First Hopper - JBRR

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First Hopper

Rolling Stock > Hoppers

Over at they have a challenge every year to build something that rolls.  

There’s no prize, as it’s not really a contest - more of a personal challenge to try something new.  

My entry for 2004 is a hopper that will be loosely based on one of the ET&WNC hoppers.

One of the problems with building from scratch is that there are no instructions!  The drawings and pictures you find seem to just tantalize - and not provide the total amount of detail you need.
It’s especially difficult to find detailed pictures of the bottom of a car, or even the inside.  These are critical when modeling, put most fans just take pictures of the cars passing by.
I started by ordering some scale lumber from Kappler.  They allow you to specify the scale and then the dimension (in inches) of the wood that you want.  Very handy!
I also enlarged the plans to 1:20 scale.  My timing was perfect - the Blue Ridge Stemwinder had an article on hoppers with a drawing and lots of pictures!

I bought a truck kit from Hartford Products and some brass grab irons and bolts from Phil Dippel.

In the background, you can see one of the pictures of the inside from the Blue Ridge Stemwinder.  
I’ve covered the wooden floor with brass sheet.  I tried to blacken it, but the finish was too uneven, so I’ll be painting it.
I also took a number of shortcuts in construction.  The chain is simply glued to each door panel - once it’s painted, it will be hard to tell the difference.
The chain is looped over a brass bar in my model, where in real life it was wound around it - to open and close the doors.  
The chain and bar is protected by a “L” girder.

Ready for painting.

The finished model.

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