Model Railroader



With the drawings printed, I cut out the container panels with a sharp knife and scissors. A trick I use is to score along the cut lines with a knife, then make the cuts with scissors. If you have one, a paper cutter could be used instead. To model shorter containers, cut the side panels at the 40-foot posts.

Next, I glued to the two side panels to the cardstock. Glue sticks and school glue both work well. Wood glue and other adhesives may cause the paper to distort.

After spreading a light coat of glue on the cardstock, I laid the side panel artwork in place. I put waxed paper on both sides and set the cardstock on a level surface with a book on top to keep it flat. I let the glue dry for four to eight hours.

Next, I cut the corrugated cardboard that forms the top, bottom, and ends of the container. You’ll need at least 24" of strip material for each HO scale container

stack. I cut the strips with the corrugatio­n perpendicu­lar to the length.

Though prototype intermodal containers come in a variety of sizes, I followed the width and height of a highcube version (102" wide x 114" high, or 1.103" x 1.310" in HO scale). Picking a standard size simplified constructi­on.

The common thickness of cereal boxes with a sheet of paper glued to it is .028". For the model shown, the width of the strips is 1.047". If you don’t have a caliper to measure the width, use a rule with 1⁄32" increments. A strip slightly wider than 11⁄32" is acceptable ❶.

To calculate other strip widths, use the following formula: Width of strip = scale container width - (2 x thickness of the side panels).

The strips are best cut to length by aligning them with the side panels. The goal is to have the two cardboard strips and two side panels be the same length ❷.

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