Workbench Wednesday

Milwaukee 40-foot, ribbed-side automobile boxcar

George Toman sent a few photos of his latest work on an HO scale Rib Side Cars kit. Here are his notes and photos.

On my list of must build cars is a 40-foot Milwaukee Road double-door automobile boxcars. The 6500 series cars were built in 1942. A photo of MILW 6582 on page 10 of Railway Prototype Cyclopedia (RPCyc), Volume 13 is my inspiration. The starting point is a Rib Side Cars 40-foot, short rib kit with 12-foot double-doors.

Following are photos and some info on my modifications so far in this build.

The lead image shows a comparison of the stock model sides and my modifications. I removed cast on details, removed and replaced the side sill and door track, removed the cast on Camel door rollers and replaced them with scratch built rollers. My Camel hardware is not yet glued into place. I plan to attach these after body work is complete as they are fragile. This series of cars also used an L-shaped door track made from 0.010-inch styrene. More details to be added.

Here’s a close-up of the door rollers fabricated from 0.010 and 0.005-inch styrene, and harvested Athearn Rivets. They are slightly crooked but will be attached after adding the rest of the details to the shell and a soda blast.

The ends of short rib cars had a different treatment of how the roof is attached to the car. In the photo you will see the differences. The modifications include styrene filler on the roof to make a triangular shape. Also there is a 0.006-inch brass sheet metal piece that is between the roof and car end. The roof was also thinned down along edges and narrowed a bit to sit on body for a closer and tighter fit.

The underframe was cut out and a new one was built using drawings and information in RPCyc, Volume 13. You can see in the above image the underframe with trainline and 3D printed pipe Tee and unions.

This has been a fun project and is still a work in progress. I will be adding my custom photo etched scale Milwaukee Road ladders on this car. I will have an update in a couple weeks and hope to have this at the St Louis RPM in July.

George Toman

Note: The Rib Side Car kits are currently unavailable. Accurail has bought the tooling and will be releasing a number of these kits.

What’s on your workbench?