Southern Pacific 50′ A50-6 / A50-5 1-1/2 Door Boxcar

Charlie Duckworth offers another great resin kit build summary. His focus this time is a classic Southern Pacific automobile box car kit offered by Funaro & Camerlengo. Click on any image here to review a larger size. Here’s Charlie’s report.

The Southern Pacific had 2,000 of these 50-foot, single-sheathed automobile box cars built in 1923. The cars were built in two classes in A-50-5 and A-50-6. The A-50-5 had steel auto doors in the A end of the car. The cars were built with Z-bar framing, metal peaked roofs, and fish belly underframes. The A-50-5 were numbered 68000-68499, while the A-50-6 group were numbered 66800-67999 with single-sheathed ends. Prototype photos and additional history can be found on pages 71 and 72 in Richard Hendrickson’s “Focus on Freight Cars Volume One: Single Sheathed Box & Automobile Cars.” The book is available from Speedwitch Media.

The Model
F&C kit number 6560/6561 is made up of eight major white resin parts (two part roof, underframe, sides and ends). Detail parts such as the doors, underframe crossties, bolsters, roof walk are also resin. Wire is included for the various rods and piping used on the underframe and brake details. Brass hand grabs are included for the side and end ladders. The sixteen step instructions include a general arrangement drawing which is helpful during construction.

I’ve built several F&C kits and this is one of Steve’s best. I believe he first issued this kit in 1999 for the Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society convention of that year. Being a single-sheathed car, there are lots of small rivet details. The Z-bracing is well done, as are the doors and minor detail parts. Just sand the sides to ensure they are straight and equal in length, remove the flash around the ends, and wet sand away the flash around the smaller parts. Everything fits well and it was an enjoyable build. I did spray the carbody with Tamiya gray primer as the locations for drilling the holes for the hand grabs are extremely hard to see in the white resin.

My only addition to building the kit are four cut-down Lego blocks positioned in the corners to ensure the carbody is straight and to widen the glue surface for attaching the ends. A piece of 0.040-inch Evergreen styrene was added as a spacer in the center of the car to ensure the sides didn’t bow. The Legos and additional styrene spacer gave the finished carbody strength.

The F&C decals are nicely printed but I used Speedwitch decal set D131 to finish this car as a T&NO box car. Ted’s decals are an improvement over most kit decals.

The car was painted using Tru-Color MKT 188 as recommended by Ed Hawkins. I wanted to lighten up the color so I added a few drops of Tru-Color ART yellow. After the paint was dry I sprayed a coat of Tamiya Clear onto the carbody as it dries to a high gloss for decaling. The trucks are from Tahoe Model Works. The car was lightly weathered with military pigments and the work was sealed with thinned Testors Dullcote from an airbrush.
Charlie Duckworth

Thank you, Charlie, for sharing more of your work here on the blog. Take time to visit Charlie’s website for layout photos and Mopac info. Questions and comments can be posted below. Please follow the instructions so your comment can be posted. All comments are reviewed and approved before they appear.

3 thoughts on “Southern Pacific 50′ A50-6 / A50-5 1-1/2 Door Boxcar

  1. Very nice craftsmanship on your model. I noticed in the last photo you have 3 door stops. I only noticed because the door stop in my kits look like blobs and I can’t tell what they look like on the prototype. What did you use? Thank you for sharing your work. Seeing what models can look like inspires me to challenge myself to do better.
    Fred Swanson

  2. Very nice build Charlie. I’ve been admiring your work. I was wondering what exactly you mean by wet sanding the smaller detail parts. Do you do that on a flat surface or some other way?
    Bob Christensen

  3. I built this kit when it first came out I think. Certainly over a decade ago now. I thought it augured a new day in terms of the quality of F&C’s offerings as it is a wonderful kit and built into one of my favorite models. Steve has kept up his quality in my opinion since this kit was introduced. Mine is also T&NO.

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