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Book Review
25 Freight Car Projects
25 Freight Car Projects, Modeling & Painting Series
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

25 Freight Car Projects is a new book with all-new content from Kalmbach Publishing Co.. This book is necessary for military-scale modelers of railroad subjects as well as traditional model railroaders. It is part of their series Modeling & Painting. Content from several famous model railroaders fills over 100 pages. The new content includes updated model manufacturers, accessories, paints, and other model railroad products available today. A softcover with common dimensions of 11 x 8 1/2 inches, it has the ISBN of 9781627002783 and the Kalmbach number of 12498.
    This book contains all-new material from a star-studded roster of Model Railroader authors - Tony Koester, Mont Switzer, Cody Grivno, Jeff Wilson, James McNab, Keith Kohlmann. In 25 Freight Car Projects, modelers will find a wide variety of modeling techniques and ideas. With a focus on HO and N scales, this book provides step-by-step photos and instructions to show readers how to model a range of freight cars.

    It features:

    -25 all-new projects

    -6 well-known model railroading authors - Tony Koester, Mont Switzer, Cody Grivno, Jeff Wilson, James McNab, Keith Kohlmann

    -Projects for boxcars, flatcars, hoppers, gondolas, and other freight cars
    - Kalmbach

Come along as we explore this tome of freight car enhancement.

25 Freight Car Projects contains 25 chapters;
    Weathering with artist's pastels
    Patching freight cars with paint pens
    Upgrading a Burlington boxcar
    Kitbashing a Monon 50-foot PS-1 boxcar
    Undecorating a "cheese" boxcar
    Modeling a C&NW ex-Rock Island boxcar
    Replicating a Soo Line 40-foot boxcar (N scale)
    Making realistic wood grain doors
    Finishing a BN leased boxcar
    Weathering a war-emergency hopper
    Decorating an ACF covered hopper
    Upgrading a basic covered hopper
    Modeling an ex-CRR aggregate hopper
    Building a PM auto frame hopper (N scale)
    Updating a former Railgon gondola
    Building a 3D printed PRR gondola (N scale)
    Adding a pipe load to a mill gondola
    Converting a BN flatcar to a gondola
    Building a realistic deck for a NP flatcar
    Making lumber loads for a bulkhead flatcar
    Adding a grader load to an ITC flatcar
    Modernizing a Sioux City wood reefer
    Upgrading a Wilson meat reefer
    Modeling GN ore cars in gravel service
    Placing sheep and cattle in stock cars

Kalmbach books are often a compilation of articles from their magazines Trains and Model Railroader. The contributors and Kalmbach produce high quality content that is geared for hobbyists and those familiar with a subject, yet are not over the head of novices.

This book is laid out well and written in a manner that easily conveys the project ideas. The authors even point you to retail and online modeling sources very useful! The authors also list updated sources of models and aftermarket accessories used in the project such as Archer Fine Transfers rivets (Reviewed here on RRM.), Berkshire Junction, Detail Associates, Hi-Tech Details (Reviewed here on RRM.) Micro Scale, paint brands (including the incomparable yet inexplicably discontinued Polly Scale) and common grocery store items, to name a few. They even introduce us to new products like the new brand of weathering pigments in Weathering with artist's pastels.

While I will not recount each idea in this book, I will highlight a few that are particularly impressive. Building a realistic deck for a NP flatcar is perfect for military-scale railway modelers who want to quick and easy replace the molded plastic deck with wood. Modeling GN ore cars in gravel service shows how to reproduce many loads with craft store molding items. Removing molded-on surface details with no (or at least minimal) harm to the underlying surface has vexed modelers forever; this book demonstrates how to chisel away ladders and grabs (making us aware of a specific tool from a hobby tool company), restore the surface, and replicate the paint. With the proliferation of new wet and dry weathering products and even modern formulations of legacy products, this book demonstrates products applicable not only for freightcars, but for passenger cars and even non-railroad models, too.

Two very important techniques are addressed, how to renumber cars, and how to use the new burgeoning choice of 3D models. There are so many more ideas. Smutting up pristine rolling stock drawn behind sooth belching engines is a good idea, too. Have you ever needed to inexpensively laden a consist with convincing mass production industrial loads, quick and easy? A great idea is demonstrated here! Converting a BN flatcar to a gondola is a neat and simple yet enjoyable exercise. And the chapter to rugged up a wood-metal composite war-emergency car presents methods with great crossover potential appropriate for other modeling subjects.

The book does have at least one minor typo. In Weathering with artist's pastels, four pastels are shown and identified, although a rusty color is labeled as gray, the gray as burnt sienna, and an off-white color as iron oxide.

Plenty! Full color, too. Each part starts with a primary photo of the finished scene. Multiple in-progress images visually guide the reader through the process. These photos are equally valuable as they afford inspiration extracurricular to the described subject.

Graphics support of the text has always been a strong suite of Kalmbach and this book continues that trend.

25 Freight Car Projects, with its series of up-to-date methods and products and techniques should be a desired addition to model railroaders specifically, and for other modelers because of the crossover potential of these ideas. With the burgeoning interest in railroad subjects for 1/35 and 1/48 "military scales", this book should be necessary for more than just traditional model railroaders.

The content of up-to-date ideas and products is a strong point of this book. So is the excellent graphic support of the educational text.

My only negative comment is the mislabeling of four pigment colors in the first chapter. I recommend this book.

Please remember to tell vendors and retailers that you saw this book here - on RailRoad Modeling.
Highs: The content of up-to-date ideas and products is a strong point of this book. So is the excellent graphic support of the educational text.
Lows: Mislabeling of three of four pigment colors in the first chapter.
Verdict: With up-to-date methods and products and techniques, this book should be a desired addition to model railroader libraries specifically, and for other modelers because of the crossover potential of these ideas.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 12498
  Suggested Retail: $21.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 18, 2016

Our Thanks to Kalmbach Publishing Co.!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2018 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


Was looking at building a 1/35th scale boxcar for a diorama....does this book have blueprints for any of the things being built?
MAY 27, 2017 - 02:22 AM
European? American? Other? Time period? Do you have a photo?
MAY 27, 2017 - 05:03 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.

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