Since this car looked to be in good shape I thought a stack of steel plates would be a good choice. The nearly-clean green body, the stained wooden deck boards, the rusty steel plates, the shiny black tie-down straps, and the bright white-wood stake pocket chocks and separation boards would make for a visually contrasting load. I had built some steel plate loads in the past, but the March 2016 issue of Model Railroader contained an article by M.R. Snell that jogged my memory. I cut pieces of 0.060" thick styrene into several lengths (three of one size, and a smaller one for the top for variety) and then sprayed them with flat gray primer. Then, they were dusted with Rustoleum camouflage paint to give some tooth as well as a base rust coat. Then, multiple layers of drybrushed brown and orange were added to indicate a patina of rust that was developing on the untreated "steel" plates.
For the wood which separated the steel plates to allow for forklifts to be able to move it, as well as banding to go under it, I used some more of the Mt. Albert wooden ties I had lying around. I split with with my knife into the sizes I wanted and then attached them with superglue gel to the bottom of the styrene plates. Then, piece by piece I built up the load using more wood and glue. For the banding that goes around the load, I had two choices. To mimic heavy-duty cloth strapping I have used slices of masking tape painted a dirty yellow, but for blued steel banding I used strips of black electrical tape. You can't trust the adhesive alone, so I superglued the ends under the load.
|My lettering is "too" slanted. Oh well.|