Over the past 14 years, Tangent Scale Models has become well-known for its line of highly detailed HO and N scale models. That tradition continues with the company’s latest release, a newly tooled HO scale Pullman-Standard PS-1 40-foot combination-door boxcar. The model has railroad-specific details, Pullman-style ladders and bracket grab irons, and Kadee scale couplers.
Our sample is decorated as Northern Pacific no. 3087, part of the railroad’s 3300 to 3399 series built by PS under lot 8530 between December 1959 and January 1960. The cars were originally painted Metallic Brown with black ends, as depicted on the Tangent model. I found photos online of two cars from the series that were repainted green in preparation for the 1970 Burlington Northern merger. Photos suggest most of the cars survived in their as-delivered scheme until they were retired from service in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Tangent boxcar has a one-piece injection-molded plastic body with a separate roof. The roof on our NP sample has an etched-metal running board with wire corner grab irons, Metallic Brown overspray on the sides and black overspray on the ends, and black paint along the seams.
The sides of the car feature crisp rivet and weld seam detail, a separate seven-rung ladder on the right side, and plastic stirrup steps. The plug door has freestanding door bars and levers. The grab irons on the left side of the car extended beyond the end just like they did on the full-size NP cars.
The B end of the car includes an Equipco brake wheel housing, a Universal brake wheel, a retaining valve, and a see-through brake platform. Both ends have a tack board, seven-rung ladder, grab irons, and an uncoupling lever.
By the numbers. I found prototype drawings of the NP 3000 through 3399 series boxcar under the Equipment tab at the Northern Pacific Ry. Historical Association website (nprha.org). The Tangent model closely follows published dimensions.
I took the boxcar over to our Wisconsin & Southern staff layout, where I put it in a train and switched some industries. The car performed without incident while being pushed and pulled. The car will easily navigate 18″ radius curves.
This isn’t just another 40-foot boxcar. Tangent Scale Models clearly did its homework on the PS combination-door boxcar. It’s well detailed from the running boards to wheelsets.
Facts & features
Tangent Scale Models
P.O. Box 6514
Asheville, NC 28816
Era: December 1959 to early 1980s
Road names: Northern Pacific, Milwaukee Road, and Union Pacific. Twelve road numbers per scheme; also available undecorated (MILW, NP, and UP body styles).
– 33″ CNC-machined metal wheels, correctly gauged
– 50-ton ASF A-3 Ride Control roller-bearing trucks with rotating bearing caps or 50-ton Barber S-2 solid-bearing trucks
– Kadee scale couplers, at correct height
– Pullman-style ladders and bracket grab irons See-through running boards and brake steps
– Three brake wheel and two brake housing options
– Two PS-1 end configurations
– Weight: 4.8 ounces, 1 ounce too heavy based on National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1