Southern Car & Foundry and Twin Star Cars are preparing several new urethane kits for release. The kits focus on the steam era spanning to the second generation diesel era.
Southern Car & Foundry
The next release is available now. Owner, Jon Cagle, will have the pilot model in hand at the Chicago “March Meet” this weekend. The prototype is an ARA alternate design single sheathed car. The initial configuration is the series purchased by the Columbus & Greeville shortline.
Here is the prototype shown in this 1950 view prior to an update to schedule AB brake system.
This car was photographed in British Columbia in the early 1950s. The cars seem to show up in other parts of North America.
The silver roof and triangle shaped herald are eyecatching features of these cars. The kit includes a one-piece urethane body, separate floor and doors. You will find a laser-cut running boards and a selection of plastic detail parts, AB brake set, and ladders.
The cast underframe features all of the details of the prototype. The pilot model has Protocraft couplers installed and a new decal set for this kit.
Master pattern maker, Jim Zwernemann made this kit for Jon. The basic kit parts will be reconfigured with a new door type and roof to create cars for the Missouri Pacific and Louisiana & Arkansas like what is shown below.
Great choice of prototypes by Jim and Jon along with new decal sets from Protocraft.
TWIN STAR CARS is preparing a series of boxcar kits based upon USRA double sheathed rebuilds. The cars will offer one-piece bodies with separate floors or roofs (patterns are just started). The pattern work is a collaboration between myself and Ross Dando. The models will be cast by Southern Car & Foundry so they will excellent quality and stable resin. Protocraft will be doing specific sets to cover a range of cars planned. The project will fill a void in the 1/4″ scale freight cars produced.
The Rock Island version of the car is shown above. The railroad rebuilt the original double sheathed boxcar with replacement steel sides purchased from suppliers like Bethlehem Steel. The car height and cube was raised with a spacer between the top two panels of the original USRA 5/5/5 end. The new interior height at 10′ which is the same as the 1937 AAR steel boxcars. Interesting that the road retained the original USRA Andrews trucks but did replace the roof with a SRE raised panel steel roof. A new Youngstown door replaced the old wooden door. The new steel sides were attached to the old sidesill with cast steel brackets.
Ross Dando’s pattern is for the side with 3D CAD brackets that acurately capture the prototype design. The base for the side has already been machined to simulate the lapped plate construction of the side.
The second car in the series will be the C&NW/CMO design. It is nearly identical to the Rock Island design except for the use of a Viking roof and a one inch higher interior height. There were variation in handbrake type used on the RI and C&NW cars. The kits will use the SMMW printed handbrakes correct for the specific car lot.
A number of these cars migrated to other railroads like the Soo Line ,Ft. Dodge Des Moines & Southern Railway and Muncie & Western (The Ball Line).
Another car that is planned is the ATSF Bx-32 boxcar. The railroad was famous for rebuilding their older cars into modern all-steel designs.
The USRA fishbelly underframe is quite noticeable in this view. The interior height of these cars was bumped up to 10’4″. All of the cars received Ajax handbrakes as did all Santa Fe cars of this era.
Another project planned is the Elgin & Joliet Eastern rebuilt USRA double sheathed boxcar. Many these cars wore a medium green paint with orange lettering. The roof is a Standard raised panel and modern Morton running boards and Miner handbrakes.
Jim Zwernemann built this prize winning models a number of years ago. The lettering was done by the late Jim Hickey using an ALPS printer. I have always loved this car and have been planning a build. I did the USRA 5/5/5 pattern a long time ago in anticipation of building this car. I also built the USRA underframe pattern for another project.
Here are the pieces that are done (raised panel roof is done but not included in the picture). The side was cut from an Intermountain car body and reduced in height. The parts are ready to go to the foundry to be cast and then assembled into a one-piece body. These EJ&E cars were the same height as the original USRA car. A few railroads did not raise the interior height. The Frisco left the original roof as well as the ends and underframe.
USRA double sheathed (original and rebuilt) cars that were upgraded with AB brake schedule have the components on the same side of the fishbelly frame.
So this is the plan. No timing has been offered so please be patient. It is great to see several cars on my bucket list checked off.