Re: Milw Road SS box cars...
Mark Mathu asked:
"Short of using the Sunshine kit, does anyone have recommendations
for a more economical (i.e. a simple styrene kit) to serve as
a "stand-in" or "close enough" model for these cars? The closest
I've identified is the Accurail #7000 6-Panel boxcar with wood ends,
but the prototype had lumber doors on the ends and a straight center
sill as opposed to the Accurail fishbelly sill. If anyone can top
that model, I'd love to hear about it."
It depends what factor is more important to you - how a freight car
model looks standing alone or how it looks in context in the yard or
a train, because the MILW cars came in two heights - 8' 6" and 9' 3".
The Accurail #7100 car with Dreadnaght ends is a better stand-in for
the taller cars in the 714000 series.
The center sill is easily corrected using 2 x 12 styrene strip, and
the model has the correct Hutchins roof and comparable Z-section
truss members. There's still a difference of 3" of inside height
between the model and this prototype, but the model does capture its
The Accurail #7000 car with wood ends is not as good a stand-in for
the 8' 6" cars, mainly because it's tall enough to change the
overall proportions of the car. Even though there's "only" a 4"
difference in inside heights between the model and prototype, it's
enough to alter the "low-slung" look of 8' 6"/8' 7" 40-foot
boxcars. Visualize the difference in proportions between an
X29/USRA-design steel boxcar and the USRA SS/DS boxcars and you'll
see what I mean.
Unfortunately, there's not as good a stand-in for the lower cars.
The Walthers/Train-Miniature single-sheathed boxcar with "braced"
ends gives you the right proportions and also has Z-section truss
members, but you'll need to modify the underframe to get rid of the
fishbelly and correct the kingpin-striker distance to 5 feet, modify
the doors to get rid of the oversized door tracks and "claws", and
the roof is incorect. You can conceivably replace the roof with the
Hutchins roof from any Accurail single-sheathed boxcar, but it's up
to you to decide whether or not that approaches the point of