Green Bay & Western Lines
The East-West Short Route
 [Home]     Information ] Locos ] Rolling Stock ] Photos & Stuff ] Ephemera ] Modeling ] References ] Site Map ]
GBW 16257

Up ]


Model a common Green Bay & Western 50' boxcar from the 1980s.

GBW 50-foot exterior post boxcar from Athearn's FMC 5347 boxcar model

Brian Everett modeled this car using an Athearn ready-to-run model, an out-of-production decal set and a paint match using acrylic craft paint available at many retail stores.

The Prototype

The GBW added fifty 50' boxcars (GBW 7000-7049) and an additional three hundred 50' boxcars (GBW 1600-16299) in December 1979 and January 1980. These cars were built by FMC and painted in the familiar bright yellow paint scheme with black lettering and a red-and-white GREEN BAY ROUTE herald.

The Model

The HO scale Athearn 50' FMC 5347 Boxcar is an exact match for these boxcars. These ready-to-run models feature all new tooling, photo-etched detail parts and free standing grab irons. Herald King made a decal set (now out of production) for these cars. Athearn now offers this model as a ready-to-run model lettered for GBW 7015 and 7048.

Basic Car Body

Brian started this project with the Athearn FMC boxcar model. A similar starting point would be the Roundhouse #1950 50' FMC boxcar model, although the Athearn car has much finer details.

Brian's particular car was lettered for Appacholia Northern. The paint was stripped by soaking the car in a bath of 90% isopropyl alcohol.


Brian primed the model using Testors silver enamel paint. Using a silver base coat does two things:

  • The roof of these cars was galvanized, so the roof gets the proper color for it;
  • Light colors 'pop' better with a silver undercoat.

After the paint dried the car was masked and the final yellow coat applied to the car sides and ends. Brian used Ceramcoat Opaque Yellow, thinned with water until the paint had a consistency similar to coffee creamer.

The paint was sprayed with a Paasche H airbrush, using a #5 tip at 20-25 psi air pressure. When finished, the car was sprayed with Testors Model Master Gloss Clear Acrylic paint in preparation for decaling.


The car was lettered using a Herald King set #B-12 (now out of production). Although the decal set was unopened, the film had cracked and Brian needed to 'save' the decals in order to use them. He used a product called "Super Gloss" to coat the decals. Brian is not sure who makes Super Gloss, but he has had a bottle of it "forever" he uses for this purpose.

Parts List

Detail Manufacturer Catalog No. Description
Basic model body Athearn ATH91400 HO RTR 50' FMC 5347 box, undecorated
(or decorated, and strip the paint with 90% isopropyl alcohol)
Roundhouse 1950 50' FMC box car - single door
Primer paint Testors 1342 Silver enamel paint
Body paint Delta Ceramcoat 2509 Opaque yellow
Clear coat Testors 4638 Model Master gloss clear acrylic paint
Decal coat     Super Gloss

[ Top of This Page

 The Green Bay Route is maintained by Mark Mathu.
Visit the Guest Book or send comments to
Updated July 11, 2015