A little information about this build:

Welcome to this build of a Gorre & Daphetid box car using card sides procured from the December 1980 edition of the NMRA Bulletin.

The Gorre and Dephetid model railroad was the brain child of John Allen who became known to many for his modeling talents as the “Wizard of Monterey” and to many of his close friends as the “Great Poo-bah”. To many, he was the greatest model railroader of his time and though I never met him personally most model railroaders I have met who knew him or know of him, speak of him with respect and admiration.

Despite the fact that John Allen passed away in 1973, and his great model railroad was destroyed by an accidental fire a few days later, his legacy has continued on through the various books, periodicals and internet based group boards dedicated to his work. Whether you agree or not with John’s sometimes whimsical interpretation of the railroad industry nobody can deny his impact on the hobby. It’s easy to look at the images of John’s work of 40-60 years ago and find flaws or non prototypical elements. But those models were quite advanced for their time and inspired the works of many young aspiring hobbyists and such talented modelers as George Selious who based his early work on his equally famous Franklin and South Manchester (F&SM) on the pictorial depictions of John Allen’s Gorre & Daphetid (G&D). In what may be construed as an understatement, George has taken what John Allen did and “kicked it up a notch” but that’s another story.

The December 1980 issue of the NMRA Bulletin featured a set of car sides to build a G&D box car. Over the years these have been cherished and squandered by many of the faithful G&D followers and more than a few have actually been built. At the end of this series another car will have been completed and I hope it inspires someone else to turn at least one of their sets of card car sides into a completed car.

I have elected to build the car as a truss rod wood sheathed 36’ box car. The accompanying drawing Gorre & Daphetid 36' Truss Rod Box Car which can be downloaded in PDF format gives the basic dimensions of the box that formed the foundation for this project. As with all my HO scale drawings it is designed to print out on Legal size 8.5”x14” paper. Throughout this build I will note materials and through photo’s demonstrate techniques I used.


Tools and Other Sundries:

Before getting into the building of the G&D box car, let me talk briefly about tools, techniques and skills associated with this project. I am going to assume that you may want to build your own scratchbuilt box car or a similar wood kit such as Ambroid or Labelle just to name a few so allow me to throw out a few comments about tool and materials selections.

You will need a few basic tools to complete this or a similar project. You’ll need one or more X-Acto knives with no. 11 blades and a single edged razor blade will come in useful for a few trimming some items. Many modelers use a white or yellow carpenters wood glue, I prefer to use Ambroid glue because I like the way it shrinks when it dries. I have models over 35 years old that were assemblied with Ambroid glue and have never had a joint failure.

I also use a medium viscosity ACC glue for adding small parts. Whatever your preference in glues, a box of round wooden toothpicks and a box of the thinner flat wooden toothpicks are indispensable for applying small quantities of glue exactly where it is needed on the model. Some modelers use way too much glue as they must feel it is necessary to achieve a good joint or maybe to compensate for a bad fit between parts. The trick to achieving a tight bond between components is not how much glue is used but rather keeping pressure on the joint while the glue dries. To achieve tight joints, I first select what I believe is the proper glue for the job and then I make use of numerous clamping devices as well as heavy objects from around my shop to compress assemblies while the glued joint is drying.

I have been a faithful user of Floquil paints for many years. For thinning paint, and cleanup I use a solvent called Xylene/Xylol which I buy at my local ACE Hardware store in quart cans.

Once complete the model will require periodic cleaning. Dust is not weathering and can only diminish the overall presentation of the model. To clean the model I use a small vacuum which can be purchased from various outlet stores under various names for about ten bucks. I modified one of the nozzles to adapt to my vacuum set which is sold through Micro Mart and other distributors.

Lets get started on this build. While I am building the G&D box car, this will be more of a generic build that can be related to building many other card sided freight cars.


(On to the Shops)