Tied down at the end of the Elkwater Branch in Big Chimney, WV. August 1976

Tied down at the end of the Elkwater Branch in Big Chimney, WV. August 1976

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rolling Stock Additions

Over the last several weeks I finished several new cars for the layout and re-weathered an old favorite. The first car is an Accurail 50' pludoor boxcar that received light weathering as it's meant to depict a fairly new car in 1976. I used the photo below for reference in addition to several other shots that I found on the internet. I'd give credit for the photograph, but I can't  remember what site it came from. The car was weathered using artist's acrylics, gouache and Windex.

The roof to the kit is a separate piece and the edges of the roof are painted the same silver color as the roof itself. The edges of the roof are too thick and stand out when compared to photos of the prototype. To hide this, I masked the edges and sprayed them with a custom dark rust color that I have that just happened to be almost the same color as the car sides. I used the same paint to cover the U1 wheel stencil that came on the car.

The next car is a Atlantic Coast Line combination door 50' boxcar that I photographed in Cincinnati in August of 1983. Below is a scan of the original photograph.

This car was completed back in the late 1980's and I think the starting point for this car may have been a Robin's Rails 50' boxcar. The car turned out fairly well, but the coloring on the sides seemed to lack depth. So I gave the car a coat of Dullcote and then added additional weathering using artist's acrylics and Windex. The roof was originally done with artist's oils and paint thinner back when I first completed the car.

The next car is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I purchased this Accurail kit from Division 7 of the NMRA this past summer and made several changes, including filling in the roof walk holes and adding cut levers. I then weathered it to reflect a car that was close to retirement. According to the information supplied with the kit, the last car in this series on the V&O was retired in 1982. This car wasn't shopped after the introduction of the Appalachian Lines paint scheme in 1968 and so it still has the original, as-delivered "Ridge Runner" paint scheme.

I used photographs of Great Northern boxcars painted in Great Sky Blue as references for the weathering. The color is similar to the blue on the V&O car and I was able to find several shots of similar type cars to use. I added ACI labels, consolidated lube stencils and "Keep off Roof" stencils to reflect a car in service in 1976.

The last car is a woodchip hopper that was built using the recent Walthers 36' kit. The only changes made to this car was the addition of cut levers and a new woodchip load.

Now that the layout is being operated on a regular basis, I'm going to need a lot more freight cars. I'm continually amazed at how quickly the layout eats cars.


  1. Nice weathering! I especially like that ACL car. It's a good match to my SAL car that posted about here http://ontarioinhoscale.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/in-but-not-from-ontario/

    Did you have to do much work to that Robin's Rails car to get it run properly?

  2. Thanks, Hunter. I went back and looked at this car again and it's clearly not a Robin's Rails car- the ends are different. I have at least three of these cars on the layout but I don't have a clue who they came from. Too many years ago! I have one in the original configuration that I painted and lettered for the NYC, and it was a 50' plug door boxcar similar to the V&O car in this post.

    I have a number of the Robin's Rail cars on the layout and they all seem to run fine. I have replaced the kit trucks and wheels with Athearn trucks and Kadee wheelsets. Other than making sure the coupler heights were correct, I don't remember doing much else to them in terms of modifying the operating performance.

    BTW, that SAL car looks great!