It starts with a plan: “A Century + Ten of D&RGW Narrow Gauge Freight Cars, 1871 to 1981” by Robert E. Sloan.
This is an excellent publication with plans, pictures and car rosters covering essentially the full span of D&RGW narrow gauge rolling stock. It is 304 pages and spiral bound so you can open each page/plan fully.
I scan the appropriate pages in at a high quality.
The plans are in HO scale.
I used a utility called "Scale Print" to print it out in large scale.
Scale Print is part of my RailDriver Car Builders Cyclopedia (1922).
I made the frame from some redwood strips I had lying around.
They weren’t quite scale, but it’s not like I’ll look at the bottom very often.
I cut the sides and ends from 1/8” plywood.
I’ve added some internal bracing to prevent the sides from bowing out.
Not a contest quality model by any standards, but it is meant to be run on a daily basis.
A few lessons learned.
Only put one piece on at a time.
I don't have enough clamps.
Warping was a real problem until I remembered the old trick of wetting the side without the glue -
Fitting is a problem. I've since discovered that Hartford products offers scribed plywood in 6" x 18". I wish I had tried that instead. It's only 1/16" thick, but maybe then I'd just build a frame instead of plywood underneath the siding.
Here I’ve added some of the castings that I obtained from Ozark Miniatures.
It’s starting to look more like a reefer now.
I’ve also decided to cover the roof with wet/dry sandpaper, for a different bit of texture.
I glued and nailed the roofing strips.
It’s been slow going, as I’ve been using epoxy to attach all of the fittings, and it dries quite quickly -
I’ve since discovered an odorless CA glue, and it really speeds things up. (I’m allergic to the other stuff.)
The first coat of paint is on, as well as the reefer hatches. I could have made them operational, but I decided that I probably won’t be putting any scale ice in the reefer, so I glued everything in place.
Hard to tell here, but I just used “Weather-
The final version.
A bit of light weathering and some washes on the roof complete the image.
It’s all brought together by some custom decals.