Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Missouri Pacific Box Car 34222

The phone rang.   I answered it knowing it was George Toman.   He was calling from the Collinsville Railway Prototype Modelers (RPM) meet to ask me if I wanted a Missouri Pacific (MP) Sunshine Models 2005 Mini Kit he had found there.   My answer, “Yes.”  The Sunshine Models Mini Kit (SMMK) was to be used with a 1942 design car.  The 1942 design car had a  10” 6” inside height.   An InterMountain Railway Company, kit number 41805-03, provided the needed freight car.

When the Sunshine Mini Kit arrived I examined the contents which contained Sunshine Models Modeling Notes for Missouri Pacific 1942 American Car & Foundry (ACF) Boxcars (Sunshine Models 2005), decals and the following resin castings:  5/5 “W” section ends, Youngstown doors, door stops,  and long solid straight side sill.  The masters for these castings were created by Frank Hodina.  The Sunshine Models Modeling Notes suggested using a Red Caboose straight panel roof and Apex metal running boards to improve the model.

The prototype cars built by American Car and Foundry using the 1942 design with 10’ 6” Interior Height were delivered to the Missouri Pacific (MP) in April-May 1942.  The MP assigned the ACF built delivered cars to MP series 34113-34262.  The box cars had 5/5 “W” section ends, Youngstown doors, and long straight solid side sill between bolsters.  Other features included Ajax handbrake, eight rung ladders, Apex Tri-Lok  running boards and brake step.   The Sunshine Modeling Notes contain excellent Ed Hawkins black and white photos of MP 34114 (side view) and I-GN 17766 ( 3/4 view) showing B end.  The same photos and paint information provided by Ed Hawkins appeared in the December 1996 issue of Railmodel Jounal The paint information provided for sides, ends and roof to match prototype  paint is a 50/50 mix of Floquil Box Car Red and Southern Freight Car Brown (Floquil paints are out of production).  And, black for underframe, trucks, and placards (tackboards).

Ed Hawkins Collection
(click on this or any image to enlarge)

Ed Hawkins Collection

The build of Missouri Pacific Box Car 34222 began by removing the molded on brake component mounting brackets.  After the mounting bracket removal the underframe was installed.  Coupler pocket holes and kingpins were drilled and tapped for 2-56 screws.

Underframe installed.

Next the molded on sill tabs were removed and the resin long straight solid sill from the  SMMK was installed.  When I build another car, I will use Evergreen strip styrene to create the long straight solid sill rather than the resin one as the styrene sill part when glued with liquid styrene cement would provide a cleaner looking seam between the two.

Long straight solid sill installed.

Next I needed to remove the lettering from the car body since I had decided I wanted to retain the manufacture applied paint.   To remove the lettering I used a method Jim Betz has shared on RealSTMFC.groups.iso that he uses to remove lettering.   I made a change to Jim’s method using Walthers Solvaset rather than isopropyl alcohol.  So to remove the lettering, the Solvaset was applied with a brush and a large wooden toothpick was used to go over the lettering until removed.  The method is slow, time consuming and tedious; however, it does the job well without removing the paint.  Previous to using a toothpick I would use a nylon scratch brush which removed the lettering much faster, however, much easier to remove paint as well as the lettering.

Tools used for lettering removal.

Majority of lettering removed.

On most builds I do, I like to paint added upgrade or detail parts after being added.   Therefore, I hand painted the side sill with Polly Scale Oxide Red.  Now I went back to do some basic work on the underbody.   I installed Kadee #262 coupler pockets, with Kadee #148 couplers installed, with Fastenal 2-56 x 1/4” screws.  I added the underframe sections between the bolsters and the coupler pockets using Evergreen I-beam styrene.   Now the underbody was airbrushed with Vallejo Model Air Nato Black 71.251.  I installed the kit trucks with InterMountain 33” metal wheel sets installed with Fastenal 2-56 x 1/4” screws. 

Underbody before airbrushed black.

Underbody after airbrushed black.

