My HOn3 scratch built gondola from 1980. Only trucks, couplers, and some brake gear were purchased.

edited August 2018 in Miscellaneous Builds
Eric Green's HOn3 gon (1) copy
IMG_0425 2 copy


  • That's some impressive modeling Eric, it also looks as though it was hand 'lettered', very nicely done.

  • Very nicely done
  • Karl A., it sounds pitiful now but I really couldn't afford decals. Don't like the name much now, but at 19 years old, I really liked the movie La Strada by Fellini. La Strada is The Road in Italian. I began hitchhiking across America at 16 years old and then began riding freights at 17 years old. By 19 I was married and attempting to settle down.
  • Thanks, Terry! Amazing what can be done when you can still see!
  • Eric,

    Two things jump out at me when I look closely at the photo of the La Strada gondola. [ ] First, the brake chain passing from the brake staff to the outside corner of the frame past the outside of the trucks the back underneath the car to the brake cylinder (a K-brake Cylinder I assume). And second, the fact that the floor boards of the interior can be seen along the perimeter of the car. Did you execute these details based on photos, drawings or an article found in an old RR magazine?

    Later, Dave S Tucson, AZ
  • edited August 2018
    Dave, it was drawings in a then current MR or MC magazine. Now they would be old. I built the car board by board like the original. All brake gear is connected. Here is a photo of the underside. Thanks for the interest. I think I built the car just for that brake chain detail! It was the last thing I built from that era. Note: some of the photos show the car not completed, missing brake hoses, coupler pull chain, etc. and those Kadee magnet things. I cut those off.

    IMG_3184 (1)
  • Dave, if you like, I'll get Amanda to take some better photos now that cameras have improved so much, and she takes way better photos than I do. I'd like to see what it looks like myself! Ha, ha, ha.
  • Nicely done Eric, that coin really puts it all into perspective.

  • edited August 2018
    Thanks, Karl. The grab irons where formed, ends pounded out, filed round, drilled, pinned. It's pretty easy if you can see! I'll get better photos from Amanda tomorrow. Her camera is amazing. She also taught digital photography at a college level. Don't hurt nothing, right? I just showed Amanda your saw mill models. She really loved them. Easier to break it to her that I bought all the saw mill machine kits today!
  • edited August 2018
    Good photography pays dividends... know what to show and also how to hide what doesn't need to be seen. Focal points. Perspective and of course 'framing' the shot.
    I'm glad she liked my inprogress shots.

    Your money was well spent.. You'll be amazed by Bretts castings/machinery/kits. Many happy hours ahead of you....

  • I'm thinking of trying a variety of base colors just to see what might look good. Until I see something, I can't see it, if you get my clumsily written meaning. Besides, I really have no place for a saw mill on the pike. If I dislike a machine's color, can you say, "heavily weathered."
  • edited August 2018
    Finally some good photos. Amazing the difference fine photography makes with models. Good to see the ol' gon again. Cheers! Note coin for size.

  • Eric,

    Thanks to Amanda and you for sharing those additional photos.

    I agree with you that those Kadee hoses (added for magnetic uncoupling and made to pretend that they were the freight car air lines) that are part of the Kadee couplers are very annoying. Like you, I started whacking them off back in the 1980's on my HO and O Scale models. They were just way to non prototypical for my modeling tastes. These days, thankfully, there are a few good substitutes for the freight car's air lines and hoses as exhibited on your gondola.

    I am still fascinated by the route that the brake chain takes from to brake wheel to the brake cylinder along the perimeter of the gondola, outside of the trucks. I wonder if there were any other freight cars that had that design or if it was a "home road" design and build. I can't imagine these cars being used off the home road's lines in interchange. Nevertheless, it is a "way cool" build.

    Later, Dave S
  • Dave, the chain was used only to activate the brake from the hand wheel above the car. If the air pressure failed in the lines, this could be used to stop the train by a brakeman. And being on 3-foot track these were WAY lighter cars that standard gauge (4-foot 8 and 1/2 inches, that from memory) cars, and interchange was unlikely because of the gauge difference. I have one of those old brake wheels. Will try to find the photo for you.
  • edited August 2018
    Dave, finally found the photo of my brake wheel. Got the wheel off an abandoned car in 1979, and hauled it miles on my back as I only had my bicycle. Glad I did. And that is the classic New England radiator. A wood stove in every room. Original finish from 1902.

  • Ken, here is the EBT boxcar. I don't think it's of the same quality as the gon, and if I had brushed it off that might have helped!

  • edited August 2018
    The model might be the first car I built, probably I was 17 or 18 years old. Not that great, but we all have to start somewhere. The roof walk wood came out pretty good, I think. Old photo.

    IMG_3219 (1)
  • This photo shows the underneath detail of the gon a bit better:

    IMG_3144 2
  • Nice work!!
  • Eric,

    The rust and grunge buildups on the center sill, brake cylinder and assembly are very nicely executed. Against the naturally grained and weathered lumber of the car underfloor they just pop out. Great work. You need to keep building so we can enjoy what you have accomplished.

    Nice to have so many gifted artists on the forum like you, Ken and Robert (just to scratch the surface of those who share their work here with us) to give us almost daily modeling inspiration.

    Later, Dave S. Tucson, AZ
  • Wow! Superb details!!!
  • Both are really nicely done Eric. The detail on the gon is really cool.
  • Both cars are really nice! Thanks for sharing.
  • Tom, I forgot I even posted these.
  • dave, are they giving us inspiration or inferiority complexes? could be a bit of both.....
  • eric, your undercarriage details raise the question: how the hell did you do that?
    unbelievable detail. are you by chance a rivet counter?
  • Keb, I have no idea anymore.
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