Project Background

Inspiration can come from the most random places. I was cruising through the interwebs looking for pictures of door-and-a-half boxcars (e.g. the ABOX Railbox cars), and found a picture of one that looked really good. Followed the picture link to the page, and it turned out to be from Chris Palomarez of Microscale, who had written an article for Microscale (using their products) about updating the MDC/Athearn car (article here).

I spent far too much time cruising the archives of these articles, and found one he produced that referenced a weathering challenge on The Weathering Shop, of which I've been a member for many years. Of course I didn't remember this challenge, but as is sometimes said, better late than never! The challenge involved updating the Life-Like Evans 50' boxcar, which is a nice model (surprisingly so, given the date of the tooling and the brand). With a little work, I decided this could be a fun project.

This is the second batch of these that I've done (or perhaps the third- I have lost track). I really enjoy the "treasure from trash" process- rehabbing an old car (or anything) is very satisfying to me. So I did another lot, this time of former Penn Central boxcars that were acquired by Conrail. I love the faded blue/green, and the rust on the prototypes, so here are a few.

The Build

I covered a lot of the process in a prior post on converting these cars into modern Conrail boxcars, so I won't go into a lot of depth here. The usual steps were followed:
- strip paint
- shave and replace ladders (sides and ends)
- replace underframe with Details West parts, and add rigging.

The Details West Evans underframes are a perfect fit, and take care of the coupler box seating issue.

Painting & Weathering

I had done a lot of research on prototypes for prior projects, so knew I wanted to make these the faded jade green ex-Penn Central cars. I did three total, and will keep 1-2 and sell the others.

I wanted to give these a bit of age and wear, so I faded them and worked over the sides a bit. Thinned oils and chalk. The roofs got a major treatment- layers of oil, chalk, gouache. Wanted them to show some age!

Conrail 229112

Conrail 229379

Conrail 229573


Fun project, which produced some cars that are unique in my collection- I don't do a lot of east-coast cars.


Microscale article here

Microscale follow-up article, based on The Weathering Shop challenge, here

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