I found a number of photos of these ex-Railway Express Agency refrigerator cars that were bought by the shortline San Luis Central and started getting interested in modeling as they were seen in the east in the mid to late seventies. Recently K4 decals released a set od decals for these cars and I found an undec Walthers for a good price so I had the basics. Both Branchline and Walthers released this car but Walthers had riveted sides while Branchline's were welded. All of the SLC cars were riveted so that's what I used.
The Walthers car is pretty good but I felt it needed some upgrades. The biggest one were the ladders....they are separate pieces but the rungs are basically slabs so I tediously removed them and replaced them with 0.012" wire. After that the rest was easy.
Other changes included replacing the runnning board with a Plano part and replacing the wide coupler boxes with Moloco parts,
I also replaced the fragile stirrups with A-Line metal ones. Next I painted it with a mix of Polly Scale Reefer Yellow and ModelFlex Milwaukee Road orange. Then I masked the sides off and painted the rest of the car with ModelFlex black.
Finally I lettered the car with the new K4 decals. These are pretty accurate but were printed a little light so I used two layers of the decals for a more opaque look. The set includes enough lettering for two cars and these are thin so there was no problem with doubling the decals. Finally I weathered the car using a pencil (to highlight the rivets), PanPastels, and airbrushing.
These low height cars with their express trucks really standout in a train and are perfect for the mid-70's.
Another Great looking model Tom!!! I never knew about the K4 decal line, Thanks for the link. Wow what a great lineup, just spent 30 minutes looking thru there catalog and after 18 pages found a bunch I'll order.