Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Baltimore & Ohio P-11 Flat Car


When I built my PRR FM class flat car (Part One and Part Two,) I alluded that I would follow up with a build of a B&O P-11 class flat car, a virtual clone of the Pennsy FM. That effort is presented here. While I used an F&C kit for the PRR FM, I modeled the B&O P-11 using a Sunshine kit I had on hand. The Sunshine kit is easier due to the stake pockets being integral to the "side" castings. However, the sides, ends, and underframe are separate parts, meaning the basic car body must be assembled. I did not find that difficult and given the choice, I preferred assembling the Sunshine car body over the one-piece F&C car body, since the F&C kit required the fiddly step of adding the individual stake pockets.

The Sunshine kit is older and suffers from a few inaccuracies that I corrected. They included converting the end sills to channel sections with the flanges facing outwards and replacing the bottom crossbearer cover plates. I added lead weights to this model and opted to forgo brake equipment. I also built a deck from scratch using strip styrene, which looks great, but led to a noticeable curving of the car body from end-to-end, that required a maddeningly difficult resolution.

The underbody casting with sides (but not ends) added

The "stock" end before modification

The "stock" end as viewed from above

The modified end with new push pole pockets, draft gear casting and webs added (trimmed on right and untrimmed on left)

I removed all detail from the ends and then created new details from scratch. This involved adding 0.005" styrene at the corners and around the draft gear (coupler) opening. I punched styrene discs that were added to the corners and then "dished" using a drill bit. The grey color is Mr. Surfacer 1200 added to create a softer, rounder look to the depressions. I added strip in several places to simulate the triangular webs around the push pole circles and the draft gear. These were trimmed to a triangular profile, as shown in the photo of the completed end.

The modified end in the same state as the photo directly above, but from a different angle, showing the castings (simulated with 0.005" styrene) wrapped around the corner

The end after detailing, including top and bottom flanges of the channel end sills, simulated with 0.005" styrene strips plus rivets, grab irons, uncoupling devices, and angle cock/air hoses. The sill steps are also visible

Detailing followed my typical process. Grabs were bent from 0.010" wire while the uncoupling rods are 0.012" wire with Yarmouth etched eye bolts. The grab attachments are tiny discs punched from 0.005: styrene with rivets added. Those rivets, as well as the ones at the corners, were harvested from an Athearn snowplow shell. Angle cock/air hose parts are by Hi-Tech. The sill steps are etched parts from Yarmouth.

The route card boards were fashioned from styrene strip with a "frame" of 0.005" styrene. The first deck boards are visible, as well

This photo illustrates the addition of the first deck boards, working from the car center toward the ends

The deck was fashioned from individual styrene 0.030" x 0.080" styrene strips. The individual boards were sanded a bit, to create a bit of texture. They were notched in appropriate locations to fit around the stake pockets.

A view of the almost completed deck and stake pocket openings

A similar view, but of the entire car

The model after detailing was completed, ready for blasting and painting

The story has a bit of a muddled finish. I painted, lettered and weathered the model, only to see the curve in the top of the deck become more pronounced over time, resulting in an unrealistic dip in the center of the car. I used almost boiling water to straighten things out to an acceptable degree, but the ancillary result was that the finish of the model was ruined. I have to remove the lettering and repaint the sides and re-decal and then weather the car again. To be continued... sigh


  1. Sorry to hear about the dip and subsequent problems correcting it. The details are fantastic and intricate. I’m looking forward to seeing it refinished.

  2. What media are you using to sand blast and what air line pressure do you use?

    1. I use both 220 grit aluminum oxide and baking soda. I will be adding a post about this in the future. I had been using Paasche's Air Eraser, but it seemed to become more and more finicky in its operation so I switched to a dental tool. It's more expensive, but highly reliable. The "big" blasting guns are overkill for me. More details to follow in the post.


Comments always welcome!