About The Steam Era Freightcars Blog

This blog discusses all aspects of North American freight cars of the steam era, from the dawn of railroading through 1960.
It is intended to support the efforts of model railroaders who wish to produce the most prototypically accurate freight cars possible.
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: Westerfield NCandStL Fowler Boxcar

By Charlie Duckworth
Photo by the author

Westerfield Models HO scale 4355-2 Two-Brace Fowler Boxcar Modern NC&StL
I used a prototype photo I had to judge the accuracy of the decals in this kit.  The decals were a little confusing in the area of the initials used on the sides.  The decal sheet provides for two different sizes of letters but the smaller lettering for the side did not have the letters ‘StL’ and the ‘&’ sign included on the decal sheet.  I ended up using the larger letters and removed the period from each of the letters.  They appear to be a little larger that the letters in the prototype photo but in contrast the smaller lettering appears to be smaller in height when looking at the board width on the prototype.  The decals were thin but I still had to use liberal amounts of Solvaset and make several scoring cuts to get them to lay flat in the vertical seams.
Westerfield's instructions are very detailed and give you step by step instructions for building this car with nice photos.  I do wish Westerfield would recommend a paint match for these cars vs using the generic 'Boxcar Red' in their instructions.  I was told by Justin May these cars were painted a ‘Oxblood Maroon’ by the railroad.  Looked on the web for an Oxblood Maroon color and ended up mixing my own using Floquil Rail Brown and Special Oxide Red. Justin recommends a mix of Floquil Zinc Chromate Primer and Oxide Red, tinted to suit your degree of weathering. He provided the following links as to NC&StL's color.


So your painting mixes are up to you.
This is a flat kit meaning the sides, ends, roof and unferframe are all separate castings.  There were no surface air bubbles and all the parts were cleanly cast with very thin flash to clean up.  Be careful handling the side and ends as the thin details along the top of the side and bottom of the ends can be easily broken off.  The was some minor build-up of resin around the lower part of two of the ‘Z’ braces but it wasn’t enough to be concerned with and disappears after painting and weathering.   The steps are made from commerical plastic
that will hold up to handling during operations.
Ease of assembly
I use four Legos in the interior structure when building a flat kit. The Lego is first glued to the sides with the small end facing the end of the car.  This gives you a pretty large surface to glue the ends on to as well as creating a perfect 90 surface as you build up the car
body box.   I also cut a piece of Evergreen plain .030 styrene to make an interior roof.  This allows you to glue the interior of the sides to get a perfectly straight sides.  I also use a piece of HO 8” x 8’, gluing it from the top of the two ends to give me more support to glue the roof to.  I found this model to be very easy to build - even with the number of holes that had to be drilled for the wire hand grabs and the underframe is simple to build.

Available direct from Westerfield Models:

January 1940 - 1,441
October 1953 - 59

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