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Model Railroading > G38 Ore Car (PRR/PC/Conrail) HO

Date: 01/06/21 08:44
G38 Ore Car (PRR/PC/Conrail) HO
Author: JUTower

While I've done a number of locomotive detailing & kitbashing projects over the years, it's relatively recently that I've gotten more adventurous with railcar projects.  As I'm modeling Conrail in 1994, Bethlehem PA area, I have been accumulating Stewart and Bowser G39 ore hoppers for quite some time in order to feed the Bethlehem blast furnaces with iron ore for steelmaking purposes.  By 1994, these aging cars were supplemented by occasional 70- and 100- coal hoppers as well, but - these trains also featured a fair number of the venerable old G38 ore gon.  The G38 is 1' 6" shorter than the G39, and was the original PRR Hollidaysburg ore car design.

So for this reason, I finally took a knife to three Bowser G39 car kits that I had on hand and I'm close to finishing one.  The first photo shows the rough Dremel work to cut the car down.  Second photo shows some detail progress.  The G38 cars featured steam lance access ports which were used to allow a lance (pipe on a stick) to shoot hot steam in to thaw frozen ore pellets.  These ports were not retained on the G39 cars, and so it was a detail part that isn't commercially available.  I was very lucky to come across Jim King from Smokey Mountain Modelworks who was offering to do 3D design and printing services, and Bill Lane who had already drawn up an S scale G38 CAD drawing and was willing to share.  After some testing Jim was able to print enough steam lance ports to make 3-4 of these cars.

Other modifications include trimming off of the G39 buffers and a little bit of styrene added for COTS plates, the cover for the brake valve, and some ladder supports.  Those aren't perfect but they're functional & allow me to reuse the supplied ladders for the G39 kits.

Photo 3 is the mostly-finished car with its PRR/PC 13D black paint coat.
More to follow...

Date: 01/06/21 08:47
Re: G38 Ore Car (PRR/PC/Conrail) HO
Author: JUTower

Photo 4, shows the semifinished G38 next to a couple of G39s.  The car on the right is a model of a "Woolie", a CR experiment to use a foam insulation to reduce ore freezing.  The foam fell off and made for a crazy look.  I bought a bunch of ore cars on eBay a few years ago and accidentally got a few of these really great models in those purchases.
Photo 5 shows decaling progress.  I figured I'd paint my first car black/CR patch to cover up my modeling mishaps, and have better practice for the 2 forthcoming Conrail oxide red cars :)

I ordered stirrup steps & have yet to apply those, but that's next along with some weathering before placing this car into service.

Thanks for looking!

Date: 01/06/21 10:43
Re: G38 Ore Car (PRR/PC/Conrail) HO
Author: bnsfsd70

That's looking really nice so far!  Keep up the good work.

- Jeff Carlson

Date: 01/06/21 13:55
Re: G38 Ore Car (PRR/PC/Conrail) HO
Author: atsf121

Great work

Posted from iPhone

Date: 01/06/21 19:32
Re: G38 Ore Car (PRR/PC/Conrail) HO
Author: Skuat

Awesome work Alex! I’ve always loved the G38’s and 39’s and the sawtooth look of the ore trains when the cars are mixed together. I’ve contemplated cutting down some 39’s in the past and just omitting the steam ports, but those ports that you had printed look great!

Definitely post some pics when the cars are weathered up. Keep up the great work! Plus now that you’ve done the hard work I’ll look for Bowser to announce these within the next couple of months now.


Posted from iPhone

Date: 01/06/21 22:13
Re: G38 Ore Car (PRR/PC/Conrail) HO
Author: Kemacprr

I would love to see Bowser do this car but I doubt we will ever see it from them. -------- Ken 

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