40' PS-1 model roundup

Mark Mathu

I'm working on a short piece for my RR historical society on the GBW's 40'
PS-1 boxcar fleet. I'd like to at least touch on some of the available
commercial model choices in various scales at the end of the article. Being
an HO scale modeler, I have and am familiar with the Intermountain / Kadee /
Accurail / Walthers versions of these cars, but there are others and other
scales which I am less familiar with. Can anyone -- or multiple people --
give a brief (1 - 3 sentences) review in general terms of their thoughts on
how well these models match the 40' PS-1 prototypes? I'd appreciate
comments on specific production eras the models are most appropriate for,
and any shortcomings the model may have -- height, width, just poor tooling.
No need to be concerned about how well they match specific GBW car series, I
can combine the comments with past messages on the [STMFC] list and sort
that out.

Obviously if a modeler is a nit-picker they'd research more detail than the
simple info I'd be laying out. But I'd like to at least touch on some of
the model available for a casual modeler who wants to put a GBW PS-1 on the
layout, and explain why (or why not) a specific model would be a good choice
for certain car series. Their predominant car was GBW 700-899 built 1950
with 6' Superior doors, but they also had smaller numbers of some
later-production 9' door cars and even some second hand early-production
cars. I have Ed Kaminski's book on PS freight cars.

Here's the 40' PS-1 scale models I've identified:

HO Kadee - to me it's the gold standard. 1950+ body style. They seem to
get everything right for specific models. (They are now available in kits,
and they are producing a modernized 50' PS-1 so hopefully they'll apply that
to the 40' PS-1 at some point in the future. )

HO Intermountain - also pretty good. 1954+ body style with wide bolster
tabs. Available in 6', 7', 8' doors (oh how I wish they had 9' doors!).

HO Accurail - pre 1950 car body. The bolster tabs indicate a 1954+ body
style, and the eight foot door of the model wasn't produced until 1951.

HO Front Range / McKean -

HO Walthers Mainline - pre 1950 car body. The see-through running board on
this car is really good (I was quite surprised for a RTR car with cast-on
details), even the cast-on grab irons and ladders are pretty nice. The left
side car step is an odd shape.

HO AHM / Model Power / Con-Cor - probably the best thing on this model was
the diamond-panel PS door.

HO Cannonball Car Shops / Kurtz Kraft -

O Weaver -

O Atlas -


N Atlas - It sounds like they set a new standard for N scale boxcars when
they released this in 2013.

N Train-Miniature - Seems like it doesn't compare to the Atlas model, but
since this has been around for decades they are literally thousands of these
rolling on model layouts right now.

Others? Did anyone produce a modernized version of a 40' PS-1 with cut-down

Mark Mathu
Whitefish Bay, Wis.

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