Monday, January 5, 2015

Building a resin box car, Part 3

In the first post about this topic, I described my approach to my “phase 1,” what I call the “mechanicals” of building a kit, and here is a link to that post: . The second post described what I call the detailing, that is, the adding of all details that are applied to the kit, and that post can be found here: . In this third and final post, I cover the painting, lettering and weathering of the car.
     The prototype Burlington box cars were painted a reddish shade of boxcar red. Exactly how red, I have not been able to pin down, but since I was planning significant weathering of the model, the exact base color was less important than if the model represented a car fresh from the shop. My choice was to add about 25 percent Daylight Red to some boxcar red paint (in this case, all classic Floquil), and this did produce a reddish boxcar color. I airbrushed the model all over, including underbody, with this mixture. (For more on airbrushing, you can read my recent post about this technique, at: .) Here is how it looked at that point:

The model here is still supported on my “interim truck support blocks.” Those were described in an earlier post, which you can find at this link: .
     The Speedwitch kit provides excellent decals for this car, and the same decals are available separately from Speedwitch. The lettering to be applied depends on era. To summarize what Ted Culotta said in his Essential Freight Cars article (no. 10), in Railroad Model Craftsman, February 2004: in the 1930s, the rectangular “Burlington Route” emblem was placed on the car door, but in 1937, that emblem was moved to the far left of the car side, and the new “Everywhere West” script slogan was placed on the door. Finally, in the early 1940s, the black background to the Burlington Route emblem was discontinued.
     Cars like this were usually repainted around every ten years to protect the wood sheathing. So for my modeling year of 1953, I need to omit that black background. I also want to decal the car so as to show reweigh changes in capacity data. Here is a link to a corrected version of my article in Railroad Model Craftsman (April 2011, page 72) about reweighing (RMC screwed up some details, thus the correction):

     The way I do this is either to apply decals for the full capacity data, and later go back and paint over part of the numbers, or else initially decal without the numbers that will be changed; then I save that part of the decal, and apply after the repainting. I chose to do the latter here. The first step, then, was to apply all decals except the ones to be added later for the “reweigh” appearance. Here is the relevant corner of the car side at this point:

Obviously I have omitted the “hundreds place” numbers, which in most cases were all that had to be changed after a reweigh.
     Next I complete all weathering, including the area shown above. For that process, I applied my usual acrylic wash methods. which are linked at: . Then a coat of clear flat protects the weathering, followed by Glosscoat (from the bottle, not the rattle can), applied with a brush, just in the area to receive the reweigh decals, along with the repack data at the far right of the car side.
     The area of the newly stenciled reweigh numbers (and station symbol and date) can be painted, or colored decal can be used. I often use the boxcar-red decal sheets once included in Sunshine Models decal sets for reweigh data.

The color patch is sized to fit the decal elements remaining to be added. Note the added depth below the existing data. On these box cars, the reweigh station symbol was aligned beneath the capacity data, so that’s why I’ve provided that space here.
     To finish the model, I then added some chalk marks and route cards (explained in this post: ). Here is a photo of it. You can click on the image to enlarge it.

     As a one-piece body kit, this box car is not too difficult to build. A number of kits from Westerfield and Funaro & Camerlengo are also available in this form. If you have never tried to build a resin kit, one like this might be a good place to start.
Tony Thompson

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