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Boxcab Critters Fn3 style

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  • Boxcab Critters Fn3 style

    I'm into another set of Boxcabs. I don't know what the fascination is but I find them interesting little critters.

  • #2

    I believe I’ve left the O-Scale layout in my rear view mirror. I’m continuing on with a long delayed project.

    Yup, that’s right yet another boxcab build. Only this time they’re going to be in Fn3, 1:20.3, scale. I had an old USA Trains GP-9 diesel lying around collecting dust ever since my garden RR went defunct after moving across the state and the Sundance Central went narrow gauge. I designed a set of boxcabs years ago and only now am I getting back to finishing the build.

    The GP-9 is supplying all the necessary running gear. I cut apart the GP-9 side frames and removed the motors, wheel journals, main truck spring, the intake vents and lots of other goodies.

    The frames are and body are made from 1/8” Sintra PVC. The window frames and other parts are made from .040” styrene. I had a bunch of scribed siding in various thicknesses so I turned them over and put them to use.

    I stopped a couple of years ago when I completed the frames and installed the wheel journals. I disassembled the motor boxes and re-greased them. The old stuff was all dried up.

    The intake fans have been repurposed into the new cooling system black boxes.

    I’m using .030” strip styrene for the panel seams. Here is the taped up test fit.

    The cab floor showing the motor.

    From the bottom showing the power block.

    The sideframe, journals and main spring..

    This will be the speaker outlet disguised as a vent.

    These are the window frames.



    • #3
      Hi Frank. Really looking forward to see you do another critter. Looks great so far.

      Even though they are a small loco, in 1:20 scale it sure is still big.

      I guess your use to the large scale stuff.

      Looking forward to learning some more tips from a master modeller.

      Regards Rob

      Despite the cost of living, it's still popular

      My current build.


      • #4
        Oh boy, one of my favorite subjects. You got my attention. Looking good.

        New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

        Main thread to all that's happening on the NY,V & N Rwy. The New York, Vermont -and- Northern Rwy. - Railroad Line Forums (

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        • #5
          Another critter to add to the menagerie. I can see the potential for lots of detail at this scale. Looks nice.


          Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin


          • #6
            You must feel "back home again" working with Fn3 Frank...


            • #7

              I've always had a fascination with "critters" and watching you build it in large scale is right down my alley. I'm looking forward to this build.



              • #8
                Thanks Rob, 1:20 is where I built most of my RR equipment. But I’ve been known to dabble in 1:87, 1:64, 1:48, 1:32 and 1:6.

                Ah yes Bernd another critter, our passion grows.

                Mike, thanks I hope to get lots of details built into this piece.

                Carl, yes and it feels weird back in Fn3.

                Dave, happy to have you along.


                • #9

                  Quite a start. It'll be another showstopper. :up:

                  Take the red pill


                  • #10
                    Looks great so far, Frank. :up: The scale for your critter will allow for good details, too. Count me in for following your build.


                    • #11
                      Should be another one of a kind build coming up.

                      Looking forward to seeing this one getting done.

                      Just how long is that "little" critter going to be???

                      "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln


                      • #12
                        Frank another good one. At this rate you're going to wind up with a litter of critters!


                        • #13

                          Thanks a lot Jim, I’m trying.

                          Russ happy to count you in.

                          Jerry, hey not so fast. You want it done already and you’ve been working on that machine shop how long now? Each critter is 7-1/2” L x 4-1/4” W x 7-1/4” H. So they’re more than a hand full if you know what I mean.

                          Bill, hey you want the job of critter sitter?


                          • #14
                            Those USA power trucks are great for bashing and repowering other things. BTW I'll take a boxcab and any other kind of "critter" over a Big Boy any day. I think the little ones are on a more human level or something.


                            • #15

                              Mike I totally agree, those big boys just don't do it for me.