Model of the Week: Weathering a Virginian Box Car

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Sawdust, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    This is my first post in a long time. I would like to see this forum grow into what it use to be. I bought seven of these box cars from a guy at a swap meet for around $20. The first thing I did was give them a good bath.


    I like many other pieces of rolling stock I take all the horn hook couplers & wheel sets off.

    Here I'm checking the plastic wheels compared to the metal wheels to see how much of the trucks need to be reamed out.


    Nothing more than replacing the plastic wheels with metal wheels, knuckle coulplers & a little weathering. I now have a much nicer car thats worth a lot more than $2.00.


    Thanks for viewing & any comments or questions are welcomed.
  2. COX 47

    COX 47 Member

    Nice weathering..Are they old Varney cars?...Jerry
  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    good job

    Good job Jim, what did you use to get the subtle rust effect on the cross braces? It is very effective. I find it is harder to be subtle with the car weathering. While we need some heavily weathered cars, for most cars, a light touch is best.

    Good advise about replacing plastic wheels the best plastic wheels collect dirt, and the worst are an accident looking for a place to happen. Metal wheels,, (except for KD wheels- which are made with aluminum, and collect dirt as badly or worse than plastic ) help keep the rails clean, and they sound so much better.

    Bill Nelson
  4. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member


    Front page for this beauty! :thumb:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2014
  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    This does look spot on like the old Varney car, if it isn't I'd bet someone else ended up with their molds.

    Bill Nelson
  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Very nice! I think I have a pair of the same cars that I could spruce up a little.
  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Another modification I like to make to these old cars is to remove the Talgo (truck mounted ) coupler, and install a body mounted coupler.

    Talgo couplers work wonderfully going forward, but when you push the train backwards, the force on the coupler makes the truck want to kick to the right or left; unless the car is very heavy, and the train is very short, there will be problems.

    Bill Nelson
  8. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Thanks Jerry, Bill, Calvin, & Kevin for your comments. My computer has been in my friends shop for awhile & have not been on in awhile. I'm not sure if these VGN cars are Varney or not. There are no markings on the bottom. For the rust effect I used Americana acryilics in the one ounce bottles from the craft stores & the color is Burnt Sienna. I'll try to keep up with my sons IPod touch until I get the computer back. Thanks everyone for the Model of the month win.
  9. curtyoung13

    curtyoung13 New Member

    metal box car numbering

    dr sawdust:
    when u bought multiple boxcars, were they all numbered the same? ending in 49? did u change the numbers yourself? hand painted or decals? if decals, how do u find a matching font and size???
  10. misteree

    misteree New Member

    Wow. Such detail

    That is just SO impressive in its accuracy. Well done :thumb:
  11. Big Al

    Big Al Member


    Absolutly beautiful! that HO Scale?
  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    That is Jim's work, and yes it is HO scale.

  13. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I had thought this was a Varney car, or made from their molds by a later manufacturer. I looked at several similar cars on my Rr, but they did not have identifying marks.

    The other day at the club, I pulled a car out for maintenance (lazy coupler center springs), and low and behold it was one of my own cars form the dark ages

    It is a similar outside braced car with L&N reporting marks, and it has the Varney name on the bottom.

    Bill Nelson

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