Pennsy X23 HO scale

Eric Hansmann

I started a Westerfield HO scale X23 boxcar kit in November 2015. The other morning I snapped photos of the almost completed model. It still needs Carmer uncoupling hardware. The model was painted with Vallejo amaranth red with maybe a drop or two of scarlet mixed into the paint cup. The lettering represents a post-WW1 appearance but before the revised AAR 1927 lettering guidelines for the weigh data presentation. I model late 1926.


I applied a pinwash of Vallejo acrylic burnt umber to the metal components as they always seem to weather differently from the wood. Prismacolor warm and cool grey pencils were used as the initial weathering layer on the sheathing. It was followed with Pan Pastel raw umber and raw umber tint applied sparingly with a micro brush and scrubbed onto the sheathing. Extra raw umber was applied to the doors for that rough Pennsy look. Pan Pastel neutral grey extra dark was scrubbed onto the roof and daubed along upper elements of the car sides and ends.


A Prismacolor 10% cool grey pencil was used to highlight edges and add chalk marks. Route cards and placards were added from my own artwork. The car rides on Bowser arch bar trucks with Intermountain semi-scale wheelsets. Accurail Proto:HO scale couplers and Hi-Tech air hoses are installed.


Someone asked about the amount of real time I have worked on this model. Here’s a summery, to the best of my recollection.

- The three-part ladders took 30-45 minutes each to prep and build.

- The car body and other details went easily, maybe three hours of work.

- Painting is a snap at about an hour, that includes car color, gloss coat, post-decal gloss coat, and the flat coat. The time doesn't include airbrush clean up as I sprayed other models during each step.

- Decal work is tedious as there were some slice-and-dice parts for the weigh date and two hours of research to determine what lettering to use and where to place it.

- Applying the weathering layers was at least two hours.


Adding the individual process steps comes to about 12 hours of work. The next time I build one of these, the ladders will be installed after weathering. And I really hope those ladders will be etched metal details, too.



Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN



Nicely done Eric! Looks great.
I have tried a Vallejo Acrylic Model Wash made for Military Modelers. I used the dark rust and was happy with how it flowed on a flat finish. These are all pre thinned. I need to add some more colors and practice with these promising washes. Link to product below
Model Wash is perfect for reproducing the weathering of surfaces (
George Toman
Willow Springs, IL

Lester Breuer

Eric a fine build with excellent weathering.
Lester Breuer