The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Transportation Models 50’ Boxcar


Working on the history series I realized I did not have any Transportation Models cars in a condition to run on the layout. Looking a bit, I found this 50’ car in need of some work, and rebuilt it in a group of cars in the past few months.

This first photo compares their model to two other classic OO 50’ boxcars and also a great, kitbashed variation. Working our way around clockwise, at the upper left is the Hawk model, described further here. Next we have the kitbashed NYC car based on Scale-Craft, described further here. Then the newly rebuilt Transportation Models car and finally a stock Scale-Craft 50’ boxcar, described a bit more in this article.

Of the four, the stock Scale-Craft car has a bit of an odd look with that strange roof especially, and it is pretty dramatic how the kitbashed variation with a new roof and double doors (Famoco/Eastern parts) looks so much better to my eye. The Hawk car is also well-proportioned but lacks some detail.

Turning to the Transportation Models car, it has pressed cardboard sides, roof, and ends mounted on a wood body. The original builder of this car had mounted the sides first then the roof but there was a big gap between the two visually. I was able though to take the sides off and remount the roof as well so the parts fit as well as they are going to. It is not visible in the photo but I was not able to get all the original decals off this car, as I could not work on them too aggressively due to the cardstock sides. From the side the car looks OK but from the end there is a problem. The car is too wide by a good bit, with the NYC car showing what would be a correct width. Also note that the ladders are simply pressed into the sides and ends, which saved parts but is not as visually pleasing.

From the bottom the kitbashed NYC car shows how neatly the S-C 50’ car frame could be built up with a few modern AB brake details and Schorr trucks, and then we get to the Transportation Models car. Pretty basic! What I put on this car is all that they would have shipped out to use with the car. I mounted the Transportation Models car on S-C trucks. The car came to me with no trucks and what I have of parts for Transportation Models trucks leaves me less than impressed (many small parts, wheelsets off standards, etc.).

It is not a terrible kit by any means, but for OO gaugers starved for new products after WWII I am not sure this is the car they were waiting for either.

Read more about Transportation Models here, they produced a large line of OO freight and (maybe also) passenger cars right after WWII based on the wartime, late Graceline "comprestic" kits.

UPDATE: For a view of another Graceline/Transportation Models 50' car see this article.

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