Tuesday, August 1, 2017

UP 3067 from Walthers 70ft Baggage

I was asked to finish a Walthers UP 70ft arch-roof baggage as a stand-in model, as the UP didn't have 70ft arch-roof baggage cars as far as I know.  Walthers is also offering these models painted for SP in gray, however SP's 70ft baggages with arch-roofs had two 7ft doors per side and don't really look like the Walthers model from 3-5ft away.

Right side of finished UP 3067 - Walthers Arch-Roof 70ft Baggage

UP Prototype History

The UP did have 69ft arch-roof baggage cars which had their doors extend into the letterboard.  Some of which had larger doors fitted to increase the left-side doors to about 9ft opening with double 4'10" doors, with the right-side door still about 4'10".

The UP's passenger cars transitioned from a Dark Green/Olive to 'Western' Two-Tone Gray 'Overland' scheme (SP did not repaint their general baggage car fleet to TTG until 1954), and then standardizing to the Yellow and Harbor Mist Gray scheme.  These baggage cars went through these transitions too.  At some point during this time the cars had their side windows in the body plated over.

These cars are discussed briefly in SPH&TS Passenger Cars Vol.3 - Head End Cars on pgs. 292-294.


This car's pretty easy to modify, most of my adjustments are made to the trucks (as I do with all the Walthers trucks on my fleet).  The couplers are modified by simply drilling and tapping a 2-56 hole through the couplers which will hold them centered in the pivoting box for operations on large 40+" radius curves.

Modifications to couplers & removal of bolster pickups.

As with other Walthers passenger cars I work on, I removed the stamped steel pick-up plates from the bolsters.  This car will be serving in a storage-mail capacity and will not need lighting of any kind.

Bottom view of the finished car with touch-up gray paint on the screw heads.

One remaining optional modification can be adding strip lead down the centersill to help operation near the headend of a long train with brass cars.

The UP 69ft baggages were built with 'wooden' doors with many small panes of glass, the Walthers model is the 'modernized' version with ply-metal doors and thermo-pane windows.  I'm not sure when the UP cars were fitted with such windows.  They are shown with that type of window by 1965, and SP started fitting their baggage and RPO cars with thermo-pane windows about 1953-54 and after.


The only decaling to do is adding the car number.  I decided to make this car UP 3067, which I don't have a photo for.  At some point I would like to kitbash one of these cars, but for now this car will suit my customer's desire.

Windows masked off and trimmed with No.11 Xacto blade.

I masked off the six baggage car windows with Tamiya masking tape.  Then shot clear gloss (Testors Wet Clear) to prep the carsides for the decaling.

Walthers offers a large selection of numbers for these cars including 3067, which I used.

The decals are water-slide type and apply easily.  MicroScale 'Micro-Sol' is used to settle the decals down onto the car side.

Decal overcoated with clear gloss.

A quick shot of gloss seals the decals in.


UP 3067 gloss coated and waiting for weathering.

Generally I don't weather passenger cars too much, but there should be some 'running weathering' on head-end cars.  As this car was probably repainted sometime between 1950-1953 into the yellow and gray scheme it will not be very dirty.

I give the car a light dusting of Tamiya flat clear to knock down the gloss shine on the lower car body, trucks, and underframe.  The roof is also given a shot of flat.

Left side of finished UP 3067

Several parts of the underframe, namely the swinging draftgear and screw that I added, and wheel faces were not gray, so a quick pass with StarBrand UP/SP Harbor Mist Gray solved these issues.  The paint mix I was using had a small amount of D&RGW MOW Gray in it I think, so the mix came out slightly lighter in color.  I also used this mix to make a few light passes down the center of the roof.  This gives the look of some fading of the gray paint from the desert sun.  The black plastic sides and top of the diaphragms were also given a quick shot of gray to match the body.

In Closing

3/4 view of the UP 3067 ready for service.

While this is not a super accurate model, it will work well as a stand-in model for UP Portland & Seattle Storage-Mail operations connecting to the West Coast (No.59) and "Passenger" mail train (No.56) - (ex-Tehachapi) during the early 1950s.

Jason Hill

Related Links:
Modeling SP 2424 - (Part 1) - Truck Upgrades - begining series of modeling a CoSF/Overland 77-C-3