Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Grand Trunk Western Double Door BoxCar 585034

My freight car fleet continues to grow with the addition of a Funaro & Camerlengo, kit 6252, Grand Trunk Western double door box car 585034, series 584702-585201.  All prototype cars had Dreadnaught ends of three section design with 3-3-3 rib arrangement and a Hutchins Dry Lading roof.  Double door cars had 12’-0” door openings.   Standard components used on these cars included Youngstown steel doors with Camel hardware.  In the 1940s and later, AB brakes were added as were Ajax brake wheels.  The trucks were ARA cast steel sideframe type.  Photos of identical and  modified cars delivered at the same time to the Cental Vermont can be viewed in Steam Era Freight Cars Reference Manual Vol. One: Box and Automobile Cars (Speedwitch Media 2006, 2007) p. 97 and Model Railroader, August 2001 ( Kalmbach Publishing Co.) p. 65. 

GTW 585048  photo on Funaro & Camerlengo kit box

Funero & Camerlengo kit 6252 is a flat kit so assembly of the basic body is required.   After a quick review of the sides I found no support for the underbody to rest on when installed.  Therefore, I measured the thickness of the under body at the bolster  and used this measurement to draw a line from the bottom of each side.  Above the line I installed a styrene strip, Evergreen #135, .030 x 100” to make a support for the under body to rest on when installed.  Now, I assembled the car body.  Rather  than follow the assembly method in the instructions I used the method I have always used.  I glued each end to a side to form an “L”.  The two “L”s are glued together to form a basic box to which the roof is added.  For assembly details and photos using this method you can click on “ resin car body assembly” under “labels” in the sidebar.  I added additional bracing, Evergreen #164, .080 x .080” strip styrene in the corners and a baffle cut from Evergreen .060”, sheet styrene to prevent sides from bowing in.  

Bottom view of basic box with under body
 support and corner bracing.
(Click or tap on this or any photo to enlarge)

Top view of basic box with baffle and corner bracing before rood added.

With the car body assembled, I fitted the under body; however, it is not glued in yet.  First, the coupler pocket pads, after the Kadee #262 box location is determined, and bolster center plate are drilled and tapped for 2-56 screws.  The Kadee  coupler boxes with #148 couplers inserted were installed with Accurail #150, 2-56 x 3/16” pan head screws.  Accurail trucks with InterMountain 33” metal wheel sets were installed with Athearn #99002, 2-56 x 1/4” round head screws.  With trucks and couplers attached the under body is inserted into the car body and placed on a postal scale to determine how much weight needs to be added to bring the car to 3.8 ounces.   After adding the weight required, I use electrical outlet box punch outs attached with Permatex, the floor is glued into the car body. 

Under body inserted and glued into car body after weight added..

Next, I added the ladders to sides and ends.  The plastic kit ladders have a sill step molded as part of the ladder that is cut off prior to install.  I like to install the ladders on the car body first as they aid in positioning other parts such as the brake step on the “B”end.  After the ladders, grab irons, straight and drop wire type provided in the kit were installed on the sides and ends in #79 drilled holes below molded on fasteners.

Ladders installed after sill step portion cut off.

The roof was next.  The roof included in the kit is not a Hutchins Dry Lading roof  so I reworked it to look like one.  On a line drawn on the area in-between the roof ribs was scribed creating a groove into which Plastruct #90850, .010” styrene round rod was glued. A piece of cardboard with centerline was used to mark the roof with a line for the scriber to follow to cut a groove.  In the end of each roof rib a “v” notch was cut and filed to match the prototype.  

Cardboard with line for marking line on roof
 and scriber used to make roof modifications.

Kit roof modified to look like a Hutchins Dry Lading roof.

The  running boards provided in the kit were installed next.  The longitudinal  running board brackets on the car ends were made from Evergreen #8102, 1 x 2” strip styrene.  The latitudinal running board brackets are also 1 x 2 “ strip styrene bent to the rounded shape using a round needle nose pliers.  The corner roof grab irons in the kit were installed with Yarmouth Model Works #356, etched eyebolts for corner legs.

Hutchins Dry Lading roof I made with running boards installed.

Hutchins Dry Lading roof with running boards installed.

With roof complete, I went back to work on the sides.  The lower door tracks, Plastruct #90501, 3/64” styrene angle were installed with Evergreen #142, .040 x.040” strip styrene for backing under door area (visible in under body photo).  MEK Goop (plastic melted in MEK) was used to extend door guides onto door tracks.  On upper door tracks, end door stops were bent from Tichy Train Group (Tichy) #1101, .010” diameter phosphor bronze (PBW) wire and installed.  Molded on door handles were cut off. New door handles bent from Tichy# 1101, .010” PBW installed.  A-Line # 29000, style A, sill steps (stirrup) installed in drilled #76 holes.  The sill step under the ladder is a #29000 straightened and rebent to shape to match prototype (best view of it is in ladder photo above).  Finally, the door placard boards were installed.

Side with all details installed.

