Friday, 22 May 2015

40' Soo Line Double Door Boxcars

A CV through freight passes the old Crosby Coal structure on the White River Division with two Soo Line double door boxcars headed to WRJ.
The Ongoing Boxcar Project
Images by George Dutka...............Narrative by Peter Mumby

In a post from a couple of seasons ago (Using Up C&BT Boxcar Shells - Nov 17, 2012), George outlined our plan to build a number of 40' boxcars utilizing parts we had on hand.  Years of attending train shows and acquiring bulk "deals" had left me with a carton of good quality shells, a box of Proto 2000 boxcar parts, assorted other detail parts, plus a large assortment of decal lettering.  The shells had no moulded-on ladders or grab irons, and included a variety of door opening sizes.  We both had assorted trucks and couplers available, so we decided we could build a variety of cars with no further cash outlay.

The first order of business was to decide on which cars to model.  We had to strike a balance between prototypes of interest and ones for which we could locate photos and available lettering sets.  After a little research through our respective books and files of magazine articles, we each selected six prototypes, set the decals aside, and made notes of photo locations.  The appropriate shells were labelled accordingly, and things got underway.  As you can see from the Nov 2012 post, we both selected a P&LE car for our initial effort. 

Quite a bit of time passed before our next boxcars left the shop.  Our weekly work sessions are about three hours in duration, and the boxcar project by and large was relegated to "filler" status.  Any day when we had an extra half hour, out would come the boxcar shells and a few more grab irons would be added.  Our next post on this project came on Apr 02, 2015, when our New Haven cars were featured.

This is George Dutka's Soo Line build. These cars had black ends.

 We had each selected a Soo 40' double door car as a modelling candidate, and these cars came next.  As a reference we used a Jan 1998 article from Railmodel Journal.  This was a magazine that really excelled at presenting rolling stock photos and data.  According to this article, the cars in the 758xx number series came with black ends, and this feature was of interest to us both.  The C&BT underbodies were sufficiently well detailed that only bleed rods were added; the shells received the regular complement of metal grabs, stirrups and cut levers, see-through roof walks, and appropriate doors and ladders.  George airbrushed both cars, then he lettered the 75824 with a set of Champion decals.  I used a very nice set from the Soo Line Historical and Technical Society to letter the 75846.

Along with the Soo car I decided to model a modernized Milwaukee car that I found in the Morning Sun book Milwaukee Road Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment.  Number 18039 had shortened ladders on the A end and had had its roof walk removed.  The variety of patched-out data made this car particularly appealing to me.  The detailing was the same as the Soo cars, with the exception of the roof walk.  George painted this car for me as well, and it was lettered with an assortment of Microscale and Herald King decals.  To replicate the weathered appearance of the roof, it was dry brushed with aluminum, black, and boxcar red paints.

George applied a flat finish to all three cars, then they were lightly weathered with powders and PanPastels.  We each have a few shells remaining from our original selections, but these will probably be held in abeyance until the beginning of the next modeller's season.  Oh, and George has been checking out my carton of 50' boxcar shells - I guess we'll have to be on the lookout for a few more interesting prototype photos!

Peter Mumby's two double door boxcars before weathering.
A closer look at George's car. The weathering used on this model was on the lighter side. Unloading information is seen on the tack board.
Here we see Peter's two completed models. The Milwaukee Road car is modeled with roof walks removed.

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