These ready-to-run HO scale models of Great Northern 10’ 6” inside height, 40’ 6” inside length, 3900 cubic foot box cars by Rapido are correctly numbered in series 21450 to 21939 built at St. Cloud in 1953 with early dreadnaught ends, and 5000-5499 built at St. Cloud in 1955 with late dreadnaught ends.

These cars provided 3900 cubic feet of space compared with 10’ 2” IH, 3715 cubic feet for cars built in 1949 and 1951. These 10’ 6” cars feature straight side sills that give the cars a husky look that is visibly different than their predecessors. Both groups were painted mineral red when built.

Rapido has produced four paint schemes of the 1953 cars with early dreadnaught ends and four paint schemes of cars 5000-5499 built at St. Cloud in 1955 with late dreadnaught ends. There are six car numbers for each paint scheme except for the orange and green DF-2 scheme which has three car numbers.

Rapido and our GNRHS Model Development Team have worked diligently to create the most accurate mass produced Great Northern boxcar model to date. Rapido sent all the artwork and painting instructions to Rich Remiarz and Jim Ruffing for review. The artwork for cars 21450 to 21939 in the 1953 mineral red paint scheme showed inside height of 10’ 2” and 3769 cubic feet. Not only were the incorrect dimensions shown on the builder’s photos, but also in every known photo of these cars in mineral red paint, except for one car that had obviously been repainted, probably due to repair after an accident. The entire Model Development Team concluded that all of the cars in this series carried these incorrect dimensions when released from the shop and continued to carry the incorrect dimensions until they were repainted into another paint scheme. To match the prototype, the mineral red models carry the historically correct, but factually incorrect, data stencils.

All cars have the correct hand brake for each road number. All of the lettering, numbering, and dates on each paint scheme are appropriate for the time period in which the car would have been painted or repainted. Each of the paint schemes offered is supported by photographic evidence.

Rapido’s models are equipped with correct Youngstown doors and are correctly numbered to match the style of end. Both end styles are available painted mineral red as built.

Early end styles, cars 21450 to 21939, are available in mineral red as built, in vermilion red with Empire Builder script to the left of the door, in glacier green, and in the orange and green DF-2 paint schemes.

Late end styles, cars 5000-5499, are available in mineral red as built, in vermillion red with slanted ‘Great Northern’ to the right of the door, a paint scheme applied from October of 1956 thru 1962, in Big Sky Blue, and in vermilion with Empire Builder script to the right of the door.

When production of these cars ended in 1955 the 950 cars of this design were about 4% of the Great Northern’s box car roster. Most of them lasted beyond the BN merger. If you are modeling 1952-1970, and even a decade or so beyond, you should have some of these cars in your fleet.

GNRHS members may take their ten percent discount at checkout.

See GNRHS Reference Sheet 61.

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