Thursday, March 10, 2022

SCPX 3527

One of my favorite parts of the hobby has always been building freight cars. Back in the day, I would modify Athearn Blue Box kits, Robins Rails cars, and others to make reasonable representation of prototypes that weren't available commercially. And one of my all-time favorite authors is Bob Rivard. I have long been a big fan of his work and especially his freight car projects. I've collected all of his freight car articles I could find and have recently started building some cars based upon his work.

A case in point is SCPX 3527. Bob wrote an article in the December 2021 issue of Railroad Model Hobbyist on how he built this car from an Atlas cylindrical hopper car that he had picked up cheap at a show. I had the same car, but decorated for Penn Central, and I'd never been able to find a prototype photo of it. So, I gave it a bath in 91% isopropyl alcohol and ordered a Plano Model Products roof walk for the car. I also ordered the decals that Bob got from Bill Brillinger at Precision Design Company.

The only thing I did differently than Bob was I painted the model with Tru-Scale C&O/B&O yellow as I had that on hand, and it looked spot on to the photo I was using for reference.

This was the first time I've built a Plano roof walk and I was amazed at how well everything went together. The brackets have to be bent to shape, but this was relatively easy, and they fit right into the holes left from the Atlas roof walk. And they do make a difference, as you can see in the photo below.

The photo below shows one of the prototype cars in May of 1976. 

This was fun build, and I've always enjoyed adding something to the roster that hasn't been offered by any of the manufacturers before. Of course, now that I've built this, Atlas is sure to come out with this paint scheme in the not-to-distant future... 


  1. That is one sweet looking car. Nice job.

  2. Very nicely done. I love the roof walks - they really make a difference.

    1. The Plano roofwalks are awesome- well designed, relatively easy to install, and come with detailed instructions.

  3. Turned out very nicely there Tom