MODELING: Rio Grande Boxcar Build #2


The other day I received an email from Robert Leners with a few very useful pictures attached.  The lead shot above is one of those pictures.   One that that became apparent upon examination of the pictures was that the car used less common 5-1/4″ tongue and groove siding.  The board had a false groove in the middle of the board.  It one of two sheathing boards recommended by the ARA.

I started the car sides with Evergreen 3.25″ siding.  After looking at the parts I decided that it didn’t look right.   I once built a FGEX wood reefer with the false tongue and groove “wood”.  After searching available materials, I have decided to try a side with .050″ “V” groove sheet.   The approach is not precisely right.  The prototype would be spaced at .109″ in 1/4″ scale.  Two boards of the Evergreen sheet measure .100″  The .009″ difference is significant but when you view the boards on the model it has the right look.  I have made my own grooved styrene using a Co-Liner drafting aid and an engraver made to cut a “V” groove.  It is a lot of work and at this age I don’t want to deal with it.  I will “re-groove” alternating grooves to create a contrast of the real versus the false groove.  You can find engraver tools at several online suppliers like and

drgw-61456-b-endThe end view shows a mix of standard 3.25″ and 5.25″ siding.  This is an interesting detail which would add texture to the expansive 50′ long side. I may just give this a try on one side of the car.

I have added this diagram showing what ARA recommended practice for wood sheathing.


I will be adding new construction details in my next post.

NPRHA Collection

NPRHA Collection

Happy Trails,



11 thoughts on “MODELING: Rio Grande Boxcar Build #2

  1. hi:
    can not find any reference to “Co-Liner”
    in either google, amazon or ebay?
    where did you purchase this item from?

  2. Hi Gene,

    when I was faced with the same issue (centre grooved sheathing), I tried sanding down some Evergreen 0.050″ grooved styrene sheet to “lighten” all the grooves and then re-scribed every alternate groove. It worked very well for me, as well being relatively quick and simple, and it reproduces well as a master pattern,


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