Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Prior to the Steel Mill Modelers Meet I had started to mostly scratch build a Bethlehem Steel mill gondola per instructions in Dean Freytag's Cyclopedia of Industrial Modeling.  I like using Central Valley frames as the basis for scratchbuilt cars - they are cheap - four for about $10 and are very adaptable.  For the mill gon I had shortened one of these frames and installed the sides.  I was at that point when I spotted a new kit on the State Tool and Die table called the DFG Gondola Kit - it comes with three 30' mill gons that were almost exactly what I was scratchbuilding.   Actually the DFG stands for Dean Freytag Gondola -  his 30' gondola I was in the process of building.  I bought on set.  As with State Tool and Die's other rolling stock kits like the universal mill car,...etc.   they are very basic and adaptable.  They went together easy with the exception of the end sills preventing the trucks from moving properly.  To solve this I ground out a little of the back of each end sill using a Dremel.  It was also hard to hide enough weight in the underframe, but I got very close to the recommended amount.   Overall the cars were easy to build and I will be buying at least three or four more kits.  
Also shown is the beginning of my quench car.  Again I am using a Central Valley frame as the basis.  I've cut the sides and ends fro .030 styrene and used strip to create the girder sides, with .030x.040 strip as the verticals.  

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