We use tons and tons of steel in our projects. Much of it is 1/4" pencil rod which is hand shaped and then welded to form a substructure. Typically this is welded into a 6" x 6" (or so) grid. The object is to create a stable platform that is strong and anchored firmly to the structural steel.
Today I finished welding up almost 500 lineal feet of steel that forms the log on the railcar. We then hand tie the expanded lath to the pencil rod. Over this we'll trowel some fiberglass reinforced concrete which we then carve to look like a log. It sounds easy but in reality takes plenty of work and patience.
The wheels and truck parts are all painted, rusted and ready to assemble. They are tucked away until the pieces above them are finished.
It's coming together quickly now.