CNJ Books    
Steam... [3 photo tables]
Diesels... [table/paint sch.]
CNJ Links
CNJ Models in HO
Steam Models Table
Steam Model Photos...
Diesel Models Table
Diesel Model Photos.. .
Loco. Kitbashes
Mauch Chunk
Buildings...  [plans]
Plans & Maps
Books & Links 
Our Model
Track Plan
The Modellers... 
Glyn's Model
Site Map
New on the site
Contact Us

CNJ Models in HO >  Kitbashes > 
Up | B and E series switchers | G3 Pacific | M2/3 Mikado | K1 and I5 camelback | RS3/RSD4-5 Alco switchers | Boxcab

Upgrades to Aristocraft Boxcab - by Alan Mende   [Download a pdf of this upgrade]

When I got the old Aristocraft boxcab model, it was missing the stirrup steps below the doors; the bell was a poor representation of what the prototype had; it was missing the stack for the cab heater (a coal stove), and there was no whistle on the roof. Additionally, the headlight castings were pretty poor and the sand fill hatches looked more like steps than hatches. Since I had converted my layout to DCC operation, I wanted to update the model accordingly and remotor it as well.

  1. Disassemble model completely.

  2. Disassemble powered truck. All you need are the sideframes, but leave them connected to each other.

  3. Make a new sideframe bracket that will mount to the top of the Stanton drive and center the sideframes on the drive axles.

  4. Make the NWSL Stanton drive mounting plate from K&S 1” by .032” sheet. I had to shim it up to get the Stanton drive even with the mounting of the dummy truck. I drilled a ˝” hole in the mounting plate to accommodate the wires from the Stanton drive. By the way, I had to cut down the weight so the decoder board didn’t touch the top inside surface of the carbody.


  5. Either purchase an unpowered Stanton drive or add wiper contacts the original dummy truck. Note that the wipers are in contact with the insulated wheelsets and also from the rest of the body.

Adding and Revising Details

  1. Remove the bell and replace with a Cal-Scale No. 317 Squat Base Modern Bell. It needs to be modified because the prototype bell had the sir ringer mechanism at an angle. I separated the bottom of the mechanism from the bell yoke and gently bent it. I added a piece of brass strip as shown in the photos.


  2. Add a Custom Finishes No. W103 Whistle as shown. The heater stack on my model was missing, so I turned one of my own.


  3. I replaced the headlights with Cal-Scale No. 206 castings that I drilled out. The mounting brackets are made from K&S rectangular tubing.


  4. That “thing” below the headlight is a crude representation of a sand fill hatch. I closed off the front of it and added a cover to the top as well as a short strip of brass strip at the bottom for a flange. (See the previous photo and the following one.)


  5. The short flanged cylinder on the frame represents the brake cylinder. I replaced it with a passenger car brake cylinder from a Custom Finishes No. 312 PC Pass Brake set. I determined it was the correct size by photo-reducing an image from Model Railroader Cyclopedia – Volume 2; Diesel Locomotives and comparing the Custom Finishes part to the reduced photocopy. As the cylinder comes out of the package, the brake levers are on the wrong side, so I carefully cut them off and moved them to the other side. I mounted the cylinder on a short piece of Evergreen 3/16” channel and glued the assembly in place with CA.


  6. The stirrup steps below the side doors were missing on my model so I fabricated my own.

Send emailto Steve (details on contact us page) with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: January 2018