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GBW 862

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An HO scale model of a red GBW boxcar.

GBW 40-foot red boxcar from InterMountain's kit

The Prototype

The GBW acquired 200 40' boxcars (GBW 700-899) from Pullman-Standard in 1950.  In the early 1960s some of the 800-899 series cars were painted bright red with a 'Home of the Packers' logo.  The cars were repainted yellow by the late 1960s.

The Model

The HO scale InterMountain Railway Company 40' PS-1 boxcar with six-foot doors is a very close match for these boxcars.  However a simpler stand-in of this  prototype can easily be made from an Accurail #3496 PS-1 boxcar which already comes painted bright red with data lettered in white (although the model's door is 8' wide).  Scale Rail Graphics (now out of business - the Ann Arbor Railroad Technical & Historical Association offers a similar set in HO scale) made a decal set for these cars in several scales.

Basic Car Body

The project started with an Intermountain #40499 40' PS-1 boxcar with 6-foot doors.  I replaced the kit's Youngstown doors with Kadee #2210 six-foot seven-panel high tackboard Superior doors. 

The car was built pretty much according to the instructions, but I managed to mangle the air line while removing it from the sprue and had to fabricate a new one from a piece of 0.015" music wire. I left the glad hands (part h) and the bell crank, chain and rod (part m) off my model.

The model weighed only two ounces when assembled, so I added one ounce of stick-on car weights to get the car up to 3 ounces.  The NMRA standard for a 40-foot car is 4 ounces, so add even more weight if you use that standard for your layout. (Ten pennies plus glue weighs roughly one ounce.)

A rivet counter could replace the kit's brake wheel with a Kadee #2031 Equipco brake wheel and maybe replace the stirrup step below the side ladder with one that more closely matches the prototype.

Painting & Decals

Painting the model was a straightforward project.  The Kadee boxcar doors were painted with gray primer from an aerosol can before they were added to the model. After the remainder of the boxcar  was assembled -- but before the trucks and couplers were added -- I airbrushed the boxcar body with Modelflex #16-37 Southern Pacific Scarlet Red.

Decal Comments

The Scale Rail Graphics is the first in years to offer a 'Home of the Packers' decals for modelers.  Here are my first impressions of the set:

The PACKERS logo and GREEN BAY ROUTE heralds look a little small -- I think they should be about 20% or so larger. Note how the prototype herald extends the width of one welded panel. In addition, the font of the large GREEN BAY AND WESTERN looks a little on the heavy side

I should have placed the GREEN BAY AND WESTERN about a scale foot or two to the left so the "AND" was completely to the left of the dimensional data.

I didn't mask off the bottom of the car so I got a little overspray of red on the underbody air tank and brake cylinder, as in prototype photos.  Likewise, the trucks were lightly sprayed from above with the same red paint before attaching them to the model.

The decals came from the new Scale Rail Graphics #31057 GBW 40' Red Steel Boxcar.  The most difficult part of the car was placing the sixteen white dots along the bottom of each side of the car.  The tabs on the side sill of the boxcar doesn't exactly match the prototype, so I found it helpful to use a ruler to place the dots at equal spaces, rather than to try to space them visually.

After decaling I used several applications of Microscale Micro-Sol to settle the decal over the weld lines (and my somewhat rough paint job).

Weathering and Final Touches

The prototype cars were used in paper service, so they were kept in fairly good condition.  Plus, this paint scheme didn't last very long in the 1960s, so I kept the weathering to a minimum.

After adding the trucks I sprayed the model Testors Dullcote from an aerosol can.  The car was lightly weathered using a light spray of 1 part Delta Ceramcoat "Charcoal Gray" thinned with about 2 parts of Delta's acrylic thinner along the bottom of the boxcar sides and ends and also along the roofwalk

I sprayed the faces of a set of Intermountain 33" metal wheel sets with Ceramcoat Brown Iron Oxide, once again thinned with acrylic thinner.  I polished the wheel treads with my motor tool before adding them to the boxcar.

The model was finished with Kadee #58 couplers and is ready to go into service on my 1960s-era Green Bay & Waupaca Railroad!

Parts List

Detail Manufacturer Walthers
Catalog No.
Basic model body Intermountain 85-40499 40' PS-1 Box Car -- undecorated (gray) w/6' Door
Accurail 112-3496 40' PS-1 Steel Car -- Data Only (bright red)
Doors Kadee Quality Products 380-2210 6' 7 Panel Superior Doors
Air Line K&S Engineering 370-498 Music Wire -- 015" Diameter
Car Weights Proto Power West / A-Line 116-13000 Flat Weights
Micro-Mark --- #82330 Stick-On Weights
Brake Wheel Kadee Quality Products 380-2031 Equipco Type Brake Wheels
Paint Badger 165-1637 Modelflex paint -- Southern Pacific Scarlet Red
Decals Scale Rail Graphics   #31057 GBW 40' Red Steel Boxcar
Microscale 460-105 Micro-Sol
Weathering Testors 704-1260 Dullcote 
Delta Crafts #2436 Charcoal
Delta Crafts #2023 Brown Iron Oxide
Delta Crafts Acrylic Thinner
Wheels   85-40050 33" wheels
Couplers Kadee 380-58 Scale Coupler

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Updated July 11, 2015