I've got a MTH Railking wagon top boxcar that was painted for Seaboard, but SALs round-roof cars were not the same.  The MTH car appears to be modeled after the B&O car so I've striped the paint off, put wire hand grabs on, and got decals (thanks Ed Bommer ), but I can't decide on the color.

About the only brand I feel is readily available anymore is TCP.

Has anyone actually found/used a match for B&O in TCPs paint line?

I thought Wisconsin Central's Maroon (TCP-117) was close, but they also have a Iron Oxide (TCP-168) that looks close on the computer screen, but you can't really go by the screen.


4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

Original Post

Recalling Weaver's run of this iconic car style, the B&O cars were accurate in several colors, depending on the era and the type of service.  From red to brown, green to blue, there were at least 4 colors that were commonly seen on the Beano through this car's active lifetime.  I'm sure that Beanophiles will chime in with more details.

I seem to recall that Tru-Color Paints offered specific B&O colors for some of the different eras/service.  Not sure they're all currently available, but their website can probably answer that.

Besides.....as with all RR colors, time, weather, batch, sun, shade, seagull bombs,....cataracts in the eyes of the beholder....they all played a part in the 'fidelity' of color.  OTOH, some of those heated discussions at the Trains Department counter of our store (LHS) provide more amusement than a Minions movie,....IMHO, of course.

FWIW, always...


Thanks guys!

Dennis, I spoke with Ed when I first started this project, over a year ago.  I had forgotten about it until recently.  Ed did mix his paint, and he did say he was going to look into the TCP paint line, so I'll give him another holler!

Max, that site didn't have any TCP paint, but good site none the less, got it bookmarked, thanks!

Keep'em coming.


4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

Not sure why you would put any effort into a non scale and incorrect RK 3r round roof boxcar  

B&O’s are on ebay all the time for under 15.



Just spray it with reddish –brown auto body primer and Krylon matt clear.

nw2124 posted:

TCP has an extensive line of boxcar colors, more than I have ever imagined.



And Protocraft has custom Tru-Color paints to match the paint colors of may of the steam-era carbuilders. 

They aren't listed individually but you can get them by looking at the Protocraft decal sets or by emailing Norm Buckhart.

Rob M. ARHS # 3846 PRRT&HS # 8141 EPTC "Life Is Like A Mountain Railway, With An Engineer That's Brave..."

Hi Guys. Here is a discussion from 2011 when the Weaver cars were being developed. And yes, Ed Bommer had significant input on that project and the cars came out great.

First a Discussion about Color:  (I copied a discussion from Jim Mischke on the B&O yahoo group)

B&O freight car brown came first, then bright oxide red in 1945-47

(2) This B&O freight car brown is nothing like the common model color "boxcar brown." It is a medium dark brown. Like polished brown boots. Kiwi brown shoe polish.  Per the 1940 Circular F-60-H, the "Freight Car Brown" paint is mixed locally per Spec. 43-H-1. That seems to leave room for variation. It was also painted on cabooses.

The best we can tell, the bright red oxide paint was introduced at ABOUT the same time as the linking 13 great states herald. The herald memo is dated 6-25-45. Still looking for the paint memo. First mention in the known B&O memo trail of the bright red is "Freight Car Red, stock number F-60" in Circular F-60-I dated 5/1/54, much later.

Now the Lettering:  (B&O HS Chris Barkan)

Attached is a diagram of 10 Lettering Arrangements with dates for the general era that each was used.  Notice that many of them say "early 1940" or "late 1957" so they aren't by day or month.  And these are meant to show when the Lettering Arrangement was applied;  the last date that any car was on the railroad with that lettering is anybody's guess.  That is why so many people publish picture books.


For our purpose I'll refer to the Lettering Diagrams as Left column 1 through 5 and Right column 6 through 10; i.e. L-3 or R-6.


You will need a Weaver Catalog page 3 or the Web page;

BR= Boxcar Red or in B&O terms Freight Car Brown;

WMR= Bright Red or in B&O terms bright red oxide paint

◄= Dead On


Weaver           Color   Lettering

Cat #

G23000          BR      L-1 1920s - Late 1937 (but the Weaver doesn’t show the B&O over the Number on Left side- that may get corrected)

 G23000, NEW 11/1937 This is probably not an M-53 lettering scheme. More likely an M-15 wagontop scheme with no herald. Needs B&O initals.


