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Kitbashing an Old Lackawanna Wood Milk Car

Photo of Finished Model to Appear Here

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

Bill of Materials

Evergreen styrene

  • 1" x 4"
  • 1" x 6"
  • 2" x 2"
  • .080" x 100"
  • .020" car side sheathing


  • Prime Mover Decals PMD-032

Suggested photo sources

  • Lackawanna Railroad in the Twentieth Century, Vol. II, Thomas Taber III, 1981
  • Robert R. Bahrs, Railway Milk Cars, Vol, III pp.3, 5
  • Robert R. Bahrs, Railway Milk Cars, Vol, IV pp.6, 8, 23.

Don Spiro and I were talking about the Lackawanna milk cars that predated the wooden ones we're familiar with. I referred him to page 3 of Bob Bahrs' milk car book, vol. 3. Here's what Don has suggested about building this car.

OK I'm open to page three, cool car, you can see the design of the later car in this one, both 42 footers.
You definitely have to find one of the MDC/Roundhouse roofs. The part number from Walthers is 480-2999, they're $2.50 I'd try ordering one and if not available, it would be worth buying one of the cars just to get the roof. There are a lot of those still on shelves, you want the cars out of the "50 Foot Overland Cars W/ Clerestory Roof" series, should be under ten bucks. The roof is cast so you can remove a chunk of the roof around the spacing between the clerestory windows to get close to the 42 foot length. Whaddya suppose that wire over the end door is for?

(Further research indicates the 'wire over the door' is the car's emergency brake cord.)

Evergreen passenger car siding and .188x .188 strip for inside corner and side bracing. Remember, you're basically making a box with a top and a bottom. Is that a sliding door??

Some .010 sheet for the fascia, hey very cool the M&E lettering. Poling pockets are made by Westerfield, you want the ones labeled hopper car poling pockets. If not you can make em out of slices of styrene rod and bits of sheet styrene. Once you paint them, who knows? Reverse drop grab irons are interesting to say the least, could be hard to make.

Trucks I'd look at Bethlehem Car Works for something close. Queenposts and truss rods; Grandt Line and .012 wire. Grandt line has delrin turnbuckles that will fit onto .012 wire! Truck bolsters, again raid an old Athearn box car or similar car with a separate underframe. You cut away all the frame and coupler pockets and you just use the bolster. Easy and cheap. I bet you could find a ships wheel in a shop that carries shipbuilding details and parts. The buffers are actually kind of easy. I did a set when I kitbashed a GARE milk car. Evergreen makes styrene rod in various diameters and you can get two sizes, drill out the larger and you have the two telescoping spring pistons, the rest is sheet styrene. If you've never used Nut/Bolt/Washer [NBW] castings, this is the car to try it on. They look great but your brain turns to oatmeal drilling all the holes.

Now if you decide to build this car, one piece of advice, build two when you do it. You'll have enough of most of the materials anyhow. You'll also learn a lot about working with styrene. It's amazing how much and what you can make out of sheet and strip styrene, like this car.

That should do it.



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