NYC 86′ Hi-Cube Project Update

Back on November 11, I posted about upgrading an Athearn 86′ hi-cube in order to bring it up to the quality of current ready-to-roll models.  I’m not a glutton for punishment.  I’m doing this because there is no model of Greenville 86′ hi-cube on the market.  Hopefully, now that I’ve started this project, someone like ExactRail will do this car the right way.

Since November, I’ve torn this dollar-bin model apart and started on the improvements.  The plan is to keep the factory paint and touch up the spots where I’ve shaved bits away.  With that in mind, I started by reworking the floor and frame in order to make everything fit more securely.  While I was doing that, I added weight to the inside of the floor to bring it up to NMRA specs.  I tossed the stock trucks and the pivoting coupler shank and reshaped the center beam.  After that, I glued the floor/frame to the body.

Moving to the exterior of the car, I shaved off all the molded-on grabs, brake gear, and tack boards.  I also reshaped the side panels at each end of both sides to bring the model a little closer to the prototype Greenville car.  With the carving part complete, I started adding parts back to the model.

So far, I’ve installed the wire side grabs and trucks.  Next up, I’ll make and install the end grab rails and walkover platform.  I have a variety of draft gear, lift bars, and brake equipment among my parts cache, but I want to match all of this to a specific car.  These details changed over time, so I’ll spend some time looking for more photos of NYC Greenville hi-cubes with Hyrda-Cushion draft gear.

I’m close to finishing this car, but I only go to it when other projects are stalled for one reason or another.  I’ll post more pics when I make more progress.  Until then, here’s a photo-summary of the project.

NYC Hi-cube progress

2 thoughts on “NYC 86′ Hi-Cube Project Update

    • Monte, the wheels on these cars were 33″, as far as I can tell. I know that some of the cars built later had 36″ wheels. These ones were pretty early, so I’m going with the earlier standard. The grabs are A-line, I think. I bent the handrails along on the walkover from wire. The couplers are Kadee with the pins cut off. I forgot to mention that I also used some rivet decals to replace the rivets I sliced off while I was doing the changes to the car body.

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