G23001◄       BR      L-2 Late 1937 - Early 1940 "Early Kuhler"  Dead on

 G23001, NEW 4/1938


G23002◄       WMR L-5 mid 1945 - Mid 1946 "Early 13 Great States" Dead on

 G23002, EC (East Chicago reweigh) 9/1952


G23003◄       BR      L-5mid 1945 - Mid 1946 "Early 13 Great States" Dead on

 G23003, EC (East Chicago) 10/1945


G23004◄       WMR R-6mid 1946 - Mid 1955 "Post War 13 Great States"  Dead on

 G23004, BW (Brunswick MD) 8/1953


G23005          WMR R-7 variation onMid 1955 - Late 1957 "Billboard 13 Great States"  (the diagram doesn’t show the small B&O between the BIG B&O and the car number; probably later in time than 1955.  The 1957 and later show the BIG and small B&O.

 G23005, WA (Washington IN) 12/1959


G23006◄       WMR R-7mid 1955 - Late 1957 "Billboard 13 Great States" Dead on

 G23006, DU (DuBois PA)  12/1956


G23007          WMR Variation on R-7 through 9; generally Late 1957 – 1962 and closer to 1960-62. 

G23007, BW (Brunswick MD) 2/1963


Express Cars (C-16):

I haven’t found good diagrams that I can easily pass on for the Express Car (C-16) versions in Blue (G23008) or Green (G23009), the cars in the Weaver catalog are lettered to match the descriptions I have found.  Note that these cars are not very likely to have gone off line very often if at all.  You might see them on your favorite railroad if you are modeling CNJ, Reading, PRR, railroads that connect at Washington DC, etc. There were only 100 of them.

G23008, Post 1949 blue express car. Numbers not right though. Should use documented numbers for blue cars in service to May 1959 (1886-1899).

G23009, 1937-1942 green express car with B&O herald. Heralds removed in 1942.The 1900 number series was retired by 1948.


For more on the C-16 express cars I copied a discussion from the B&O group below.


Re: M53 Wagontop Boxcar Conversions to Express Cars

Posted by: "R.N. Nelson" rnnelson1@verizon.net   wbaerr2

Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:21 pm (PST)

> 1. During what years did the M53 express car conversions operate.
1940-1959 being slowly returned to M-53s beginning in 1949.

> 2. What modifications(if any) were made to the freight car as part of the > conversion.
> 3. What type trucks and doors were common on the
express car versions?
This required the addition of a pass through steam train line (the cars themselves were not heated), a pass through communications line and type 9-QA high performance trucks for high speed running. Exceptions were cars 1879 and 1834 which had Chrysler FR-5 high speed trucks and car 1886 had Buckeye "C.R." Cushion-Ride trucks. Outwardly, they appeared to look like standard freight trucks.

> 4. What passenger trains was it common to see these as express cars?
Mainly on the Mail and Express trains 29,31,32 and 40 but would show up on any train until 1949 when the began to be reduced in numbers. They didn't have train end doors which could cause problems on passenger trains.

> 5. What were the markings on the express car sides and ends? How about the color(s). Anyone have color pictures?
Painted green (the passenger car color of the time) but later 1879, 1885, 1889, 1894 and 1986 were painted blue. Markings were Baltimore and Ohio, Railway Express Agency and the car number.

> 6. What car number range and type code was used. Did these change as part of the conversion/repaint?
Once remodeled, the M-53s became class C-16 and were renumbered 1875-1999. When they were returned back to M-53s, they got their old Box car numbers back and were repainted to Box car colors.



Hopefully you can find what you need there.


SIRT posted:

Not sure why you would put any effort into a non scale and incorrect RK 3r round roof boxcar  

B&O’s are on ebay all the time for under 15.



Just spray it with reddish –brown auto body primer and Krylon matt clear.

I'm not sure why myself   I may just turn it into a line side shed.

I searched on ebay for Weaver Wagon-top boxcars and most of them are going for $150+ a bit too much for me, especially if Atlas has the molds and will be coming out with them later.

The RailKing Round-roof is nothing like the ones Seaboard owned anyway, the only accurate ones are in S-scale (not sure about HO and N).

If I don't come up with a paint match soon it'll be turned into a shed.

Here's a thought... I actually have 2 of them, maybe I can combine them and make a decent SAL car out of them.  Will have to check on that


4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

Hi Guys. Jumping on a 10 year old thread. Information on C-16 mods of the M53 do not match shop clearance drawings. The C16 were green and numbered 1900-1924. The scan of the drawing is too large a file to post here. The scan also shows a full length interior shelf around the inside and a bracket for a marker lamp.

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