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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Scale-Craft Plug Door Boxcars

Fans of American OO will know right away that actually Scale-Craft did not make or even advertise a plug door boxcar. But the below certainly have the vintage S-C look and are plug door.

The story on these cars is that I had two more of these bodies than I had sliding doors or guides to complete. Not being wild about how the original pre-war die cast S-C boxcars looked either I got to thinking out of the box. The idea came up to cut HO plug doors out of an appropriate car and size them to fit the Scale-Craft door openings.

The source cars used for the doors were purchased very cheaply, junk Tyco HO cars at a train show. It is not a difficult conversion at all. I dressed them up a bit more with upgrade brake wheels and brake hardware as well. To complete the cars I used reproduction Lionel trucks with vintage Ultimate wheelsets to complete the package (and Kadee whisker couplers, my current favorite type for SC cars).

They are most effectively seen on the layout as in this second photo. I like a lot how the lettering came out and how they look in general in a train. Lettering them for my freelanced Orient made the most sense as they are not really scaled correctly to any prototype; I can just say that the Orient had a class of plug door boxcars of this type.

I have never seen this conversion done previously and really, it exceeded my expectations. I will likely do this one again a time or two more. These are great cars for my later 1950s operating sessions and will be rolling out some miles in the coming months.

Tomorrow the last post of the year will feature a rare Nason paper item.

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