The Cibola Railroad has two different styles of wood side boxcars in use. These are represented by two wood roof cars, using Bachmann Spectrum models, and five “Murphy” roof cars using Accucraft models. When the mining and lumber companies merged in 1922 most of the older railroad equipment was rebuilt or demolished in favor of newer designs. Not everything was ready for the scrap yard though and some continued in service untouched. Now 16 years later those cars are showing their age but can still be found on the rails.

This pair of wood roof boxcars still wear the original Cibola Lumber Company paint scheme and logo.  I call it the pre-merger design. Lacking modern interchange gear they are relegated to the Cibola line only and are used mostly for transporting supplies to the lumber camps. A pair of hobo’s have taken up residence in one of them. These figures are made from Tamiya pit crew using Squadron Green Putty. See the page on making and painting figures for details about this process.

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The large lettering is done as a reverse stencil using stick-on vinyl lettering. The desired letter color is painted first and allowed to dry. In this case it is black. Then the vinyl letters are applied. Next a coat of the main color is sprayed on. Here at Cibola, Green Apple is the company’s choice. To finish, the vinyl letters are peeled off being careful not to pull the paint with them. The reporting marks and car numbers are decals I made using Testor’s water slide paper. The weathering is done by wet sanding the color coat down until the original red oxide and black coats show through. A wash of dirty gray was applied with a brush and then road film was done using a can of flat gray spray paint.

Flush with money from the merger with the silver mine and unaware of the coming Depression, The new Cibola Company invested in several steel roof boxcars complete with a new logo and advertising phrase. Here are two examples of the new or “post” merger paint scheme.

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To paint these cars I partially disassembled them. Once painted green they were coated in “Tree House” brand high gloss clear to give the decals a flat surface to stick to. Decals are as always made by me in Power Point and produced on a ink jet printer. I like to use Micro-Sol for settling them. It is not as strong as Solv-a-set and is better suited for the homemade decals which have a softer carrier film than most professionally printed ones. Once dry they get another coat of high gloss clear, it’s thickness provides good protection from bumps and scrapes. To finish, a coat of “Tree House” brand, matte finish is applied.

One other steel roof boxcar exists and shows on the roster as car 1022. It is in interchange service with the “Port Lavender” Railway of West Virginia. It was a D&RGW car given to a train buddy of mine, Bart Salmons, which he then painted and lettered with decals I made.


There are two other boxcars operating on the line. Both are interchange cars from the D&RGW. They are painted / lettered RTR’s from Accucraft. All I do is paint the wheels and weather them.

An outside braced boxcar built from another Bachmann Spectrum is in the project que but has had no work done on it yet.

While the fictitious Cibola Railroad would operate many times this number of boxcars I have no plans to add any more to my collection as I feel that 7 is plenty for the size of the layout.

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