Building a Few Kits

I’ve been wanting to take a break from layout construction lately and I had my chance while waiting for some critical material to arrive for the layout.  I decided I’d start assembling some of the several hundred car kits that I have stashed away.

I have kits from a broad cross section of manufacturers: Accurail, McKean, Bowser, Walthers, Branchline, Kato, Proto 2000, MDC, Red Caboose, Gould, (whew!) . . . at least another half dozen others.  I haven’t done any car kits in quite a few years, so I started with some simple Accurail boxcar kits.  Got a couple done and have a couple more in progress.  I also did a little tune-up on a couple cars already on the layout.

Workbench Project - Car Kits

My objective is to assemble the cars, add metal wheelsets (usually Intermountain) and Kadee couplers.  Everything is checked and adjusted so that the car is ready for service.  No attempt will be made initially to add detailing or weathering . . . that can come later once the layout becomes operational.

I also got started on a small timber road overpass that I’ll be needing soon.  The kit is by RIX and is typical of this type bridge.  The bridge deck has nicely detailed wood grain in it, but amazingly, the sides of the deck, and all of the piers are just slick plastic, ugh!  I spent quite some time scoring wood grain into all of the parts.  I used the back side of a no. 11 knife blade and scored considerably.  Then I lightly sanded over that with some 150 grit sandpaper.  The result looks fantastic, I think.  After I get the thing assembled, I’ll set about “creosoting” it using the photos I took recently on my field trip.

I enjoyed this change of pace and think I might add this to my regular project list.  I think the variety will help break up the monotony of roadbed and track.


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