Friday, October 30, 2015

Condiment Cars

Ten new Heinz cars at Oakdale. The two white cars are the earliest paint scheme with the two yellow cars represent the latest scheme. Heinz changed the paint frequently and even had at least one car advertising a different product on each side of the car.
Before I left California to move to Kansas City in 2005, I had started to assemble ten Westerfield kits. All the things associated with moving overcame me, however, and I packed away the kits to be built later. Over the last few weeks, I finally finished them. As you can see, they are all based on cars used by the H. J. Heinz Company.
    Due to variety of car decorations and the products mentioned, I have always like the Heinz cars. Fortunately for modelers, I guess Westerfield did as well since they came up with numerous lettering sets to adorn their kits. Clover House has done so as well as has Art Griffin. The old Heinz Special Interest Group researching and promoting the cars helped as well. The kits are still available if anyone has any leanings toward condiments being advertised on railroad cars.
   The cars appear to be refrigerator cars but they are not. Most of the Heinz "reefers" were built like refrigerator cars but without ice compartments so they were just insulated boxcars. This makes sense as most of the products produced you find right on the grocery store shelves rather than in the cooler. I assembled the cars per the kit instructions. Some of them require swing motion trucks rather than arch bars. I used ones that Westerfield had originally made for these kits and which are not marketed by Wiseman Model Services ( They are fiddly to assemble but do look good.
    When I finally finished the ten-year-old project, I took inventory and found that I still have four more car kits plus enough decals for 15-20 more cars. I doubt that I will build them all but they are fun to look at.