1925 Ingersoll Rand Boxcab in N scale?


I have struck up an email thread with a designer on Shapeways.  He has designed a boxcab for multiple scales from TT to On30 scales.  However, he doesn't offer anything in N scale, yet.  We are emailing back and forth about him re-scaling his designs for N scale and fitting a currently available chassis.  He is interested and had this idea on the back burner.

Two questions have come up which I thought I would throw out here for cussing and discussing.

If he designed it for N scale, which chassis should it be designed for?  I recommended the N scale Bachmann DCC GE 44 ton chassis.  According to MR it will move 12 free rolling cars on a level surface.  I am not positive if this is the correct wheelbase and size for a boxcab, but I think it is very close.  Any other suggestions?

The second question from him was, "Do you think there is an interest in this boxcab shell among N scalers?  Here is your chance to give your 2 cents worth.

I would like to see an Ingersoll Rand 1925 Boxcab available in N scale.  I know I would buy 2.  What about you?

N scale 1900-1930 California Mountain railroading. (looking for a boxcab to operate on a wooden pier in a port.)

Boxcabs are Beautiful

I used a Bmann 44T mech for my boxcab build.
Since I was going to freelance a wooden backwoods shop build, I first made a styrene shell:

and then built the wood frame around that:

The benefit of the Bmann 44T mech is that:
--runs great
--DCC & lights already installed (I hooked up a short section of fiber optic to light the lamp)
--runs great
--nice short wheel base
--runs great

We had a "Build-a-Boxcab Challenge" over on Trainboard.
Matt Fry (PW&NJ) did a nifty one built out of caboose shells on top of a Kato 11-105 chassis.
Hetek did a nifty one out of caboose parts, styrene & brass parts on a Kato 11-105 chassis.
And Fishplate is still working on a great one out of brass on what looks like a GP7? chassis(?).

Chris Schmuck (Chris333) designed some fabulous boxcab bodies etched in brass for both N and Z, but I don't think he's finished building it.

While part of the fun of having a boxcab is building it yourself cool, a Shapeways boxcab shell that fits on a Bmann 44T mech or Kato 11-105 mech would be very cool, especially if you get all the rivet, window/door and roof details.
I guess I'd prefer one for the 44T mech as both trucks are geared and DCC/lights are already installed.

Any way we could see a test picture of the Shapeways shell?

Rio Grande Dan's picture

Nice Model

Very well made and classy looking little engine.


Rio Grande Dan

A word from the designer

I'm the designer on Shapeways and a confirmed Boxcab fan - I have several Kit-bashed ones in HO and a couple in On30. I'm tempted to do an N gauge version but it would mean a new design from scratch and I'm not too sure how many N gaugers and into building their own stuff as opposed to just buying it.


Can't show you any pics yet as it doesn't exist but here are some N gauge trolly cars I've done to fit the Kato 11-105





I think a boxcab would be a

I think a boxcab would be a groovy offering: who doesn't want a boxcab on their layout?
Especially if it's urban switching.
And not everyone has the time or patience to scratch it.

The hardest aspect is all the great rivet and roof detail.
The rivets can come from chopped cabeese, and the roof detail from the spare parts bin, but that usually results in an approximation rather than prototype.

If someone did do a Shapeways shell, I'd like:

--the shell to be able to slip over a Bmann 44T mech
--the lamps can be part of the shell, but have a hole/channel through the center to the LED for either direct lighting or to slip a piece of fiber optic in
--coupler pockets for MTL 905 Z scale couplers
--separately applied bell, fuel tank, lower ladder and front & back steps (for painting but mainly so they don't snap off in transit)
--most of the roof detail you can build into the shell, though separate radiators would make painting easier
--the front grab bars can be part of the shell, though just having posts with holes would allow us to thread thin wire through
--pre-cut holes for installing the hand grabs: the horizontal to match something like Gold Medal Model's #1 or #2 hand grabs, and the vertical for thin brass wire
--windows can be part of the shell, but it'd be nice to have separately applied doors to be able to open for figures

I built my wooden boxcab on that styrene frame so it's easy to slip off, so it'd be fun to be able to "swap eras" into the late 1920's / early '30's just by swapping the shells.

