I have a dozen or more InterMountain 1937 AAR prototype 40' box cars on the railroad and appreciate how they look and operate. With O scale meet prices generally under $20, I've found IM kits to be a cost effective way to build up a transition era freight car roster. A downside of having a large number of "standard" AAR 37 40 ' box cars on the railroad (also done by Athearn and AtlasO) is that it can lead to a "sameness" in the freight yard. In part to offset this effect, back in the late 90's two friends and I embarked on a series of kit bashing projects using InterMoutain box cars as the starting point. The first car we tackled was a model of Central of Georgia's 1 1/2 door 37 AAR prototype. It was a relatively simple project with the half doors created by slicing out a section of the IM 6' door. The heavy side sill was made with strip plastic, and we topped the cars with Plano steel roof walks. One of the guys sent prototype photos of the CG car to Greg Komar and commissioned a special run of dry transfers for the car. They went on beautifully. Later the CG set was added to the Komar catalog. Still later master modeler Lee Turner offered cast resin sides for the same prototype.
After building the CG cars we learned that Lee Turner was selling resin sides for wartime NP and GN AAR 40' box car variants. The NP cars had tongue and grove wood sides, while the GN cars were sheathed with plywood. Using Lee's sides, we built models of both prototypes. I started by carefully cutting away the sides of the InterMountain body- leaving the roof and ends intact. After some filing and fitting Lee's sides were cemented to the IM roof and ends. CDS offered dry transfer lettering sets for both prototypes so we didn't face the expense of having custom sets made.
The 3 color GN scheme requires careful masking as green subtly surrounds the orange sides. The roof, ends and under body was done in black.
Before creating this post I spoke with Lee Turner to learn had any of the resin sides to sell. Lee told me that several years ago he sold the masters and molds for the GN, NP, and CG box cars to Keith Wiseman. Wiseman Model Services. Checking the web site I didn't see the 37 AAR box sides listed - so I gave Keith a call. He doesn't have the sides in stock, but he does have the masters and molds, and they still are in good shape. Keith said he would do a run of the resin sides if there was interest. If you would like to kit bash any of the three 40' 37 AAR box variants in the photos above you can contact Keith through his web site .