Accurail 4211 Erie SS boxcar w wood door


A&Y Dave in MD
 

I bought a set of Accurail HO scale wooden box car kits at $3 each to practice weathering on wooden boxcars, SS and DS, before I tackle my resin kits. But if I'm going to the trouble of putting these together and weather them, I'd like to know if I can make them match anything reasonably well and with what level of effort.

The first one is an Erie car with road number is 92514 and according to the data on the side, it was a 50 ton car built in 1923. It is Accurail's single sheathed 40' boxcar kit with wood door and 7-7 corrugated steel ends. (I didn't see the 4200 series listed in the Accurail catalog on their web site, but the 4100 and 4300 series showed Erie-lettered offerings).

My 1926 ORER on DVD does list 199 Erie cars in the 92500-92699 series of 50 ton capacity, interior dimensions of L 40'9" x W 8'6" and H 9'2 1/8" for 3098 cu ft capacity, and a 6' door. It also states in footnote BB that some cars in this series were lettered for the New Jersey & New York Railroad. I'm not an Erie modeler or historian, so I haven't seen a photo of such a car, and I'm not even sure the Accurail model is anything other than roughly analogous to a prototype for this or any other railroad.

I haven't even removed the clear plastic wrap from this box. I did a search of this group's archives on terms like Erie SS box and Accurail O.B. Box (how it's labeled), and didn't turn up a description or discussion of the Accurail SS 40' box car model and what it might be good for, if anything. I have a couple with different lettering and variations e.g., steel door with corrugations (is that supposed to be a Youngstown 6' door?). So any info on the model and/or the prototype would be welcome.

Should I just assemble as is, play with weathering, and offer them at the next white elephant? Or is this car close enough in dimensions and details to something real to bother replacing molded grabs/stirrups with wire and potentially keeping it for the fleet? I'm willing to find decals if stripping and re-lettering might make it a decent model.

I know I should just play with weathering and be done with it, but I get distracted easily with "projects" for fun. I kit-bashed a cheap (Tyco?) 4 wheel bobber caboose to make it match a Southern Railway prototype photo (including relocating windows, shaving off molded grabs and replacing, modifying the smoke jack, adding glass windows, adding Kadee's and metal wheel sets) years ago because I wanted to see if I could do it. It's now re-numbered X-25 with an HO scale Santa for a club Christmas train, but it was a very reasonable model of a Southern bobber from turn of the 20th century when I was done. So any help indulging my tendency to play, but also to represent prototypical models, would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave


Benjamin Hom
 

Dave Bott asked:
"I bought a set of Accurail HO scale wooden box car kits at $3 each to
practice weathering on wooden boxcars, SS and DS, before I tackle my
resin kits. But if I'm going to the trouble of putting these together
and weather them, I'd like to know if I can make them match anything
reasonably well and with what level of effort.

The first one is an Erie car with road number is 92514 and according
to the data on the side, it was a 50 ton car built in 1923. It is
Accurail's single sheathed 40' boxcar kit with wood door and 7-7
corrugated steel ends. (I didn't see the 4200 series listed in the
Accurail catalog on their web site, but the 4100 and 4300 series
showed Erie-lettered offerings).

My 1926 ORER on DVD does list 199 Erie cars in the 92500-92699 series
of 50 ton capacity, interior dimensions of L 40'9" x W 8'6" and H 9'2
1/8" for 3098 cu ft capacity, and a 6' door. It also states in
footnote BB that some cars in this series were lettered for the New
Jersey & New York Railroad. I'm not an Erie modeler or historian, so
I haven't seen a photo of such a car, and I'm not even sure the
Accurail model is anything other than roughly analogous to a
prototype for this or any other railroad."

Your Accurail model is masquerading as Erie 92500-92699, 200 USRA SS boxcars. These were rebuilt with radial roofs and steel sides inside the original truss in 1936, renumbered to Erie 71800-71999, and ran
into the mid-1950s. See Larry Kline's spreadsheet in the group files section for more details. Correct HO scale models are in the Westerfield line but are currently unavailable.

The Accurail 4200 and 4300 series models have a superficial resemblance to the USRA SS boxcar, but the side truss members, roof, ends, and underframe are different. That being said, the Accurail kits are very good stand-ins for the much larger group of "Bettendorf" SS boxcars built for many different roads during the 1920s, especially if you replace the fishbelly centersills with straight centersills. See Richard Hendrickson's "40 ft SS Z-Braced Boxcars: Part I (Single-Door Cars)" in the February 1993 issue of Railmodel Journal, John Nehrich's "Bettendorf Boxcar" in the August 1996 issue of Mainline Modeler, and Tim Swan's "More Variations on Accurail's SS Boxcar" in the June 1997 issue of Model RailroadING for ideas.


Ben Hom


A&Y Dave in MD
 

Thank you, Ben. As always you answer with patience and clarity, unsurpassed. I marvel.

