Bob "Chooch" Rivard

HO Scale Pipe Loads

Bob "Chooch" Rivard
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Duration:   8  mins

Some modeling projects take you down the rabbit hole and, before you know it, you’ve invested hours and hours of time in them. But other projects are straightforward and easy. This video is about one of the latter!


We join modeler Bob Rivard at his workbench modeling HO scale pipe loads. Bob has been working on bulkhead flat cars, and they’re going to need loads. First Bob researches loads through photos online and in books. Lumber loads are common, but here Bob models pipe loads.

The material for the pipes is Phade Eco-Straws. Not only are these straws environmentally friendly, they’re also easy to glue together, unlike plastic straws, which are slippery and difficult to work with. Bob makes a bundle of five straws. First he cuts each straw to size, glues five of them together, then paints them a rusty color.


Next up is banding. Bob uses Chartpak Graphic Art Tape in 1/64 W. As you stack the HO scale pipe loads, add banding to the finished load. Check your prototype photos for exactly how your banding should look. Bob adds a little insurance glue to the bottom of the banding tape to make sure it won’t come off.

Bob takes a finished load of five pipes and sets it on top of wood stringers, which he has placed on the empty flat car. The pipes and wood stringers are held together with glue. He has other loads that already have wood stringers glued to them, then he puts a thin layer of glue on the bottom of the wood stringers so they will attach to the pipes below them. Banding can be put on the two loads that are glued together.

Check out some of the loads Bob has built for the flat cars on his Soo Line layout in this track car cam montage.

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