Missouri Pacific Railroad's Bagnell Branch

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Freight cars on the layout

Accurail boxcar converted to CB&Q Automobile boxcar.

Here's are a few of the freight cars on the layout; I've been building models since my early teens and got into 'serious' model freight cars in the late 1970's.  I went to high school in north Kansas City and Charlie Winter's lived only a few miles from my parent's house.   While I knew Charlie had an extensive collection of steam locomotives negatives, one evening he mentioned his freight car and caboose negatives and I was off to scratchbuilding many of railcars in the photos.  As the years have gone by the scratch built models gave way to resin models or more state-of-the-art plastic kits but the introduced me to researching the prototypes and making the cars look as weathered those I'd seen in the many rail yards I'd worked in while traveling on the Mopac.      
Al Westerfield approached the Mopac Historical Society on bringing out a model for the Kansas City NMRA convention.  I helped him with photos and plans which allowed him to bring out the Mopac 40' automobile car in his resin line. 
Many of my cars are plastic from Branchline, Proto 2000 and Accurail but I enjoy building resin kits due to the variety they introduce to a train.  Besides seeing Al Westerfield's kits, I have Martin Lofton's Sunshine Models, Yankee Clipper and Speedwitch kits.    The laser kit of the Mopac side door caboose is from Lake Junction Models as standard assigned caboose on my local.
Weathering on the cars depends on the age of the car compared to when the layout is set in 1954.  I use weathering powders, oil paints, pastel pencils and colored pencils.   Before computerization on the railroads, railcars were classified by routing cards attached by a 'mud hop' (yard clerk) or switch foreman using chalk marks.  You'll see examples of this on most of my models represented using a white pencil or white ink.  

Branchline 40' boxcar special car from MPHS

GTW resin automobile boxcar

Westerfield CMO 40' Flowler boxcar.

Al Westerfield's web site

Lake Junctions Models Mopac side door caboose model.


IMWX 1937 Boxcar modified to 1 1/2 door configuration. Greg Komar dry transfer decals used.

IMWX 1937 boxcar modified to a 1 1/2 configuration.  Central of Georgia dry transfer decals by Greg Komar.  Greg's transfers are off prototype photos or company lettering diagrams.  If you click on the above picture you can go directly to Greg's site.     

Tangent 52' Wabash gondola

Tangent's gondola is a wonderful model but when I placed it on the layout the black car looked like a 'black hole'.  I also didn't like the black interior walls or the gray floor.  I weathered this car by painting the interior walls a medium gray using flesh and black oil paints.  The floor was painted with the same gray mix with some brown oil paint added.  When the oils were dry I dabbed the flooring with some small spots of brown and black and then went across the individual boards to break up the single color.  The sides were then given a rust color using a mix of brown, yellow and red dry pigments mixed with turpentine.  When the oils were dry I added brown, black dry pigments around the interior of the walls where 'industrial dirt' would collect.  When the oils were completely dry,  I went back and added vertical orange pencil marks on the interior side walls where they would get scratched from having lading hitting the walls doing loading and unloading pipe loads, sheet steel, etc.  Final touches were adding white chalk marks (with a white pencil) around the ends were the switch foreman would mark up where the car would be blocked or switched in a class yard.   

Westerfield model of Bx-12 with raised roof.

Trix UP auto boxcar with Speedwitch decals

Westerfield Boston & Albany boxcar; model was built from one Al's early kits over 20 years ago.

Sunshine Models X-31f PRR Automobile boxcar.