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Hey-- Thanks Rickenbackerma. I never did get around to posting the water tank completion, and now it is in a box (the most recent project prior to this track one I have going on now)


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Here is some more progress on the window display.

1. I adhered the track to the wood using some glue product purchased at Michaels. I mainly wanted the container, however it contained tacky glue and I spread that out on the board and placed the track on it.

2. I got the track straight and put a nail holding each end so the track wouldn't move while I got the ballast spread on

3. I sprinkled on the ballast over a piece of cardboard and after letting it sit let the excess run off

4. It looks like I will be adding more ballast, however at least there is a base down and the track is well affixed to the board.


It is not usual you have the opportunity to turn the track sideways like this. If this were nailed on the layout, you would have to vacuum the excess.



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Hi again, here is a photo of the track with the ballast applied and the weathered track and ties. Just the dust from the ballast was enough to bring out the grain:

The top and inside top edge of the track is meant to be shiny, as on real rails that part usually is if the track is used regularly.

Both sides of the track are meant to have a rusty appearance, as well as the tie plates.


I had to put down a little more glue water mixture with a dropper and add a little more ballast to fill in some gaps, however the technique used here worked out pretty well. The tie plates were meant to get the rusty rail paint and it shows up better on some ties than others.

Incidentally, I did not notice the broken off stakes in the stake pockets of the flat car until I took the closeup photo. Funny how it takes a camera shot to get a really critical view.

For my next steps I will be assembling the freight cars and painting the loco, and adding them to the track


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Well the track part is completed, unless maybe add a little green or grass in the center area, will now begin getting the freight cars and locomotive prepared.

The time era for the display is 20's and would like to keep to a Northern Pacific theme as much as possible, however other road names would have been seen on this track.

I found this single sheath box car on ebay and it is a pretty easy assembly project.

1. check out the pieces
2. paint the underside pieces
3. procure couplers (Kadee #5)
4. assembly
5. light wash/weathering
6. add to display

The first couple steps:

The weights will be cleaned up and painted as well, and the trucks that were included will be cleaned up and sprayed along with the weights.


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Well I got the car assembled and on the track. Those tiny springs above that go in the trucks are more of a challenge than I remember, but they do look nice. Although, it takes microscopic vision to notice them!

1. The small parts above (except springs and screws) were spray painted the flat black, along with the weight

2. The door was assembled. Notice the couplers have not been attached yet. The instructions recommend they are earlier but i think it works best to wait until you are almost done.

3. The tabs on the top slide did not fit in well. Ended up cutting off the ears of the final tab and glueing on with super glue.

4. I applied a wash of water, 1/2 teaspoon 70% alcohol, and a couple drops of the light tan paint with a sponge to dull the finish and add some "dust/dirt" wear to the factory finish. I did this prior to affixing the box car to the floor.

Lastly, the break wheel and trucks (with springs assembled) are added. Again, the screw holding the trucks in did not go in easily so I reamed it out some with the exacto knife.


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Thanks, Guys! Here are a couple photos may be of some help, one showing how fine the #5 kaydee couplers fit in the pockets, the other shows the tiny springs that go together to make the trucks, luckily they included several extras.

I put them on the tip of the exacto knife then compress to fit in between a couple tabs:


The springs add a nice detail, however once everything is assembled they are almost impossible to see.

Sherrel, you are 100% correct in that I did jab my finger with the exacto knife while working on this project!!!!


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Here is the next project, it is an older Roundhouse kit Old Timer 36' box car.

This is one where they provided thread for the trusses which actually works better than I thought.

1. A couple things I had to deviate was to add a drop of glue under the roof walk at every perpindicular small support to keep the roof walk from being warped.

2. also getting the screws started to make sure they went in before glueing in the trusses

3. I also painted the bottom side first and used an exacto knife to make sure all the holes were open

4. I broke off the pointed end of a toothpick into the first and last holes where the thread was strung, also put a drop of glue at each place. Also used a drop of glue where the thread went over the holders

Here, you can see the parts and simple diagram. Where the directions called for snapping in the parts I glued. The roof line was glued also so it wouldn't separate over time.


I will be using a wash before adding the couplers and trucks


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Thank, Yannis, Sherrel, Sweet Chuck-- I got going some more on the new old timer box car, found the #148 Whisker which I forgot all about, much easier to install and they went in easy into this Roundhouse kit,

While waiting for that glue to dry, I got started on weathering the box car. I just used water, about a teaspoon of 70 isopropyl, and a couple drops of india ink and a couple drops of the khaki acrylic paint, put several coats on to get it right.

This shows what it looks like before it dries. The bubbles to away. I had to put some india ink on with a little brush in a couple places because it wasn't doing much otherwise:



Well-Known Member
Here is how the box car shell looked when the paint/wash dried:

The light weathering job shows up best on the roof, otherwise mainly "dulls" and adds some interest to the sides and ends.

You can go over it as many times as you want to get the level that fits your imagination.


Section Hand
Dave: How long is your mainline run? Seriously, those Whisker couplers are great to install without the brass spring boxes of the older #5's by Kadee.



Well-Known Member
Hi Greg, I had forgotten all about the whisker couplers until I broke into my old box of supplies and found this 25 pack. There are also numerous parts.

Funny what a person forgets. Not many years ago I bought numerous cars on ebay and refurbished them so have numerous screws, truck parts, and types of couplers including underset and overset.

I don't have a track to run trains on, all my stuff is in storage except this window display that I am putting together. I have to work for a couple of more years (I am 61) and we are renting in the cities temporarily while in the process of building our retirement home up in Sandstone, MN.Rafter image.png

We have the land and driveway in, as well as the surveying and septic test done so far. Also, we have the house plans roughed in and the windows picked out, also the truss rafters have been designed. The train room will be the entire attic (about 16 w by 42 l usable) as the trusses are of the type where we get a room up there.

I attached the plans. It is really "long term" planning, but that is what we do when we plan retirement, isn't it?


Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
DAVE: Just don't allow any of that beautiful space become a "catch-all" for "Too Good To Throw Away" type household items. They multiply faster than Rabbits!


Well-Known Member
Hi Sherrel,
I am what you call a "thrower" as opposed to a "saver". If anything, I tend to get rid of too much stuff.

Also, having been a party to cleaning up after 3 deceased households, I am acutely aware of what happens and what kind of burden our possessions become when we go to great beyond! I guess there are no u-hauls or garages in heaven.


Well-Known Member
Here is another vintage Roundhouse kit, a 36' old timer NP box car. Much like the C & NW car shown above except this one has movable doors. Same "truss rod" design.

Pretty much everything the same except the flash and molding around the door tracks was not good. One of the tracks actually fell apart when I tried to trim it and had to glue one door permanent. The other door slides, however. Used the same technique (wash) to weather lightly and just about ready to assemble"

1) I put the coat of flat black on the floor and bottom first, , checked holes, glued on truss holders and threaded trussesIMG-0338.JPGIMG-0339.JPGIMG-0340.JPGIMG-0342.JPGIMG-0343.JPG
2) then put on the doors and roof walk,
3) then washed

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