Topics

Ertl Boxcar

Joseph
 

Bob,
The doors open on these cars.  I have a couple on the Central of Minnesota that I have replaced the grabs and added brake gear

Joe Binish


On Jan 25, 2019, at 6:27 PM, Bob Chaparro <chiefbobbb@...> wrote:

A few months ago I picked-up a new-in-box Ertl boxcar, a purchased based on the two dollar list price. This is the first Ertl car I have ever owned.

I just open the box to work over the car and noticed the box itself said "50' USRD Double Sheathed Boxcar". The car is a forty-foot car, so that seemed a bit strange.

And when I held the car I could tell it was under-weight. A check on the digital scale said it was 1.55 ounces. That's considerably under-weight.

Upon further inspection it appears that the body is a one-piece casting. Ends, sides, roof and floor appear to be all one piece so adding weight may be a big problem.

My question is, am I missing something about how to open up the car body or is in indeed a one-piece casting?

Perhaps I should just resell the car, given all the criticisms I seen on this list about body and lettering inaccuracies for Ertl cars.

Thanks.
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Benjamin Hom
 

Bob Chaparro wrote::
"A few months ago I picked-up a new-in-box Ertl boxcar, a purchased based on the two dollar list price. This is the first Ertl car I have ever owned.

I just open the box to work over the car and noticed the box itself said "50' USRD Double Sheathed Boxcar". The car is a forty-foot car, so that seemed a bit strange."

An obvious typo.  It's actually a pretty nice model of the 40 ft USRA DS boxcar. 


"Upon further inspection it appears that the body is a one-piece casting. Ends, sides, roof and floor appear to be all one piece so adding weight may be a big problem.

My question is, am I missing something about how to open up the car body or is in indeed a one-piece casting?"

The roof is a separate piece and should pop off with little effort.


"And when I held the car I could tell it was under-weight. A check on the digital scale said it was 1.55 ounces. That's considerably under-weight."

These cars were marketed along with a line of boxcar loads mounted on false floors.  The idea was modelers would buy the loads to go with the cars, pop off the roofs, and drop in the loads, which would make up some weight.


"Perhaps I should just resell the car, given all the criticisms I seen on this list about body and lettering inaccuracies for Ertl cars."

Seriously?  The lettering is poorly researched (thanks, Hundman), but I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that the body is inaccurate.  The grabs, while oversized, are easy to replace (as are the cast steel trucks); and adding weight, stripping, repainting, and relettering the model should be well within your skill set.


Ben Hom

Douglas Harding
 

I agree with Ben's comments. I would add the roof pops off easily, unless someone glued it on. But even then a knife blade should pop it up.

The loads Ertl sold are plastic and add almost no weight. The cars without loads have a removable floor of a light gray color. The cars need weights and metal wheelsets. The trucks often need attention with the truck tuner tool.

Couplers are held in place with plastic pin set in the coupler box cover. The cover pries off, again if someone did not glue it in place.

These are nice cars

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Benjamin Hom
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2019 7:23 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Ertl Boxcar

Bob Chaparro wrote::
"A few months ago I picked-up a new-in-box Ertl boxcar, a purchased based on the two dollar list price. This is the first Ertl car I have ever owned.

I just open the box to work over the car and noticed the box itself said "50' USRD Double Sheathed Boxcar". The car is a forty-foot car, so that seemed a bit strange."

An obvious typo. It's actually a pretty nice model of the 40 ft USRA DS boxcar.


"Upon further inspection it appears that the body is a one-piece casting. Ends, sides, roof and floor appear to be all one piece so adding weight may be a big problem.

My question is, am I missing something about how to open up the car body or is in indeed a one-piece casting?"

The roof is a separate piece and should pop off with little effort.


"And when I held the car I could tell it was under-weight. A check on the digital scale said it was 1.55 ounces. That's considerably under-weight."

These cars were marketed along with a line of boxcar loads mounted on false floors. The idea was modelers would buy the loads to go with the cars, pop off the roofs, and drop in the loads, which would make up some weight.


"Perhaps I should just resell the car, given all the criticisms I seen on this list about body and lettering inaccuracies for Ertl cars."

Seriously? The lettering is poorly researched (thanks, Hundman), but I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that the body is inaccurate. The grabs, while oversized, are easy to replace (as are the cast steel trucks); and adding weight, stripping, repainting, and relettering the model should be well within your skill set.


Ben Hom

Todd Horton
 

What railroads owned cars for this model?

On Jan 25, 2019, at 11:09 PM, Douglas Harding <doug.harding@...> wrote:

I agree with Ben's comments. I would add the roof pops off easily, unless someone glued it on. But even then a knife blade should pop it up.

The loads Ertl sold are plastic and add almost no weight. The cars without loads have a removable floor of a light gray color. The cars need weights and metal wheelsets. The trucks often need attention with the truck tuner tool.

Couplers are held in place with plastic pin set in the coupler box cover. The cover pries off, again if someone did not glue it in place.

These are nice cars

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org


-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Benjamin Hom
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2019 7:23 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Ertl Boxcar

Bob Chaparro wrote::
"A few months ago I picked-up a new-in-box Ertl boxcar, a purchased based on the two dollar list price. This is the first Ertl car I have ever owned.

