Scratchbuilding a PS 5344 boxcar
… well, at least attempting it ... Offerings of modern boxcars (aside from some 3-rail toy junk) are scarce in O-scale and a lot of cars that you can get in HO are not available. One of them is the very common 50' PS 5344. As I like scratchbuilding I thought it might be a good idea to build one myself … that still remains to be seen Misngth.

I found some good drawings at that I scaled to exact size of my O-scale model. Together with my Athearn HO PS 5344 and my O-scale Atlas boxcars it helped me to get the dimensions for my car. I started by cutting the sides and put them together from 2 layers of styrene: 0.040 on the outside and .060 on the inside to add strength and to support the roof and floor. The ribs and the flanges were cut from .010 and .040 sheet styrene.

[Image: ps1.JPG]

[Image: ps2.JPG]

Then I cut the floor and the ends and put it all together.

[Image: ps3.JPG]

After adding weight, I glued the subroof in place. Next I built the bolsters, because I was eager to see the car riding on trucks. The door you see in the pic was only attached provisorily. I built it for a Atlas Trainman car that I am going to repaint. I will use the doors of the Atlas car for my PS 5344.

[Image: ps4.JPG]

Up to that point building the car was pretty easy. Now I had to clear the first hurdle: the roof with its rounded corners and protruding ends. I decided to use .020 styrene and shape it as good as possible before gluing it on. It still took a lot of work to make it sit properly and fix it. I still have to cut the protruding ends. I am glad that it worked out quite well, because if it would have gone wrong, it would not have been possible to remove the roof without ruining the car ... phew ... Now I have to figure out how to do the corrugations on the ends of the car ...

[Image: ps5.JPG]
Kurt, a great start to an own full scratch build model! Wish you success!
Cheers, Bernd

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You're off to a good start, Kurt. Thumbsup Thumbsup

I couldn't find much in the way of photos showing the ends, but in the scant views available, the ribs look like they're rounded-off on the visible face, but that their profile is deeper than if it were simply a half-round cross section. You may be able to replicate that with strip styrene of a suitable width, then cap it with Evergreen half-round of an appropriate size.
Of course, not all cars may have the same style of ends, but your drawings should show what's required.

Thumbsup Cheers Big Grin Worship
 My other car is a locomotive, ARHS restoration crew  
Kurt....I see you took the "easy" way out and moved to O-scale Goldth
It is always a pleasure to watch you do your magic my friend Thumbsup
WOW nice work looks good Thumbsup
Thank you for your encouraging commnets. I hope the car will still deserve your Thumbsup when it is finished.

Wayne, here is a pic showing the end of a PS 5344: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->. The corrugations look like rounded trapezoids. Maybe a combination of a styrene strip with a half-round on top (as you suggested) will work if I file off the top a bit or I just take a half -round and file it into shape. I’ll see what I can get.
While I was looking for suitable styrene profiles for the corrugation, I had a quite simple idea how to shape the trapezoids myself. I made a little jig from an U-shaped brass profile …

[Image: ps6.JPG]

… that is how it works: I cut a 2 x 5 mm styrene strip, put it into the jig and hold it in place with the little brass bar you can see in the pic above.

[Image: ps7.JPG]

Then I scrape off the plastic until it is flush with the jig. After turning the styrene strip around and doing the other side I only have to sand it to get a perfectly shaped strip for the currugation.

[Image: ps8.JPG]

Simple solution – wonder why it took me several days to figure that out. 35
Ingenious solution, Kurt. Wink
I checked Evergreen to see if they offered strip styrene with a hexagonal cross-section (sand it to remove half) and I also thought that a two-corrugation jig, with the corrugations hand-formed, could serve as a form for pressing the ends from heavy foil, such as the kind used for throw-away roasting pans. You'd form two corrugations, then move the foil up, one corrugation at a time, to do the rest of the end. The second corrugation on the jig would then be used only as an alignment/spacing aid. The formed aluminum ends could then be attached to heavy sheet styrene sub-ends using contact cement.

good work Master Kurt !!!! Thumbsup Worship
greeting from the blade city Solingen / gruß aus der Klingenstadt Solingen


Scale Z and N
These are some good ideas Wayne, thank you. I had found some triangular shaped strips that might have worked and I was just about to order them when I had the idea for the jig. It works pretty well and I have just finished the first end.

Harry, thank you!

[Image: ps9.JPG]
Very impressive,

Is this a single build or are you making more?

Checked out cool site lots of loco and rolling stock drawings 2285_ Thumbsup
cnw1961 Wrote:... I have just finished the first end....

Kurt, your methods works very well. The finished wall looks like a professional mold!
ACF350, I don’t know yet if I will build more of these cars. I only know that I will not build a second car right away. When I am through with this, I will turn my attention on something else.

Reinhard, thank you. I tell you, I am often amazed myself that my simple methods work.

Ribs installed on the sides and the end of the roof trimmed.

[Image: ps10.JPG]
this is a quite excellent work and looks very great!
Cheers, Bernd

Please visit also my website
You can read some more about my model projects and interests in my chronicle of facebook.

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