Well, last summer I went online looking for a flatcar that I could letter TrailerTrain, and found it at Pacific Western Rail Systems. I ordered it, and then promptly received an email from the vendor telling me that the item was out-of-stock, but that they could get it in for me from the manufacturer. As I said, that was last summer, mid-July I think.
Time went by, and I pretty well forgot about it until late January, when I was billed one day and then received a package in the mail shortly after. Good on PWRS for not billing me before they could supply the item. Not all online vendors would do that.
From January 'til now, I've just been busy with other projects and stuff, but this project car has finally come up in the rotation, so here we go.
The box is open (finally):
The contents spread out on the workbench. Doesn't look too difficult. The laser-cut wood deck is 3 separate pieces. I've done a couple of wood projects before, so I'm looking forward to this part.
First thing I noticed was that the car really wasn't going to weigh very much. Indeed Intermountain tells you so right in the instruction sheet that the weight is 7/8ths ounces. I put half a dozen inch-and-a half finishing nails in the hollow of the undercarriage spine to try to help with the weight. It didn't help much, but better than nothing. I also planned to use an excavator as a load on the flatcar, so that should really help with the weight.
Another surprise was that the car comes with plastic wheels. Not too impressed by that, but oh well, I can scare up a set of metal ones here someplace.
For the wood deck I first painted it on both sides with Folk Art's Barn Wood colour acrylic craft paint, and then weighted the 3 pieces down flat overnight to prevent them from warping. I then painted random boards with different grey coloured acrylic paints. Finally, I went over the deck with thin washes of India/alcohol mixture to accentuate the lines and the bolt head markings.
All of the plastic parts in the kit fit together real well, and I ran into no trouble whatsoever assembling the flatcar. After it was assembled, I sprayed the model with Railbox Yellow, and then lightened that a little bit by spraying with Craftsmart yellow. The decals are Microscale.
I weathered the sides and steel deck tracks using burnt sienna and burnt umber paints. After they had dried for 2 or 3 days, I added Vallejo's dark grey wash on the tops of the side sills and the 2 steel tracks running down the middle of the deck. I am really pleased with the way the deck turned out.
Here's a look at the flatcar with the (Herpa model) Case excavator loaded on. I used clear parts glue to attach the wood blocking and tie-down chains to the excavator, not to the deck of the flatcar. This way, I can remove the load any time I want, allowing me to use the flat for another load if I felt like it.