I just open the box to work over the car and noticed the box itself said "50' USRD Double Sheathed Boxcar". The car is a forty-foot car, so that seemed a bit strange."

An obvious typo. It's actually a pretty nice model of the 40 ft USRA DS boxcar.


"Upon further inspection it appears that the body is a one-piece casting. Ends, sides, roof and floor appear to be all one piece so adding weight may be a big problem.

My question is, am I missing something about how to open up the car body or is in indeed a one-piece casting?"

The roof is a separate piece and should pop off with little effort.


"And when I held the car I could tell it was under-weight. A check on the digital scale said it was 1.55 ounces. That's considerably under-weight."

These cars were marketed along with a line of boxcar loads mounted on false floors. The idea was modelers would buy the loads to go with the cars, pop off the roofs, and drop in the loads, which would make up some weight.


"Perhaps I should just resell the car, given all the criticisms I seen on this list about body and lettering inaccuracies for Ertl cars."

Seriously? The lettering is poorly researched (thanks, Hundman), but I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that the body is inaccurate. The grabs, while oversized, are easy to replace (as are the cast steel trucks); and adding weight, stripping, repainting, and relettering the model should be well within your skill set.


Ben Hom






Benjamin Hom
 

Todd Horton asked:
"What railroads owned cars for this model?"

Summary of assignments at Eric Hansmann's blog here:

Scroll down to "USRA Specification 1003-B: 40-ton Double-Sheathed Box Car".

See also my spreadsheet in the legacy files section for a quick overview of these cars including secondhand owners.  See Railroad Prototype Cyclopedia, Vol 16 for lots more information.


Ben Hom.

Todd Sullivan
 

Wow.  Many railroads had them.  It might be easier for us to reply if we knew what part of the country you are modeling (New England, Pacific NW, etc.), then we could list the railroads from that area that had them.  Another aspect of your question is that many of these USRA double sheathed cars were rebuilt in various ways in the 1930s and 1940s with steel sides, ends and roof.   Providing the era you model would also be helpful in providing useful answers.

Todd Sullivan.

Benjamin Hom
 

Doug Harding wrote:
"The trucks often need attention with the truck tuner tool."

You should want to replace the model's trucks with Andrews trucks as delivered on the prototype.  I don't remember seeing any USRA DS boxcars in the transition era with replacement trucks.


Ben Hom

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Doug and Ben,

While most USRA DS boxcars rode on their original Andrews trucks until scrapped, a few did receive AAR sideframe trucks. There is a photo of TH&B 4612 on page 72 of the December 1997 RMC with AAR trucks.

The GN still had almost 400 of these cars in original condition in 1959. Some USRA cars, and some of their 7/8-end clones, received modernized brakes in the 1950s. It is possible some USRA cars also received AAR trucks. The only photo I could find on AAR trucks is of clone 30411 (which also got a corrugated steel door) in the May 1988 DING.

Maybe our GN mavens can document some of the true USRA cars on AAR trucks.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff


On 1/26/19 10:49 AM, Benjamin Hom wrote:
Doug Harding wrote:
"The trucks often need attention with the truck tuner tool."

You should want to replace the model's trucks with Andrews trucks as delivered on the prototype.  I don't remember seeing any USRA DS boxcars in the transition era with replacement trucks.


Ben Hom





Todd Horton
 

I model 1957, I couldn't remember what car design the ERTL model was of. 
 
Todd Horton



From: Todd Sullivan via Groups.Io <sullivant41@...>
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2019 10:21 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Ertl Boxcar

Wow.  Many railroads had them.  It might be easier for us to reply if we knew what part of the country you are modeling (New England, Pacific NW, etc.), then we could list the railroads from that area that had them.  Another aspect of your question is that many of these USRA double sheathed cars were rebuilt in various ways in the 1930s and 1940s with steel sides, ends and roof.   Providing the era you model would also be helpful in providing useful answers.

Todd Sullivan.


Clark Propst
 

I've built many models from the Ertl car. I like it better than the Accurail (separate grabs) and the Westerfield resin kit (ease to get LOR [LayOut Ready] and cost) Trucks should be tossed, grabs can be, also easily back date to K type brakes.
I'll take it if you don't want it  ;  ))
Clark Propst

Alice Devenny
 

Group:

FWIW, I have found the Ertl trucks to be too soft and have had a few break at the bolster-side frame connection while replacing wheelsets.  Much better to simply replace the Ertl trucks with your preferred trucks at the beginning.

Tom Devenny
East Norriton, PA

Donald B. Valentine
 

    I'm with you, Clark, and for the same reasons. The Ertl USRA double sheathed boxcar can be fund at bargain prices quite often and is a great model to clean up, repaint and reletter for any number of roads. I have at least two dozen of them around here, some of which have been upgraded in various ways and some of which are on the "to do" list. All are appreciated and the gondola is as well.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Don,

Agreed on the Ertl boxcars. Since there weren't many of these left in near-original condition by 1958, I confined myself to just two: one SP&S and a somewhat modified GN car.

