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Sunday, March 9, 2014

"The Giant," a look at two Transportation Models 50' boxcars

This car some readers may have seen pass through eBay really recently, the big gray UP 50' boxcar. It was built up very neatly from either a Graceline "comprestic" kit or from from the successor Transportation Models kit. It caught my eye as this so rarely seen for sale and this is a great example.

In the first photo the car is with a Transportation Models 50' boxcar, featured previously in this article. This was rebuilt from a junk car but informed heavily by the two additional kits I have for this car, one complete and one partial. Look from the side first get used to the visual proportions of the boxcar red car, as they are about right. Then look at the gray car. It is made with the same sides and doors but note that the builder fit them to a larger body, so large that the model would pass as a 40' boxcar in S gauge instead of being a OO scale car.

Those that saw the listing on eBay will note I traded out the trucks for a set that were painted boxcar red (correct for the car) and also I gave it a quick coat of Dullcote, to seal the decals.

Looking from the end the body is the same width (too wide) but is shorter. The ends are exactly the same ends but on the shorter car they are cut down a bit on the bottom and on the taller car they were not cut down to the line it would seem Graceline intended.

I was especially intrigued by the different body size as this was driven by the wood parts. I pulled out my kits and discovered they had smaller wood body parts, closer to correct for scale. My guess is one batch of the same parts had the oversize bodies and Transportation Models shipped them out in kits. Maybe the original builder of the boxcar red car noted this and cut down the height?

Digging in the parts supply and in the kits on hand I discovered that there are two different sizes of ends. Click on the photo for a better view but note the larger one is the type on both of these cars but the smaller one is correct for OO. Also note that both are clearly Graceline parts, stamped right there plain as day. The larger one has to have been an "oops" on their part, corrected with the smaller end before they sold the line. They shipped out the big parts probably, and it would also seem the big parts were shipped out by Transportation Models too as they repackaged and sold off the residual of Graceline.

And also I found the same thing with the doors. Again, these are both Graceline parts as seen in the stamping, but there is the larger version as seen on both of the cars above and a smaller version that is correct for OO scale.

It is a bit of a puzzle but going back to the gray car, the builder made it up beautifully. After it was completed if it was ran on a layout I don't know, but the car looks huge and will certainly see little service here! But both cars inspire me a bit to work more with some of these parts I have on hand this summer, neat cars can be made from these kits with some effort.

For more background see:

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