Approach Slow (Rule 284) at the west end of Big Chimney, WV

Approach Slow (Rule 284) at the west end of Big Chimney, WV

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Go west, young man!

While filling out waybills for cars heading west via various connections with the CWE, it became apparent that there was a real dearth of western road cars on the railroad. An article by Bob Rivard in the July 2014 edition of Model Railroad Hobbyist ( provided the inspiration to correct this problem. I had purchased two of the ExactRail Gunderson 50 foot double door boxcars which were decorated for the Frisco. However, a little research revealed that the Frisco never owned these cars. I set them aside with the plan to strip them and paint them for the home road some day.

Then Bob Rivard's article appeared in MRH. I have long been a big fan of Bob's modeling and, in particular, his freight car modeling. He has written many articles over the years and they have always been a source of inspiration for me. So armed with his article and the two SLSF boxcars, I got to work.

First up is BN 318572. Basically, I just followed all of the instructions in Bob's article on this one. The only difference is that I drew the weld seams directly onto the car with a number 2 pencil versus first drawing them on clear decal paper and then applying the decals.

Next up is SP&S 319179. I struggled a bit with the doors on this one as I couldn't find any Superior doors that didn't have cast-on tack boards. The door on the left side doesn't have them so I either had to try and remove them from a couple of doors or scratch build them. I chose the latter route and used Evergreen styrene strips to make the doors. I also painted the yellow band on the left hand door versus using Micro Scale trim film as Bob did on his model. The photo below shows the car after I painted the yellow band. There are several places where I need to touch up the green paint prior to weathering the car.

And to round out this first group of western road cars, I picked up couple of the new BLMA Models ATSF Bx-166 double door 60' boxcars. These cars are absolutely beautiful- the detail and prototypical accuracy is just amazing. These cars were new in July of 1974 so I weathered them lightly to reflect how they might have looked after several years of service. The bottom of the car and the trucks were sprayed with Rust-Oleum camouflage brown.Then the entire car was sprayed with a highly diluted coat of Vallejo Model Air aged white. After the aged white had dried, I applied a light coat of Dullcote. Next, I applied a thin wash of artist's acrylic ivory black mixed with a small amount of burnt umber. This wash helps bring out the details. The trucks and wheels were weathered using gouache and weathering powders.

The BN and SP&S cars are the first two boxcar projects in a long while where I took the time to carve off ladders, change the doors, etc. in order to model a specific prototype. This has long been one of my favorite parts of the hobby and it was a lot of fun working on these two cars. And now that all of John Miller's freight cars are stored away in boxes, I have to add cars to my fleet the old fashioned way- by actually building them myself rather than "borrowing" them from John.