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Throwback Tuesday: Varney Metal Freight Car Kits


Benjamin Hom
 

Varney freight car ad, January 1954 issue of Model Railroader. 


Ben Hom


 

Having sold  all of my rolling stock to build a new kitchen, upon moving too Tucson I had the opportunity to build my first layout in 40 years.  I purchased cheap cars at a swap meet, including Roundhouse all metal cars and Athearn stamped metal and wood cars, the same as I built when I was 14, over 60 years ago – Al Westerfield.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Benjamin Hom
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 4:35 AM
To: STMFC
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Throwback Tuesday: Varney Metal Freight Car Kits

 

Varney freight car ad, January 1954 issue of Model Railroader. 





Ben Hom

 


Bob Chapman
 

Ben --


This may border on blasphemy, but I recently had some fun upgrading this Varney steel boxcar "legacy model" with new running boards, ladders, grabs, stirrups, handbrake, etc. -- as well as some paint correction on the door. Best of all -- it even resembles the MoPac prototype (if you don't look too closely).   


Those ads were very enticing in their day, and Varney's steel boxcars have good curb-appeal even today.


Regards,

Bob Chapman 






Varney freight car ad, January 1954 issue of Model Railroader. 

Ben Hom


Benjamin Hom
 

Bob Chapman wrote:
"This may border on blasphemy, but I recently had some fun upgrading this Varney steel boxcar "legacy model" with new running boards, ladders, grabs, stirrups, handbrake, etc. -- as well as some paint correction on the door. Best of all -- it even resembles the MoPac prototype (if you don't look too closely).   

Those ads were very enticing in their day, and Varney's steel boxcars have good curb-appeal even today."

No blasphemy here...I sometimes sneak in a couple of Athearn metal boxcars into my meet displays.


Ben Hom


al.kresse <water.kresse@...>
 

Neat Bob, Al Kresse

On March 12, 2019 at 1:22 PM Bob Chapman <chapbob611@...> wrote:

Ben --


This may border on blasphemy, but I recently had some fun upgrading this Varney steel boxcar "legacy model" with new running boards, ladders, grabs, stirrups, handbrake, etc. -- as well as some paint correction on the door. Best of all -- it even resembles the MoPac prototype (if you don't look too closely).   


Those ads were very enticing in their day, and Varney's steel boxcars have good curb-appeal even today.


Regards,

Bob Chapman 






Varney freight car ad, January 1954 issue of Model Railroader. 

Ben Hom


 


 


Eric Hansmann
 

Nice work, Bob!

 

Is that the original kit underframe or an Accurail replacement?

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chapman
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:22 PM
To: STMFC <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Throwback Tuesday: Varney Metal Freight Car Kits

 

Ben --

 

This may border on blasphemy, but I recently had some fun upgrading this Varney steel boxcar "legacy model" with new running boards, ladders, grabs, stirrups, handbrake, etc. -- as well as some paint correction on the door. Best of all -- it even resembles the MoPac prototype (if you don't look too closely).   

 

Those ads were very enticing in their day, and Varney's steel boxcars have good curb-appeal even today.

 

Regards,

Bob Chapman 

 

 

 

 

 

Varney freight car ad, January 1954 issue of Model Railroader. 

Ben Hom


John Hagen <sprinthag@...>
 

Bob,

No blasphemy here. You have up-graded a post war Varney box car to a level good for at least 40 years later.

To me that is “Model Railroading” at its best. U remember well the post war era (born in 43) and always felt the Varney box cars were way ahead of the others. Easy o assemble, pieces did not falloff nor did roof ribs slip out-of-place, door guides stayed in place and they looked very good, not only for the 40’s and 50’s but till today depending on your nit level.

Nice job and thanks for posting.

John Hagen

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chapman
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:22 PM
To: STMFC <main@realstmfc.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Throwback Tuesday: Varney Metal Freight Car Kits

 

Ben --

 

This may border on blasphemy, but I recently had some fun upgrading this Varney steel boxcar "legacy model" with new running boards, ladders, grabs, stirrups, handbrake, etc. -- as well as some paint correction on the door. Best of all -- it even resembles the MoPac prototype (if you don't look too closely).   

 

Those ads were very enticing in their day, and Varney's steel boxcars have good curb-appeal even today.

 

Regards,

Bob Chapman 

 

 

 

 

 

Varney freight car ad, January 1954 issue of Model Railroader. 

Ben Hom


Bob Chapman
 

Is that the original kit underframe or an Accurail replacement?

Eric Hansmann



Eric --


Good eye! Yes, it's Accurail.


Time for the back-story -- this was a "boxcar rescue". The original Varney sides/ends, running board, a few ladders, and one door were scattered in a box lot given to me at MR club. Seemed too nice not to offer a second life. 


Bob C     


Ken Vandevoort
 

First kit I ever built was a metal Varney Fairmont Creamery reefer from E&H Model Hobbies almost 60 years ago.  Still got it.
Ken Vandevoort


O Fenton Wells
 

Yes my first car was the Varney State of Maine red white and blue metal boxcar....1957.....and I still have it
Fenton 


On Mar 12, 2019, at 5:56 PM, Ken Vandevoort via Groups.Io <apo09324@...> wrote:

First kit I ever built was a metal Varney Fairmont Creamery reefer from E&H Model Hobbies almost 60 years ago.  Still got it.
Ken Vandevoort


James E Kubanick
 

I only have one of the old Varney cars. It is the Frisco Box Car - still in service.

