Tag Archives: Weathering

Paint failure

Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Collection 12002-14

Just before Christmas, discussion on the Steam Era Freight Cars YahooGroup was focused on box car roof paint failure. Many felt the overall effect was interesting, but far less common in the steam era due to more accumulation of soot on freight cars. Nonetheless, paint does fail, most noticeably on galvanized metal roofs. The above image is a portion of a 1943 Jack Delano photograph of the Milwaukee Railroad freight house in Galewood, IL. Of the nine box cars in the edited image, three of the roofs show signs of paint failure. The most apparent example can be seen on a car in the second row and second from the left. The two cars in the front row on the right side also show some paint failure.

We invited modelers to share images and techniques to inspire others to add this detail to a few of their freight cars.

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Rocket Express 40 and 50-foot Rock Island Automobile boxcars


Charlie Duckworth builds a pair of Rock Island automobile box cars. Click on any image here to view a larger size.

Ron Von Werder, owner of Rocket Express, offers two Rock Island (RI) automobile boxcars. Both HO scale kits are flat castings and assemble easily. I prefer using Westerfield’s RI decals for the reporting marks and numbers as his artwork looks closer to the Rock Island prototype lettering than what is supplied in the kits.

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SLSF Single Sheathed boxcar Sunshine Model kit 65.3


Charlie Duckworth shares a classic resin freight car kit build.


The SLSF 145550-144749 series were at one time the third largest block of boxcars on the road, with 1200 installed. Originally built as automobile boxcars in 1923, they had 7-foot wide door openings with a Samson radial roof. The ends had 7/8 outward facing, Murphy corrugated steel stampings. By the 1930’s, the 7-foot doors were too small for automobile loading and the cars were placed in general service. The railroad listed 1,024 of these cars in the 1940 ORER as general service box cars (XM). There are no listings in this number series by the 1956 ORER.

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