The flat cars are also excellent, essentially being a knock-off of the Tichy model. In a June 1993 RMJ article Richard Hendrickson said  the flat was good for several roads pretty much as-is (T&P, SP&S, NC&STL, CN and CP and some Lackawanna home-builts). He threw in SSW, but they were a bit longer. In correspondence on the old group I have on file Ben Hom suggested N&W.

The gondola is more problematic. I believe Richard found that it was only good as-is for one group of Maine Central cars. Add a fishbelly center sill on you can do one class from the ACL (Ertl offered the car lettered for ACL, but painted FCR instead of black). Do you have any other ideas? I have a couple stashed away that I will do something with someday.

I don't know about the Ertl cars' availability. The last time I saw some of the boxcars at a train show, there were a half-dozen used pieces (pretty banged up, and a couple missing roofs), and with a very high price. Since I can't justify any more of them in my collection, I passed. I would have grabbed the flats or gons.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 1/27/19 11:08 PM, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io wrote:
    I'm with you, Clark, and for the same reasons. The Ertl USRA double sheathed boxcar can be fund at bargain prices quite often and is a great model to clean up, repaint and reletter for any number of roads. I have at least two dozen of them around here, some of which have been upgraded in various ways and some of which are on the "to do" list. All are appreciated and the gondola is as well.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Benjamin Hom
 

Garth Groff wrote:
"The flat cars are also excellent, essentially being a knock-off of the Tichy model. In a June 1993 RMJ article Richard Hendrickson said  the flat was good for several roads pretty much as-is (T&P, SP&S, NC&STL, CN and CP and some Lackawanna home-builts). He threw in SSW, but they were a bit longer. In correspondence on the old group I have on file Ben Hom suggested N&W."

N&W Class FE:


"I don't know about the Ertl cars' availability. The last time I saw some of the boxcars at a train show, there were a half-dozen used pieces (pretty banged up, and a couple missing roofs), and with a very high price. Since I can't justify any more of them in my collection, I passed. I would have grabbed the flats or gons."

A quick way to gauge the marketplace for a given model is to do a completed item search on eBay.  Click on the "Advanced" link next to the search bar at the top of the page and check on the "Completed listings" box on the next page.  This will filter results and show both sold and unsold completed listings.

Spoiler alert: They're not as common as Athearn boxcars, but they're not exactly rare either.


Ben Hom





Allan Smith
 

There is an article by Mont Switzer in the February 2002 issue of Mainline Modeler about detailing an Ertl USRA Double Sheathed Boxcar. 

Al Smith
Sonora CA

On ‎Monday‎, ‎January‎ ‎28‎, ‎2019‎ ‎10‎:‎48‎:‎13‎ ‎AM‎ ‎PST, Benjamin Hom <b.hom@...> wrote:


Garth Groff wrote:
"The flat cars are also excellent, essentially being a knock-off of the Tichy model. In a June 1993 RMJ article Richard Hendrickson said  the flat was good for several roads pretty much as-is (T&P, SP&S, NC&STL, CN and CP and some Lackawanna home-builts). He threw in SSW, but they were a bit longer. In correspondence on the old group I have on file Ben Hom suggested N&W."

N&W Class FE:


"I don't know about the Ertl cars' availability. The last time I saw some of the boxcars at a train show, there were a half-dozen used pieces (pretty banged up, and a couple missing roofs), and with a very high price. Since I can't justify any more of them in my collection, I passed. I would have grabbed the flats or gons."

A quick way to gauge the marketplace for a given model is to do a completed item search on eBay.  Click on the "Advanced" link next to the search bar at the top of the page and check on the "Completed listings" box on the next page.  This will filter results and show both sold and unsold completed listings.

Spoiler alert: They're not as common as Athearn boxcars, but they're not exactly rare either.


Ben Hom





Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Ben,

Thanks for the link to the N&W FE. Seems to fit the type nicely--12 stake pockets, nominal 40' deck. I wonder how Richard missed it? There were still about 200 of these in revenue service circa 1958. Maybe I should have one on my Virginia Midland, even though we only interchange with the Southern.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 1/28/19 1:48 PM, Benjamin Hom wrote:
Garth Groff wrote:
"The flat cars are also excellent, essentially being a knock-off of the Tichy model. In a June 1993 RMJ article Richard Hendrickson said  the flat was good for several roads pretty much as-is (T&P, SP&S, NC&STL, CN and CP and some Lackawanna home-builts). He threw in SSW, but they were a bit longer. In correspondence on the old group I have on file Ben Hom suggested N&W."

N&W Class FE:


"I don't know about the Ertl cars' availability. The last time I saw some of the boxcars at a train show, there were a half-dozen used pieces (pretty banged up, and a couple missing roofs), and with a very high price. Since I can't justify any more of them in my collection, I passed. I would have grabbed the flats or gons."

A quick way to gauge the marketplace for a given model is to do a completed item search on eBay.  Click on the "Advanced" link next to the search bar at the top of the page and check on the "Completed listings" box on the next page.  This will filter results and show both sold and unsold completed listings.

Spoiler alert: They're not as common as Athearn boxcars, but they're not exactly rare either.


Ben Hom