Above: Freshly shopped and ready for hauling some newsprint rolls.
The fun part about building boxcars is you can have endless variety to play with: a boring 40′ boxcar might look like the next boring 40′ boxcar, and it probably is to most people, but there’s often little details, intricacies and changes between any two specimens picked out of a sample population. And why have one, when you can have…two? *Raises eyebrow*.
This particular specimen, CN 567417, was another one of the “Bramalea Trifecta” that sat on a disused spur at Consumers Glass (later Owens Illinois) in Brampton, until they went bye-bye a few years back (all cut up for scrap). It was one of many old outdated 6′ door 40′ boxcars CN rebuilt in the 60’s and 70’s with larger 9′ doors to allow easier forklift loading. Historically, they had scads and scads of the things, so why not put them to good use continuing to make money.
Above: Looking closely at the prototype car, you can seen that the door is in fact, yellow. Faded yellow, or painted over yellow, but yellow – more on why later. Another thing to keep in mind is the brown paint’s had at least two decades if not more of sun tanning sans SPF 100 and umbrella, so has shifted from a darker brown to a faded red. Someone need to tell the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to do a better job trimming their bushes, as that inconveniently placed one hides a better view of the door.
Always research and know your prototype: my intel gathered through various sources say this little 40’er (for the detail inclined: 10’6″ roof, AAR 1944 variety, so you don’t buy the wrong kit to build) was originally built by the Eastern Car Company as CN 534856 in October of 1952, and rebuilt by CN in March 1971 with 9′ doors. Disposition is the same as 568764 – retired, sold to Consumers Glass in Brampton Ont. as a storage shed, sat around for years in view of everyone passing by on Highway 410, and finally cut up to become new soup cans and Toyotas in July 2014. Such is the fate of many old freight cars.
Quickie Build Notes / You’ve Seen This Before.
The model started off as a Branchline Blueprint HO-scale kit, and was built basically the same way the CN 568764 build article outlines (it’s a great article, I recommend clicking it after reading this page). Notably the door, door track, and sill modifications were done the same way.
Above: Even with the new 9′ door on, it doesn’t look like much. But, that’s how most things in life start out. The difference is if they still look like that in 2 years after putting it in the box in frustration or not (this one only took 7 months). The very shiny Amtrak Superliner in the background was one of many in for client contract work. The whole desk was literally full of them, and the shine was blinding anyone passing by.
But the spice of life is change, and a few changes were made to reflect the prototype more accurately: a newer diagonal panel roof was added (in place of the kit’s stock raised-panel roof), the original Improved Dreadnaught Ends in the kit were kept (with the top pins trimmed narrower). As well, the sill tabs for the stirrup steps were trimmed off, as this was rebuilt from a later car that had stirrups mounted to the underside of the body and to the ladders (this often varied depending on the car rebuilt, and sometimes CN messed around with this). Tichy 8-rug ladders with the stirrups attached were used in place of the stock kit’s ladders, and bent wire rugs for the “left” side stirrups. The usual amount of grab irons, underbody details, and other tiny knick-knacks that shoot out of tweezers and get lost on the floor were then added (on the plus side, every time you clean your desk or floor, you find some new parts).
Above: In best Dom DeLuise voice: “Awesome, Wonderful!” CN 567417 is nearly done up to the nines with the usual fancy detailing, and nearly ready for
a night on the town the basement paint shoppe queue.
Paint, paint, paint!…this car was painted in its as-rebuilt early 70’s appearance, complete with flashy yellow door CN applied to designate for handling paper, newsprint, and other high-class merchandise (as these cars got older and newer, younger and better looking 50 foot boxes replaced them, the doors were often repainted or painted brown for general merchandise use). Early COTS single-block stencils and ACI car tags were also applied for that 70’s style.
The brown body paint was custom mixed (twice – funny story: I ran out of my custom mix when I painted 567417 and 440601, so didn’t have any for 568764. Hours were spent playing with different paint-matching mixes to get one mixed close, very close, oh so close, to the other two. It’s so close that 99.99/100 people can’t pick out the difference, but of course I can). The decals were the custom set by Sean Steele/Canuck Models (I won an extra freebie set by guessing the tiny lettering that was too small to read, in fact, said it was too small to read). The yellow doors were painted with a mix of TLT CP Diesel Yellow and CP Action Yellow to give a freshly shopped look. So delish.
The usual amount bling-bling was added: coupler boxes drilled and tapped for 2-56 screws, Kadee #58 couplers all around, the stock Branchline metal wheelsets and truck frames (painted brown, because that’s how CN rolled). Enfin, achevée!
Above: B-end, with top view. That yellow lettering box, applied only by the tall B-end ladders, warns people that they’re in for a surprise if they think that ladder leads to a roofwalk.
Again, as I mentioned in the last article, that french lettering often isn’t on the side you think it’s on, so always check and double-check your reference photos.
Above: Angled A-end ground view. Around what you’d probably see if you too were 1:87 scale.
Above: Comparing the ribbed NSC-2 ends on 568764 to the Improved Dreadnaught (IDE) ends on 567417. Even as I type this, I have to remind myself to go back and fix that loose brakewheel grating walkway on 567417. _Someone_keeps_forgetting_.
Above: Bros chillin’ on the patio with brewskies: two “XM”s (AAR code for general boxcar) mingle together, awaiting a call to duty.
More boxcar madness to follow? Perhaps, perhaps not…