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July 2001 - Page 36

Improving Walthers Arcticars

The Ice Boxes of Today
A simple detailing project for improving these massive cars.

by Ed Sanicky and W. Terry Stuart
Photos by W. Terry Stuart unless otherwise indicated

Look closely underneath the car and youll see a suggestion of the brake piping added by Ed Sanicky. These details, along with the cut levers and replacement brake wheel, turn what is essentially a shake-the-box kit into a far more prototypical representation. The car has been very lightly weathered with powdered chalks.


hey are eye-catching at the very least, s o much so that they have become a k ind of contemporary billboard reefer f or the food producers who use them. On a l ayout, they tend to tower above ev erything else on the rails. Theyre taller a nd only a tad shorter than auto parts hicubes. Their unique technology (a carbon d ioxide refrigeration system using no moving parts) will no doubt result in them e ventually replacing the more interesting m echanical refrigerator cars now in use. ( Another reason to be thankful we are m odelers who arent forced to change

with the times.) In any case, for the model r ailroader whose layout focus is todays c alendar date, having a few of these huge c ars on the roster is almost a necessity for prototype accuracy. Fortunately, Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., has done the bulk of the work necessary for us to acquire a beautifully decorated series (their 5450 product code) of these cars. But as with most plastic kits, a few simple upgrades will produce an even more satisfying model. Builder Ed Sanicky first used a 2 ' 6 " length of Evergreen Scale Models #8406 4" by 6" styrene strip to fabricate two brake

levers (see Figure 1 ). These strips are secured inside the channel of the u nd erframe between the second a nd third cross members on each end inboard of the truck bolsters. Next Ed drilled .078 holes in all of t he brake system parts to correspond




Figure 1


CRYX 1333 is the Byberry, which has stopped at CSXTs division point in New Castle, PA. As David G. Casdorph pointed out in the August 1995 Model Railroading, these cryogenic reefers are the new technology niche of the old ice reefers. Instead of ice in the bunker, theres C02. DASH TWO Photo by Joe Jack


JULY 2001

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