Freight Car and Caboose Models, Part One:

HO Scale Kits Available in DT&I Paint Schemes

Revised list - August 1999

Kit numbers that are underlined indicate that the kit is out of production or not currently listed by Walthers or the manufacturer.


Category A

C Kits that match a DT&I prototype C

1) Accurail ACF Centerflow Hopper (#2028) as DT&I 10326:

This is a very nice model of the CF4600 (4600 cuft) car, which is exactly what the railroad owned, in the 10300-10399 series. It also has a rather nice paint job. The continuous 4-section roof hatch and the gravity outlets on the model correspond to the options present on the prototype DT&I cars.

2) Accurail USRA Twin Hopper (#2523, and Train Station Hobbies Custom #201) as various numbered cars in the DT&I 1300-1599 Series:
Both are correct for this series of cars that were built in 1923 during the period of Ford ownership. The circle heralds turned out well, especially the way the ampersand loops in and around the "T".

3) Athearn 86' High-Cube Auto Parts Box (#1978) as DT&I 26020:

This model is a very close match to the Greenville-built prototype. These light blue cars were a common sight near the Woodhaven Stamping Plant in the Downriver Detroit area. Very nice graphics, especially the recently-run kits that were decorated with the pad-printing technology. Jim Hediger indicates the color is correct, as some of these cars received light blue to replace the original Spruce Green.

4) Bowser 50' Double-Door Wagon Top Auto Box (#55405) as DT&I 13585:

A well-done model accurately representing the 13500-13599 series, as well as the identical 13000-13249 series. Some photographs seem to indicate that the roofs on the prototype were painted black. The kit is decorated in the c.1937 as-delivered scheme; a good lot of these were around to receive the compass-and-slogan scheme after 1955. Five of these cars were on the roster until mid-1979. Bowser kits are quite nice and a pleasure to build.

5) Bowser X-31 40' Double-Door Wagon Top Box (#55348) as DT&I 12004:

This kit is correct for the 12000-series cars, and the paint and lettering are excellent. It is in the post-1955 compass-and-slogan scheme. This entire series of cars was sold to the NP in 1961.

6) Con-Cor 60' Auto Parts Box (#9608) as DT&I 250xx:

This model is correct for the green DT&I 25000-25049 series Greenville auto parts cars with the compass heralds, though the color is a bit garish. John Alanivaís decal set features the billboard initials for this car that replaced the compass heralds after 1977.

7) Stewart Hobbies 14-Panel 70-Ton Hopper (#10033-10035) as DT&I 1826, 1835 and 1839:

These kits match the railroadís 1800-1999 series cars that were built by Greenville Steel Car, and the lettering is correct as well.

8) Stewart Hobbies 70-Ton Offset-Side Triple Hoppers (six-pack, #10331) as DT&I 1606, 1614, 1618, 1625, 1626 and 1629:

This new release is a match to the DT&Iís 1600-1649 series of offset hoppers. These were the only prototype hoppers to feature the large compass herald (with red shading) and slogan instead of the large initials. The graphics on this kit are state-of-the-art.

9) Sunshine Models 70-Ton Flat Car (#30.18) as a DT&I 900-949 series car:

A cast resin kit reported to be a good match for the prototype, with white lettering and herald.

10) Tichy Train Group USRA 40' Box - rebuilt w/ steel sides (#4028 and decals 9128) as a DT&I car leased from the Pennsylvania RR:

Another nice model of a car from the early days of the railroad. The authenticity of the car hasnít been verified, but the reputation of the manufacturer is good in this department.

11) Walthers Coil Car (#3854) as DT&I 1337:

A good model of an Evans car, and it matches the DT&I 1300-1349 series and paint job (see Jim Hedigerís article). Too bad itís out of production.

12) Walthers 53' Thrall Gondola (#5909) as DT&I 9600 or 9687:

The model matches the common version of this Thrall car that the railroad owned, and it is numbered in the correct 9600-9799 series. This model, too, is out of production, and Walthers apparently has no plans to rerun them. Check the swap meets, mail order companies and out-of-the-way hobby shops, as there are some out there.

