Boxcars class Bx-3 and Bx-6, original, rebuilt, ice, salt, zinc concentrate and MOW                                scroll down and click on pictures to enlarge




K BRAKE                                              AB BRAKE                                           AB BRAKE                                           AB BRAKE


                SIDE                                                            ORIGINAL                                   SIDE                                                            REBUILT

             SIDE                                   ICE, SALT, MOW                                                     SIDE                                       ZINC CONCENTRATE


N-101 Boxcar Bx-3/6 as built, K brake. complete kit: body parts and 2 brass etchings (less trucks, couplers, decals)


N-102 Boxcar Bx-3/6 Youngstown doors, AB brake. complete kit: body parts and 2 brass etchings (less trucks, couplers, decals)

N-103 Boxcar Bx-3/6 salt car/ice car, AB brake. complete kit: body parts and 2 brass etchings (less trucks, couplers, decals)

N-104 Boxcar Bx-3/6 zinc concentrate car, AB brake. complete kit: body parts and 2 brass etchings (less trucks, couplers, decals)


The Bx-3 and Bx-6 class cars were identical and built from 1923 to 1925, a total number of 5000. As built the cars had flat steel doors, K brakes and staff hand brakes. In the 1940's and 1950's hese were changed to Youngstown steel doors, AB brakes and Ajax hand brakes The last cars lasted in active service till the end of the 60's. A few survived in maintenance-of-way service into the 1980's.

Bx-3 numbers 116000-119999

Bx-6 numbers 120000-120999


Many cars were modified during the 1940's and 1950's for other services.

More the 4000 were converted to stock cars, Sk-2, Sk-3 and Sk-5 (see the stock car project). Between 1966 and 1969 almost 1500 of these cars had interior linings installed for grainloading.

In 1951 and 1952 45 cars (33 Bx-2 and 12 Bx-6)  were converted for salt loading by equipping them with refrigerator swing doors. This service lasted till 1958.

Bx-3 renumbered to 40050-40062 and 40075-40094

Bx-6 renumberd to 40063-40074.

In 1958 the remaining 42 salt cars were converted to ice cars and reclassified Ie-X.

Ie-X numbers 115361-115402

In 1953 and 1954 35 other Bx-3 and Bx-6 cars were converted to ice cars.

Ie-X 115300-115324 and 115326-115335.

Starting in 1958 all ice cars were renumbered to the company service series.

115300-115324 became 188214-188238.

115326-115335 became 118240-188249.

115361-115402 became 188042-188083.

During 1951 and 1952 a total of 400 Bx-6 cars were converted to zinc concentrate service. The outside sheathing was removed and steel reinforcement bars installed on the bottom three sheathing boards. The last cars of these series were retired from service in 1972.

These cars were renumbered.

Bx-6 40250-40449.

Bx-6 40800-40999.

Much more information can be found in Santa Fe Boxcars 1869-1953 published by the Santa fe Railway Historical and Modelling Society and Stock Cars of the Santa fe Railway published by Railroad Car Press and pictures can be found on different internet sites.

K BRAKE SYSTEM                                                                                                    AB BRAKE SYSTEM

Building instructions.   

Please read these instructions carefully before you start building your boxcar(s).

The most important tools are a motor tool (cutting disc, 0,5 mm  and 0,9 mm drill, adjustible speed), a hobby knive and/or straight scalpel, X-acto knife chisel blade, various files, ACC glue (Zap-a-gap green), tweezers. Also a magnifier lamp comes in very handy.

Start by checking the castings for excess casting material on the back of the castings and along the edges. Remove by file or by gently scraping with a scalpel. Check if all carbody parts have a perfect fit and carefully adjust if necessary.

Begin assembly of the carbody by holding 1 sideframe and the roof between a thumb and fingers. Make sure the side is exactly in the middle of the roof (lengthwise) and roughly at a 90 degree angle. Using a toothpick/thick needle/steel scribing pen dipped in some ACC glue apply a little glue in the middle of the car FROM THE INSIDE. The glue will easily flow into the joint. Not too much or it will ooze out on the outside. If this happens by accident use an old toothbrush to remove the excess glue. Check if side and roof are positioned correctly. If not, the 2 parts can still be separated and the old glue can be removed; simply try again. If  satisfied with the position of the parts and the fit apply glue to both ends. Repeat this process with the other sideframe. Now fit the ends. If all is well they should simply drop in. Glue the joints from the inside.

Check the fit of the underframe. If necessary file/sand the sides if the fit is not perfect.  If you want to bring the weight of the car up to the NMRA recommended practice, glue a 10 gram lead wheight on top of the underframe using contact cement. Make sure it does not interfere with the upper structure.

Cut the brass etchings from the fret using a X-acto knife chisel blade on a hard surface (backside steel ruler). Position the fret with the half etchings touching the ruler. This way a nice clean cut can be made without bending/damaging the parts. The chisel blade gets a bit dull after a while but with a flat file this can be corrected a few times.   

Next drill the holes for the stirrups, handgrips and brake stand, using the appropriate drilling jigs supplied in the fret. Drill the holes for the brakestand and handgrips completely through the side walls. Take care the stirrup holes start in the middle of the edge of the side frame. Drill towards the inside of the car. This will result in slightly slanted stirrups at first after glueing. This can be corrected easily by bending them vertical with pliers/tweezers after the glue has set. Glueing the stirrups can be done best by putting a drop of ACC glue on a scrap piece of styrene and dipping the legs of the stirrup/handgrip into this puddle using tweezers to hold the part. Always testfit before applying the glue. All legs of the handgrips should be inserted equal length into the sidewalls WITHOUT ACC GLUE. Do not bother with the horizontal/vertical plane of the handgrips at this moment. Apply glue from the inside using the toothpick/thick needle/steel scribing pen method. The handgrips can still be adjusted with the point of a hobby knife if you are quick. After the glue has set the handgrips can easily be bent into the correct horizontal/vertical plane using pointed long tweezers lengthwise. The 4 handgrips on the lower edge of the end walls can be bend/folded 90 degrees downward using the chisel blade.

