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Model Railroading > Montana Rail Link bulkhead flat project

Date: 12/16/12 13:56
Montana Rail Link bulkhead flat project
Author: myoungwisc

Last week, I picked up one of the MRL Walthers Platinum line bulkhead flats from the LHS at an excellent price. After looking at the prototype, it was clear that a few added details could really set this model off from its out of the box appearance. Though I don't model the MRL, this was a really fun project and one that could be easily completed by someone relatively new to the hobby.

As stated above, the model started out as a factory decorated model with lettering that very closely matches the prototype and is a great stand-in for 50+ of these cars in the MRL fleet. I started out with the log bunks, using .060 x .080 Evergreen strip styrene to from the major structures (total of four on this car), cut to length based on photographs. This includes the diagonal stiffener in the lower corners of each assembly. From there, .020 sheet styrene was trimmed on (generally) a 45 degree angle and installed between the bunks and deck. The bunks are typically a rusty brown but I found a photo on the archive site which had a BN green bunk. Perfect detail to add some color!

Speaking of color, the prototype ends look to take a beating from the log loads which removes the paint from the inside ends. I replicated this by custom mixing GN glacier green and grimy black and applying the mix from top to bottom, end to end on the inside face of the bulkheads. Once the bunks and ends were dry, a layer of black and rust colored chalk was lightly applied and shot with Tamiya flat. The side and end ladders were modified per the prototype. The bunks looked odd without the wood chip remnants so I harvested some branches from the yard and using an XActo knife, scraped the bark off scraping the knife at a perpendicular angle to the wood. White glue was applied throughout the deck and the wood chips installed. For the chips which collect on the ends, i sprayed each with Tamiya flat and sprinkled the smallest chips so they landed on top of the stiffeners.

Once the chips were dry, several more layers of weathering were installed, along with Detail Associates air hoses. I chopped a Soo Line decal set to replicate conspicuity striping, spraying one last coat of flat to seal it all in. Eventually, I'll get around to installing custom bent uncoupling levers...

Date: 12/16/12 14:30
Re: Montana Rail Link bulkhead flat project
Author: MrMRL

Martin, Looks GREAT!! I'm loving all that leftover bark and trimmings across the deck, just like the prototypes! Now, if you're gonna keep the car unloaded, you could try your hand at the cable loops that are often left attached to the sides of the car, (see photo below). Thanks for sharing your results.

Plenty of other photos of these bunks for inspiration at my pbase gallery...


*The real MRL 61023 at Townsend, MT 5/28/09...
* MRL 61140 showing some the cables, and the ruffage that builds up on the deck over time...

Date: 12/16/12 14:58
Re: Montana Rail Link bulkhead flat project
Author: dnuck

FWIW those cars are sold out at Walthers.

Date: 12/16/12 15:50
Re: Montana Rail Link bulkhead flat project
Author: SOU3921

Very nice work!

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