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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The J-C Models Baggage Car and Coach

As years go by I realize there are a few “common” OO models that I do not have good examples of and actually, today, those models may not actually be so common due to the passage of time and time having been hard on the materials used in the model.

Very recently I fixed part of that situation with this pair of J-C Models cars, a coach and a baggage car. Available from 1939 until into the 1950s, my overview of J-C Models is here; these were also produced in O gauge and HO. They also in their OO line produced a heavyweight combine and a Pullman.

I have a number of the Pullmans and have recently been working on them to get them running well. As part of that I also have several ATSF locomotives and it occurred to me that a Santa Fe baggage car would be a great model to have to run with the Pullmans. The example seen here was made up from parts on hand. The roof and floor had been built up into a car but came to me loose, someone had taken it apart and got side tracked after doing some modifications to one end, I think to convert a baggage car into a combine. I opted use these baggage car sides that I had as loose parts and to also fix up the modified end of the body. As the ATSF looks to have typically set up their heavyweight baggage cars on six-wheel trucks I have opted for that for now (S-C trucks upgraded with vintage Ultimate wheelsets), although I may switch it to 4-wheel in the future if the 6-wheel trucks are needed for a longer car. This car has worked out great and has been leading around a string of Pullmans beautifully on the layout.

I should note that nominally this is a 60' baggage car, but actually the sides are long enough to allow you to build it up as a 70' car, which is the length of this model. I suspect the wood parts varied somewhat depending on the year the kit was boxed.

The coach is in a state of “before” and needs work. I am still puzzling over it but I think what I will do is put new sides on it and work it over a good bit with a removable roof. This car is more typical of how J-C cars often look today. The sides have not held up well and the paint job was really heavy to begin with. It has no roof vent details, but on the plus side the original builder used Selley ends, frame, and step details to upgrade the car a bit. These cars were shipped out with only wood and cardboard parts, but I have actually never seen one with the steps built up from wood as described in the instructions. For purposes of this photo I put S-C 4 wheel trucks on the car, which are very appropriate (J-C did not make a line of trucks). The fresh sides there are set aside for this project. These actually vary a bit in length, I really don’t know why, and this car matches up to the shortest set I have extra, which is part of why the coach is a bit shorter than the baggage car.

In either case these are classic models that can be built up into very nice cars. The rivet details are very nice and with good paint and proper handling they operate well.

UPDATE: The rebuilt coach may be seen here.

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