Mark’s afternoon project

Hi Al,

Looking around for a quick, fun, (and cheap) project this afternoon and I came across an old Varney gondola in the scrap box. Added some metal wheels and Kaydee whisker couplers. Cut out a load base from some scrap bass wood, piled some stuff on it from the scrap box along with some rust and dirt powder, then sprayed some alcohol on it to break surface tension and then drizzled some scenic cement on with an eye dropper. Let it set in the Las Vegas sun for a bit to dry, dropped the load in and it was on it’s way!

Took about two hours and just a few bucks of parts. Great way to enjoy an afternoon! Thanks for looking!


M.C.R.R. Gondola 1

M.C.R.R. Gondola 8

M.C.R.R. Gondola 14

A brilliant ‘how to’ from Mark. I loved it – hope you did too.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

Please do keep ’em coming.



PS You can search through years of posts, (like all of Mark’s) here.

21 Responses to Mark’s afternoon project

  1. Dick Chapple Sr says:

    The whole picture is very convincing. I see a nice scenery local along with a good looking outside frame box car. The gon load looks perfect.
    Maybe some more pictures??
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Marion Each says:

    Mark, that’s just a great looking load you made! The way you weathered it makes it look so realistic. Thanks for sharing and giving me some much-needed inspiration!
    I love the creativity seen on this website, and appreciate that my own husband also has great ideas. I’m one lucky lady. At age 78, we are having fun with the rails!

    Marion in Mississippi

  3. Marion Each says:

    HELP! I am wanting to model a mansion, or antebellum home for my HO layout, and surely would appreciate any suggestions as to how I might kit-bash two houses, for instance, to make one larger one. Landscaping would be fun, putting in a long, tree and flower lined drive, etc., but I need help with the main item.



  4. Peter P says:

    Well done Mark. You have produced a very believable load. Nice.

  5. Tom in Shrewsbury PA says:

    Looks great …this is perfect for my scrap yard……thanks


    gotta say….one mans junk, another mans treasure!
    great detail comes from great experience…
    great project Mark
    and many more waiting in everyone’s junk boxes…

  7. Bob Godi says:

    Would like to find plans for a on30 scale engine house. two tracks.

  8. Mel says:

    Gondola and load look fantastic, realistic.

  9. Ian Mc Donald says:

    a great way to fill in the afternoon looks terrific.

  10. John Reynolds says:

    Well done indeed

  11. Ash says:

    Very creative ideas you have.

  12. Rabbit says:

    Your proof of what I always say—-Never ever throw anything out esp. when your a model RR’er. Great job!!

  13. Anthony Morris says:

    Did you have to pre paint the junk before gluing? or doe’s the rust powder do this effect ? Looks very real…

  14. paul Otway says:

    A neat load of scrap, good way use up un wanted Junk out of the scrap box.

    Paul Otway

  15. christine says:

    Now that’s very nice. Photo’s look very real. Best job. I like the way the junk car was done. I would love to see more photo’s of the layout.

  16. Dave Van Horn Sr. says:

    I liked the junk car.

  17. Jim says:

    Nice. A little creativity goes a long way. And saves $$$. Was wondering if your base was foam or wood? Great work.

    Jim AZ

  18. Neil says:

    Brilliant ! Love it,

    Don’t suppose you fancy making 20 more and shipping them to the UK !!


  19. Brad says:

    Marion,there is a kit out that is fairly common of a courthouse.It’s BIG. Just paint it up,leave the top spires and flags off.Paint it white/off white and trim the windows in a different color and this is easily a “mansion”.Pull some kit bash parts you have lying around to make it your own.I found mine used on Ebay,then also got some “curtains” for the windows.Came out great!!

  20. Fantastic in both cases.

  21. Richard Long says:

    I have that same car. Now I know what load to give it.

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