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Railbox by VTHokiEE - Quality Craft Models - 1:48 (?) *ON HOLD*

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At a recent model train auction my dad picked up this older Quality Craft Railbox kit (as part of a larger lot) which he gave to me. I'm hoping to put it together and give it back to him, but I have a few questions before I start to hopefully make this a best effort.


  1. First the directions reference applying "scalecoat sanding sealer" on all wooden parts for a metal like finish. Is this still a good idea, or is there a better method? 
  2. Is anyone familiar with this type of car? I'm curious about the roof color, from what I gather this probably was a rusted red color, does that seem correct? The directions state that the entire car is yellow aside from the door (black), which can be seen in the photograph below from https://www.pwrs.ca/announcements/view.php?ID=13225 but sadly the roof isn't very visible.Railbox_early_14344.jpg 
  3. Speaking of painting, is there a novice guide to simple weather? I have no idea what I'm doing aside from spray this yellow and spray that black 🙂
  4. Is anyone familiar with this type of model? From the looks of it I assume it sits on an actual wheelbase? Hopefully my dad has one of those. The directions are also really sparse, especially when it comes to the metal fittings, any suggestions for how I figure those out?
  5. I'll cross decals when I get there, but that's on the horizon as well.


Here is a shot of the kit contents; I apologize for all the novice questions and thank you for any help that you can give!



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Darn, I just started comparing the contents to another kit (on eBay) and it would seem that this kit is far from complete... if I can't find an inexpensive second kit for the missing pieces this build may not get off the ground.

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you could look for any box cars that are compatible and get the parts from it.   these cars are quite common.  look here for one.......the prices aren't too bad either


Old Plastic Model Kits: model airplane kits, Revell, Monogram, Aurora


I have one that was given to me by a co worker....now quite a while ago.  I've been tempted to get a few more kits,  but I've been so busy with  wood ships and plastic planes,  I haven't had the time to devote to another medium.  some of them do not include the trucks and couplers...you need to get them from a hobby shop.  these places can be of help....sure you can contact them with questions:

www.walthers.com -- main page

Model Train Stuff - HO Scale Microscale Decals

Valley Model Trains -HO- Precision Lasercraft


the roof is either a flat gray or a very dead flat black {thin it out some }


I yam wot I yam!

finished builds:
Billings Nordkap 476 / Billings Cux 87 / Billings Mary Ann / Billings AmericA - reissue
Billings Regina - bashed into the Susan A / Andrea Gail 1:20 - semi scratch w/ Billing instructions
M&M Fun Ship - semi scratch build / Gundalow - scratch build / Jeanne D'Arc - Heller
Phylly C & Denny-Zen - the Lobsie twins - bashed & semi scratch dual build

Billing T78 Norden


in dry dock:
Billing's Gothenborg 1:100 / Billing's Boulogne Etaples 1:20
Billing's Half Moon 1:40 - some scratch required
Revell U.S.S. United States 1:96 - plastic/ wood modified / Academy Titanic 1:400
Trawler Syborn - semi scratch / Holiday Harbor dual build - semi scratch

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3 hours ago, VTHokiEE said:

Darn, I just started comparing the contents to another kit (on eBay) and it would seem that this kit is far from complete... if I can't find an inexpensive second kit for the missing pieces this build may not get off the ground.

Keep in mind that these kits never includes trucks and couplers. I have built a few of them, and they are not that easy, especially to render the metallic aspect of the car, with wooden parts.



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The roofs on these cars are typically galvanized metal. They are often not painted. Quite commonly, when the sides of the car were painted, the crews didn’t mask off the roof, so there is usually considerable overspray. I would definitely follow the recommendation to seal the wood before painting. It doesn’t really matter what sealer you use as long as it’s compatible with whatever paint you decide to use. Scalecoat paints are still available from Minuteman Scale Models, in either bottles or rattle cans.

Most craftsman kits like this didn’t come with trucks or couplers (most still don’t). From the looks of it, you’ll need a pair of 70ton roller bearing trucks.  And you’ll also need weights if the car is planned to be used. 
As for your decals, given the age of the kit, you may wish to dig around and see about replacing them all together. Microscale may have what you need.

For weathering, look for Pan Pastel. They have weathering pastels that you apply with an applicator sponge and seal with dullcote.

Have fun, these types of kits can be challenging, but at least you don’t have to bend any wood into weird curves.



Quando Omni Flunkus, Moritati

Current Build:

USF Confederacy



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Popeye - thanks for the links those should be really helpful.


Yves - That’s good to know that I’m at the very least not missing them 🙂


Andy - Wow, that’s great stuff. If I can find some extra parts at a reasonable price I’m going to try to pick up some rattle cans and pastels and see how it goes.

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You got a lot of good information there. Early craftsman kits like these expected you to go down to your local brick and mortar hobby shop to pick up trucks and couplers. Those shops have disappeared. And if you are going to run this car in a train, find out if it's a scale layout or a Lionel O gauge layout. These make a big difference. Lionel uses bigger wheels and deeper flanges. They're really not compatible.


Scalecoat is a solvent base sealer and paint. Just be careful if spraying; wear a chemical mask, available at big box hardware stores. Even if brushing, I'd still mask up, due to the odors. And consider doing it outside for peace on the home front. 😀


You may want to add additional interior bracing at the joints and along the roof. Sagging joints, especially in O scale, will look bad.


The color of a galvanized roof raises a lot of discussion among model railroaders. I tend to use what is called SP lettering gray, it's a light gray color. Others use a dull silver; might be OK for a brand new car, but after running a while it fades. If you're weathering a car go dull gray on the roof. The Pan Pastels are excellent for weathering. This particular site is pitched to model railroaders and has some how-to videos. http://modelingcolors.com/index.html


I'd find some color photos to give you some visual guidance on weathering. I use this site a lot. This is his section on Railbox cars. http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/rbox/rbox.htm


Have fun. Be careful or you could fall down a new rabbit-hole in a new hobby. ;)



Started: MS Bounty Longboat,

On Hold:  Heinkel USS Choctaw paper

Down the road: Shipyard HMC Alert 1/96 paper, Mamoli Constitution Cross, MS USN Picket Boat #1

Scratchbuild: Echo Cross Section


Member Nautical Research Guild

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Thanks Ken! This is a wealth of information, there are a handful of these kits on eBay and similar but I'm not in any rush at the moment so I'll keep an eye out for any deals. I asked my dad about the wheels and he mentioned that he had some to use.

12 minutes ago, Canute said:

Have fun. Be careful or you could fall down a new rabbit-hole in a new hobby. ;)

I can see how it would be dangerous, especially if the kit turns out okay and I start supplementing my dad's hobby (as long as they leave my house my wife has no issues with it 🙂)

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