ATSF/SFLC 254286 Thrall 5-unit well car
This is an early Walthers brand articulated double-stack car kit that I built and super-detailed several years ago.
Today's models are very well detailed right out of the box, so most of these upgrades aren't necessary anymore.
Below: This is the "B" end. I replaced the stirrup steps and drop grabs with finer profile parts, and
added a grab to the brake stand, formed from brass wire. I made vertical grabs from styrene strip and
metal drop grabs. These are fragile and tend to easily break if mishandled. I installed Plano brand etched
metal walkway kits throughout the model. The center longitudinal walkway is supported by A-Line metal
stirrup steps mounted upside-down. The interbox connector bin is also a Plano etched metal part.
Below: This is the joint between the "B" and "C" units. I added a Detail Associates 2-rung
stirrup step and assorted plumbing among the air brake equipment. The container guides
had to be modified to allow wider model containers to fit down into the wells.
Below: This is the joint between the "C" and "D" units,
which received similar upgrades as the B-C joint above.
The units easily disconnect by lifting one off the central pin.
Below: This is the joint between the "D" and "E" units. The
brake plumbing here is simple, just lines to the repeater valve.
Below: This is the joint between the "E" and "A" units.
The detailing here is similar to the C-D joint (see above).
Below: This is the"A" end, which received similar upgrades as the "B" end (see above).
For my modeling era of 1989-1995, this would have been a relatively new car, so I kept
the weathering light - limited to airbrushed gray/beige mix around each joint where the
wheels kick up grime from the trackbed. As these cars aged, the bright red paint would
typically fade, and rust would appear in the wells and on the end platforms.