed center flatcar photos (including the one of 766058) are invariably spotless...  because they're new.  The other biggie that needs to be fixed is the green wooden decks on the flatcar.

I added the ACI labels to the approximate location they had on the prototype (although they were bracket-mounted on the real car).  I could not find matching lube stencils for the prototype.  I painted the decks a concrete color and then washed a few acrylic washes over them.  I then airbrushed the car with varying colors such as a homemade grime and some rust on the trucks.  The generator got a shot of Testor's Aircraft Dark Gray, and I highlighted the conduits with a silver Sharpie.

The one thing the prototype really shows that the model doesn't have are load retainers.  In the photo, there are a number of load restraints spreading out in a fan pattern front and back, but I figured four (0.015" music wire) restraints would be adequate to represent the prototype.  It really makes the load look even heavier, but more importantly, the load looks secure.

Here's the finished product:

This was an enjoyable half-day project.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 10:39:35 PM by Dave Vollmer »
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

Member SlimRail Modular Colorado Narrow Gauge

Philip H

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7398
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +475
    • Layout Progress Blog
Re: Some Quick Improvements to a Micro-Trains PC flatcar
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 08:48:17 AM »
Nicely done.  Next time you do a wood flat car deck, some pictures would be appreciated.  But other then that . . . HAWT!
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B


  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7120
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1095
Re: Some Quick Improvements to a Micro-Trains PC flatcar
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010, 01:37:42 PM »
I used AMB laser etched wood decks for the PC kitbash I did years ago, and stained them with various inks.  Nothing beats the real thing.

Bryan Busséy
NHRHTA #2246
NSE #1117


  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 9137
  • Always with the negative waves Moriarty ...
  • Respect: +185
Re: Some Quick Improvements to a Micro-Trains PC flatcar
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2010, 01:46:14 PM »
I like it. ;D

Just a suggestion, maybe others like this too - try including a track level view.


  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1238
  • Respect: +50
Re: Some Quick Improvements to a Micro-Trains PC flatcar
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2010, 02:44:57 PM »
Nicely done, Dr V.

Made a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Shows what just a little bit of work can do to upgrade the looks we are trying to bring to our layouts. The car itself is an eyecatcher to the casual observer, so what you did will bring attention to itself, unlike a 20 car string of weathered hoppers.