Walthers Difco Side Dump Cars

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twforeman

Certified Great Northern Nut
I think these cars look neat, and I decided I needed one on my railroad. The Great Northern actually had a handful of these, but they bought them in the 60's so they are not quite the right vintage for my layout.

But my layout, my rules, so I'm going to back-date one to 1958 and pretend.

Of course you can't get one painted for GN, and certainly not one with a 1958 build date, so I bought one painted for ATSF and decided to paint and decal it.

One issue with the Walthers kit is that the insides of the doors and ends have prominent ejector pin marks (the circles) and retainer pin holes.


So I needed to fill and sand.


Then I decided I should probably strip the paint so the existing markings don't show through. This is where I realized I'd made a mistake.

Pro-Tip: you should strip the paint before filling the holes.

I soaked the parts in alcohol and scrubbed them with a toothbrush, which worked great. Unfortunately it also messed up my careful hole filling so I had to fill and sand again. Oh well, lesson learned (maybe.)

After refilling the holes, I hit the parts with some primer.


This showed me that I still had some work to do, so I filled and sanded yet again. Then I primed them again and now they look pretty good.


After the primer dried I hit all the parts with some Chestnut Brown Rust-Oleum. It's pretty close to box car brown. It looks lighter in the photo, but it's pretty dark actually.


I let it dry a full day before flipping the parts over to paint the other side.

Next up will be decalling. I hope the GN decals I have will fit between the ribs on the sides. We'll find out in our next installment.
 

twforeman

Certified Great Northern Nut
Cool Tim and a great how to, I’ll be watching!
I have a couple of these cars and I’m thinking of getting another and building it in the dump position for photo ops.

Actually I just found a GN car: https://ebay.us/r8IDlV
I was going to build mine so that it was positionable, which is an option, but the bottom of the hopper is a little warped and I don't think it would stay on the frame very well, so it's going to be static. I am still debating on whether the sides should drop or get glued in place.

The project is on hold for a little while until I figure out how to letter it. The Great Northern decals I have are too tall to fit in between the ribs on the sides. I could just use RR Gothic letters to put G.N. and the car number - which some photos show. Or I can get some custom decals made up. Which is a whole 'nother can of worms.

That car on eBay is from the batch the GN bought in the mid-60s. My layout is 1958, so... :)
 

Alcomotive

Grandson of ALCO Bldr
I was going to build mine so that it was positionable, which is an option, but the bottom of the hopper is a little warped and I don't think it would stay on the frame very well, so it's going to be static. I am still debating on whether the sides should drop or get glued in place.

The project is on hold for a little while until I figure out how to letter it. The Great Northern decals I have are too tall to fit in between the ribs on the sides. I could just use RR Gothic letters to put G.N. and the car number - which some photos show. Or I can get some custom decals made up. Which is a whole 'nother can of worms.

That car on eBay is from the batch the GN bought in the mid-60s. My layout is 1958, so... :)

How bad is that part warped? You could heat it up again and place in to a press to flatten it? Blow dryer or heat gun. Just a thought.

I had a few of these cars but sold them to a guy when I was in Little Rock AR and regretted since. I had 12 cars for a work train all in UP.
 

Patrick

GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Heat guns work great for straightening out plastic parts. I actually used one to get the large dent out of the black plastic lower bumper on my '09 Colorado. Try to find an undamaged one in a salvage yard is impossible and I wasn't paying the dealership the big bucks for a new one. 7 years later and you have to know what your looking for to find it.
 

twforeman

Certified Great Northern Nut
It's not badly warped and I thought about flattening it, but even if it's flat it doesn't really attach to the frame, it just kind of sits there. I think I'll do it static. If I get a big bug up my butt about it I can always do another one. :)
 




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