Scratch built gondola is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

Since it has been quiet here of late, I thought I'd show a gondola project I'm working on. It is scratch built except for the trucks and Kadee couplers. It is a model of a KCS car made to plans similar to the Railgon car. Still have to add the handbrake and end grab irons as well as the stirrup steps. Yes it is on 3-Rail track since that was what was handy at the moment for photography.


Excellent workmanship sir.I like scratchbuilt cars in any scale. :)


Central Phoenix Railroad
I've never really tried it but, how exactly do you scratchbuild a car? Do you need a special kit? And one more question, is scratchbuilding for the more advanced model railroader?
Chris Moore


Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Terrible, just terrible.

Oh, no, not your work! No, what's terrible is how bad my jaw is hurting from hitting the floor! Very nice.

Man, I need to get busy scratchbuilding again. Let me look at it once more and I might be able to stay up for another two or three hours. I've got some GE fuel tanks to build...
Gentleman thank you for the compliments. Chris, it doesn't take any great skill or kit. What I found that works best is the measure twice cut once method. I used sheet styrene for the sides, ends and floor. Square styrene stock cut to length for the side and end ribs. The side ribs were cut on one end for the taper, individually. Next time I will devise a jig to make all those cuts the same. Stripe styrene for the top channel to cap the side ribs. The grab irons are 'Tiny Tot Staples' which are no longer made. The best tool I had was the scale ruler for my measurements. A good set of drawings help in the scale you are building but I used HO drawings and converted the measurements with the scale ruler. It sort of became a kit, since I fabricated all the ribs at one time, cut the sides and ends. It became a matter of gluing the pieces together. This one turned out a bit better than the previous car, IMHO. Some of my early works were pretty crude. Practice and don't be afraid to try it.



Non Rivet Counter
Looks really nice Greg. Now to the paint shop :)

Measure twice cut once, measure once cut twice even if it's too short. I always get that mixed up, or at least the way my stuff looks sometimes. :D


Registered Member
Staff member
Hi Greg, that an excellent piece of craftsmanship, it looks great, keep us posted as you continue with it. Are you planning to build a fleet of them?
Cheers Willis

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