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  I am new to the forum and new to O-Scale (about eight months).  I have been an accomplished modeler of many different subjects / scales over a period of 60 years...  I decided to go with Proto: 48 because I have always worked to those type of standards in other scales...HO, Sn3 and S (non-Flyer) fine scale, 1:24 & 1:25 auto and military etc.

  Attached is my first Proto: 48 attempt.  This is one of the old Intermountain kits of a 1937 type box-car.  I added about 6" of height to the car so it would accept brass doors from Protocraft and re-worked the door tracks and stops accordingly.  The trucks, couplers, ladders and brake end rigging are also Protocraft items.  I did significant re-work on the stock under-carriage parts, adding scratch built lines and clevises and hangers.  Hoses and glad-hands are from Protocraft.  The paint is Scale-Coat II from Minuteman Models with Protocraft decals and a final overcoat of (believe it or not) Testors Dull Coat (right out of the rattle can).  This dull coat, if applied slowly and sparingly is one of the best products out there for this purpose, just my opinion and experience.   Some weathering is planned. for this one as well.

  Other items on the bench at the present include an SP&S bay window 36' caboose (box-car conversion) - fully scratch built from Evergreen Styrene.... a completely reworked San Juan Car Company Standard Boxcar with Shapeways printed ends and a Red Caboose GP9.  The GP9 is getting the full sound treatment from Sountraxx and has had its trucks reworked with Proto: 48 wheel sets from Jay Criswell at Right-O'-Way.  First test runs of the GP9 have been very good.

Hope you enjoy.....


Bill   (AZBill)

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Original Post
@atlpete posted:

A beauty!

Well done, if you're going Proto 48 you cannot fail with any of the Intermountin's. If I was to go fine scale in your chosen era I'd limit most all of my freight equipment to IM san custom builds. Opinion,  they are works of art and satisfying to assemble.

What road do intend to model your GP in?



I am leaning toward an SP Black Widow scheme.....but that may change.  I am still collecting a lot of aftermarket parts to replace the plastic details.....they are beautiful and very well done but way too delicate for any kind of handling.... As you are aware Proto: 48 is sort of take what you can get where you find it pursuit so to speak....   I already have an eclectic collection of equipment......  a Southern Car and Foundry MKT box, brass Santa Fe caboose, and an absolutely amazing wood-side gondola from Glacier Park Models...... also some of the older wood craftsman kits.  Looking at a possible scratch build of an SP caboose as well.....that may dictate the GP9 scheme ...although Santa Fe is possible too....  you can see where that thought pattern is going.....   why not one of each!!!????  )

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  • Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 5.34.20 PM
@scott5011 posted:

Hello, could you elaborate on the shapeways ends mentioned? Are they custom made parts?Thanks,Scott.

Hi Scott:

The ends mentioned are a set of Murphy ends printed with a 3-D printer by Shapeways.  The link for the Murphy ends on Shapeways is:

Be aware that the ends can be used as is from Shapeways but a better result can be had by making a set of molds and casting the 3-D printed ends in a suitable resin material.  See photo #1 below:  Left is an old Chooch Metal end and the re-cast version below.... Center: The Murphy end and Right: a Proto: 48 7/8 End for a USRA Boxcar and the re-cast version below.  Here is the link for the USRA end:

Be aware that the USRA end is sold one at a was intended to be re-cast.  You could buy two and use them if you wanted to.  However, be aware that flat pieces like these have a tendency to warp after being printed.  I dipped my originals in some near boiling water and laid them on a flat counter top to straighten them before I re-cast them.  Once re-cast I  sanded the back side smooth and laminated a sheet of .020 Evergreen styrene to the back.  This facilitates using regular liquid styrene cement in the build up process.

Photo(s) #2 and #3 are the modified O Scale San Juan Car with the re-cast ends and Protocraft details added..... I added the polling pockets after I cast the ends.

To re-cast the ends I used the basic entry-level kit from Smooth-on....  I have cast quite a few ends and other details...this kit really works well.  It contains all you need to cast only have to build a suitable mold-box.

Photo #4 are some of the molds that I made for casting the ends.....

Let me Know if you have other questions.....


Bill   (AZBill)



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