Now I turned to the “B” end details. The kit brake step (platform) and brackets, brake housing and chain and bell crank, all from Tichy #3013 set in kit, were installed. A brake rod, Tichy #1102, .015” diameter wire, was installed in-between chain end and bell crank.  The brake rod clevis to attach brake rod to bell crank was made with MEK Goop; however, a Tichy turnbuckle could be used.   A Sunshine Models resin retainer valve from spare parts box was installed followed by a retainer line and brackets, Tichy #1100, .008” diameter PBW.  A Kadee #2020, Adjax brake wheel was installed.  An uncoupling lever bent from Tichy #1106 .0125” diameter PBW was installed here and on the “A” end in mounting brackets, eyebolts bent from Tichy #1101, .010" diameter PBW.

"B" end with details installed.

With the car body details added I did the under body detail work.  Tichy AB brake components from Tichy #3013 set in kit were installed on the molded under body brackets with the exception of the brake cylinder.  The molded on brake cylinder bracket was removed ( see location in photo of under body above) due to being located too far back for the short brake cylinder piston clevis to reach the brake cylinder lever when installed.  A Sunshine Models brake cylinder mounting bracket from the spare parts box was installed forward of the old location (see new position in photo below).  The brake cylinder was mounted on the newly installed brake cylinder bracket.  The other under body details installed:

     - Piping from air reservoir to control valve, Tichy #1101 .010" diameter PBW
     - Pipe from back of brake cylinder to control valve, Tichy #1102 .015" diameter PBW
     - Brake levers, Evergreen #8108, 1 x 8" and  #8106 1 x 6" strip styrene
     - Brake rods, Tichy #1106, .0125" diameter PBW
     - Clevises, Turnbuckles, Tichy #8021, used to attach brake rods to brake levers
     - Slack adjuster is a resin part from parts box
     - Train line is .018" diameter flora wire
     - Dirt collector, Tichy set #3010
     - Tee and unions on piping made with MEK Goop (plastic melted in MEK)

To install the train line, I used a drill 4" long I made from .032" diameter K&S piano wire to drill the holes for installing the train line.

Under body with details installed.

The detail work on the car was now complete so I moved it to the paint shop.

Car is ready for paint shop.

In the paint shop the car is wiped down with a makeup swab dipped in 91% isopropyl alcohol to remove any build grime.  The car under body was sprayed with Vallejo Model Air #71.054, Dark Grey Blue.   The car body was sprayed with Model Air Vallejo/MicroMark #29015x2, Box Car Red.  Both Model Air paints are to be air brush ready; however I found were too thick for spraying out of the bottle and had to have thinner mixed into them.  My paint mix for both paints was 40 drops paint and 20 drops thinner.  For the car body, I had to make the mix three times to get the paint coverage I wanted.  Once dry, the car body was sprayed with Polly Scale #404100, Clear Gloss Finish for decal base.  The Polly Scale like the Vallejo paints had to be mixed with thinner and again 40 drops of gloss and 20 drops thinner.  The car was let dry overnight.  As the under body, the trucks were painted with Vallejo Model Air #71.054, Dark Grey Blue; however, hand painted rather than sprayed.

Paint applied.  Car ready for lettering.

Paint applied.  Car ready for lettering.

Under body in paint.

The next day decals provided in the kit and decals I made were applied using Microscale Micro Set and Micro Sol.   I made the chalk marks decals by hand applying Vallejo Model Color White #70.951 white paint with a 3/0 brush to scrap decal paper and  the reweigh date by applying Clover House dry transfers, 1/32" condensed bold - white, from set 9600-11, to scrap decal paper.  Both chalk marks and Clover House lettering were coated with Microscale Liquid Decal Film to make a water slide decal.  Once dry the car body was sprayed with Vallejo Matt Varnish #70.520.

GTW 585034 lettered  after Polly Scale Clear Gloss  Finish was dry.

The next morning the car body was weathered using a makeup brush and micro applicators with the following Pan Pastels:  Burnt Sienna, 740.5 over entire car body, Raw Umber 780.5, No. 5 paint brush along sills, Red Iron Oxide Ex. Dark 380.1, with micro applicator very lightly over lettering to tone it down,  and Black 800.5 on roof and lightly over rest of car body.  The under body received only Paynes Grey Ex. Dark 840.1 applied with makeup brush.

GTW 585034 sitting on Dawkins siding.

"B" end photo of GTW 585034

After a car card was printed, Grand Trunk Western double door box 585034 car joined Grand Trunk Western one and one-half door box car 583699 in service.  GTW 583699, Funaro & Camerlengo kit 6651,  1 1/2 door box car has been in service since I built it in 2015.

GTW 585034 and 583699 on sitting on Dawkins siding.

Aerial view of GTW 585034 and 583699
to see scratch built Hutchins roofs.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.
Lester Breuer


  1. Lester, this car represents some fine modeling on your part.

    I did notice a problem with the kit itself. There is something not quite right with the fishbelly underframe and the body bolster locations. The center-to-center distance between the body bolsters appears to be too short so that the trucks centers are too far from the end sills. Looking at the prototype photos from the F&C web site one can see the body bolsters, indicated by the group of 4 columns of rivets on the side sills, is centered on these rivets. On the F&C model the body bolsters are more towards the center of the car so that the trucks are located too far from the end sills.

    It is not very noticeable and I am not sure this can be easily fixed on a completed model.


    Bob Witt

    1. Bob Thank You for the information. I will take a look and see what can be done, if anything, to correct.