Can you imagine my surprise when I opened a package that I recently received in the mail and the contents therein looked something like this??!? Some of you “more seasoned” modelers may recognize this as an older, wooden kit of a Nickel Plate stock car but I’m guessing that if you haven’t been modeling all that long, you probably don’t even realize that at one time, this was considered about as good as it got in the world of model railroading.
Times certainly have changed and we are doing little if any real “modeling” in today’s R-T-R world. But not all that long ago, car kits were made up of milled lumber for the roof and car floor, cast ends and simple underbody details and a whole bunch of strip wood to complete the model. Some early kits didn’t even have wooden sides; the car sides were simply printed on cardboard!
The kit pictured here was a gift from my friend Bill. I had shared a kit with him along with some extra parts & decals to make an NKP 40-foot Double Door Auto boxcar. He was concerned about making it up to me but I didn’t even think much about it until this little gem arrived in the mail. So I am looking forward to building my first wooden, semi-craftsman kit and will obviously share the results with you when it is done.
When I look at this then compare it to even simple car kits that we have today, the phrase, “You’ve come a long way, Baby,” comes to mind.