The roofwalk is next. Bend the small side wings at the correct roof angle and the 4 support legs of the side wings 90 degree down. Hold the roofwalk on the roof (no glue yet) using a thumb and fingers and position exactly in the middle (both lengthwise and crosswise). Move your fingers to one side of the roofwalk without changing the position of the roofwalk. Slide a toothpick under the other half. Using the toothpick/thick needle/steel scribing pen method, apply ACC glue on the underside of the roofwalk that has been slightly lifted by the toothpick. Pull out the toothpick and press the roofwalk down. The glue should set/hold after a few seconds.  Check if the position of the roofwalk is still OK. If so, repeat this process on the other half of the roofwalk. Apply some ACC glue to the rookwalk end supports. Using pointed long tweezers bend the supports against the end walls. Using a 0,5 mm drill, make holes in the roof using the holes in the side wings as a drilling jig. Bend the 90 degree handgrips into the correct form using tweezers, keeping the halfetching on the inside of the bend. They are quite fragile right now but after glueing very sturdy. Insert the 3 legs into the holes in the side wings using long pointed tweezers. Place the handgrip at the correct height. Using  the toothpik/thick needle/steel scribing pen method place a bit of ACC glue at the base of the sidewing near the legs of the handgrips. The glue will flow into the hole as well. Using the scalpel point adjust the height of the handgrip if necessary.  Wait a few seconds for the glue to set in the hole. The excess glue can still be removed: a few gentle strokes with the old toothbrush. With the long pointed tweezers the handgrip can be bend to a nice 90 degree angle and square in relation to the sidewing.

The brake  gear on the A end of the original Bx-3/6 consists of a staff brake and K braking system. Glue the staff and bleeder valve line in place. The first into the notches on the A end roof and bottom edge of the end wall. The second right beside it next to the ladder. Holding these with the tweezers dip both ends into the ACC glue. Hold in place and wait a few seconds. Excess glue can be removed with the toothbrush. Using a 0,5 mm drill make a small hole between the fixed brake staff and the holding fixture on the roofedge. Dip the staff of the supplied MTL brake wheel into some ACC glue and place into this hole and longside the staff. This way a rather sturdy staff brakewheel contruction is made. The brake gear on the rebuild versions consists of an AB brake system with a vertical brake wheel and brake stand. Drill a small hole in the brake wheel housing using a 0,9 mm drill. Glue and insert the supplied MTL brake wheel. Fold the legs of the brake stand using tweezers. Position the brakestand into the 4 holes. Insert the brake line into the recess in the platform BEFORE aplying ACC glue from the INSIDE to the 4 holes of the platform. You have short time to make sure the platform is square and horizontal. Glue the low end of the brake line to the lower edge of the end wall. The 2 end ladders can now be glued to the end wall. Holding them in the middle with pointed tweezers dip both ends into a drop of ACC glue; hold in place and wait a few seconds.

The underbody brake systems (K or AB brake) are now glued in place. Apply ACC glue to the fat cross connections and position against the underframe using the brake cylinder/reservoir as locating points. The rigging “connecting” to the truck brake gear can be glued directly to the underside of the center beam. The train brakeline and the “connection” to the end brake gear have to be bend a little against the last cross bearer on the frame. On the AB brake also apply some ACC glue on the 2 lines connected to the air reservoir using the toothpick/thick needle/steel scribing pen method. All excess glue on the underbody brake system can be removed using some gentle strokes with the old toothbrush. The 2 brakeline “airhoses” can be glued next to the coupler pockets. The end should hit the bolster crossbearer. Bend the hose to your liking after the superstructure has been put back on the underframe.

Trucks should be Andrews from MTL and couplers are 1015 from MTL. Both are NOT supplied. No use hauling them twice across the Atlantic. Same goes for the decals. Microscale Decals 60-498, 60-505, 60-516, 60-1382 or 60-79 supply all formats for these cars: the original A.T. & S.F., AT & SF, ATSF and MOW versions. For exact locations and types of lettering please use the book or pictures on the internet. The couplers are located a bit backward to create a prototypical distance between cars. The couplers can be glued into place with a very small amount of ACC glue: the coupler pockets are a good fit. If you want to avoid the risk of glue oozing into the coupler, use a small screw. Put the coupler in place and drill a 0,9 mm hole using the coupler as a drilling jig. Next you will have to use the grinding disk to remove almost all of the screw head. A little bit at a time to avoid too much heat. Also remove all burrs from the MTL axle. Otherwise the axle will hit the screw and prevent the car from rolling freely. Keep in mind that the truck also has to be able to tilt a little on switch frogs and other little track irregularities.

After assembly wash the whole model in warm soapy water. Before painting in the desired color PLEASE USE A GOOD LEVELING PRIMER. Mr Primer Surfacer 1000 diluted 30% with Mr Primer Leveling Thinner has given me excellent results. This primer (in a few thin layers) will hide al lot of the 3D printing irregularities.Tru-scale paint from Arizona has excellent brown ATSF paint for both the old and newer versions plus aluminum or silver for the MOW verions.