I finished removing the remaining lettering on the sides and ends and added stick on tire weights to weight the car to 3.8 ounces.

All lettering from carbody removed.

Car weighted with tire weights.

The car body was ready for the install of ends and roof; however, I decided not to use the Sunshine Model Mini Kit (SMMK) parts.   Why?  When I reviewed the photos of cars other than the Missouri Pacific in the Railmodel  Journal mentioned above I realized I could use these parts to build other freight cars of the 1942 design.  Therefore, I used the SMMK ends and a Red Caboose panel roof as masters to make rubber molds to produce resin parts used to build MP 34222.   After fitting the resin cast roof and ends to the InterMountain car body I assembled them with cyanoacrylate (CA).   Maybe one day some manufacture will produce a one piece mini kit assembly to make an easy install.  

Assembled roof and ends ready to install on carbody.

When CA was set, the assembled car ends and roof were installed on the InterMountain car body.  CA was used to bond the assembly to the car body.  After the resin assembled car ends and roof were installed I installed sill steps.  The plastic sill steps provided in the kit were installed for a sill filler (increase width) were cut off and A-Line #29001, style B, sill steps were mounted in holes drilled with a #76 drill in the widen sill mounting area.

Assembled roof and ends installed on carbody.

B end view of assembled roof and ends
 installed on carbody.

With a car body ready for adding the detail parts, I installed the plastic kit eight rung ladders.   After glue set, kit ladders stiles had the plastic rungs removed with a sprue nipper and replaced with wire rungs bent using No Name  .010” brass wire ( No Name wire was given to me by a friend who did not know manufacturer).  If I had not used the No Name .010” diameter brass wire, Tichy Train Group (Tichy) #1100, .010” phosphor bronze wire (PBW) would have been used.

Ladder with wire rungs installed.

On the roof, Kadee Apex running boards #2001, were installed rather than suggested metal one.  Formula 560 canopy glue was applied with a toothpick to the roof saddles to install the running boards. 

Kadee Apex running boards installed.

Now the B end work was done.   The following B end detail parts were installed 

  • Plano Apex metal brake step, #11322 set 
  • Brake step brackets, kit
  • Brake housing with chain, kit
  • Brake shaft clevis to attach brake shaft to bell crank, kit
  • Brake shaft, Tichy #1102, .015” diameter PBW 
  • Retainer valve, kit
  • Retainer line and brackets, Tichy #1100, .008” diameter PBW
  • Uncoupling levers, bent using Tichy #1106, .0125” diameter PBW
  • Uncoupling lever mounting brackets, Yarmouth Model Works #507
  • Brake wheel, Kadee Ajax, #2020

The brake gear had the brake shaft removed with a sprue nipper between brake housing chain and clevis to mount each separately allowing a replacement wire brake shaft to be installed between them once mounted on the car end.  If you use the Yarmouth Model Works #507 uncoupling lever mounting brackets, I suggest you use a #79 drill to enlarge the hole prior to bending and mounting.  I had to enlarge the hole after mounting to allow my uncoupling lever to pass through the bracket hole.  I had to bend cardboard to create a wedge for backing to allow drilling the hole.  Without backing to hold the bracket in place it would bend or it will break off.   I broke one resulting in frustration and “verbal blue smoke”.  Lesson learned.

B end details installed.

With B end work done, work needed on the sides was done.  Kadee bracket grab irons, Kadee #2250, were installed in the manufacture drilled holes.   Doors and door stops from the SMMK were installed with CA.  On the doors the cast on door handles were carved off and replaced with wire door handles bent using Tichy #1101, .010” diameter PBW.

Side grab irons, doors and wire handles and
door stops installed.

