About a week ago, I told you about the Digital Fox NKP stock cars and the Accurail 50′ plugdoor boxcars. I also mentioned that I ordered some of each. It was only about four days later that my packages both came in the mail and I was able to check out the loot. Both cars looked sharp so I moved them to the top of the stack of things to do. Well, earlier this week, I got busy and finished one of the stock cars and it looks pretty nice… if I do say so myself (that was a favorite phrase of my great-aunt).
Construction of the car is fairly simple and straightforward. The kit shares a common floor with several other Accurail kits and comes with center sill, basic brake components, AccuMate couplers, trucks & wheelsets. When I assembled the floor and added the trucks & couplers, the coupler height was spot-on with the Kadee height gauge. I tried a little something different this time with the couplers. One of my Pirate friends mentioned that he uses the AccuMate couplers w/o the metal trip pin. I’ve never really tried them and thought that this might be a good chance to do so. I’ll let you know in the future how they work out. A metal weight is glued to the top of the floor assembly for some extra car weight.
The body of the car consists of the main casting, doors, various name panels, tack boards, roofwalk and brakewheel & shaft. Assembly does pretty much follow standard steps as on other Accurail cars with a bit of an unusual difference. As I mentioned, the name panels come as separate pieces. The kit includes several different styles and the one closest to the prototype railroad is imprinted with that road’s name. So part of the assembly process is to properly locate the name panels on the car in the appropriate position. I like this little added extra. Most manufacturers would simply “make do” with the model that they have onhand. The Accurail approach does show more versatility and some forethought. The name panels have pins on the back that fit between the slats on the car sides then they ride on the outside bracing of the car as well. All in all, a nice, neat extra feature. The tack boards are attached in the same manner.
While i did fuss a little more than usual with the new (to me) couplers and the name panels did get several trial locations before I liked the end result, the car still only took about half an hour to assemble. While I haven’t finished the other two, I’d guess that the set of three could easily be done in one evening. When you are done, you will have a nice looking Nickel Plate stock car. Kudos to Accurail for the production & lettering and a special nod to Digital Fox for making them available to us Nickel Platers.