MODELING: Rio Grande Auto Car Build #3

My last post raised a few questions and comments regarding the car’s siding.   I am adding a few comments and pictures to explain a little bit more about how to do the siding.


I had mentioned a drafting tool called the Coliner or Koliner.  I don’t remember how it was spelled.  I think it was the late Al Armitage who may have told me about the tool.  I bought it from a store that specialized in drafting tools.  Drafting with a pencil or ink is a lost art.  The days of drafting tables and velum drawings has all but disappeared.   As a sidebar, I remember going into Lockheed Martin’s Burbank plant many years ago and entered a room full of drafting tables and as far as the eye can see.  Lockheed used draftsman to document the many parts that go into an airplane.  Now days it is a smaller number of computer terminals running programs like Catia design packages.   scribing-2

The straight edge moves along the guide rail with the push of the button.  You can adjust the size of the increment by adjusting the dial.  The scribing tool or engraver is run along the straight edge.  The tool works pretty well.  I remember building a HO FGEX reefers with the false tongue and groove siding.  It worked well on the project.   Oh yes, I wear Crocks in my kitchen.



scribing-3As I mentioned in the last post in the last post, you can buy a scriber like the one on the left.   The one on the right I made from a dental tool.   I have used this tool for nearly 40 years.


I added this picture to show the effect of increasing the width of alternate grooves.   I marked the grooves with a drafting pencil. Sadly, it muddied the effect.  I will post a better picture later in the build.


The picture above shows the false tongue and groove really well.  The car is in the California State Railroad Museum.

Happy Trails,



3 thoughts on “MODELING: Rio Grande Auto Car Build #3

  1. were you luckly, they don’t even make
    these anymore, and the company is no
    longer in business, guess it’s back to
    t-squares and right triangles 🙂

  2. In my high school drafting classes only the second year students got to use the boards that had the device attached — it was neat!

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