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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

Southern Waffle Side Boxcar


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We must have waffles forthwith!


That is a line from a Tom Hanks movie that was not one of his best (but that was actually the funniest part) however, that line has just stuck with me for many years. If I say “forthwith” to my wife she knows that I mean real waffles. Ironically that line from that movie made me think about wanting 1 of these waffle boxcars. Don’t question where my mind goes!


Finding “new to me” S Scale trains that I don’t already have is getting to be a challenge. I got off onto a Southern Railway diversion in about 2020. I went fishing for 1 of the Smokey Mountain Model Works urethane 50’ Southern “waffle side” boxcars in August 2020. I got a reply for a new kit then another reply for a DEAL for 5 more cars that were started but needed repairs so I went from 0 to 6 cars in a week.


I seem to want things once they are discontinued for a long time. SMMW has not had these cars for sale for a while.



Of course the good intentions that I was going to build them did not happen. I just seem to not get around to building urethane cars when they are really not much different than a plastic kit. So I sent them with a few other languishing unfinished cars to my friend Bob Hogan aka Bob the Boxcar Builder. He got them done in a WEEK.


This is by far not a best waffle boxcar collection in existence.  I did not count waffle bumps to see if the other car schemes I picked where really for THIS car. I was just going for “good enough”.


There is prototype info and a review of an HO plastic car here.


This is what the 5 fixer upper cars looked like when I got them. There was a little bowl included of the detail parts that might have been on the cars at 1 time but fell off again. These cars are a bit fragile with all the details that are on them.


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Some of the procrastination for finishing the cars was there was not enough decals included to finish the 5 car lot. Some had been used. I knew I had to get some remade. Jim King of Smokey Mountain Model Works helped me out and sent me the original artwork which was a start. This side scan of the car at 100% with a ruler is how I have made MANY custom decal sets. All have fit very well. I contacted Circus City decals and got all of them made. I thought about getting Norfolk Southern and Conrail made. But Conrail had nothing even close to these cars so I switched 1car to CSX. Circus City was very easy to work with especially given the very limited data and photos given to get the sets made. I would highly recommend them. My one concern that turned out to be mostly true was just the physics of trying to get the decal film to stretch and conform to the extreme contour of the car sides. You are asking a lot of the decal film doing all that stretching. In HO it is the same decal film but less distance has to be covered. So short of cutting the decals into an insane number of small pieces to place them individually on the ribs and waffles the decals have some cracks and air bubbles. You mostly cannot get around it. Bob did a good job getting the decals in place.


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All paint is Tru Color. 5 cars are TCP-224 Southern Freight Car Red 1940s -50s. Tru Color has about 100 shades of boxcar red – like it really matters and for me it did not. The CSX car is TCP-105 Grand Trunk Western Blue. Anything Tru Color B&O or Chessie Blue I saw looked much too dark to me. I did not want to mix paint. The last time I tried to custom mix B&O blue it went really wrong and cost me a LOT of money to fix. I think the GTW looks pretty good in my basement fluorescent lighting compared to real CSX Blue cars I have seen recently.


Stirrup Steps

My only “build” involvement in these cars was adding the stirrup steps once the cars were finished and returned. Bob felt that they would not survive the return trip if he installed them. After some deep thought I decided to use my brass stirrup steps. They are a bit thick and not the correct shape at least for the Southern cars that have another horizontal step in the loop. But they are STRONG and will not break off.


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Southern 526625

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Southern 526656

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Southern 526672

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Southern 526675

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Norfolk Southern 407269


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CSX 138721

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Completed 3-27-22

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Updated 3-28-22

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