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admin 04.04.2016

If you choose not to seal, then you do want to stick to solvent-based paints, as the wood will otherwise absorb the water and potentially warp. When I was a young child we did not have television in our home so besides participating in a lot of outdoor activities such as baseball, club house building, tree climbing, fighting and an excessive amount of bicycle riding I did a lot of reading. This is a journal of how I built a particular kit, La Belle kit #30 Pacific Coast Box Car in HOn3. I must emphasize that this documents how I DID IT and not necessarily how I SHOULD HAVE done it.
2.  Mark and install the bolsters early, not near the end of the project since the bolster location really locates the truss rods and brake hardware.
Using a caliper I measured the location of the bolsters and queen posts on the plan and transferred their location centerlines onto the template. Setting the actual bolster piece on the template I marked its width onto the floor piece and used a machinist’s square to mark across the all the floor sills. Using a Northwest Short Line Chopper I cut into the sills at the marks down to the floor level. Transfering the queenpost locations from my template onto my actual floor piece I glue down the queen posts using 5-minute epoxy. I immediately add the Grandt Line brake cylinder assembly from Box Car Hardware kit also glued with the epoxy. I then photocopied at 100% the result so I could lay out the brake rigging on a flat surface before assembling it all on the real frame.
Using a crisp-edged block of wood to keep everything straight I glued on the roof and used rubber bands to hold the assembly overnight to dry. Since I was using the plain wood bolsters from the kit I use 5-minute epoxy to attach scraps of thick styrene inside the boxcar to give the truck mounting screws something to bite on. Note that once I added weight to the car I screwed the trucks on to help protect the underbody detail and the truss rods. Once dry I simply pressed each end on a cutting surface and chopped the excess of with a sharp knife. Using a block of wood to apply even pressure I glued on the scribed siding for the roof. It is important to make sure the first half is glued straight with respect to the roof centerline.
Using a large sewing needle held in a pin-vice I marked the handrail locations by poking through the plan into the car sides. I added the handrails first before any other side details were added since the handling had to be pretty rough while installing. The Grandt Line coupler draft gear casting is mounted with two large pins. I made a quickie Coupler draft gear drilling template to aid in drilling the holes in the car body at the right place.


I am finishing up my Banta craftsman laser cut wood buildings (eight of them) and enjoyed the effort. I am not interested in narrow gauge cars, but wood standard gauge (regular MTH O scale) are fine. Any truck will work, but you should have the trucks you wish to use beforehand, because some underbody modification will be needed for 3-rail trucks. I did a complete step-by-step of the LaBelle boxcar kit on another forum, and would be happy to share it here as well if it would help. In the meantime, I would suggest going to the LaBelle sight and reading the tutorial on building a boxcar. You need to shape the curved roof ends, for instance, on the piece of wood stock provided for the roof. However, the company changed hands about a decade ago and the new owner has made a number of improvements to various of the kits since taking over, so buying new guarantees getting the most updated kit available. Unfortunately they're not available as kits anymore, and you do have to do an interior. But other than that, most hand tools needed are those typically found in the modeller's tool box. Generally, people recommend solvent-based paints for finishing wood, as it tends to avoid the warpage issue that arises with water-based paints. The wood roof stock allows you to shape it according to a specific prototype, if you so choose. Hindsight Alert: I’d now use Kadee’s excellent #717 HOn3 4’-6” wheelbase sprung trucks and these INCLUDE steel bolster castings.
Then I notched the sills by breaking off the waste between the cuts with a small pair of pliers.
Now, before I add the end blocks is a good time to drill the holes that I’ll need to put the truck mounting screws through. Blocks of wood would work for this too if you are using delicate trucks that themselves need to be protected.
The kit does not give you pieces long enough to go the full length of the car so I carefully spliced the pieces needed using scrap stripwood. This was very helpful in smoothing out the wood of the car so the plastic details don’t clash. After drilling the holes I used a small pair of needle nose pliers to push in the handrails and used gap-filling ACC to glue then in.


To make the lettering stick better I gave the sides a quick final overspray of Testors Gloss-Cote. My layout is O-36, and I use Athearn trucks with Kadee couplers on a few of my kits with no problem. I realize there has to be some coupler modifications to get a MTH DCS engine to pull this train. Many years ago in the early 1980's I built a caboose kit in O scale just for fun and to display (I had zero trains at the time). The inside is fairly visible thru the windows, and so needs at least a coat of dark gray, if you are not going to detail the interior. The worst that can happen is that you'll may end up buying another piece of roof stock.
I also made some photocopies of pages from White’s The American Railroad Freight Car to keep on my workbench as I build. I photocopied the side and end drawings from the instructions and cut them so two sides lined up on the model and left extra on the other two sides to give me something to hold on to. I made a coupler draft gear mounting pad out of sheet styrene epoxied on the frame members and this hold the coupler at the right height above the rails. I would venture to say that the Huff-n-Puff kits are bit easier to assemble with better instructions, but both are do-able, but do require patience. I'm thinking right now of making up a train of these older styled fright cars with perhaps a earlier style engine to pull the train.
The Roundhouse 36' boxcars and reefers are nice too, but may be a little more early 20th century than late 19th century. This was to hide the spill-over from mounting car details as well as filling in the otherwise too-deep scribing in the car sides.
They're a bit cheaper, you get two of them in one box, and it will give you an idea of what to expect on the next freight car.
After eight Banta structure kits, a water tank kit, a steam engine watering tank kit, two oil wells kits, a rail yard tower kit, a oil well oil storage tank kit, and a scratch built simple coaling station I probably can handle the olden days rolling stock kits.



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  • 027, 04.04.2016 at 21:57:47
    Concentrate is the scenery and the bridges locomotive or automobile chances are.
  • FREEBOY, 04.04.2016 at 19:40:42
    Passenger trains will drop the locomotives off at the fuel rack locomotives.