MODELING: Superior Boxcar Doors

Superior doors are relatively easy to build using strip and sheet styrene.  Our ability to create a highly detailed model have been greatly enhanced by Sarah Griessenbock’s release of Superior door hardware 3D files on her Train Kitchen


Basic door hardware including the door stop and guide locks.  The right side corner piece is missing from the photo.

The picture shown above illustrates a typical Superior door design found on AAR 1937 boxcars. Make sure you consult pictures on the location of the tack board and spacing of the upper ribs.  A change was made on the door design when the builder realized that the tack board was too high to be reached by railroad employees.

The above shots illustrate the point of how the tack board was moved down.  Not the spacing has changed in the upper panels.

The basic door uses a sheet of .020″ styrene as the platform.  The framing is made up of the following strips:

.030″ x .040″ side and top frame

.030″ x .060″ fror the horizontal ribs

.010″ x .030″ flange below the ribs.

Test install door hardware shown above

A key part of the door appearance is the track  I used a .020″ x .060″ strip supported by supports made from .010″ x .100″ strip bonded to a .020″ x .060″ strip.  I used a small mitre box to uniformly cut to length.

I mounted some of the printed hardware to the assembled door and track  The release handle was put in place for the picture without trying to center thr part.



I came across a much-improved version of the tradition Xacto knife.  It is made by Zona  in the USA.  The handle has a softer barrel with and knurled nob on the end that tightens the chuck holding the blade.  This is a huge thing for me since I find the old Xacto chuck loosens too easily allowing the blde to drop out.  You probably recognize the name of Zona.  They make high quality hand saws and have been around for  long time producing quality tools.  I spotted the tool on a Narrow Gauge Modeling Company posting.  The prodcut is widely available. Give it a try.


Protocraft has released eleven new decal sets.  On the sets is perfect for the CGW ARA boxcar project.  Take a look.



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