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TheBrickster

Thinking Outside the Boxcar

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traintech1.jpg

boxcars.jpg

Train fans have shared numerous boxcar designs over the years, and as I was thumbing through some of the more creative designs; it got me thinking, what are some good tips for boxcar builders.

I recently picked up one tip after building a standard boxcar from 7898 Cargo Train Deluxe.

Toying around with a similar design, I build this simple blue boxcar similar to the red one found in the Cargo Train set.

bc3.jpg

1) The boxcar uses a standard 6x16 plate as the base.

2) Adding two 1x6 plates to the base creates a 6x18 baseplate.

3) The longer baseplate allows the use of three 6x6 roof plates.

4) The rails for the doors are separated on the bottom by two studs. Those on top touch one another.

5) Within the 2-stud wide space, a 1x2 plate is uses with a grill piece on top.

6) The grill piece prevents the doors from sliding too far to the right or to the left, but also moves just slightly enough to close the doors. This is a great tip if you've tried building with these classic cargo train doors.

7898boxcartip.jpg

From Lego's Instruction Book

Notice the 2-stud wide gab between the door rails, as well as the use of a 2 stud grill plate between?

There is no gap on the upper/top rails.

This a simple yet very effective boxcar tip.

So, what boxcar tips and tricks have you learned?

Do you have a creative method for using classic train doors?

How about a brick built door?

Share your boxcar tips and tricks in this Train Tech topic, Thinking Outside the Boxcar.

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I designed a yellow Boxcar for the contest coming up, but I can't show any pictures of it yet because the parts haven't arrived. It features brickbuilt doors and SNOT techniques on the sides. Most of my inspiration from it came from James Mathis, who designs some pretty good 6-wide trains (though some of us know that already :sceptic: ).

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How about a brick built door?

The best brick-built door that I've found so far is pictured here:

Brick Built Door

I originally got the idea from Chris Masi, who later told me that he got it from James Mathis. Advantages include being able to open and close the door, and the ability to detail it to match a paint scheme such as what I was able to do on my Rutland Boxcar. The 1x2 plate with handle, fits snugly between the 1x1 with clips, keeping the door closed when needed. It's a wonderful solution.

-Elroy

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Still in progress and 10-wide, but inspired by Cale's reefer I took this stab at an NYC 174xxx-series Pacemaker Freight Service boxcar:

NYC174xxx40box.jpg

Design notes: I try to use a few big pieces rather than a lot of little ones wherever I can to save weight, and the "panel" sections are where the NYC herald, "Pacemaker" logo and the reporting marks would be placed.

If anyone wants to offer feedback, I'd love to have it; if you want the (unfinished) LDraw file, PM and I'll get it to ya.

Edited by Diamondback

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Thanks for sharing Diamondback. How is the door attached? It's a bit hard to see based on the picture.

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The entire door and top/bottom-tracks are SNOT, using railed plates top and bottom and slotted bricks. If you saw the lateral-motion bolster I posted for SavatheAggie's consideration in "Registry", it's kinda like a bigger, on-its-side version of the center of that.

Gimme a couple days, and I'll see about coming up with an exploded view of just the door system.

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Sorry about the double-tap, but here it is:

Two Technic bricks with half-pins along the roof and frame join the SNOT to the otherwise-conventional carbody. Door slides over a SNOT plate/tile recess, and is held at either end by the bricks of the surrounding carbody.

A prototype, tested off-car:

boxdoor.jpg

Final version, partial-exploded view:

174xxxdoor.jpg

On this view, I've raised the upper track relative to the structure, and slid the door off the lower track into where the left-side bodywork would be. (Rest of 10-wide 40' boxcar omitted for visibility.)

Note: I still need to work out details like latches.

Edited by Diamondback

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Thanks for sharing the additional images DB. Now we can see how the doors are placed on the wagon, and how they slide.

Looks like a very nice and functional design. :thumbup:

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