Santa fe bx3 rebuild

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I originally built this from a model magazine article back in the late 70s as I recall.

It's a likeness of a post WW-One era BX3 and/or BX6 boxcar that was peculiar to the Santa Fe. I rebuilt it this week it -- to look more like the 1930s Santa Fe upgrade with improved doors and AB brakes replacing the K brakes. It has a fresh paint job too.

I like the segmented outside sheathing on this type car, and while I model the SP, SN and WP, I had to include one of these.

It is parked here at the Oakland, CA Westinghouse plant's dock. It may have brought electrical parts from one of the many companies that (once) made Chicago a powerhouse of electronic and electrical parts supply. All on Santa Fe rails into Emeryville back in this 1956 model scene.

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It was mainly scratchbuilt with Northeastern milled Basswood. Added materials were Walthers Zamac-cast Youngstown ends, Athearn Doors, Kadee T&C, and lots of 0.05" and 0.015" diameter solder rolled flat to make all the beading. Even the polling four pockets are made from .015" dia. solder. I like solder! Also used bits of brass wire and flat-wire plus bits of Evergreen plastic strips of various sizes.
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I like making things from solder because it is so easy to form into any shape you want. Take an inch of 50/100 diam. solder and squeeze the tip with smooth pliers to form "gland hands" on the end of air hoses. ACC glue the other end into your freight car and paint the hose part flat black. Bend it to a curve like an air hose.

I have a pair of rollers that I can squeeze solder down to any thickness I want to make beading that can be curved or bent with tweezers and pliers. Once glued (ACC) on a surface it will retain its shape.

You can also drill holes into the flattened bits with ease and emboss rivets from the back side to make reinforcement straps on the corners of old wood boxcars.

Many thanks Charles. I have spent about 52 years scratchbuilding, mainly in brass, so all my fine detail, beading etc. has been in brass. See my website for some of my productions (all commissions)

But for my current HO scale American models, your solder methods sound very versatile! Will try to obtain some fine solder and give it a try. :) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.