I now see my error in not thinking to check the files for a database. Perhaps at least, my error will allow others to learn or recall the files exist. So much to learn, so little time.

I think these kits will remain as built and hopefully weathered nicely enough for someone to purchase them. Either that or they join my traveling train fleet for shows with rough handling.

Grateful but not Dead,

Dave


On Nov 7, 2014, at 5:50 AM, Benjamin Hom b.hom@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

Dave Bott asked:
"I bought a set of Accurail HO scale wooden box car kits at $3 each to
practice weathering on wooden boxcars, SS and DS, before I tackle my
resin kits. But if I'm going to the trouble of putting these together
and weather them, I'd like to know if I can make them match anything
reasonably well and with what level of effort.

The first one is an Erie car with road number is 92514 and according
to the data on the side, it was a 50 ton car built in 1923. It is
Accurail's single sheathed 40' boxcar kit with wood door and 7-7
corrugated steel ends. (I didn't see the 4200 series listed in the
Accurail catalog on their web site, but the 4100 and 4300 series
showed Erie-lettered offerings).

My 1926 ORER on DVD does list 199 Erie cars in the 92500-92699 series
of 50 ton capacity, interior dimensions of L 40'9" x W 8'6" and H 9'2
1/8" for 3098 cu ft capacity, and a 6' door. It also states in
footnote BB that some cars in this series were lettered for the New
Jersey & New York Railroad. I'm not an Erie modeler or historian, so
I haven't seen a photo of such a car, and I'm not even sure the
Accurail model is anything other than roughly analogous to a
prototype for this or any other railroad."

Your Accurail model is masquerading as Erie 92500-92699, 200 USRA SS boxcars. These were rebuilt with radial roofs and steel sides inside the original truss in 1936, renumbered to Erie 71800-71999, and ran
into the mid-1950s. See Larry Kline's spreadsheet in the group files section for more details. Correct HO scale models are in the Westerfield line but are currently unavailable.

The Accurail 4200 and 4300 series models have a superficial resemblance to the USRA SS boxcar, but the side truss members, roof, ends, and underframe are different. That being said, the Accurail kits are very good stand-ins for the much larger group of "Bettendorf" SS boxcars built for many different roads during the 1920s, especially if you replace the fishbelly centersills with straight centersills. See Richard Hendrickson's "40 ft SS Z-Braced Boxcars: Part I (Single-Door Cars)" in the February 1993 issue of Railmodel Journal, John Nehrich's "Bettendorf Boxcar" in the August 1996 issue of Mainline Modeler, and Tim Swan's "More Variations on Accurail's SS Boxcar" in the June 1997 issue of Model RailroadING for ideas.

Ben Hom


Clark Propst
 

I just finished a rework of an Accurail SS car. I’m curious Dave, what weathering techniques do you plan to try?
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


A&Y Dave in MD
 

Gouache wash for soot/grime, various powder pigments.

One concern is how to do it realistic with the metal framework cutting across horizontal siding. The Accurail exaggerated wood grain seems problematic and not good prep for most resin cars too.

I'd like to get five-ten year used look with appropriate wear, chalk graffiti, and perhaps board replacement effects without caricature look. A car built in twenties but now in early 30s.

I followed Tony's blog entries and recent MRH articles on weathering with interest. I have previously used oils and filters per the military modeler Mig Jimenez. Previously I used a version of Jim Six's spray rust brown with airbrush and remove most with cotton swab or sponge. I've yet to find a technique I can do well, even with practice. So I try another. My first dilute gouache attempt on Athearn yellow reefer came out decent, but heavy. Wondering if it will work better on BCR paint.

Sent from Dave Bott' iPhone

On Nov 7, 2014, at 10:00 AM, cepropst@q.com [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

I just finished a rework of an Accurail SS car. I’m curious Dave, what weathering techniques do you plan to try?
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


Tony Thompson
 

David Bott wrote:

 
I followed Tony's blog entries and recent MRH articles on weathering with interest. I have previously used oils and filters per the military modeler Mig Jimenez. Previously I used a version of Jim Six's spray rust brown with airbrush and remove most with cotton swab or sponge. I've yet to find a technique I can do well, even with practice. So I try another. My first dilute gouache attempt on Athearn yellow reefer came out decent, but heavy. Wondering if it will work better on BCR paint.

     Dave makes an important point: you have to try methods until you find one that works for YOU. I once taught a hands-on adult education class on weathering (part of a semester course on model railroading at a community college), and quickly found that most students would have trouble with some techniques, but could make at least one work like a dream -- but different students were doing different things. So if you've tried various recommendations, and they just are not doing what you want, try other techniques. And there may be some parts of a technique that add to your repertoire even if your base method turns out to be something else.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Clark Propst
 

Try colored pencils on different board and Pan Pastels applied with a fan brush for better control.
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa