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Slightly Detailing a Funaro & Camerlengo Boonton Coach (Original Release.)

Boonton Coach Model

WARNING: The following dissertation contains modeling methods which may be appalling.

Every steam powered passenger and milk train I've seen in photos


  • F&C Boonton Coach Kit
  • Evergreen Sheet Styrene No. 9030
  • Evergreen Sheet Styrene (clear) N0. 9007
  • Evergreen Car siding No. 2037
  • Grandt Line Passenger Car Roof Details No. 5043
  • Pikestuff Coach seats No. 541-4101
  • Cal. Scale Safety Tail Gates TG-309
  • Eastern Car Works Pullman Standard 4 wheel truck, (part # 9005)
  • Prime Mover Decal set PMD-037

has a Boonton coach. It makes sense, since that's what the Lackawanna used from about 1920 till the merger with the Erie in 1960. In the near future, F&C are going to re-release a much improved resin Boonton coach kit along with a combine. This is all fine and well except for 2 things.

1) The improved kits are going to be twice the price they were and

2) I can't afford to pay $60.00 for each coach kit. (I'd almost consider it if it were a shake the box.)

Therefore, I've pressed onward and started putting my kits together. However, once the kit is assembled, there are a few differences left between a prototype coach and the model built from the kit. Therefore I'm detailing below what I did to please myself in regards to detailing the F&C kit to bring it a bit closer. This is not meant as a step by step, but rather a basic "here's how I did it."

Start with a Funaro & Camerlengo Boonton coach kit. (These are no longer issued by the way, so if you don't already have one tucked away for 'someday', you'll have to really look around. Ask your friends. I haven't even seen them on the dreaded eBay.)

The June 1969 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman would be helpful for this project, but not necessary. It contains drawings for the coaches similar to what comes in the F&C kits, but includes the arrangements of seats, plus number ranges of the coaches. Any photos you can find in books will help you with this project as well.

Assemble the kit as per the included F&C instructions, but don't install the floor. Each coach featured a state of the art water closet (1920 state of the art, that is.) To create this in my coaches, I cut some sheet styrene to make a 3 sided cubicle (you need to put a ceiling on it to make it stable.) The third side of said cubicle should be made of Evergreen Car siding.

This siding, I painted light gray and stained with a black wash to make the features stand out. This simulates the vent or screen behind the window of the old W.C. I also cut and glue the glazing over this unit before installation in the coach.

Paint the W.C. Polly Scale EL Maroon (Why not?) and install it with appropriate glue (I use epoxy in general for anything going on the resin part of these kits.)

Roof Stuff: One more feature, that goes along with the W.C is the vent. On my first coach, I created the vent with a bit of brass tube and the end of a fancy toothpick whittled and sanded into a mushroom shape. Then I looked around and bought a set of Grandt Line Passenger Car Roof Details. Most of the vents in this pack are suitable to the W.C. vent.

In the clerestory area of the roofs, some of the coaches had little square vents sticking out (about 3-5 per side) I created the illusion of these using bits of sheet styrene, cut into squares and glued on. I spaced them freehand.

If you want to add the roof ribs as mentioned in the F&C instructions, Don Spiro suggested to me that I use scale 1 x 2's (styrene) instead of the F&C recommended 2x2's. (I got past the point of frustration with the 2x2's and painted the roof before Don made the suggestion, so I'll be trying it with the next coach.)

Note: I finished off the coach with sheet styrene glazing, paper window shades of various heights, and seats from Pikestuff. The interiors of the Boonton coaches were reportedly a maroon color and this will help hide the interior. I also put about 6-8 seated passengers in the seats. (If modeling a line east of Dover, I'd put in more passengers.)

Photo Sources

  • Erie/DLW Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment by Larry DeYoung and Mike Del Vecchio
  • Lackawanna Trackside by Mike Del Vecchio

Painting: I paint my coaches Poly Scale Pullman Green, with the roof and undersides Polly Scale Grimy Black.

Boonton Coaches also had gates at the end of the platforms to keep passengers from changing cars during a trip and putting their lives in danger. I used Cal. Scale Passenger tail gates for this.

The trucks I am putting on this car are Eastern Car Works Pullman Standard 4 wheel truck. No doubt this is not an absolute match, but it was recommended to me as a 'Goodnuff' by Rusty Recordon. Don Spiro recomended removing the little brake 'ears.'

Other Details: Details I might add in the future would be cut levers (easily done with wire and Detail Associates wire eyelets,) and a brake lever. Donaldus Magnus (The Spiro) suggested creating this from wire and a short piece of styrene rod.

Numbers: So far I've only discovered legible numbers in three photographs on the Sussex Branch, they are: # 563, 565 and 576. Any others?

I have since found several 'runners up' in the Erie/DL&W Equipment guide by Larry DeYoung: In Washington: 550, 607. In Clifton: 556. In Passaic: 551.

Here is a link to a website with a few good photos of a Boonton coach.

Note that this coach was restored to a pre 1940s condition so that the numbers are on the ends instead of the middle. I'm modeling the 1950-1960 era, so my numbers are centered on the car side.