As this week progress on the layout is pretty much non-existent but I had a bit of time to finally finish the ladle cars, time for a little special on those things.
These cars were built in the 1950’s by Junkerath for Cockerill-Ougree as part of a big modernisation going on in that era. At this point all operations around seraing were still fairly compact and local so there was no need for torpedo ladles to prevent heat loss during longer travels as the distances were all fairly short. The map below gives a nice impression of the state of affairs at cockerill-ougree around 1965 and the tasks these cars had to fulfill: haul liquid iron from the ougree blast furnaces (4) or Cockerill blast furnaces (1) to the Ougree Thomas steel plant (2) or Seraing LDAC steel plant (3)
As the 1970’s progressed the cockerill blast furnaces and ougree thomas steel plant were closed and ladle car service was limited to trips from the only remaining blast furnace in ougree (blast furnace B) to the only remaining steel plant, LDAC Seraing.
In 1984 it was decided to concentrate all steelmaking in Chertal. LDAC Seraing was closed and dismantled soon after, this was the end for open ladles as hot iron from the Ougree blast furnace went to Chertal in torpedo ladles. For some reason 3 of these cars managed to survive since then, sitting on a siding in ougree until recently, when the tracks through downtown ougree were lifted the cars yet again survived and are now awaiting their fate on the torpedo ladle preparation tracks near the ougree blast furnace.
a little bit of footage of the cars in action can be seen here at 8:08:
A nice 1967 picture showing them in pretty much original shape with a cab on 1 end: https://flickr.com/photos/131491887@N02/16826559229/
Some recent pictures I took showing the cars in Ougree. apart from three of these Junkerath cars there are three heavier Paul Würth ladle cars of Espérance-longdoz origin there as well. https://flickr.com/photos/floris_dilz/albums/72157712636345036
This was just another sketchy job as there are many on this project. I went to take pictures of these cars, but decided I was too lazy to actually measure them as they were visible on their old spot on the siding in ougree on google maps, so the main dimensions would be easy enough to figure out. (Also, the thought of being caught by securité d’Ougrée while spending way too much time around these cars in plain view with a measuring tape didnt seem very appealing)
So, good old eyeballing again, resulting in a 2D cad drawing. I did also draw the fat Espérance-ladle because, well, I don’t need it and it takes quite a lot of time.
in an unprecedented rush of modernity I actually managed to draw some more complicated bits like the actual ladle and the wheel bearings in 3D so they could be printed at work.
the rest of the cars would be just old fashioned cnc-milled styrene sheet and some etched bits. As this wasn’t particularly interesting to design I managed to put it off for a couple of months, got bored with the lack of progress while still not wanting to properly design it so made it a late night sketchy rush job, milled the parts at work the next day and the whole thing went together reasonably well so everything went better than expected. As I wanted more than 1 car I made some castings of the styrene and 3D print-parts, smuggled the etchings in between some artitec test orders and waited a bit.
As castings and etchings came in it seemed keeping the rather thin frame straight could be a bit of a challenge, but so far my models seem ok. So, I quickly assembled 1 car to check if everything worked out as planned, well, it pretty much did, then I lost interest again, reworked the car as a flat car load of a disassembled ladle car for Artitec, finally assembled two more…
….and last weekend I finally got around to paint and weather them. I’ll go into a bit more detail here: First the cars got their pre-paint-weathering. In this case this mean putting some sand/pva-glue muddy mixture on pretty much all horizontal surfaces, then sprinkle some very fine sand/dust over the top of it.
The the first layer of paint, humbrol flat black (33), on top of that slightly transparent rust (humbrol 70 and 62, about 2:1)
After this had dried overnight I painted the dirt with a mix of humbrol 33 and 29, about 1:1, and painted on some white numbers. After this the whole car got a wash using humbrol 33.
then I got out the oil paints. Just added some small bits of burnt and raw sienna, vandyke brown and zinc white…
them wiped them away into streaks with a wet brush. This also damaged the numbers on the ladles a bit as they hadn’t really dried yet. I rather liked that actually. Numbers on cars like this are repainted very often and not very carefully.
I felt some green algae was missing so I mixed up a nice tone of green using chromium oxide green and raw sienna and applied green streaks using the same method.
Then some new numbers were slapped on
A bit of drybrush using humbrol 72 and the paint looks good enough for now. In the background some scenery stuff for the next step…
the real cars in ougree had a proper jungle growing on the dirt on the frame. As I am modelling an earlier era I won’t make a proper jungle but some bits of grass would be nice of course. For this I used some scenery products by Martin Welberg: http://www.martinwelberg.nl/index.html
Just cut some tiny bits and glue it on, basically.
Well, time to put these things on the layout and take some pictures!
For those who like pristine ladles better, you’re in luck, Artitec 487.801.84 might just be what you’re looking for to put some flatcars to work
So, that’s the ladle car story for now. Maybe I’ll build those Espérance things at some point, I do already have castings of the ladle and bogie sides… And a little gem had managed to survive inside the cockerill works until 1988, buried in between a pile of old rollers, wouldn’t be surprised if that thing would make it to a model and hence into this blog at some point. we’ll see.