MODELING: Mid-Century Composite Wood-Sheathed Boxcar 4.0

In this edition, I will focus on detailing the car body with brass ladders, hand brake, grab irons and door details.

Here is a portion of the railroad’s car drawing for this class.  The Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association (NPRHA) prodvided this copy for non-commercial use.

The ladders for this car were built in a simple jig that holds the stiles (1/32″ square brass) and the rungs (.016″ wire).  I glued .040″ square styrene spacers to the back of the stiles using CA.  Once this was done, I bonded the ladders to the side using MEK.  The ladders are close to scale but lack the details of the Chooch Delrin ladders.  However, paint sticks better to brass compared to engineering plastics.

Next up are the drop grab irons that are located on the car ends.  I use a compass to measure the hole spacing and use to guide the bending of the brass wire.

I place a spacer underneath the the form grab iron.  Tighten the vice and remove the space to allow the grab to be bent down.

A finished grab iron.

This side view shows the ladder installed and Chooch grab irons installed on the left side.  You can also see the details added to the door.  All of this hardware was sourced from Chooch.  They have the all the good stuff needed to detail the door closing mechanism and Camel rollers on the lower track.  The door grab iron was made from a piece of .020″ brass wire.

Oh yes, there are a gillion nain hole impressions on the wood sides.  Take you time and make sure you use guidelines to keep them looking neat.

The closeup shows that I added a strip of brass underneath the lever.

So this finishes up the latest installment of this build.  I need to install the brake system and add the running boards along with sill steps.


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