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longer and taller configurations. The New York Central added a fleet of 60' doubledoor boxcars to serve both the auto and appliance industries. The prototype for the model featured here served the appliance industry. It was built and equipped for appliance loading. As such, it hauled washers and dryers, refrigerators and other appliances around the country. These cars roamed afar and as such should be appealing to a good many modelers targeting the late 1960s, the 1970s, and even well into the 1980s. One setting that I like to model is Penn Central. I have several PC locomotives in need of freight cars to pull. Since the PC was the combination of the New York Central and the Pennsylvania, and later the New Haven, it operated the industrys largest fleet of freight cars. While most of the freight cars inherited from the predecessor roads were eventually repainted into PC paint, this did not happen overnight. In fact, many freight cars remained in NYC and PRR paint throughout the PC era and into Conrail! To realistically model the Penn Central means having a reasonable proportion of your fleet representing both NYC and PRR cars along with some NH rolling stock as well. To this end I prepared the model featured here as a former NYC, now PC freight car. As you may have surmised by now, my New York Central boxcar began life as a Walthers model. In fact, it was one of the Walthers painted and pre-assembled models. Interestingly, when I first saw the model I didnt make the buy because Walthers sometimes will paint a model for a railroad that never had the models prototype. Yes, I am sometimes a prototype snob and want my freight cars to reasonably represent specific prototypes. So I wont buy a model just because it says New York Central on its sides! I wanted to do some investigating first. At any rate, I asked some prototype modeler buddies about the Walthers model, and they came back at me with a list of reasons why not to bother with the Walthers 60' boxcar if I want to model a NYC prototype. Not one to be easily discouraged I started looking for photos and found several of cars that were a reasonably close match for the Walthers model. Back to my buddies I went! Viewed from the side, the Walthers model looks right on target for NYC cars except for the models short ladders and missing roofwalk. Even the door type and sidesill appear right. The problem is with the ends. The top most rib needs to be smaller to match the NYC car. After more thought, I became convinced that if I was to have models of this New York Central prototype the Walthers car was the best way for me to go. Please note that I said for me. I am sure that for some folks this compromise is not acceptable. Compromise. Yes, compromise. Like it or not we all do it. Some of us compromise

more than others. Admittedly, I would rather the model match the NYC prototype, but it doesnt. I admit it, and I can live with it. The challenge is to determine what compromises will work for each of us. For me the alternative is to do without this model. Walthers offers a 2-pack and single cars that provide the modeler with three different car numbers to work with. Yes, I had to have all three! Cast-on detail is very nice. Add-on detail is okay, but not great. Though the ladders are add-ons (applied at the factory) they are on the hefty side. The rungs are three to four times thicker than they should scale out to be. The nice thing about them is that there is no need to carve them off, thus messing up the paint job. I replaced the ladder rungs with .010 brass rod. I altered my model to represent one of the NYC cars as it would have appeared in the mid-1970s, presumably after the roofwalk had been removed, ladders shortened, and the brakewheel lowered. Many of these cars retained their high ladders and roofwalks well into the 1970s. I plan to have my other two NYC cars represent

ders, scale brakewheel, scale stirrups (metal if possible), metal grabirons, air hoses and coupler cut levers, and underbody brake rigging whenever reasonable. I also make good use of the new generation of Kadee #58 and #78 near-scale couplers. Should Kadee ever offer a true scale couple I will probably add it to my list of must-include items. Along with updating standard detail on my freight cars I also want to employ the latest in weathering methods learned over the past few years. Friend Mike Rose has really made a positive impact on the hobby with his method of applying oil paints to represent rust on freight cars. Mikes work has impressed me and changed how I weather models. Though I have changed my weathering techniques many times over my years in model railroading, I do not use oil paints. I believe that the same effects can be achieved using acrylic paints. The model featured here was weathered using MODELflex and Polly Scale acrylic paints. If you have seen Mikes fine work, and now this model, you can compare and decide for yourself which

Here is the bottom of the model outboard from the truck bolster. You can see the Kadee #78 coupler and the strip styrene that represents the frame center sill and also sandwiches the coupler draft gear for strength. Also shown are the A-Line formed metal stirrup steps and some of the brake rigging. Replacement ladder rungs are Tichy formed .010 metal grabirons that were drilled for and secured with Cyanopoxy. cars with the roofwalk and high ladders. Since the Walthers model comes only with low ladders and no roofwalk, more extensive modifications will be called for, but thats another story. My freight car standard calls for, at a minimum, scale roofwalk, separate ladavenue will work best for you. Lets start simple and warm up to the more difficult steps. The first order of business is to remove the trucks. Next, remove the three Phillips-head screws that hold each coupler assembly in place. This coupler draft gear swings side-to-side for

JUNE 2004


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