Flatcar -V&T Shops SP F-70


This is built from a V&T Shops kit. V&T Shops products were acquired by Wiseman, but I don’t think this car is still available. I got the kit for free, and because of that I tried to use as much of the original as I could. The underbody work was first. Some of the thinner cross members were broken, and some were missing compared to the prototype info I had (Thompson’s SP Freight Cars vol. 3).

underbody build

The urethane parts were already red, so it is easy to see where I used styrene to fill in some missing parts. The brake components on the prototype are on plate brackets. The kit gave no indication of how to mount these to the body. I used blocks instead of the plate brackets. The bolsters in the kit had a solid pin, and then a piece of flexible tubing that was supposed to hold the truck onto the bolster. I drilled these out and tapped them before applying to the car. The other challenge is that the brake levers do not pass through the beam – there are two separate pieces. I glued these in place with CA, and with the rods attached here and glued into the holes in the cross members, I am hopeful they will stay in place. Several of the tie-down pockets crumbled while I was handling them, so I built up new ones with styrene strips. There is no hole through them, but that is not easily visible.


The ends received my usual treatment, added bolt and washers above the grabs, KD couplers with pins cut off, brake hose, and brass stirrups.


I painted the body after masking off the deck (per the kit instructions), and applied a hodgepodge of decals to get the lettering. I wasn’t satisfied with the deck, which is “pre-weathered” in the kit. Following Lee Turner’s method, I repainted the deck. This involves painting individual boards with varying shades of grey, then painting over this with thinned brown oil paints. This was my first time with this, and maybe came out a bit too yellow, but it looks a lot better than the original kit.


Now I needed a load, and having no imagination, I copied a picture in Thompson’s book, on p.257. The pipes are Evergreen tubing. The walls are too thick, so I use a drill bit to ream out the ends. I cut the spacers on a laser (I don’t know how else I could have done this) and assembled it with bands in the pattern in the picture. I drilled holes through the pockets for the tie-downs and used flat brass bar for these. The pipes are painted with Krylon’s Chalky Finish, Anvil Gray, which is very close in color to PollyScale Weathered Black. It is more flat than it appears in these photos.

pipe brackets

I weathered the body with thinned acrylic paints, raw sienna and some other brown and gray mixes, attached the load to the car, and off it goes.


One thought on “Flatcar -V&T Shops SP F-70”

  1. Very nicely done, Michael!

    I had similar challenges when I assembled my kits. I ended up telephoning V&T proprietor Dale Darney to ask about the brake rigging. I left the deck and the body their original color. I got my decals from Lee Johnson. I do not yet have loads for my flats.

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