13) Westerfield USRA 40' Double-Sheathed Box (#3814) as a DT&I 11000-11299 series car:

A very nice model of the cars bought by the DT&I from the Government Equipment Trust in 1920. The enclosed decals cover both circle-herald lettering schemes that the cars wore prior to their rebuilding c.1936. This is a craftsman kit composed of urethane castings and detail parts, challenging but not difficult to build.


Category B

B Kits that are reasonable or good stand-ins for a DT&I B

prototype, with some requiring slight or moderate modifications

1) Accurail 40' Outside Braced Box w/ Steel Ends (#4420) as DT&I 17040:

Accurail did a great job decorating this model, and the kit is almost an exact match to the original DT&I 17000-17999 series cars, built in 1923. The only problem is that the prototypes had Hutchins ends (which had four huge horizontal panels) instead of the corrugated ones found on the model. AARRT&HA members will remember that this is the same problem with the Ann Arbor version of the model. Some cars of this series survived as company MOW cars after being retired from revenue service.

2) Accurail 89' Bi-Level Open Auto Rack (#9264) as DT&I/TTBX 963219:

Given the variety of manufacturers that produced the prototype racks, and the flat cars they were affixed to, it is difficult to say with any certainty that this model is an exact match to one operated by the railroad. Itís likely to be very close, at least. The lettering used for the ĎCONNECTIONSí is not quite right, but thatís trivial. This is a nice model, and certainly one of the most sought-after by modelers in recent years.

3) Accurail 89' Tri-Level Open Auto Rack (#9364) as DT&I/TTRX 963263:

See item above for comments.

4) Accurail 40' PS-1 Box (#1528) as DT&I 14338:

This kit was only produced for a month one year in the early Ď90s as part of a series of limited-edition releases. The railroad didnít own any 40' PS-1s, but since it has a nice paint job in the compass-and-slogan scheme, it makes a great stand-in.

5) Accurail 50' Riveted-Side Double Door Box (#5271) as a DT&I 13600-13899 series car:

Because this otherwise nice model represents a different version of the prototype, it has fewer side panels that did the actual cars owned by the railroad. Again, the lettering used for the ĎCONNECTIONSí is not quite right, but it is a very good stand-in car.

6) Athearn 86' High-Cube Auto Parts Box (#2945) as DT&I 26851:

This kit is the magenta car with yellow graphics, also a common sight in auto country. The model is very similar to the Thrall-built prototype, though only the Thrall cars in the 27000-27134 series were painted in this color. A simple renumbering will produce an accurate model.

7) Bev-Bel/Athearn 50' Double-Door Auto Parts Box (#2345 and 2345-1) as a DT&I 15400-15499 series car:

The prototypes were actually Pullman-Standard cars (a bit different from the model), but these models are superbly done with the compass heralds and make great stand-ins.

8) Bev-Bel/Athearn 40' box (#2238) as DT&I 14296:

While the model is actually something else (USRA ?), the prototypes were built by ACF and featured 7' Superior doors. But the excellent decoration (white compass with black shading) makes this model a good stand-in for the DT&I 14200-14299 series cars.

9) Bev-Bel/Athearn 50' Gondola (#1780) as DT&I 9130:

A black gondola with white billboard lettering and initials. The herald is wrong, but it can easily be painted over and the number changed to create a reasonable stand-in for a post-1977 car in the 9300-9399 series. The model is about four scale feet shorter than the prototype, however.

10) Bev-Bel/Athearn 50' ACF "Railbox" (# unknown) as DT&I 16907:

This model differs from the actual Pullman-Standard prototype mainly in the number of exterior posts. The roof and ends and side sills are somewhat different as well. But the model does have a smart paint job (though the compass herald should be mounted on a 5'x5' plate), and should probably be considered a reasonable stand-in.

11) Bowser ACF 70-Ton 2-Bay Covered Hopper (#55645) as DT&I 10973:

This long-awaited model represents a car that the DT&I owned in quantity; nearly 600 were on the roster starting in 1955. These were painted grey, however; the yellow-painted model represents a car that was later modified for company diesel sand service. A simple renumbering of the model to the 80000-80009 series will yield a "Category A" model.