Once you get the inside of the shell fixed so that it just slips on the 44T mech, I don't think it'd be too hard to offer a variety of boxcab models by changing the exterior details.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

I have to agree.


I have to agree with you.  I thought there would be a lot more responses to this possible offering.  I also figured Tim Warris might weigh in here as he was building a copy of his HO Brooklyn Terminal in N scale and had commented on the lack of a boxcab for N scale.  Tim has that beautiful brass boxcab setup with DCC and sound.

There has been a 112 reads on this thread yet, it seems we are the only two who are interested.  This isn't very encouraging for Tom to design a shell for N scale.  Maybe that is why a boxcab doesn't exist for N scale?

Tom had mentioned the 44 ton chassis was a bit small for the boxcab and that the side trucks are wrong.  However, when the boxcab is running down the track I don't know how many people are going to notice the trucks.  Oh yeah!  Forgot about the rivet counters mentioned over in the other thread.  I would think people would pay more attention to the existence of the boxcab in N scale itself rather than the trucks being correct.  Perhaps Tom could come up with the plastic trucks to fit the 44 ton chassis that would look good for a boxcab?


Dennis Austin located in NW Louisiana

The Corkscrew to Morenci, Arizona. Looping the loops!


The 44T is 25 scale feet between outer axles.

The other option is the Kato NW2, which, in addition to being one of the finest runners out there, also has more boxcabish trucks.

The NW2 has 30 scale feet between outer axles.

I'm not quite the rivet counter, so the truck issue doesn't really bother me, though you can attach proper truck sidings after filing down the existing ones.
Randgust does that with his Climax kits.

One thing to think about, though, is price.

Bmann 44T is $60 with decoder and lights ready to go.
Kato NW2 is $70, plus $30 decoder (drop-in)
Kato 11-105 is $25, plus $20 decoder (figure out yourself how to install without messing up the contact strips)
[can't remember off the top of my head, but I think the 11-105 has a 29 foot wheelbase]

Add to that the $30-$40 or so for the boxcab shell, and the little dude is becoming a serious investment.

As I already have a 44T dedicated to "Boxcab Service," I wouldn't mind getting the shell and slip it on.
If I have to go out and get another NW2 and decoder just for the boxcab, I'd have to think about it.
But I do like Boxcabs, so it's one of those things if it was available I'd probably get it.

kcsphil1's picture

Yeah, Ok, but

where does this forum's readership equate to Shapeway's sales?  So you rescale something - Stoney Smith did it for me on his Railking (originally done in z scale) and toss it out. It either sells or doesn't.  I think a lot of folks would be more interested with a product they could see, then a discussion of vapor ware.

Philip H. Chief Everything Officer Baton Rouge Southern Railroad, Mount Rainier Div.

Artarms's picture


Mr. Fujiwara:

From your experience with n-scale do you think it would be feasible to use the Bachman 44T drive under a tender shell for the Bachman 2-8-0?  The 2-8-0 is a fine loco but a little boost would not hurt.  Run as a consist?



Love boxcabs and traction too!

  I love boxcabs and steeplecabs.  The only problem is that they aren't in my era!  But if the shell were around $20 to $30 (depending on level of detail) and interchanged directly with a Bachmann mechanism.  I would definitely get a couple for those days when I want to run "steam era" stuff on the layout.  It is an idea that I really hadn't thought much of before, multiple shells for the same loco.  makes me want to check out the swap meet tables next time for the non-runners/ dummy units!



MRRSparky's picture

On30 box cab

I too have been fascinated with boxcabs, the predecessor to early Diesels.  I model in On30 and would be really interested in information about your work in this scale.

So as not to break the thread, would you please contact me at scott and judy g at yahoo.com, eliminating the spaces.

Scott Groff

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