Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Produce shipping boxes, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced my project of making stacks of shipping boxes for the produce shipped by my layout’s packing houses. (You can read this post at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2017/08/produce-shipping-boxes-in-ho-scale.html .) I showed how I have modified some box labels to suit my own packing houses. In the present post, I want to show more examples of this label modification, and begin my model project.
     My Phelan & Taylor packing house is primarily a vegetable house, as was true of the prototype in its day. But there are modest quantities of oranges grown in this area, so I wanted to create an orange label also. Many citrus labels are quite busy and would not reproduce well in HO scale, so I wanted to find one with a simple design. Here is what I chose. It was actually used by a Los Angeles distributor.

The large lettering and the large orange in the image seemed ideal for reducing to HO size. I simply replaced the lettering in the blue field at the bottom to suit Phelan & Taylor.

     Another packing house on my layout, in the town of Ballard, is also a real packing company in the area, Western Packing. I have only found one of their labels so far, though it is a handsome one, as you see below.

The problem here is that the design is rather busy, as are many original labels. To illustrate that point, here is the label as reduced to HO scale and made into a box stack, like the one I showed in my previous post on this topic. The labels become a blur of color. I will use such a stack (or two), but here the impact of the label design is largely lost.

     Finally, here is one more label that I have yet to modify, probably for Phelan & Taylor, which I like because of the very “1950s” design look, and it reduces to HO scale all right. Shown below is the original, not yet modified to my own packing house name.

Incidentally, this packing company is still in business, not only in Oceano and Santa Maria, but with some facilities elsewhere in California and in Arizona. I showed their Oceano sign in a previous post (you can view it at this link: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2012/11/visiting-area-you-model-part-2.html ).
     Making the stacks of boxes is critically reliant on the labels, as they are by far the most noticeable part of a shipping box, and I think I am up to speed on groups of HO scale labels. Next step: build the stacks of boxes. That requires a return to the topic of box dimensions, which I will address in the following post.
Tony Thompson


  1. Nice post! The lettering in the blue field looks amazing.
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