Another recent addition to the freight car fleet is an old Athearn Blue Box (BB) 40' Hi-Cube boxcar decorated in the Seaboard Coast Line livery. The car has been built and put into service but still needs a shot of Testor's Dullcote, which it will get as soon as it stops raining around here.
The 40' Hi Cube boxcar has long been a favorite of mine. Combining modern looks and tight curve reliability I found it to be an excellent model train layout car. A string of a dozen or so cars give the appearance of a unit train of auto parts, appliances etc that does not dwarf a a layout.
The building of the car is pretty straight forward with a few easy techniques to improve the cars appearance and operation. This car is from a standard old Athearn blue box kit. The parts include the painted shell, an underframe, center sill with coupler boxes, horn hook couplers, a metal weight, one pair of trucks with delrin wheels and metal axles and two 2-56 screws for attaching the trucks, center sill and frame together.
The 40' Hi Cube boxcar is a low rider (cue the music) out of the box. The car requires an under set shank coupler like the Kadee #27 or #37 to meet the Kadee height gauge requirements. The car has also received metal wheels that have had there faces weathered with burnt umber acrylic paint. The trucks received the same weathering to lose the plastic shine. A downside to the BB shake the box kit is that the metal weight was prone to rusting as were the supplied metal axles for the plastic wheels and some of teh metal coupler covers. An easy fix for the weight is too wire brush or sand off any visible rust and spray paint it with a rattle can flat black. A 99cents can works fine. My practice is to spray both sides of the weight, the under frame, the sill, trucks and coupler covers. When dry put it all together, check the car to the height gauge, make sure it rolls well' Spray the shell with a shot of dullcote (optional) and attach the shell to the under frame. The car is now ready for service.