No. 80: Progress on Freight Cars – Feb, 2018

In preparation for this summer’s St. Louis RPM meet I decided to get ahead on a few lingering freight car projects.  I have about 12 models awaiting decals so I decided to get those finished up first, as well as putting finishing touches on a couple of other models.

M&StL 24356

This is an old Sunshine models 1923 ARA Box Car kit that I built about 14 months ago.  I painted this car with Tru Color NYC freight car red and applied the decals that came with the original kit.  The decals were very difficult to apply over the door, and it took four or five evenings to get them settled down over the door hardware and the wood sheathing.  In some areas the decals came apart so I will have to touch them up during the finishing process.


Below, a photo of the only completed car on the railroad.  I used a custom Scalecoat mix on 24714; I recall telling someone I started with Box Car Red and added bright red paint “until it looked right”.  I think the Tru Color NYC color is really close to that M&StL color I was looking for.


CB&Q 75084

The model below was built from a beautiful kit offered by Jerry Hamsmith under the name RH Models.  I bought this car from Jerry at the 2015 Naperville RPM.  I don’t think these models are currently available, but very similar Sunshine Models cars are available on eBay from time to time.


The RH Models kit took about 6-7 hours to build, with most of the time spent detailing the underframe.  Once built and sandblasted I painted the model with Tru-Color CB&Q Freight Car Brown, and decaled it using the kit-supplied decals.  Jerry has a number of versions of this car available; mine is a modernized GS-7 with steel inverse Murphy ends and AB brakes.

SAL 22327

SAL 22327 started life as an Intermountain O Scale IC double door box car kit.


I sandblasted the factory paint off and redetailed the model completely using a long list of aftermarket parts from Chooch, Protocraft, Rich Yoder, Grandt Line and others.  After rebuilding and sandblasting the car looked like this:


…and after painting the car looked like this:


Let me tell you–I had to use A LOT of Scalecoat BC Red #1 on this car!

When the paint was dry a week later I began applying decals.  I used the beautiful Protocraft SAL-3 decal set which is set up for the SAL B-8 and B-9 single door box cars, and also ordered Protocraft SAL Supplement B which includes railroad monograms and the Automobile-Furniture wording.  The prototype cars were delivered in 1945 with monograms that said Railway, not Railroad (they changed to Railroad after 1946) and since I am finishing all my P48 cars to 1949-1950 I want the later monogram.  Here’s the the car looked after using those huge decals:


The prototype car was delivered in a 250-car lot from Pullman Standard’s Bessemer, Alabama plant in August, 1945 as part of the Lot #5803, and was assigned to SAL series 22200 – 22449.  It was painted Sherwin Williams Metallic Brown (sides, ends and underframe) with a car cement (black) roof and black trucks.  For reference, the as-delivered car looked like this in 1955 (courtesy Bob’s Photos):


Central of Georgia 10741

The final car I decaled last week was a Central of Georgia 40-foot flat car–a special-run from the Central of Georgia Historical Society.  I bought this car at St. Louis RPM last year and built it up a few months ago.  It is a Tichy car with a different stake pocket configuration.

Below, the car can be seen ready for decaling .  This is how I do it–I cut out all the decals on a piece of glass and lay them out, then get everything organized so I can get the actual decal-application work done quickly and efficiently.


The Central (of Georgia) is one of my all-time favorite railroads and they have one of the very best historical societies around.  The driving force behind the society is a great guy, Allen Tuten.  Allen can usually be found at St. Louis RPM and other events, selling models and historical material and proudly waving the flag.  If you’re interested in learning more about this society and the Central, check out their website at

The society sells the model to raise cash for a car prototype flat car rebuilding project.  In 2015 the society took possession of a 1925-built CofG flat car and they are slowly restoring it at the Roundhouse Museum in Savannah.  Proceeds from the model sales are going to the car restoration project.  You can read more about it on the website at  It’s a cool project and a worthy expenditure of 25 bucks.


I’m finishing my model as a post-1948 repaint, so freight car red is an appropriate color.  Prior to 1948 the cars would have been painted black. I used Tru Color WP red and will tone that color down a little bit with Dullcote and during the weathering process.   I added a few aftermarket parts such as Tahoe Andrews trucks with semi-scale wheelsets, Hi Tech air hoses with brass fixtures, and a few wire parts in the brake rigging.  The photo above shows the car after the decals were applied and with the first shot of Dullcote applied.  Weathering next.

NYC USRA Single-Sheathed Box Car

This is one of the beautiful Tichy USRA single-sheathed box car models.  I’ll write more about the model later, but here are a few photos of the final construction process.

The photos below show Archer rivets being added to the car ends.  I also added Detail Associated nut-bolt-washer castings at the grab iron attachments all the way around the car.


The stirrups are Yarmouth parts, and the air hoses are Hi Tech Details with brass fixtures, part number 6040.  I will use the Speedwitch NYC decal set for all the lettering.



Speaking of Speedwitch, Ted Culotta at Speedwitch recently introduced a decal set for the SAL B-10 PS-1 cars.  I have been wanting to repaint my Kadee PS-1 for years and thanks to Ted I can now do that easily.

Below.  This B-10 model has been around for a long time.  I took this photo in 2002 when I still lived in California.

SAL B-10 24910 Model JG

Over the years I replaced the trucks, wheelsets, couplers and repainted the roof to car cement color, but still I always wanted to repaint it to match the rest of my SAL fleet.  Below, here’s how the model looked last week:


The really amazing thing about the Kadee PS-1 is how great it is after 16-17 years.  It’s a testament to Kadee quality and that alone says a lot about the concepts of quality and excellence.  If a model is high quality and is prototypically accurate, its worth keeping.

Below.  This is how the car looks today.  It has been disassembled and is ready for a trip through the sandblasting booth.  I will use Scalecoat 2 Box Car Red #1 on the carbody, and black on the roof, trucks and underframe–all per the prototype.


EGBX 305

This is one of the newer Broadway Limited cars that I got from Hubert Mask of Mask Island Decals.  The manufacturer says it is a Type 27, 6,000-gallon, high-pressure car used to transport home heating fuels, propane, butane, and chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine and methyl chloride.  Through the 1950s the Niagara Falls area along the New York Central was a national leader in production of chemicals and other products.  I like this car a lot and although cars like this were probably rarely seen on the M&StL, it is a favorite and has found a place on my roster.

I intended to completely rebuilt this model but I didn’t want to ruin the factory paint, so I added virtually no aftermarket parts.  I added Kadee scale couplers, Tahoe 40-ton trucks with semi-scale wheelsets, and placard decals (not installed when I took this photo), and a short length of chain at the brake cylinder connection and that was it.  I weathered the car very lightly with AIM weathering powders and a thin mix of thinner, Dullcote and a dirt-colored paint.  That brightened up the black underframe and toned down the white and blended everything together.


There’s more on the workbench, and I’ll report on those doings next time.  Both HO and O scale models are being finished in anticipation of St. Louis RPM on 20-21 July.

I hope you all have a blessed week!  – John G

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