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

Saturday, May 9, 2020

2 Scale-Craft boxcars … again … and some containers

Back a few years ago I posted about how I had made a pair of plug door boxcars from Scale-Craft boxcars. The reason to do so was I had a number of SC bodies but not enough SC doors. They may be seen as originally built in this post. Honestly, over time I’ve become less happy with how they look, they are kind of undersized to really look right as a plug door boxcar.

But the SC boxcars do have a reasonable look for a 1950s boxcar, sort of a poor man’s PS-1 boxcar with 7’ doors. In subsequent years, I have really kept my eyes peeled for Scale-Craft boxcar doors. I’ve actually bought junker non-SC cars on eBay just to pull the doors off (and rebuild with non-SC doors), and then finally struck gold with several pair in a parts purchase, so I have plenty of the doors around.

So a decision was made to convert the cars back to standard boxcars as you see here now. One of the cars bodies had the holes drilled in for the door guides, and the other did not. For the one with working doors, I had a spare set of the guides and was all about having the doors open! It’s a nice look. For the other car, I wanted also to try another thing, just mounting the doors on that car fixed in place. It is a better look, without the door guides, and I’ll be doing that on at least one more car soon. Click on the photo for a closer look.

Which led to a final “upgrade.” I had to remove some lettering on the left side of the cars, and this removal plus the newly painted parts left some slight variance in color. So I decided this would be a great pair of cars to weather, a very basic job with AIM weathering powders. The flash photo washes out the effect a bit, but it is a really refreshing look for what is on the layout, and I’m going to have to do some more weathering. These cars I will run as older cars in my 70s/80s sessions.

And a bonus. Up in the foreground, in soft focus, are some containers. The two red K-Line and the blue HanJin are recently painted/lettered models that came to me incomplete, built by Pierre Bourassa. They are a bit short in length at 17’ (they should be 20’— but the width and height are fine), and a little rough. Came to me one red, one blue, one yellow with no lettering. I could not find any prototype containers that are yellow, so I repainted that one red, and worked out simple lettering for both with alphabet sets. Not completely correct, but nice background models.

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