Saturday 14 December 2019

Former MPA Boxcar

Just to expand on my reference last week to the ACI labels that I had applied to a couple of boxcars, I found this rather interesting article about that identification system.

I had thought that I'd put those ACI codes on some more of my railcars, where appropriate, but I've misplaced my small sheet of them.  I know I've got some, made by Herald King I think, but I've combed through my decals box 3 times and I can't find them.

I mentioned last week that I wanted to get ballast onto the two tracks where the photo of the 86 foot DT&I boxcar was taken.  Here's that photo (again).

I really don't like doing the ballast, and I don't think I'm very good at scenery type work in general.  And, as I've done before, I forgot to paint the rails first, so there's still room for improvement there too. Here's the same area today.
After the ballast and ground foam was glued down, and I had cleaned up the tops of the rails, at least it all worked electrically. It all seems a little too clean and vibrant right now for my liking, but it's a process.  I've got some brown coloured ground foam that I'll add to help tone things down.

I like that Berwick boxcar in the photo above.  Luc got it for me from ebay earlier this year.  I remember loading a couple of Maryland and Pennsylvania boxcars a very long time ago.  The star graphic on the right-hand end was very distinctive.  I searched pictures of these former MPA boxcars on the interwebs before I weathered this one, and used them as sort of a guide. Waterloo Railway seemed to have a few of them.

I like that the black has taken on a brown tone over the years, so I sprayed the boxcar with light coats of rail brown until the black turned to the colour I wanted. The white door with the rust streaking looks good, although I think that the picture I saw showed a Superior door.

Luc has since given me another model of the same car, so here's sort of a before and after photo.  I'll weather the 2nd one eventually too.

I left the circle/star graphic barely visible, although on the photos I saw it was patched over.  And the black band on the upper left is where the prototype cars had ''Maryland and Pennsylvania" printed.  The model didn't actually have that printed on it, but I added the black band patch anyway.  Here's a closer picture of my finished boxcar.
Weathered, replacement door, patched, re-lettered  and re-numbered, and with an added ACI label too, I think that this older 50 footer turned out very nicely.


  1. Excellent work on the weathering, as usual. You might want to try the Woodland Scenics paint pens to "rust up" your trackage since you mentioned it.

    I think they make a few different colors which would allow you to weather the ties and rails with slight variations. I used an airbrush for most of my trackage, but the paint markers do fill a certain void.

    P.S. I tried my hand at some chain link on Flickr.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I'll look up your fence pictures.