MODELING: Reefers in Paint

I have been posting progress on my Wilson meat reefer and Robert Leners’ Cudahy meat reefer build.   As you have observed they are similar in construction but differ widely in details.  The details do make the difference in what we do in Proto48.

wilson a-3 weathered

The Wilson car used the American Steel Foundries A-3 Ride Control truck design.   My trucks were purchased from Protocraft in P48.   I decided to do a little weathering to the basic black truck.  My weathering medium is Vallejo acrylic paints.  I used mud and light rust and with some black metal to add highlights.  I may do some more on the truck before the cars is done.

SP 3203 desert

The above pictures shows some of the dirt and grime on trucks.  Plain bearing trucks were oiled frequently and  show signs of it around the journal lid and box. While they had a dirt shield on the back of the journal oil would leak onto the face of the wheel and create the perfect magnet to collect dirt and dust.  The axles and wheel backs were more rusty than the face of the wheel.

wilson in paint

As promised, the Wilson car has the basic colors applied.  The roof and ends are Rich Oxide Brown and the sides are Reefer Orange with a touch of Reefer Yellow.   The underframe is black.  I have some touchup to do and add black to some of the hardware.   Decals are right around the corner.


Robert has been busy with adding a few last minute details and applying the first color.


The Cudahy car has hatch hardware much like a standard reefer. The latch bars are from Grandt Line and match the style used by GARX on this series.   By the way, Robert scratch built the ladders using brass angles and wire.


The side color is a basic yellow with a orange added.  Robert will be adding the roof and end color soon.   He lives in an area where you plan your painting on the weather (humidity).

Both projects will be lettered with Protocraft decals.   They are very accurate since the lettering was traced from actual photographs rather than using standard printer fonts.

The next update will shown both cars in a finished state.

Happy Trails,



5 thoughts on “MODELING: Reefers in Paint

  1. Gene,

    Very nice work. What brand of paint did you use for the Oxide brown and reefer orange? Thanks for sharing.

    Lee Gustafson

  2. Pingback: Site seeing – August 22nd | Andrew's Trains – Formerly

  3. Hi Gene,

    Am I completely off in assuming that the SP photograph was taken at Owenyo?

    Best regards,


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