Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wood Hooper

Berkshire Valley Wood Hopper

I've been trying to resist buying one of the Berkshire Valley Models new wood hopper kits. I've been eyeing them for a while as they look really cool. Laser kits are rather quick to assemble and after starting my last Deerfield Laser Kit, see previous post, I jumped in. Why did I wait? Well, the kit is a very "western" version of an ore car and I model the east. Oh, well. It's cool and who knows what I will model in the future........

 When the kit arrived, I was impressed. A much better value than the Deerfield Laser Kit EBT car. The Berkshire Valley Models kit was literally, complete except trucks and couplers. Well, you could argue that it didn't include all brake rigging but no problem for me as I find most of that ends up causing running issues. So, a quick, and I mean, quick build, I have a nicely finished wood ore car. I made two modifications 1.) I added some rods to hold the car together vertically and 2.) I changed out the ladders with some I already had and liked better. I didn't realize that they sell weights to go with this kit but I did add my own weights on the underside of the end slope sheets. Also, I think most wood cars built with wood trusses used rods to hold the mortise and tenon joints together.  Here's the car with modified McCleod West Side Trucks 4ft wheel base, brake hangers removed. Cheers!


  1. I saw those cars at the convention last year, they had an entire string of them on a table and they were impressive looking. the only other modification I might try, and I am not sure it would even show up, is to make a shallow slice with a knife at the joints where the vertical braces meet the horizontal braces on the car sides to simulate the look that those boards are individual.

  2. How different is this car from the EBT's early hoppers? It looks pretty close to me. Nice build!

    1. Tom,

      Thanks. See the previous post for an EBT hopper build. I should put them next to one another so you can see the difference. Much taller