by Jeff Eggert
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Tangent Gondolas - Boiled & Beaten
This How-To shows an overview of the work done to a pair of Tangent ACF 70-ton Gondolas to make them into CNW 129000 series tie gons. Click on a photo to see a larger version.
The basic body. Two cars were made. 129424 had the sides removed to make way for brass sides which would be beat-up. 129601 would be "boiled" to bow the body.
The brass side in the fabrication fixture. You can see the bow. It has a versine (dip) of about 5 HO scale inches. 129601 would be boiled to have approximately the same bow.
CNW 129424 body, removed kit sides, new sides waiting to be attached.
When doing work to the models, being a short height gondola the car would not sit on its side on the workbench. To cure this, I made bolster stands out of .125" square styrene. This also prevents details on the side down from being damaged.
The boiling operation. The kit supplied ends were used and needed to be bowed outward as well. A jig was made which the ends could be pressed up against. The clamps were used to hold the ends in the shape I wanted. Sticking the whole setup in a pot of near boiling water (post major boiling with the burner off) allowed the plastic to stress relieve and stay in the jig position when cooled outside the pot with the clamps removed. Time in water: around 30 sec to a minute.
This photo also shows the brass sides beat-up after they were added. CNW 129424 was a riveted version.  Archer rivets were added after the sides were beat-up.
CNW 129601 finished with modifications awaiting the paint booth. Changes include different brake wheel setup, extra ladders & grabs, top sill modification, structural rib boots (5 per side), moving roping tabs to the side of the car and adding plates for the COTS labels.
CNW 129424 finished with modifications awaiting the paint booth. Changes inlcude different brake wheel setup, extra ladders & grabs and top sill modification.
Completed CNW 129601. Shown with load of old ties. All weathering done by brush using Polly Scale paints.
Completed CNW 129424. Bow of car evident. All weathering done by brush using Polly Scale paints.
Interior of gondola with a few leftover old ties, dirt, ballast and grass/plant material.
CNW 129601 close-up showing rib boots.
CNW 129601 end close-up showing rebuild modifications.
CNW 129424 close-up showing beat-up side panels and riveting.
CNW 129424 with load of old ties.
CNW 129424 interior close-up.