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  • Western Pacific 40' M-W Box Car

    by Dan Crews

    Page 50: Note the changes to the standard paint scheme that typify this Maintenance of Way car; it's what makes it distinctive. The importance of the small panel of different colored paint behind the reporting marks and car number really make a big difference. Photo is by the author.

    Page 51: The HO model of this M-W car closely adheres to the prototypes paint scheme even to the patch behind the number. Dan Crews' photo.
    Prototype Modeler - August 1977 - Page 50 Prototype Modeler - August 1977 - Page 51

    Just about every plastic kit model rail road manufacturer makes a 40' box car; I chose to use an Athearn car in this project since it is closest to the prototype of this M-W car.

    First, I removed the grab irons and ladders from the car including those on the ends. Use a fine file to smooth the end areas (be careful not to gouge the end with the knife blade when removing the ladders or grab irons), sand these areas smooth.

    The next step is a matter of choice: this is a welded car and the rivets should not appear on the car. If you prefer, remove them; I didn't feel this was necessary and I left them on my model.

    There should be a vent on each side of the car centered 4'-9" in from the end and 1'-9" from the bottom. The vent is made of screen 9" x 9" (No. 40 screen). There is a small shield covering the 1'-0" long x 4" wide hole in the car. I elected not to cut this hole in the model but this is just personal preference. I cemented the vent screen to the side; made and cemented the shield over it.

    At this point, fill in the running board mounting holes in the roof where the plastic piece would have gone. File these areas flat and then sand them smooth.

    Using 20 weight screen, cut one piece 1'-3" wide and 42'-0" long, then two sections 2'-3" wide x 3'-9" long. These are the running boards.

    The ladder used is from Walthers. It was cut to the proper height of the car and four holes were drilled into the side to hold it in place, use a No. 72 drill (see Figure 1). Holes were then drilled in the car body to hold the grab irons, use a No: 79 drill.

    Cement the running boards in place. The screen used on my models was purchased from a NAPA auto parts store. The price may vary from store to store. Apply the couple pin lifter (see Figure 2).

    It should be stressed that prototype photos should be used to help in modeling the car.

    Use Floquil Barrier on the car before painting. This is not a mandatory thing: I have never used it and have never had any trouble, but if you have problems with painting your rolling stock then, by all means, use it. It may determine the outcome. The car was painted with Floquil Box Car Red and allowed to dry. The underbody was painted Floquil Engine Black and allowed to dry for several hours. At this point, Kadee couplers and trucks were applied and painted.

    The area behind the reporting marks on both the sides and ends of the car should be a lighter color of box car red and must be painted before the number is decaled on the side; the same should be done on the ends (see both model and prototype photos).

    After painting, the car was lettered with Champ and Walthers decals. Use Champ decal sheet No. 350 and Walthers Western Pacific box car set in yellow. The only portion of the Walthers decal set used will be the "Western" in medium lettering. On the Champ decal sheet note that "The Western Way" is in script; the "Western" must be changed to block lettering. The "Western" that will be used is just a little too big but it "looks" good and not at all out of place.

    On the ends of the car the reporting marks should be white and are in this sequence - WPMW 0242. The number and railroad lettering on the side should be in white. The white lettering and numbering were just some white decals of the right size and style laying around that I had from an old Walthers Western Pacific caboose set. Any 9" lettering and number ing in the correct style can be used. After the decaling is complete and dry then spray the car with Floquil Flat finish. Allow this to dry overnight. Add weathering to your taste. Even after all these years, this car is in excellent shape.

    Article Details

    • Original Author Dan Crews
    • Source Prototype Modeler
    • Publication Date August 19777

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