MODELING: AAR 50-Ton Flat by Robert Leners

During the Second World War, a standard flat car design was created under the auspises of the American Association of Railroads (AAR).  The design was for a 50-ton 53’6″ car which would be built for a large number of railroads.

The design has been offered in 1/48 scale in the form of a Pacific Limited brass import and Chooch Ultra Scale II urethane kit.  I did the patterns for this kit.

Here is the pilot model of the Chooch kit.  One of most important developments of the kit was the production of accurate plastic stake pockets.  The late Joel Berling did a nice job on capturing the feel of the this important part.

Robert Leners decided to try his hand at building one from scratch rather than using the kit.  His subject was a Soo Line prototype shown below.

Robert started by using a published plan that appeared in the defunct Main Line Modeler.  Robert Hundman did the plan.  It was likely based upon published plans of the NKP version with steel “Z” stringers.  Some of the cars were built with wood stringers just like the AAR 70-ton design.

Construction started with the center sill.   He built one side then the next.  It is a different way of modeling this car.  My approach would have started with the center sill and then add the sides and cross members.  I will try this on my next build.

Robert cut the slots for brake levers, trainline and piping for the AB system.  At this point, weight can be added to the center sill.  The car should weight more than 12 ounces which is hard to achieve given the small area of the center sill.  A load could be a significant help to achieve the minimum weight.

In this view Robert is building the brackets that support the deck overhange. As you may have noticed there are a few rivets on this model.  They were impressed one at a time.  It is time consuming but it does yield a certain degree of pleasure to know you did this.

Looks like Robert is taking a break from the build.  The stake pockets are installed and the deck is in place.  The deck boards were held in place on the prototype by plow bolts as we discussed in my recent posting.

At my suggestion, Robert used Micro Mark decal rivets to simulate the plow bolts.  In theory, this should have worked but you do have to paint and weather the deck.  The bolt heads will be a different color from the decking.  Sorry for the bad idea……….

The first coat of paint is applied to the underframe.  Too bad this side and all of its detail is not visible when the car is on your layout.

The final coat of Tru-Color Soo freight car paint was applied and Protocraft decals were added to finish the model.  Good Job!

Thank you for sharing your work with us.








6 thoughts on “MODELING: AAR 50-Ton Flat by Robert Leners

  1. Is that the same Mr Leners who used to model in Sn3 in the early 90s whose wife is Pat the artist? I have one of her WSLC paintings. And visited the layout once.

    Bill Jolitz

  2. This man does nice work. That construction sequence is unique, like you I will have to think that one through a bit.

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