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Box Car Kits – Chris Cardinal

From Gerry Hopkins
Mon, 12 Jan 1998

Long over due – but hopefully – better late then never!

Chris Cardinal Box Car Kit.
Before building the kit you have to decide wether you want a HOn2 or HOn30 boxcar. If you want HOn2 then follow the instruction for building the box. You will need to file down the side of the under frame to fit inside the box, this will also help when fitting the under size roof bits. If you want HOn30 then the following steps will help. I follow the same idea as Dave Frary – cars need to be wider to get the “low and sleek” look of the Maine Two Footers when running on 2’6″ track.

In both cases it is much better to drill all holes before assembly, a small bench drill is ideal for this. I do not possess a Dremel Tool but a12-20 volt unit of similar size. Assemble the walls with the end walls INSIDE the sidewall – opposite to the instructions. This will make the cars about 6″ wider than the prototype (1.75mm or #^*/*%$ins). You will have to file down the ends of the underframe to fit inside the assembly. Before gluing the underframe in place, file a recess in the end beams to accommodate the KD 1023/1025 coupler. The recess needs to be 2/3 the depth of the coupler. Dry fit the underframe and mark the centre (center for Yanks) sill. File this to the same depth as the end beam.

Before fitting the underframe you must fit the roof. Because the car is now wider you will have to fit a centre (center) beam down the middle of the car. I used Evergreen 6″ X 10″ on edge. Glue the beam in place with its top edge level with the point on the end walls. There is no need to bevel this piece to match the angle (pitch) of the end walls. Glue the two roof sections in place. You will notice that the ‘cast on’ roof walk supports are level with the 6 x 10 ridge piece. The cast roof walk is too narrow so you will have to fabricate a new one. I used 3 pieces of 8 x 1 for this. As I am not lucky enough to have calibrated eyeballs the finished item looks OK.

The trucks are another item of choice.

  1. Grandt Line as supplied
  2. Grandt Line with metal wheels (NWSL)
  3. Grandt Line with low profile KD wheels (as per Bob Hayden)
  4. KD archbar with low profile wheels.

I go for 4) as I like to run my trains, although 3) would be a close second. There is very little ‘meat’ on the bolster to fit the trucks, I use the large delrin washer that comes with the KD passenger trucks. I fit this around the small square on the centre sill and use the supplied screw to fit the truck. This gives a very stable base for the truck. There is enough clearance for the truck to negotiate 15″ curves.

Follow the instructions for the rest of the work. The decals are quite good and crisp but the decals supplied with the F&C kits seam to sit down better into the planking. I spray the car with Floquil Zinc Cromate, to me this is the best match for the SR&RL cars. It may be a fraction light for the purist but I run my trains under artificial light not under the sun. For 2 of these cars I used decals from Brandy Wine Station, they are billboard style as SR&RL MAY have been after the war.


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