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January-February 1985 - Page 36


t ered t he C onrail e ra; t he c ontrast i n a ge b etween t hese a nd t he m odern c ars s hould b e m ade a s o bvious a s t he c on trast i n s ize. T he g ood n ews i s t hat we c an r eadily a ccomplish t his t hrough wea thering. T he n ot-so-good n ews i s t hat t he o nly H O -scale 4 0-foot A AR s teel b oxcars c ommercia ll y a vailable d epict p reWorld W ar I I d esigns w hich h ave l ong s ince d isappeared f rom t he n ation 's r ailroads . We 're d ealing w ith a s ituation i n w hich t here a re n o 4 0-foot A AR b oxcar m odels t hat a re h istorically c orrect f or o peration o n a l ayout depicting t he m odern e ra. T he m odern 4 0-foot c ars w e r efer t o w ere d istinguished b y i mproved d readnaught e nds , d iagonal p anel r oofs , 7-foot 9 -inch d oors a nd o ften s traight s ills. M any s uch c ars a lso h ad w elded s eams. A ll t hese f eatures v ary f rom t hose o f t he A thearn a nd M odel D iecasting o fferings c urrently available . A s p rototype m odelers b ecome m ore k nowledgeab le a nd s ophisticated , t he q uestion o f h ow t o e asily m odel t he m ore c ontemporary 4 0-foot A AR b oxcars f requently a rises. B egin w ith a n MDC N o. 1 250 5 0 -foot p lug d oor b oxcar, c utting 1 0 s cale f eet f rom t he m etal u nderframe u sing a j eweler 's s aw. U sing a r azor s aw, c ut a nd r emove 1 0 s cale f eet f rom t he m iddle (including t he d oor) o f t he o nepiece b ody c asting. We a rrive a t a p roperly c onfigured 4 0-foot b ody b y c ementing t he t wo s hell e nds t ogether. I f w e w ish t o m odel t he c ar w ithout t he r oof w alk , f ill t he r oof h oles w ith s hort l engths o f p lastic s prue a nd c ement i n p lace. A fter t he c ement h as h ad t ime t o d ry , file t he s prue p lugs t o t he p roper s hape m a tching t he r oofs c ontour. R emove w hat r emains o t he d oor t racks. f R eassemble t he u nderframe b y b utting t he t wo "end " s ections a nd f astening t he r emoved 1 0-foot c enter s ection d irectly o ver t he s eam ; u se e poxy f or t h e s plice . T his p rovides b oth a dded s trength a nd n eeded w eight. T his r elatively s mall a mount o f w ork f or t he k itbasher p rovides a n ice s tarting p Oint f or m odeling a l arge va riet y o f p ost-World W ar I I A AR b oxcars . P rototype p hotos w ill p rovide i nformation n ecessary t o a dd t he d etails t hat a re p articular t o d ifferent c a rs. S everal m odel m anufacturers , p rincipally i ncluding D etail A ssociates a nd A thearn , h ave a w ide v ariety o f b oxcar d oor s tyles a vailable i n d ifferent s izes. S ince a h ole w as n ot c ut f or a d oor o pening i n o ur c ar, t he n ew d oor w ill b e i nstalled a nd f ixed i n t he c losed p osition. T ack b oards a nd l atches c an be r epositioned i f n eeded , w hile e ssential d etails s uch a s d oor t racks a nd s ide s ills c an b e e asily f abricated f rom E vergreen s tyrene s trips. F urther d etail c hanges c an i nclude

The photos on this p age show the results o f two m ore kitbashing projects using the MDC 50-foot p lug d oor b o xcar as the basis for creating m odern 4 0-foot b oxcars-PC 137812 a nd BN 189420. To b e c ompatible with the Conrail era, the Penn Central c ar s hould show its a ge-and t he a uthor has a ccomplished this through c arefully p lanned a nd e xecuted weathering, e specially t he a ppearance o f rust o n the roof. Another fine t ouch is the d oor w ear streaks n ear t he PC logo. An interesting yard, with stacked ties a nd a spare rail , a dds t o the realism o f the scene.

A m odeler o f C onsolidated Rail C orporation w ould definitely r equire a variety of Penn Central b oxcars for o peration on the layout. This view shows the oppOSite side of PC 137812, with an ACI Kartrak l abel , d oor wear streaks a nd a d arkened side sill in evidence.

The t echnique o f converting M odel Die Casting 50-foot b o xcars into 4 0-foot b o xcars is n ot limited t o Conrail or it s predecessor railroads. Witness the author's m odel o f Burlington N orthern's 189420, w hich has b een "customized" with d iagonal rivet lines o n both sides of the door.

r eplacing s tirrup s teps w ith o nes fabricated f rom s him b rass , c utting d own l adders a nd l owering t he b rake w heel f or s imulating' p ost-1970 p ractice , s having a way r ivets a nd s cribing s eams t o r epresent w e ld ed c ars , a dding c ut -levers a nd f abricating b rake r ods a nd a ir l ines. B esides p ersonal o bservation a nd

p hotos , t he O fficial R ailway E qu i pment R egister m ay y ield v a lu a ble i nformation , e specially c oncerning a n e arlier e ra . C ars i n a p articular s e ri es m ay h ave b een r ebuilt o r r e- e quipp ed t o h andle a s pecific l ading , a ll v ariations t hat a re a s ource o f c halle nge a nd c reative s atisfaction t o t he p rototype m odeler.
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