Railroad Model Craftsman Product Review

Yarmouth Model Works Rio Grande PSC Steel Boxcar Kits

Yarmouth Model Works has pulled together an impressive multimedia model kit depicting a 40-foot steel boxcar painted for the Rio Grande. 

Yarmouth Model Works Rio Grande PSC Steel Boxcar Kits

HO Scale (1:87)

Review by Hunter Hughson/photos by the author

The selection of superb ready-to-run models has exploded over the past decade, but one would be mistaken to imagine for a moment this has been the death-knell for the high-quality resin freight car model. This niche of the hobby is thriving thanks to smaller companies who are resourceful enough to push the limits of what can be accomplished with a resin model kit. With this latest release, Yarmouth Model Works has pulled together an impressive multimedia model kit. 

The prototype for this model came from six lots of 50-ton 40’ boxcars, 2,500 cars in total, that were delivered to D&RGW from Pressed Steel Car Company in a period spanning from September 1939 to April 1946. It’s not unusual for car builders to source components from various suppliers, and Yarmouth Model Works has paid meticulous attention to supplying (in some cases creating) kit parts that match almost all of the subtle variations, and there were many of them. 

Aside from their relatively consistent dimensions, three spotting features tie this group of 2,500 cars together. First, all 2,500 cars had Murphy Improved solid steel roofs. Second, with the exception of 100 double-door cars (more on this later) the car sides incorporate 12 riveted panels instead of the more common 10-panel approach. The side sills are straight from end to end, unlike the more common 1937 AAR design which had side sills composed of a series of trapezoid shapes. Third, the prototype car employed a sliding center-sill Duryea underframe to reduce product damage from slack action. The Duryea underframe is very distinctive and is unlike any other style of the cushioned underframe. The model captures all of these major spotting features, but that’s just the beginning. 

The detailed underframe of the Yarmouth Model Works PSC Boxcar.

The easiest place to start describing all of the kit’s variations is with the running boards. You can choose between wood, Apex Trilock, U.S Gypsum, and Morton running boards, beautifully etched from stainless steel. These etchings capture each style’s pattern and depth with the appropriate matching brake step. When you order your model, the running board options are grouped such that you choose one of the components that were used on that lot. 

All but 100 of these cars were ordered with 6’ doors which were sourced from Youngstown in the earlier lots, and then a combination of Youngstown and Superior doors in the last two lots. The second lot of only 100 cars used an odd-looking double-door configuration for autos and grain which consisted of one 6’ door and one 9’ door that looked at first glance like three separate doors. The double-door version of the car has a 15’ door opening, so the sides have 9 panels as a result. All of these doors have been very nicely rendered in the various configurations of the kit, and these have been specifically modeled to match the panel shapes that show up on photos of the prototype. It’s nice to have the exact doors, rather than stand-in approximations. When you order a 6’ door model, you get both Youngstown and Superior doors. When you order the auto car, you get that door with the kit…

A finished Youthmouth Model Works boxcar painted and lettered for the Denver & Rio Grande Western.

$65/kit, plus shipping and handling.

Yarmouth Model Works, 263 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas, Ontario 


March 2021Read the rest of this review in the March 2021 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman! Subscribe today!


This article was posted on: May 5, 2021