MODELING: Rio Grande Auto Car Build #9

Photo Credits: Bill Welch

Bill has been working on a set of HO patterns for several variations of the Rio Grande boxcars. His work is incredible.  I know that this beyond my ability to work at this level on such a small model.   The kits will be offered commercially in the near future by an established HO producer.

Thank you for sharing your modeling and photos.



We will assemble the body using the previously built sides, ends and floor.  The key to getting the proper fit is to establish a common reference for the alignment of the ends to the sides.  If you build the model with open doors on one side make sure the floor is oriented properly with the opening, extended floor boards and the “B” end.

The top edge is my reference to ensure alignment of the body parts.  Bond the end to the side making sure it forms a ninety degree joint. The floor will rest on the top of the side channel.  Test fit the floor to make sure it fits.  I ended up trimming the floor length and notching the end sill to clear the center sill extension.


Add the second end to the side.  Insert the underframe and add the second side.  Once this has set, you can bond the floor to the side channels.  Let this whole assembly time to set before moving ahead.

I added two side spacers to keep the long sides from sagging.  They are not very rigid so some reinforcement is in order.  Don’t plate over the top completely.  I will be adding weight so access is needed.   The interior will need to be painted and weathered before the roof is installed.

A few weeks ago Richard Bess (pattern maker for Rails Unlimited) sent me a shot of a variation in the D&RGW 50′ auto car.  The railroad rebuilt a number of the cars to allow auto loaders to be installed.  The roof was raised by six inches with a Murphy steel raised pane roof on top.  The auto loader chain tubes can be seen on the underframe.  The doors and opening were widened to 15’6″ for ease of loading.

End of #9

Jim Zwernemann

Robert Leners

Lee Turner

Well, this is all for this installment.  Again, I would like to thank Bill and Richard for their assistance.



5 thoughts on “MODELING: Rio Grande Auto Car Build #9

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