Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Re-purposing Car Weights

Building an authentic replica of a civil war railroad requires LOTS of scratch building. The use of various weights has always been helpful to hold pieces in place as glue dries or to hold them as you measure for accuracy. I have purchased a few from Micro Mark for this reason. Last year I needed additional weights IMMEDIATELY. As necessity can be the mother of invention, I recalled that over the years I accumulated Mantua car weights, removed to reduce the weight of cars in order to enhance pulling capacity for my Mantua General's. Although prior to the war, train consists were 2 to 4 cars, many railroad buffs think that during the war locomotives did not pull more than maybe half dozen. However, during the war requirements for materials and troops pushed their limits. Records show that train consists topped 20 even 23 cars. Often these were loaded and sometimes requiring double-headed power. 
Twelve to fifteen years ago only Mantua cars were available. Today we now have several manufacturers that produce very authentic laser kits for a variety of rolling stock, such as BTS and ALKEM. However, enticed by this opportunity to operate longer consists, I replaced the heavier weights in the Mantua cars with lighter ones. 
Nearly two dozen cars later I had a stack of these long, rectangular pieces of metal that I'd use two or three at a time. Then the bulb lit! 




To wrap these in any stack configuration with good, ole, reliable duct tape!
As you can imagine, any car weights can be re-purposed for such a tool...

HAPPY RAILS!

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