The Athearn gondola is not perfect for any class of Chessie gondola. It is however fairly close for the WM G-39 class (my #58074 is a good example of this) as well as the coil carrying gondolas with the yellow stripe. These cars with the yellow stripe are Chessie CS-16 class cars. They came in many road #s (C&O 305000-305059, B&O 305060-305083, C&O 368915-368974 and C&O 305084-305085)
I decided to make mine one of these coil carrying gondolas. These cars are eye catching with the big yellow stripe in the middle, and also visually interesting with their extra gear inside to carry the coils. Given that I did the Con-Cor gon at the same time, I had the coils for the "load" available as well.
Below is an actual pic of the class I am going to do.
Dean Heacock photo
Dean Heacock photo
1. Either buy a new Athearn gondola or accidentally buy an inaccurate B&O MofW one, like I did.
2. Sand off any decals you put on. Also, if the markings appear to thick to you, sand them off with 400 grit sand paper. Add the coil carrying cradle from a Con-Cor coil carrying gondola. I weathered mine to look like drift wood.
3. Paint the car, inside and out with engine black.
4. Mask off and paint the stripe UP Armor Yellow on each side.
5. Spray the car with Testors Gloss Coat.
6. Decal the car with Champ's HG-139 Chessie Gondola set.
7. Spray the car with Testors Dull Coat.
8. Using dry transfer letters, carefully letter "COILS ONLY" onto the yellow stripe.
9. Spray the car againg with Dull Coat.
10. Weather the inside and outside of the car with an overspray of Roof Brown and rust colored pastel chalks.
11. Seal the weathering with a final coat of Dull Coat.
12. You are done, enjoy your Chessie coil carrying gondola.
Below is the Athearn car I started with. This is
a bogus paint job.
Below is the gondola painted black and ready for the yellow
Below is what the cradle looked like unpainted coming
out of the Con-Cor box.
Below is the car with the yellow stripe painted on the
Below is the car decaled and ready for the dry transfer
"COILS ONLY" lettering. I had to switch the location of the "Chessie
System" and consolidated stencil decals due to the width of the panels
on the Athearn model. See the prototype photo above for the real
Below is the finished car with a coiled steel load, ready