Question of material

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by WVRR, May 24, 2002.

  1. WVRR

    WVRR Member

    I am presently scratching a set of passenger cars, I was wondering if anyone has ever scratchbuilt rolling stock with cardstock? I have all the sizes, but is there anything else I need to know? I'm limiting my passenger train to two cars, which I plan on using as a commuter train for now until I complete my bi-level West Coast Express commuter train. I'll post pictures of the finished cars as soon as they are done. It's quite a challenge scratchbuilding rolling stock. But it's also alot of fun
  2. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    Card stock was the material of choice 50 years (and even less) ago. If you have the chance, look through some copies of Model Railroader and/or Railroad Model Craftsman from the 40's and 50's, and you'll find a whole lot of advice on using card stock for rolling stock.

    It's actually pretty straightforward material to work with. I guess the biggest reason many people stopped using it was that the finished models were somewhat more fragile than cars built from wood or styrene --- and there is a tendency to warpage unless the sides are well supported, and well sealed with paint.

    A half a century ago, some guys even built steam locomotives from wood and card stock, and they were fine models too --- although a little bit light for good traction.

    Have fun.... and keep us posted with pictures.

    Bill S.
  3. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Hi again WVRR,

    Bill is absolutely right. I've seen beautiful models of steel passenger cars built from card stock and they had curved sides!
    They were of a standard which would walk away with 1st prize in ANY competition.
    If the prototypes you have in mind are like "heavyweights" or older vertical panelled types you should have no problem whatever. Do make sure you seal every nook and cranny (inside and out) against ingress of moisture though because, other than impact damage, humidity is about the only other killer.

    It was always emphasised that "art" card be used. I don't know much about card manufacture but it's possible that "art" card may be layered like plywood therefore reducing the possibility of warping.

    I would now have no hesitation in using card for N structures (all my theories have been shot down by the card models posted in The Gauge). Scratch building rolling stock is out of my skill range mainly about getting windows to look exactly in line with each other.

    I can't wait to see your success with the project.

  4. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    That's one of my favorite things to use especially for constructing wooden buildings that are not going have an interior. I'll first construct a shell from card stock, having laid out the windows and doors, brace the corners and walls and then "venier" the outside with siding or individual boards. I actually use a stock called Bristol Board which is available at art supply stores. Its just a bit stiffer than plain cardstock.

    I see no reason why rolling stock couldn't be made from it too. Just make sure its well braced and sealed good when painted so that humidity doesn't cause it to warp.
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    There was a modeler back in the sixties, Jack Work, who did construction articles for Model Railroader. He was my primary source of inspiration, and almost all his work was done with Strathmore board, which is basicly card stock. Some of the early kits, were wood sub bodies with printed cardboard sides. There are still some of those old cars running on layouts, and some of them show up in hobby shops in the "used equipment for sale" areas.
  6. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    That must be what I have. I've got one car that is cardboard side. It is red and grey with white lettering "Pacemaker". I don't remember where I got it, but it has the wood base. I have often wondered if it was kit or what.

  7. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    One of the great things about the days of card stock freight cars was that Model Railroader occasionally printed some nice, colorful refrigerator car sides (maybe some box cars too --- don't remember) on card stock inserts in the magazine --- in both HO and O scales.

    Now things like THAT made the cost of a magazine really insignificant!

    Bill S
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Gosh Bill I had forgotten all about those. I got some MR that go back to the early 50's but they are packed away in the storgage house. Maybe I'll drag them out one day!
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Cardboard car sides

    The NMRA bulletin published a series of cardboard sides in a number of scales. There was also a contest for models built from the sides and one modeller built his with a bend in the middle because that was how his magazine was delivered.

    I still have mine because I hate to cut up magazines.

    Seem to rmember that the first one was for "Olde Frothingslosh, the beer with the head on the bottom."
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I know that beer! Thats why I drink scotch now!
  11. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Another one was PHARTZ AND HOWE BEANS....quite risque' for the time!!!:D :D :D

Share This Page