Kitbashing a H-L-W Log Car into a Gondola

Hartland Locomotive Works have a number of great pieces of rolling stock in their Mini Series. Gondolas, ore, log, and tank cars. The log car makes a great starting point to a number of fun and simple projects.

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The log car comes in either brown or black with plastic posts, plastic wheels, and hook and loop couplers.




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This project requires a H-L-W log car and a bunch of craft sticks (available at most craft stores like Michaels). For this car I used a number of the jumbo sticks to plank the floor of the car a some coffee stir sticks for the sides.

Wood posts I think look better than the plastic posts that come with the log car so some bass wood with the ends trimmed work well. Using posts requires cutting the plank pieces so the post holes are accessible.

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Once the floor is planked and the posts inserted then I used coffee stir sticks to create the side walls. These I cut to fit from corner post to corner post and glued on the inside of the posts.

The end walls were cut to reach from corner to corner and were glued to the outside of the posts.


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As you can see, these types of projects require lots of clamps. I’ve found that close pins work quite well for holding things together while the glue dries. I generally use Titebond III for wood to wood gluing for things that will remain outside I used plain white glue for this project.


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Weathering consisted of some ink, alcohol, and tea solution. Then tinted with the very dilute acrylic craft paint.




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I replaced the plastic wheels with metal and the hook and loop couples with some link and pins from Ozark Miniatures.

This is a simple, and fun, weekend project. If you have any comments or tips on these simple projects please leave a comment to this post or email me! –TJ


See Another HLW Log Car Kitbash for more on this easy technique.

(Originally posted 3/4/2011, revised 1/20/2012)

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