Lehigh Valley 8500-8599 – Progress on assembly and lettering removal

I wrote about this boxcar project a couple of days ago.  Since then, I’ve assembled the kit, just short of adding the grabs and ladders.  I removed the word Automobile from both sides because the photos I’ve seen of these cars in the early 1970s indicate this was the case.  Here’s where it stands now.


To get to this point, I painted the sill extensions with Model Flex Maroon Tuscan Oxide Red.  While I had the airbrush fired up, I toned down the shiny black roof with Model Flex Weathered Black and hit the entire underside of the car with Grimy Black.

I drilled out the coupler boxes, tapped the hole for a 2-56 machine screw, and installed Kadee #158 couplers.  I also drilled and tapped the bolsters.  As you can see, the trucks are installed, but I’ll probably swap out the wheels for a better set or possibly just substitute better trucks.

Next up, I need to see some more pics of the cars in service in the 1970s.  I’d like to pick a number that survived up until the time they scrapped these cars in large quantities – probably around 1972 or ’73.  Any ideas?


5 thoughts on “Lehigh Valley 8500-8599 – Progress on assembly and lettering removal

  1. There’s a couple of entries about modeling this car type online. This one [ http://www.anthraciterailroads.org/stage_lvrr/modeling-the-lvrr/modeling-freight-cars/50-automobile-box-car/ ] seems to have used decent documentation to build his (looks like a steel roofwalk is in order.) I also found a few photos of LV cars of the same vintage and they typically still have roofwalks well into the ’70s.

    These pictures from RR Picture Archives will give you an idea of how cars in this scheme looked in the ’70s:



    There’s a CNJ/LV color guide out from Morning Sun which has a photo of this car class, but I don’t have a copy. Maybe someone else does.


    • Thanks Jurgen. Those photos help.

      There are two shots of these cars in the Color Guide. The first shows 8558 with a line painted through the number, taken in October 1971, so it was clearly out of service by then. The second photo shows 8507 in good shape and apparently in service in January 1967. That’s a bit too early to confirm that it survived until the ’70s.

      Interestingly, I found that Anthracite roads site around the same time you posted your reply. Also very useful info for me. Incidentally, I was a member back when that org started out. I might have to renew my membership.


  2. Better wheels? I really like the look of the P2K wheels — at least, the faces look nice to me, with their “cast” writing. Much better than the flat-faced wheels Walthers uses now. Intermountain wheelsets are marginally heavier with their metal axles.

    • Colin, I do like the look of the P2K wheels, but the ones that came with this kit are not going to function reliably. All four sets have at least one wheel that is out of square with the axle. Maybe they build to better tolerances now, but yes, those Walthers wheels are ugly.

      The trucks themselves also have issues. There is a great deal of slop, such that the wheelsets flop around causing the car sit lopsided sometimes. I might be able tighten them up by squeezing the sideframes when the wheelsets are out. I ordered a bunch of wheelsets, so my first course of action will be to replace them while attempting to save the truck. I have a few replacement trucks on hand, so I can use them if necessary.

      The bolsters on the underframe of the car might need some attention as well. I’ve been resurrecting a few different older kits in the past year, and I’ve noticed that they benefit from making the bolster more precisely square to the rest of the car.


      • Hunter is pursuing the correct course here Colin. This boxcar was the earliest of P2K’s models, and the wheels in these were notorious for manufacturing flaws. They did improve over time (they had to) but P2K wheels are still more likely to be derailment-prone, versus Intermountain, Reboxx or ExactRail counterparts.

        On my own models, I immediately toss P2K wheels (of any vintage) and pop in replacements, not even bothering to inspect them anymore. I know at least one of the four will wobble (probably more).

        If you like the raised lettering of the older cast wheels, or the ribbed backs on even older styles, I recommend Kadee wheels as a replacement. They don’t roll as freely (on most layouts this is not an issue) however I’ve never seen a factory-defective wheel from Kadee.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s