Sunshine C&O Rebuilt Box Car Hints


Scott Pitzer
 

Re the kit for the 2000-2799 series rebuilt in 1939 from USRA single sheathed cars:

1) I've said that I'd probably be satisfied if bracket grabs on box car sides were done by casting the brackets as part of the side, and leaving the modeler to add a wire across the two brackets. You lose the "air" behind the brackets, but there isn't that much air there, and you don't have those drilling and mounting and flying out of the tweezers issues. This kit is done this way, and at first the only problem I noticed was that the brackets are a bit larger than they should be. But I didn't try to reduce them.
LATER, much later, when using the grabs as "landmarks" to help position the lettering, I realized they're cast too high on the sides-- and the bottom one doesn't line up with the adjacent grab on the end. So in this case I'd recommend shaving them off and using Red Caboose or your favorite.

2) Note that the radial roof should have a gap at the sides similar to later "overhang" roofs. I got it right on one side, but there was a problem (too much of a gap) on the other side. At this point I only had about six small drops of glue holding the roof. I think what I should have done was push the problem side in a bit... instead, I pushed the roof DOWN and flooded it with ACC. So on one side the roof kind of sags. My mistake... your learning opportunity!

3) There are attachment points molded on the side sill for towing staples, but I didn't see anything about them in the instructions. (Is it in there?)

4) The right side of the lower door track was just hanging out in space, in front of the angles of the side sill, so I glued some bits of styrene across the gaps.

5) Using the kit's decals will probably cause the car to stand out as different from any other C&O box cars you have. It should stand out for it's construction details but be decorated like other cars of the era. Lettering style seems too light and airy, weight and dimensions have too much space between characters, and too much space between lines. "Something that was handy on the computer" I guess. I used Champ and Microscale leftovers for most of the car's lettering.

I'm glad to have the car, finally, and all in all the construction went well. The separate side sill piece to be attached below and behind the car side was scary when I opened the box, but there was no problem there at all.

Scott Pitzer

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