Bashin' Buggies

Giving Bachmann Log Cars the Eastern Look
By Bob Folger

Editor's Note: At the Fall 2010 Mid-Hudson On30 Meet I had the pleasure of watching Bob as he modified Bachmann log buggies into a more Eastern looking car. I asked Bob if he might be interested in writing an article describing his methods and he graciously agreed. Here is the article. Thanks, Bob!

Finished cars behind Bob's Shay No.4

Stock Bachmann Log Car

Bachmann makes a very nice On30 log buggy, but the three large log load style just did not satisfy my desire for an Eastern log car so I decided to modify the car into a car similar to some cars I had seen in pictures of the Ely Thomas Railroad.

Completed conversion

Parts List

  • Bachmann #27391 Skeleton Log Car
  • Evergreen Styrene #179 .100 X .250 Strips
  • Evergreen Styrene #105 .010 X .100 Strips
  • Detail Associates #2505 .015 Brass Wire
  • Builders In Scale #240 Chain 15 links per inch

Note: The chain that comes with the cars will do 3 uprights

The conversion is a very easy project. I will list the steps below:

  1. Remove the trucks from the car.

  2. Remove the chocks on the ends of the log bunks. This leaves a hole where the chock was mounted. I fill the holes with pieces of toothpick super- glued into the holes. Cut enough off the end of the toothpick so the shaft is large enough to press-fit into the hole. Press the toothpick into the hole and trim with a flush cutter. (rail cutter) Touch with a drop of super-glue.

  3. Remove the paint from the ends of the log bunks with a small file.

  4. Cut a shallow slot in the underside of each end of the bunks with a Dremel cut off wheel.

  5. Glue .015" pieces of brass wire into each slot to provide a place to hook the chains.

  6. Make 4 uprights from .100 X .250 styrene strip cut 1.5 inches long, drill a .015" hole centered top to bottom and side to side. Put a piece of .015 wire in the hole to attach the chain. Glue a .010 X .100 X .250 piece of styrene strip at the bottom of each upright for detail.

  7. Super-glue the uprights to the ends of the bunks.

  8. Paint the car to your preferred color. I use Floquil Earth.

  9. Install the chains. Hook (glue) them to the wire under the bunk, then to the wire on the upright and finally to the other end of the wire under the bunk.

  10. Weather the car to your taste. I use Floquil rail brown for rust on the metal parts and a wash of Hunter Line black weathering mix over the whole car.

  11. Re-attach the trucks and add the car to your revenue fleet.

  12. Editor's Note: Many thanks to Bob for preparing this article and sharing it with all of us. If any of you try an On30 bash or modification and would like to share the results, please contact me.

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    This page updated June 11, 2011
    Webpage Larry Rickert
    Photographs and text Robert Folger