12) CM Shops/Athearn 50' gondola (#149) as a DT&I 9520-9549 series car:

This kit is decorated in the yellow lettering and compass herald originally used on the 9520-series of covered gonds. Though it should be a bit longer to match the prototype, add a yellow Athearn gondola roof and the model becomes a reasonable stand-in car.

13) Con-Cor Pullman-Standard 40' Insulated Box (#9467) as DT&I 19084:

A very nice model, and quite similar to the 19300-19499 series of Greenville cars that were rebuilt in the DT&Iís Jackson Shops. The actual 19000-19124 series cars were rebuilds of USRA cars and not even remotely similar to this model. Just a simple renumbering will produce a great stand-in.

14) McKean Models Master Series 40' PS-1 Box (#718) as DT&I 14352:

Another nicely painted 40' car, this one is in the as-delivered scheme with the circle herald. But, as in the case of the Accurail model (item 2, above), the railroad owned no PS-1s of this type.

15) Sunshine Models 40' Insulated Box (# unknown) as a DT&I 19000-19124 series car:

Also apparently a good match, but there is incomplete information on how it was painted or decorated. It does not appear on the most recent Sunshine list.

16) Walthers 86' Pullman-Standard Hi-Cube Auto parts box (#3502) as DT&I 26387:

This new model is beautifully detailed, and features first-rate paint and graphics, and is even in the correct numbering series. The DT&I owned many of these P-S -built cars, but none of them received the magenta paint featured on this model. This car should be Spruce Green. So, unfortunately, this otherwise-great model is only a stand-in.

17) Walthers 50' Fruit Growers Express Insulated Box (#4761, Western Pacific) as a DT&I 19900-19924 series car:

This model is in the full FGE paint scheme; if the WPEX reporting marks and numbers are replaced with DT&I marks and numbers, then a fairly good stand-in of this series can be produced. These cars were delivered to the railroad in this scheme, later receiving full DT&I paint.

18) Walthers/Train Miniature 40' Insulated Box (# unknown) as a DT&I 19000-19124 series car:

Apparently a good match to the prototype ( see item 12, above), but it had incorrect paint and the lettering was poorly executed. It was taken off the market about twenty years ago.


Category C

N Kits not matching any DT&I prototype N

1) Bev-Bel/MDC 35' Covered Hopper (#4934-1) as DT&I 10654:

Wrong series, and wrong car. The 10600-series were longer, 3-bay cars; the kit represents a PS-2 prototype that the railroad never owned.

2) Bev-Bel/Athearn ACF Centerflow Hopper (# unknown) as a DT&I 10300-series car:

Since the Accurail car previously mentioned (see Category A, item 1) is right on the money for this series, this model of a larger, 4-bay car is not correct and fails to correspond to any DT&I prototype.

3) Con-Cor 15-Panel 100-Ton Hopper (#1-009353) as DT&I 1873:

Likewise, since the Stewart hopper (Category A, item 7) is correct for this series, this kit is not. The railroad didnít own any cars like this.

4) MDC 35' Covered Hopper (#1632) as DT&I 11098:

Wrong paint, and wrong car. The only orange-painted prototypes owned by the railroad were taller, Pullman-Standard 2604 cuft cars in the 11100-11199 series. They also featured an unusual three-piece roof trough hatch, seen mostly on bigger cars. The actual 10700-11099 series cars (in which this kit falls) were much more similar to the ACF hoppers like the Bowser and Kato kits with the triangular side openings.

5) MDC 50' Gondola (#7791) as DT&I 9630:

Since the aforementioned Walthers kit (Category A, item 12) is correct for this series, this model cannot be. Its design (lacking the fishbelly sides) is unlike any gondola owned by the DT&I.

Researched and compiled by Brian T. McQuitty, with valuable contributions by Rob Adams, John Alaniva, Jim Hediger and David Mikulec.

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