Roster shots

This 36-foot C&O boxcar is one of my recent builds. This resin kit and the decals were created by a friend.

I often snap photos of projects as they progress on my workbench. It is so easy to capture images with a cell phone, point and shoot camera, or a digital SLR. I’m able to share ideas and techniques with friends and I can send out a call for help when I screw something up.

I recently realized I lacked photos of several completed and weathered freight cars. I had taken roster shots to document my growing HO scale freight car fleet but fell out of practice after the last move.

This Hocking Valley USRA coal gondola was built from an Intermountain kit.
After I built this Funaro & Camerlengo gondola, I found the decal sheet had details for the New England, Berkshire & Western. I thought I’d decal it as a tribute to the landmark work of the RPI club. I also used Rail Graphics generic data to reflect mid-1920s lettering.

I still have my photo booth set up. It was described a few months ago in a blog post. I checked through my photo archive and jotted down reporting marks and numbers of the freight cars that needed to be photographed. Finding them among the stored boxes was the hardest part!

A Westerfield model of a 40-foot clone of the Fowler design car.
CP 116382 is a Westerfield kit of a 36-foot Fowler design boxcar.

Roster shots are a good practice to document your fleet for insurance purposes, too. I’ll be saving these with a detailed spreadsheet on the models. Duplicate copies will be saved on thumb drives and stored off-site in a safe deposit box and with my daughter in case of disaster.

M&O 235451 is a Westerfield Model.
An Accurail USRA boxcar kit with factory paint and lettering.

I noted a couple things when reviewing the images. The Atlantic Coast Line boxcar is a fine example. I weathered this one a few years ago and the photo has a 2015 time stamp. But I see a detail that needs to be updated. The weigh date is not correct for my late 1926 focus. You can see the NEW stencil above the left truck in the above photo. This was bound to happen. I’ve jotted down notes for a few freight cars that need similar attention. I’ll work on these as newer cars are decaled. Weigh dates are small details but I like hitting the mark for the roster shots.

John Allen and others have used photography as a tool to improve their modeling. We can easily do the same with some cheap clamp lights and a cell phone or digital camera, and instantly see the results. An added bonus is documentation for insurance.

RPM event updates

I’ve updated the RPM event calendar as we close out another year. The first quarter of 2020 is busy with eight events lined up across the continent. Check the calendar, make some plans, and pack up your models to display at an upcoming RPM meet!


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4 thoughts on “Roster shots”

  1. This is a great suggestion! As someone who experienced a housefire, I can endorse the value of photos of you equipment for insurance as well as for inheritance disposition. Just be certain that your growing collection doesn’t exceed your insurance limit for a collection. Coverage above a certain amount can require a rider.

    And don’t forget the value of photos for sharing with friends! Thanks for doing so, Eric!

    1. Dave, thanks for sharing your insurance experiences. Your point about a rider for larger collections is very important. – Eric

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