The X65 boxcar is one of the most recognizable exterior post boxcars of the late 1960's, built at the Penn Central Despatch Shops in East Rochester, NY. By this time, the vast majority of the Lehigh Valley was owned by PC and PRR before it, and using the company's own shops ensured some level of cost savings and higher quality. There were two series of cars built within a year or so of eachother: The insulated series was numbered in the 7000's, and the 8000 series became class BL55E and X65 respectively under Conrail. This latter car design was also used by the Penn Central.
This car is less of a kitbash and more of a scratch-bash, with its base being the Tangent X58. After removing everything from the Tangent model except for the floor and plug doors, the sides were built with styrene, which unfortinately did bow inward too far into construction to repair. Call it wreck or forklift damage! The ends and roof are unique in that they were only produced by the Despatch Shops, so they were taken from a Branchline kit and modified to work with this design. The decals are from Herald King and Microscale primarily, and the weathering is a little more subtle than the prototype might be in 1980 but I didn't want to go too far overboard with the rust since the paint on these cars held up incredibly well, right up into the mid 1990's!
This model is not intended to match the prototype number 8352 exactly, rather I took elements from a few photos and pooled them for the effect I wanted. Quite an undertaking, with about 10 months of off and on work start to finish, but I'm happy to finally have one of these on the roster!