Resin kit builds – Missouri Pacific cars

I’ve built several HO scale resin freight car kits since the summer of 2023. For some reason, I’ve forgotten to share the overall progress. Some details have appeared on the blog, but overall summaries have been lacking. Let’s start with a couple Missouri Pacific cars that were enjoyable builds.

These two Westerfield Models kits follow a similar 40-foot, single-sheathed, prototype design. Kit 1951 is a box car while kit 1901 is a door-and-a-half automobile box car. The Missouri Pacific (MP) listed 22,039 box cars in the October 1926 ORER. Their overall 1926 box car fleet quantity ranked 21st of 130 railroad fleets with one thousand or more cars. The MP had 6,720 box cars that followed the car design reflected by the kit.

They listed 2,389 automobile box cars at that time, which ranked them 20th in cars for auto traffic. Of that total, the kit reflects 1,450 of the 1926 prototypes.

Both kits had separate castings for sides, ends, roof, and underframe. I started by cleaning flash from the car sides and ends. I installed grab irons and brake hardware before assembling the main parts into a box. Doors were installed before moving to the next step.

I glue HO scale 12 x 12 styrene inside the ends of the car sides to increase the surface area for attaching the ends. I also glue styrene in the proper place on the interior side sill and end sill for the underframe to sit properly.

I use Barge contact cement to attach the styrene to the resin parts. A thin film of Barge cement is applied with a toothpick to one side of the styrene and the placement location on the resin castings. Contact cement needs time for the solvent to gas-out before attaching the parts. I usually work on the computer or prep other parts while the cement sets up. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, I can attach the styrene to the resin parts and carefully nudge it into place.

I use Barge cement to attach the ends and sides in a similar manner. The cement can be stringy, but you learn to twirl the toothpick, or other applicator, to reduce the sticky strings.

I attach one end and one side to make a right angle corner. The square styrene assists in keeping the corners at right angles. Once the cement sets on the first joints, then I’ll attach the two assemblies to make the box.

Once the sides and ends are attached into a box, it’s time to tackle the underframe details. Drill and tap the bolster for truck installation and install your choice of couplers at this time. Check the coupler height before proceeding with more details. I find working on two similar kits at the same time makes the underframe assembly steps roll quickly. The minimal piping for the K brake hardware is an added bonus.

The underframe can now be test fit into the carbody box. I often add a couple interior bulkheads to keep the sides from bowing inward. In the photo above, I used 0.060-inch thick sheet styrene for the bulkheads. After those are in place, I mark the bulkhead and styrene locations on the underframe so I can glue weight on the car floor. You can see the pencil lines on the underframe in the above photo. The B is marked for the B end of the car, while the A is marked for the automobile box car underframe. As both kits are very similar, I did not want to mix up the underframes.

Once the bulkheads and weights are attached, the carbody can be glued to the underframe. The roof castings needed some adjustments to fit into place. I use a single-edge razor blade to scrape away material under the roof eave until the casting fits. The running board and laterals are installed to nearly finish the models. The ladders were added next.

The brake staff and staff support are the last details to install. I wrap the model in paper towel and bubble wrap, then place it vertically into a clean, empty yogurt container, as seen in the image above. This holds the model so the brake staff details can be installed.

Before you know it, the model is ready for the paint shop. I used Yarmouth Model Works sill steps on these kits, but I can’t recall exactly when I installed them. Accurail scale size Accumate couplers are my standard freight car coupler.

Hi-Tech Details airhoses will be installed after the models are painted and decaled. I prefer to add those later. I hope to set up the paint booth soon so I can finish these.

Both of these MP models were on display at the recent RPM Valley Forge event. I snapped quite a few photos at the RPM and have uploaded a gallery of images for you to enjoy.

I’ll catch up on more resin freight car kit builds in upcoming posts.

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11 thoughts on “Resin kit builds – Missouri Pacific cars”

    1. Thank you, Lester! I hope these are painted, decaled, and weathered for RPM Naperville this fall! – Eric H.

  1. Beautiful job, Eric. I appreciate your sharing your techniques.
    No new posts on my site. Layout progress has been almost at a stop since January, multiple trips to CA for ailing mother who passed away and a month-long vacation. Looking forward to getting back to work by the end of the week.

    1. Thank you, Gary. My condolences to you and your family. I’m sure your hobby time will come back around soon. – Eric H.

  2. Hi Eric,
    Nice job on the resin boxcars. Very neat work and I really like that unusual double door car. I would like to see a picture of that when completed.

    1. Thank you, Jim! There’s a small fleet of freight cars awaiting the paint shop to open. I’m certain the finished models will be featured here. – Eric H.

  3. Very nice work, Eric. When I use Barge for attaching parts or assemblies to resin, I apply it to the resin part, then place the styrene part over the Barge. I then flow a small amount of MEK or Tamiya Thin Solvent at the resin-styrene joint so the styrene will bond with the Barge as it cures. It allows a little time to reposition parts, if necessary. I also use the same technique to attach PE.

    1. Thank you, Robert! And thanks for that tip. I’ll give that a try on an upcoming project. – Eric H.

  4. Very nicely done. I appreciate the step by step progress, and especially appreciate the helpful hints and ideas for assembly

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