Thursday, 23 February 2012

C&NW 46557 Flat Car

This is a Proto 2000 ACF 53 foot 6 inch, 50 ton flat car. I assembled this model about ten years ago, and it has been in storage awaiting further TLC ever since.

I replaced the original trucks with Kadee ASF Ride Control sprung trucks, as I like the fact that they twist and therefore compensate for any track irregularities. The springs are too strong to act as springs, and many people dislike the look of the springs. Personally I can live with the way the springs look, and if it bothers you that much then I suggest that putting a small piece of paper behind the springs to stop seeing through them would sort out that problem, since in my opinion trucks that can follow the track irregularities are really useful. YMMV.

This car is underweight as built, so the first thing did was pour liquid lead into the underframe, and fixed it with down with matte medium. As you can see there is plenty of room to get this car up to the recommended five ounces (Shout out: or 4.5 ounces depending on if you round up, or down the 7.5 inches, as per Charles Hostetler's blog).

I've started to weather this model, the first American freight car I have weathered in over 20 years. Doesn't time fly? I mention this in passing, as I remember Rod Welch telling me that the one thing he recalled, from the days when the Capital Model Railroaders use to meet, was seeing me bring and run a whole string of weathered freight cars. I have a bit of a reputation for weathering my models.

Back when I first assembled this kit I broke the brake wheel shaft, and in my haste to repair it I had shortened it. I therefore corrected this mistake by replacing the shaft with a piece of brass wire. I shall have to straighten out that hand wheel.

The car needs some more work done on it too, as my first attempt at weathering the floor it hasn't turned out as I would like.

The floor of the car doesn't really pop for me, which I think is important for a flat car as it is the first thing you really see.

And I still need me to add some coupler levers.


  1. Did you know that the brake post was square on flat cars? This was because of the mechanism used to drop them down to floor level for loads that overhung the ends, and allowed the brake wheel to still be used to apply the brakes.

    Barry Bennett

    1. So that was why the post was square. Doh!

      You realise I'm going to have to go and replace the brake staff now with a square piece of wire now don't you?