CNR NSC-built boxcars | First Look

While attending a local train show yesterday, I was able to collect my order of S scale kits for CNR boxcars built by National Steel Car. (I’ve written previously about these new Yarmouth Model Works kits.)

Here’s a first look at what’s in each box:

NSC boxcars - first look.

There’s a really nicely-cast one-piece resin body, with separate roof. A plastic bag holds wire, photo-etched parts, eight-rung Canadian style ladders with integral stirrup steps, a laser cut wood running board, and more. A second bag includes a resin sheet with frame components such as cross-bearers, plus doors. A third bag holds a fine selection of Black Cat Publishing decals, including several variants of the CNR maple leaf logo. Instructions are included on several pages of 8.5×11″ paper, and include a number of black and white photographs to aid with construction and lettering.

The ends are unique on these cars – and offered for the first time in S scale:

NSC-2 end

Some minor filing/sanding will be required to clear away casting sprue material to allow the roof to be fitted in place, but that’s to be expected. The details are fine, and crisp. I have done nothing to clean up the resin yet – this is how the kit looks, straight out of the box. I think that’s pretty impressive.

Here’s a closer look at the roof detail, as well as the baggie of resin parts for the frame, tack boards, body bolsters and so on:

Resin baggie.

Providing these as separate pieces makes it easier to drill the frame cross-bearers to accept a train line, if one desires to model that detail. Like the body, these parts are crisply cast and well detailed. All the resin will have to be washed in soapy water before assembly.

Here’s a closer look at the baggie of miscellaneous parts, including photo-etch:

Photo etch and other parts.

I’m looking forward to building my kits – and I’m glad I got them yesterday: They’ve been on the market just a couple of days now and Pierre tells me more than half of the first run has been purchased already. (Thanks to my fellow S scalers for that!)

If you want one or more of these, don’t wait: Click on the boxcar, below, to visit the Yarmouth Model Works website and order yours…

12 thoughts on “CNR NSC-built boxcars | First Look

  1. Trevor, they look great, thanks for giving me a sneak peak on what I’ll find in my boxes. I’m curious what paint you’ll use for your cars given that your an acrylic kind of guy. Me too, I’d prefer to use acrylic over Scale coat.

    • Hi David:
      I hate to do this, but I’m planning to use Scalecoat on mine. The CNR Historical Association marketed a line of accurate Canadian National colours. I love shooting Scalecoat – you could spray it on pancakes covered in maple syrup and it would stick with a finish ready for decals. And there’s nothing like lacquer thinner to clean an airbrush.
      The CNRHA doesn’t sell these paints anymore, and it’s hard for Canadians to get Scalecoat these days (long story, involving labelling and cap design). But since you’re in the USA, you can get a 1oz bottle of CNR Red #11 from Scalecoat’s new owner, Minuteman Scale Models (catalogue number 1136).
      That said, if you do not want to shoot lacquer-based paints…
      Rapido Trains makes a line of acrylics called Proto-Paint. They do not have a specific CNR Red #11 listed on their website – they have an red/orange #11 (different thing), a CNR Boxcar Red #12 (also different) and so on. You might want to get in touch with them and ask about the Red #11 for steam-era (maple leaf) CNR boxcars.
      If that doesn’t work, you can look at an unweathered PRR boxcar, and pick something that’s more orange: keep in mind that the colour will shift on cars once they’re in service, due to sunlight fading, rain, road grime, and so on. So the colour doesn’t have to be perfect to start.
      I have a number of red acrylics – and a bottle of the official CNR Red #11. I will endeavour to do some spraying and see what looks close. But I don’t know when I’ll get to that.
      Keep in mind that acrylics do not stick well to resin – even if it’s cleaned. So you will have to clean the resin really well (which you should do before assembly anyway), and then lay down a coat of primer. Pierre and I swear by Tamiya Fine Surface Primer. It comes in a neutral grey (kind of a UP Harbor Mist) in a rattle can.
      Hope this helps…

      • Hi again, David:
        I did a quick experiment with some reds and browns I had on hand. My best acrylic match was a 50/50 mix of PolyScale PRR Maroon (167) and Zinc Chomate Primer (293). If you can’t find those, I would say start with a PRR maroon and add some rust to give it more orange.
        Meantime, I now have a swatch of CNR mineral brown #11 and will take it with me the next time I go to Wheels and wings (a local military modelling emporium with an excellent selection of acrylics) to see if I can find something close enough in a Vallejo…

  2. Yes, I’m patiently waiting for mine to arrive…….did I say patiently? Looking forward to receiving these kits sometime this week. Feels like Christmas!

    • Daniel, I am with you, waiting….. Heck I ordered it last weekend when Trevor’s announcement came out. How long will this take? This report makes me more anxious as well as the discussion on finishing. I watched the Trainmaster TV video on building Resin kits and it sure looks like this car will be easier than the process shown.
      OK just to be real here for a minute. Yes I am waiting and yes I realize that I am being silly.

      • Well, if you’ve already ordered then your cars are among the ones already spoken for – so no worries on that front, Ken.
        Even the process shown on TrainMasters is pretty straight-forward. Pierre and I have also done a two-part series in Notch 8 on TMTV about installing brake rigging on resin cars. That will help with these cars, too.

    • Hi Ken:
      Sorry to disappoint, but I haven’t gotten that far yet!
      I suspect that I’ll use 50T Bettendorf trucks from Pacific Rail Shops…

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