Tuesday 11 December 2012

Atlas New 40' CNR boxcar

The new Atlas kit in the foreground and a finished Branchline kit to the rear are exactly the same other than numbering and the style of the maple leaf herald.
A former Branchline kit
Atlas has released their new line of ex-Branchline AAR style 40 foot boxcars. I picked up my CNR version boxcar at Doug's Trains here in London recently. I had already built a CNR Branchline boxcar kit a few years ago so I had something to compare this new model with. Everything in the box seemed the same as in the Branchline kit including the instruction sheet which was exactly the same when I compared the two together, other than the name was changed at the top. There is a difference between the two CNR boxcars in numbering and the maple leaf herald style. The Branchline model has the tilt style "Serves all Canada" wafer used prior to 1954 in the maple leaf while the new Atlas model wears the straight style wafer which was first used in 1954.

These models are not a perfect match for the CNR fleet but reflect the cars well enough with some pretty fine details included. If you are modeling the CV like I am, you will need a lot of these CNR boxcars. I remember reading stats stating that around 1955, 50% of the boxcars handled at White River Junction on the Central Vermont Ry. were  CNR boxcars. If you don't have a ton of cash to purchase a fleet of True Line Train, prototypical correct CNR boxcars, these can be a great value substitute.

My newly finished Atlas CNR boxcar with the wafer herald applied from 1954 onward.
I built the Atlas model the same as I did my Branchline kit. Everything fit together well. I changed out the couplers with Kadee #58 scale couplers. I added a wire bleed rod, and bent wire uncoupling lever. I shaved off the molded on side grabs and replace them with Detail Associates #FC 6209 grabs. I touched up the areas showing plus the grabs with Floquil boxcar red using a fine brush. The brake wheel included in the kit is very fine. I saw no need to change it out. The roof walk is fairly thin and straight, so I also used it.

I gave the entire car a light coat of Floquil boxcar red. Some areas such as the sides got scuffed up a little. These areas got a little extra coating. Since all my other CNR boxcars are pretty clean I decided to go heavier with the Bragdon powders, especially on the roof. This boxcar including the added details was only a Saturday morning-early afternoon project...George Dutka

My finished Branchline model as lettered prior to 1954.

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