News & Reviews Product Reviews Staff Reviews ScaleTrains HO boxcar kit

ScaleTrains HO boxcar kit

By Cody Grivno | October 16, 2023

Learn more about the Pullman-Standard 40-foot PS-1 boxcar in this product review

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

Color image of HO scale painted Synthetic Red with yellow graphics.
Union Pacific is one of eight paint schemes on the ScaleTrains HO boxcar kit. The model is based on a Pullman-Standard 40-foot PS-1 prototype. Cody Grivno photos

The Pullman-Standard (PS) 40-foot PS-1 boxcar, a staple on prototype railroads from the late 1940s through the 1980s, is now available as an easy-to-build HO scale kit from ScaleTrains. The injection-molded plastic model, which uses former MTH Electric Trains tooling, features a one-piece body, various modeler-installed parts, and a freestanding brake system.

Prototype history

Pullman-Standard produced its first 40-foot PS-1 boxcar in 1947. The popular body style stayed in the PS catalog into the early 1960s.

Our sample is decorated as Union Pacific 100844, part of the railroad’s B-50-40 class numbered 100000 through 101599. The 1,600 cars in this group, constructed by PS in 1948, featured welded sides; 6-foot, seven-panel Superior doors; and PS ends.

Kit features

Color image of HO boxcar kit components on white background.
Here are all of the parts included with the ScaleTrains HO boxcar kit. The boxcar can be assembled with three tools and some glue.

To assemble the kit, the manufacturer recommends the following tools: a hobby knife, small Phillips screwdriver, liquid plastic cement, and small tweezers. The eight-step assembly process is documented on the back of a double-sided sheet included with the kit.

Color photo showing brake wheel end of HO scale boxcar.
The modeler-installed brake wheel is molded in brown plastic. Molded details include the ladders, grab irons, placard boards, and retainer valve.

The welded-side body has molded side and end ladders, bracket-style grab irons, and placard boards on the ends. Additional features on the B (brake) end of the boxcar include the brake wheel housing, brake platform, and retainer valve. The brake wheel and running board are modeler-installed parts.

Color photo of HO scale boxcar with door open.
The doors on the ScaleTrains HO boxcar kit can be modeled opened or closed. Here’s what one of the doors looks like in the open position.

A pair of 6-foot, seven-panel Superior doors are included with the kit. The doors have molded placard and route boards, handles, and opening/closing/locking mechanism details. The doors slide on a track concealed inside the car.

Color photo showing underbody of HO scale boxcar.
The underbody features a mix of molded and freestanding details. The solid-bearing trucks are fitted with 33” metal wheelsets.

The underbody is a separate piece. Molded details include the center sills, floor boards, draft-gear boxes, train line, stringers, cross members, body bolsters, and bolster blocks. The brake system, couplers and centering springs, steel weight, and screw-mounted draft-gear box covers are modeler-installed.

Measuring up

The ScaleTrains boxcar we received is neatly painted UP Synthetic Red with yellow graphics. The model has a reweigh date of August 1966. The solid-yellow lettering was adopted in 1947, the “Be Specific – Ship ‘Union Pacific’” slogan debuted in November 1949, and the 20″ Union Pacific lettering was introduced in July 1956.

The boxcar’s dimensions closely follow drawings published in Union Pacific Freight Cars, 1936-51 by Terry Metcalfe (Metcalfe Publications, 1989). At 3.8 ounces, the car is the correct weight per National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1. The body-mounted plastic semi-scale Type E couplers are at the correct height. Note that the couplers don’t have trip pins, which may be an issue if you use a magnetic uncoupling system. The 33″ metal wheelsets, mounted in solid-bearing trucks with brake beam detail, are in gauge.

It has been fun to watch the ScaleTrains Kit Classics line grow in the past year. If you’re in the market for a 40-foot PS-1 boxcar, you’ll want to check out this budget-friendly, easy-to-build kit. It will give you a good reason to spend some time at the workbench.

Facts & features

Price: $19.99



4901 Old Tasso Rd. NE

Cleveland, TN 37312

Road names: Union Pacific; Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; Canadian Pacific; Chesapeake & Ohio; Chicago & North Western; Milwaukee Road; Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern; and New York Central. Three road numbers per scheme.

Era: 1947 to 1980s (varies depending on paint scheme)


  • 33” metal wheelsets, in gauge
  • Plastic semi-scale Type E couplers without trip pins, at correct height
  • Positionable 6-foot, seven-panel Superior doors
  • Solid-bearing trucks
  • Weight: 3.8 ounces (correct per National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1)


One thought on “ScaleTrains HO boxcar kit

You must login to submit a comment