Jim Kubanick
Morgantown WV

On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 8:18:42 PM EDT, O Fenton Wells <srrfan1401@...> wrote:


Yes my first car was the Varney State of Maine red white and blue metal boxcar....1957.....and I still have it
Fenton 


On Mar 12, 2019, at 5:56 PM, Ken Vandevoort via Groups.Io <apo09324@...> wrote:

First kit I ever built was a metal Varney Fairmont Creamery reefer from E&H Model Hobbies almost 60 years ago.  Still got it.
Ken Vandevoort


Gene Green <genegreen1942@...>
 

I got my start in model railroading with Varney plastic kits.  Sometime in the early 1950s KIX cereal offered Varney kits with a box top and some token amount of money.  As I recall now, I started with an undecorated unpowered F-unit a couple of box cars and some hopper cars.  Varney's plastic covered hopper was just a "lid" on the open-top, two-bay hopper.  I believe I still have all those cars and the locomotive.
Gene Green 


Eric Lombard
 

Hello Everyone,
I have enjoyed the memories on this thread! My first model, 1953, was plastic SFRD reefer. As I recall, a yellow and black body shell, underframe, and trucks. Not difficult for a 10-year-old. My father, in Korea, had suggested we start thinking about a model RR. The nest year, the family together in Japan, my first scratch build: a Jack Armstrong (have I got that right?) strathmoor freight house from plans in MR. The reefer is gone, but the freight house endures and here is this morning's photo. The finish shows the strong influence of John Allen on this beginner and look at all those hand laid shingles!! 
 
Eric Lombard


Gary Ray
 

Eric,

Great job for an 11 year old (or anyone)!  Has held up well over the years.

Gary Ray

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Lombard
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 9:31 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Throwback Tuesday: Varney Metal Freight Car Kits

 

Hello Everyone,

I have enjoyed the memories on this thread! My first model, 1953, was plastic SFRD reefer. As I recall, a yellow and black body shell, underframe, and trucks. Not difficult for a 10-year-old. My father, in Korea, had suggested we start thinking about a model RR. The nest year, the family together in Japan, my first scratch build: a Jack Armstrong (have I got that right?) strathmoor freight house from plans in MR. The reefer is gone, but the freight house endures and here is this morning's photo. The finish shows the strong influence of John Allen on this beginner and look at all those hand laid shingles!! 

 

Eric Lombard


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Lester Breuer
 

I have several metal Varney metal reefers in service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company with the Swift Refrigerator being one rolling with the resin and plastic. BTW the Swift reefers were available with several numbers.  
Lester Breuer


Nolan Hinshaw
 

On Mar 13, 2019, at 8:02 AM, Gene Green via Groups.Io wrote:

I got my start in model railroading with Varney plastic kits.
I started a few months after the Tidewater Central artickles[sic][0] appeared in Model Railroader, building my own version, using all the products[1] named in the artickles[0]. Eventually I lost, in the course of several back-to-back-to-backs moves-of-quarters, my Varney Old Lady and Casey Jones, and my Tyco Big-Six, all of which ran like the proverbial Swiss watch[2]. Several years passed during which I graduated from Ready-to-Ruin to building either from craftsman kits (Gould/Tichy tank & flat, for example) or from scratch (a few of the Jack Work freight fleet, but not the business car[3]).

Later, when the offspring was nearing adolescence and had begun to exhibit some responsibility, I built another on L-girders with Homasote™ spline roadbed, hydrocal-over-paper-towel-over-cardboard-web scenery, flex-track, Atlas snap-switches,and a reasonably-sophisticated MRC power pack on which we ran much Blue-box equipment. We had a Black-Widow GP-9, and another with a custom-painted shell representing SP 3010 as it looked as Caltrain 3187.

[0] Model Railroading is always a tickle, no matter how difficult or frustrating
[1] Tru-Scale™ milled roadbed, whatever power pack was listed, same cars, window screen, ...
[2] Rebuilt the Varneys and built the Tyco with lots of moly disulphide powder in oil in the bearings, burnished thoroughly, then run-in upside down, then re-powdered and run in some more,... Motorless they'd roll almost as easily as properly-weighted cars with Delrin™ trucks; if I still had 'em, I'd swap-in can motors and add decoders...
[3] that's on the horizon for N-scale, or if the offspring[4] agrees even for 1:8 for a few nearby outdoor clubs, resources permitting
[4] He and Jack Benny have something in common, and it's not tightwaddedness
--
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CJ Riley
 


I think you meant Jack Work. He wasn't the all American boy.


Michael Gross
 

That’s a sweet-looking freight house, even by today’s standards!

Michael Gross
Facebook:  ActorMichaelGross
Instagram:  ActorMichaelGross
Twitter:  @MichaelGrossBiz








G.J. Irwin
 

My late father had at least the ART refrigerator car.  It was cool-- literally-- to pick up that car versus the plastic ones.  Once I find it, I'm keeping it!

George Irwin


Lee Thwaits
 

My first kits were Varney wood & cardboard & Mantua metal.  When did Varney switch to metal?  Does this tell about my age?

Lee Thwaits