The underbody work which had been done before the B end work included the install of the following parts:

        -       Brake cylinder, kit, resin mounting bracket, Sunshine Models

- AB (Control) valve, kit, resin mounting bracket, Sunshine Models

- Air reservoir, kit, mounting brackets - plastic grab irons

- Above brake components were predrilled for piping

- Slack adjuster, Yarmouth Model Works pin plate #508

- Brake cylinder lever, cut from Evergreen #8108, 1” x 8” strip styrene

- Brake floating lever, cut from Evergreen #8106, 1” x 6” strip styrene

- Brake levers hangers, plastic grab irons

- Brake piping from air reservoir to control valve, Tichy #1101, .010” dia. Brass wire

- Brake pipe from brake cylinder to control valve, Tichy #1106, .0125” dia. PBW

- Brake rods, Tichy #1106, .0125” diameter PBW

- Brake rod clevises, Tichy turnbuckles #8021

Chain, Precision Scale # 48553,  34 links per inch

- Train line, kit

- Dirt collector, resin cast in M&N Shops

Underbody details parts installed.

Missouri Pacific 34222 was now moved to the paint shop.  After previous review of the numbers in the kit provided decal set,  I chose number 34222 for the car number.

 Since the  underbody had already been airbrushed Vallejo Model Air Nato Black #71.251 only the added detail parts were hand painted with again Vallejo Model Air Nato Black #71.25.  Trucks were also hand painted the same color.

Underbody added detail parts painted black.

Next the car body was sprayed with a mix of Vallejo/MicroMark Model Air, Boxcar Red  # X29015X2, 50% and my mix of Southern Freight Car Brown 70.990, 50%.  I mixed the Southern Freight Car Brown using a mix of Vallejo Model Color Black Red 70.859, 2/3 (2 parts) and Vallejo Model Color Flat Yellow 70.953, 1/3 (1 part).

Car body airbrushed.

Car body airbrushed.

Once dry, car body was sprayed with Vallejo Gloss Medium 70.470 for decal base.  After drying overnight, decals were applied.  Decals provided in the kit were used.  Due to the age of the decals, the decals were coated with Microscale Liquid Decal Film to prevent them breaking up.  I used photos of MP box car 34114  and  B end of box car I-GN 17768 (above) as a guide to apply decals.

Decals were soaked off in distilled water and applied to the car body where MicroScale Micro Set had been applied with a brush.   After the decal was applied in the Micro Set and positioned the edges had MicroScale Micro Sol applied.  Any excess solution was sucked away with the torn edge of a paper towel.  Again when dry, car body sprayed with Vallejo Gloss Medium 70.470 to better hide edges of decals and protect decals during handling. 

Decals applied.

Again when dry, the car body was sprayed with Model Master Acryl, #4636, flat to protect decals and provide a flat finish for weathering when applied.

MP 34222 ready for weathering
before placard boards.

MP 34222 ready for weathering
after placard boards.

One more step before putting MP 34222 in service was to weather the car with Artmatic eye shadow and Pan Pastels.  An Artmatic eye shadow color like a RR light earth brown color were applied over rivet seams and sill areas.  Pan Pastels Paynes Grey Extra Dark 840.1  was used on the roof and lightly over safety appliances on car body.

Car body weathered.

Car body weathered.

Missouri Pacific  boxcar 34222 was ready for service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company, The Lakeland Route, “Serving today, Shaping tomorrow.”  A car card was made for MP 34222, the final step to put the a car in service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company Railroad.

Car spotted for unloading at Bass Lake Jct. Team Track.

Car spotted for unloading at Bass Lake Jct. Team Track.

Car spotted for unloading at Bass Lake Jct. Team Track.

Car spotted for unloading at Bass Lake Jct. Team Track.

I want to say, “Thank You” to Ed Hawkins for permission to use his photos of MP cars in in the Sunshine Models Modeling Notes for Missouri Pacific 1942 American Car & Foundry (ACF) Boxcars (Sunshine Models 2005) and the December 1996 issue of Railmodel Jounal.  And, a “Thank You” to George Toman for notifying me of the 2005 Sunshine Models Mini Kit for a Missouri Pacific Box Car, purchasing and shipping it for me.

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 sign your comment with your name if you choose to leave one.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.

Lester Breuer


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