MODELING: Flats by John Ryan

In this post, you will find some interesting flat cars built by John Ryan.  He is relatviely new to Proto48 but has shown some real modeling skills.

The first flat car is the Chooch Ultra Scale II AAR 50-ton model.  I have an interest in this build since I did the masters for Mike O’Connell at Chooch.  The basic casting is complex on the underside creating all sorts of problems to mold and cast the model.

John figured out a way to fix the deck casting shrinkage by cutting the casting into individual planks.  This allow the boards to separate a bit to compensate for the shrinkage that occurred during the manufacturing process.  The urethane and rubber used in the casting process create problems that can result in a shorter castings than planned and also warping. One of the ways you can address the warping is to cut open the centersill and add a steel weight that will stiffen the body.

John added a few details to the model that were not in the kit.  He created scale sidesill steps and pinned them to body with brass pins available from Scale Hardware.

He also replaced the kit hand brake assembly with a Twin Star Cars Universal set.  These parts are exquisite castings created by Terry Van Winkle using a 3D CAD process and investment casting in brass.  The brake staff is a drawn piece of white bronze wire with the correct square shape and width.

The car is finished off with Protocraft Barber S-2 trucks and a Kadee coupler.  Hopefully John will get the car painted soon and share the finished car with us.

The second flat car was also built by John Ryan and is a Chooch model as well.  It is of a 41′ long design patterned after early AC&F design with straight side sills and deep fishbelly underframes.

The kit was a pretty basic model that served as a springboard to “raise it up a notch” as Emeril used to say.

John used a Protocraft two-level truck for this modeel. The air hose and bracket is a Hi-Tech Details part developed by Jimmy Booth. 

Here is a comparison of the finished model versus the kit underframe.  It is a straightforward build well executed by John.

Thank you for sharing John.



6 thoughts on “MODELING: Flats by John Ryan

  1. Gene these cars and detail always blow me away. The underbody is incredible. What I’m most interested in is diameter of wire used, chain size etc. As you probably seen my first resin build is ok, but seeing cars of this caliber is what I aim hopefully one day to be able to build. Also are those all individual rivets and bolts?

  2. Exquisite modeling. I like the idea of cutting the platform into individual boards. I’ll have to try that. I have a San Juan Decals flat car the has a one piece deck. It is not urethane but it is a precut wooden deck. The grain goes the wrong way and the deck is not quite a match for the frame. I can replace with individual boards but I like the idea of cutting the existing deck to solve the problem. Part of the problem is the stake pockets don’t quite snatch up withe the deck, so I need to do something to fix it.

  3. Is all of that rivet work on the 41′ flat part of the Chooch kit, or did John upgrade the kit by adding them? Also wondering where he found the flat stock for his handmade steps. Seems hard to locate right now.

      • I’ve been looking for DA flat stock for a year or so and can’t find any anywhere in 15×42 thou – or whatever you had mentioned you use in one of your older posts. Wonderful work John did on the rivets. I wish I could get mine that straight!

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