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DODX Heavy Duty Flat Car

Model Details

Spring Mills Depot is proud to offer an industry first - RTR cars with painted/weathered wheels with bare metal treads (after all, who on Earth wants paint on their rails?)! Once again Spring Mills Depot is raising the bar on detail. On this car we are offering our wheels factory painted a nice rust color. This definitely enhances the appearance of the cars. If you can't do it right, why do it?
There are many subtle detail differences across the various builds of the DODX heavy duty flat cars. Below are details and features about the cars.
  Body Profiles     Truck Orientation      Channel Configurations  
  Painted Number Decks   Weathered Wheels   Container Cleat Orientation 
  Raised Number Decks  Brake Pipe Exit   Channel Divider Flexibility
  Buffer Car Flat Deck    Cross member
Variations
Grab Iron/Hole
Configurations
  Brake Pipe Crossover     Navy Material Cars     Hand Brake Types  

Click on features above to go to that section on this page.

Body Profiles

There are two major types of body profiles that can be identified from a distance. The 10'3" wide deck and rounded-off sides are found only on FGE cars. The 10'5" wide deck and sharp-cornered sides are found on the Thrall, Ortner, and GRE cars. There is also a small lip at the top of the side of these cars.

http://www.springmillsdepot.com/images/edges.jpg
http://www.springmillsdepot.com/images/edges3.jpg

Truck Orientation

The Buckeye 3 axle truck consists of 2 large assemblies on each side with one assembly in front of the other. This gives the appearance that the truck "points" either to the left or to the right. We noticed that all of the FGE cars point toward each other. All of the Thrall/Ortner/GRE cars point toward the A end of the car. We made sure each of our cars' trucks are properly oriented - a detail that most people would miss.
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/truck%20orientation1.jpg
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/truck%20orientation2.jpg
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/truck%20orientation3.jpg
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/truck%20orientation4.jpg

Channel Configurations

There are two different patterns for the deck channels on the transport cars. The FGE cars have a 6-4-6 pattern across the car. The original olive green cars' channels were labeled A-B-C-D-E-F, G-H-J-K, and A-B-C-D-E-F.

The Thrall, Ortner, and GRE cars have a 4-4-4 pattern across the car. The original olive green cars' channels were labeled A-B-C-D, A-B-C-D, and A-B-C-D.
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/deck%20channels%20prototype.jpg


http://springmillsdepot.com/images/deck%20channels%20-%20model.jpg

Painted Number Decks

All of the transport cars were delivered in olive green and they had painted numbers on the deck.
Painted numbers on decks

Raised Number Decks

As the cars saw service, the painted numbers either became faded or were worn off completely. So raised numbers were welded to the decks of cars and a white square was painted around them.
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/raised%20deck%20numbers%20-%20both.jpg

Buffer Car Flat Deck

The buffer cars serve two duties. One is to be buffer cars for the nuclear flask cars as required by regulation. The second duty is to transport non-wheeled and non-tracked items that DoD needs to move. For example, storage tanks, structural framing, beams, etc. Bracing is welded to the deck to secure the load and then unwelded when delivered. The decks of these cars are scarred from where bracing had been welded and removed.
Buffer car showing scarring on deck from bracing that had been previously welded to the deck
Buffer cars in action

Weathered Wheels

AN INDUSTRY FIRST!!!

Once again, Spring Mills Depot is raising the bar on model details. We decided to have our factory paint the fronts and backs of the wheels of our RTR cars a rust color but not the tread (after all, who on Earth wants paint on their rails?). This dramatically improves the appearance of the cars when placed on the track. No other manufacturer has done this previously on RTR cars.
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/painted%20wheels.jpg

Brake Pipe Exit

There are two different ways the brake pipe exits the end of the flat cars depending upon the builder. FGE cars have the brake pipe exiting the car through the end member. The brake pipe on the Thrall/Ortner/GRE cars exit the car at the underside of the end of the car.
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/brake%20pipe%20exit%20-%20prototype.JPG
Brake pipe exit comparison

Brake Pipe Crossover

The brake pipe crosses over in the middle of the car in two different locations depending upon the builder. This required two different diecast center sills. Diecasting is expensive but we thought the detail was worth the extra cost. The FGE cars have the brake pipe crossing through the center sill in the bay in front of the truck at the B end of the car. The Thrall/Ortner/GRE cars have the brake pipe crossing through the center sill in the bay in front of the truck at the A end of the car.
Brake Pipe Crossover Comparison

Cross Member Variations

The FGE cars have open triangular braces that support the deck of the car. The Thrall/Ortner/GRE cars have solid triangular braces that support the deck of the car.
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/cross%20member%20comparison%20prototype.jpg
Cross member comparison

Container Cleat Orientation

Each transport car comes with 12 container cleats (6 left and 6 right). The modeler has 3 options:

- Insert them facing downward so they lay flat on the deck to allow loading of vehicles (as shown on right) Note: if you have to mash them in place, you most likely have the wrong cleat in the wrong location/orientation.

- Place them facing up to hold a container (we recommend using Canopy Glue or Micro Clear to glue them to a container first and then mount the container/cleat assembly to the car.

- leave some or all missing, just as on the prototype.


Container cleat locations
Left Container Cleat
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/container%20cleat%20left.jpg
Right Container Cleat
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/container%20cleat%20right.jpg

Channel Divider Flexibility

Channel divider flexibility

Grab Iron/Hole Configurations

This is where Spring Mills Depot goes the extra mile when producing a model.
Upon studying the major differences among these heavy duty flat cars, we
noticed that each builder had a different hole/pocket pattern. Of course
we couldn't just produce the more prevalent combinations - we had to
do them all - despite one combination is only found on 5 cars!

With the below body combinations, profile combinations,
and brake rigging combinations, Spring Mills Depot is
proud to offer 9 different body builds -
ALL FOR A FLAT CAR!
Hole/Pocket Configurations by Builder
Builder / Type Hole/Pocket Locations
GRE Buffer Cars No pockets behind side grab irons
FGE Navy Materials Cars Pockets on 3 corners sans the brake handle corner
FGE Transport Cars No pockets behind side grab irons
Thrall Transport Cars Pockets on 3 corners sans the brake handle corner
Ortner Transport Cars Pockets on 3 corners and a round hole on the brake handle corner
GRE Transport Cars Pockets on 3 corners and a round hole on the brake handle corner

http://springmillsdepot.com/images/dodx_stacked1.jpg

http://springmillsdepot.com/images/dodx_stacked2.jpg

Hand Brake Types

There are two major versions of hand brakes found on the 40xxx series transport cars and buffer cars. There is the Ellcon Model 7900 and the Wabtec Model 9020. Both are thin lever types that are mounted at 30 degrees to allow the entire brake to be located below the deck.
http://springmillsdepot.com/images/hand%20brake%20types.jpg

Navy Material Cars

Five cars were built and assigned to the Navy to transport training materials. Oddly, they were built slightly different than the rest of the FGE transport cars. The Navy cars have pockets behind the side grabs on 3 corners where the rest of the FGE transport cars do not have any pockets behind the side grabs. We were seriously considering not producing this variation because only 5 cars (less than 1%) had this configuration - but we just couldn't resist. We will leave it up to the modeler to create a naval load as there are a few different types.
Navy cars