It’s time to get started on some freight car builds. There are things to do with the layout as well, but Spring in the Midwest has so far been very wet and that makes some of the work to have materials dry difficult. I’ll get there.
In the mean time, I’ve selected a Northern Pacific 36’ boxcar model made by Rails Unlimited as the first of the cars to build for this new layout.
Protocraft says about these cars on their website: “Built by Pressed Steel in 1903, the N.P. received 1,700 of these Class XM 36’ wood boxcars with the outside fishbelly underframe arrangement. Series were 37300-38999.”
Rails Unlimited sells car kits “a la carte”. That means you get the car body, and all the details are up to you. That allows for serving O 2 rail, and Proto:48 modelers, and people who want more or less detail, depending on preference.
I’m in this scale now for the details. That said, I was excited to acquire this car as an already assembled body. Rails Unlimited has cars as flat kits or one piece assembled cars. Not having to glue-up the body get’s me ahead, and let’s me focus, for this first car (there are lots of flat kits in the stash to come later) on the details and construction.
As part of the process of determining what parts I want to use, I’ve acquired a sampling from several sources. Grab irons, brake equipment, grab irons, sill steps, etc… have all come from a variety of suppliers. With that in mind, let’s go through what I plan to do to with this model.
First, the car body. From Rails Unlimited as I said previously. This model has a great amount of detail already in the casting including some of the bolt heads for grab irons, the train line is in place, nice door hardware, and the roof walk and laterals. The level of detail just in the casting is better than I would have been expecting, and more than I have seen coming from HO. The drill locations for adding grabs are evident and everything appears to be nice and clean.
Now, the details.
For the brakes, as the prototypes had KC brake systems, I bought some samples of Precision Scale, Scale City, and San Juan examples. I’ve chosen the systems from San Juan as my preference for the detail in the parts. For sill steps I have some from Chooch and some from Tichy here, and I still haven’t made a decision on which to use. Grab irons are going to be Tichy or custom bent, while the brake equipment on the car end is from Chooch including the platform. Couplers, I have decided to use couplers made by Protocraft that are magnetically operated. They will mount in Kadee-style coupler boxes. To my delight, Hi-Tech details makes O scale air hoses, so those will be applied. Protocraft has decals for these cars (though in 1928 I won’t have the NP herald on the car). Similarly, the arch-bar trucks for the car are also to be Protocraft. I’ve chosen Scalecoat as my paint of choice for the car when I get it finished.
We’ll cover weathering updates when I get there. Some of the keys to my HO scale toolbox I’ll be discarding or upgrading and changing. It’s time to learn new things there as well.
With everything here to get started, and a long weekend ahead, we’ll see how much work I can get done. I’m looking forward to sharing the progress.