|Top (Concor insulated boxcar), bottom (Front Range plug door boxcar)|
A few weeks ago, a fellow ontarian modeller kindly sent me a set of old CDS dry tranfer made to letter a CN 40ft insulated boxcar. Since 40ft boxcars were still a common sight in the early 80s, I decided to give it a try.
A search in our old rolling stock boxes quickly resulted in two suitable models. The first one is a CNR insulated boxcar made by Concor. After looking at several prototype pictures, I came to the conclusion I could rework a few details here and there and salvage the "Maple Leaf" old lettering.
Later, I found out another plug door boxcar made by Front Range Products. With separe details, this car looks quite nice and the overall appearance is quite close to what CN used back then. This one will be relettered with the CN Wet Noodle scheme.
The first thing I had to do was to rework the underframe. The car rode too high on its trucks and the assembly was far from great. I've found out many people complaining about such issues with Front Range Products cars. No big deal.
The second modification was to remove the movable doors. The system FRP used to make them working was unrealistic and flimsy. I decided to enlarge the door opening and glue the door directly flush with the car sides just like the prototype.
Next steps involved replacing many details parts including new Tichy grabirons, A-Line metal stirrup steps, Kadee brakewheel and new styrene tackboards to fit prototype pictures.
Finally, I made a heater unit under the car using various bits of styrene.
The car is now getting a nice coat of brown primer before receiving it's final coat of boxcar brown.