MODELING: Mid-Century Composite Wood-Sheathed Boxcar 3.0

This post will bring you up to date on my Nothern Pacific boxcar build.  My focus was to complete some of basic aspects of the model.  I have added couplers, trucks, mounting platforms for the AB brake system.   The couplers are Protocraft working Type-E and the trucks are Barber S-1 50-ton trucks (PC-211P).


The basic underframe is composed of styrene with four cross  ties and two cross bearers.  The cross ties were cut from 1/8″ Evergreen channel strips.   The cross bearers are cut from .020″ sheet styrene.  The caps on the cross bearers were cut from .015″ styrene and will get Archer decal rivets once the detailing is complete.  I will prime the underframe using Tamiya fine spray primer that is available to in a rattle-can.

There are three mounting points needed. The control valve will be supported by a platform that spans between the side sill and stringer.   The brake cylinder will attach to a bracket that extends from the center sill.


The sides have a 1-1/2″ angle along the bottom edge.  I used a 1/32″ Plastrut styrene angle for the detail.   The angle is held in place with small bolts.  I decided to use a MacLeod Western N-50 7/8″ square head nut and bolt.

It is a bit tricky to drill the angle without kinking the styrene piece.   I used a two-flute drill bit to start holes in the strip.  I decided to bond the angle to the car side.  Once it was set, I proceeded to drill the holes.  The initial starter hole was a .0125″ size.

The angles are attached using a 1/32″ as a guide for mounting it 1 -1/2″ above the bottom of the side.

I just received my new urethane doors in the mail today.  The door is taller than a standard Intermountain Youngstown door.  Intermountain undersized their  door so that the lower door track could be molded on the sidesill.  If you look at a picture of an AAR 1937 boxcar you will see the track is lower on the sidesill.  I was fortune that the NP car has 6/7/6 rib design.  Most 10′ interior height doors are 6/6/6 with wider panels between the sets.

The in-service shot was obtained from the NPRHA.

That all for this update.  More  of this build will appear shortly.  Stay tuned.




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