Looking to add some more cargo to your freight cars? In this extended-length video, MRA Contributing Editor Martin Tärnrot shows how he constructs a variety of cargo.
ALUMINUM EXTRUSION BILLETS
What are they? About 10 to 15 feet long and 12 inches in diameter, these aluminum rods are sent to extruders, who use hydraulic extrusion presses to produce different shapes, including aluminum windows and door frames. What are they made of? Martin snips the buds off of cotton swabs and uses the center pipe to make these rods.
What is it? A classic cargo on almost every model railroad and certainly all those from the early eras. What is it made of? Coal? No—this can create a mess if a car derails and the coal spills. Martin makes an insert from balsa wood, places it in the freight car, paints it, and sprinkles Woodland Scenics Mine Run Coal on top. Check the video to see how to get the coal pieces to stick.
ALUMINUM BLOCKS or SLABS
What are they? These blocks are sent from the caster to the rolling mills to be converted into sheets and structural shapes. What are they made of? Martin finds that aluminum and stone blocks are both easiest and cheapest to make out of balsa wood.
What is it? The method Martin presents here for creating timber/trees/logs is universal for most kinds of timber, but the paint sheen is specifically for the Eurasian pine tree. What is it made of? The base material in the logs is flower support sticks, at least 1⁄16-inch thick, and they are covered in plaster. The end result is a pile of logs that can be placed on the freight cars or in a sawmill.
CORRODED METAL SCRAP
What is it? It’s another of Martin’s favorite cargo types. It’s low cost, easy to make, and attractive to watch. What is it made of? The extra plastic parts left over from kits.
You may want to check our videos on Offloading Bulk Cargo Into Containers and Creating Lumber Stacks.