Photo-Realistic, Model Shipping Containers to Add Realness to Your Model Railroad
These 41 scale model shipping containers are fun
and easy to build whether you are a serious model railroader, a war gamer, model maker,
student, or home hobbyist. You just download the plans which come to your computer in PDF
format, print them out, glue them to card (like a discarded muesli pack), and assemble them.
What makes these sea containers so good is they
don’t look fake. They are based on true real life photos of real intermodal shipping
containers. Most show genuine signs of rust, some have dents, and some even are covered in
graffiti on one side. If you don’t like the graffiti, you just turn them around the other
way, or print out another side section. EASY!
Even better; after downloading the containers,
you can print out as many copies of each container as you want to, without buying an extra
download. The designs are copyrighted, so it is illegal to sell, trade, or give them away. As
long as the designs are for your own personal/private use, there’s no problem.
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In most countries they are called ‘shipping
containers’, but the term ‘intermodal containers’ is also used when two or more transport
methods are involved with transporting the freight e.g. sea, rail, or road.
Intermodal freight is not usually unpacked
(unless maybe for a Customs inspection), and remains locked inside the big sealed steel box.
This speeds up freight transportation as the complete shipping container is off-loaded
directly from the cargo ship at a container terminal (or port) to a rail wagon or truck. This
system is not only faster and more efficient than earlier cargo handling methods, but it also
improves security and potential damage to the consignment.
Shipping containers come in various sizes with 20
foot and 40 foot containers being the most common. In real life they are manufactured from
steel to standard ISO specifications for consistency and easy stacking on top of each other.
A ‘double stack’ is when they are stacked two-high.
Shipping containers are classified into different
types depending on their intended purpose. The two main classifications would be for ‘general
cargo’ or for a ‘specific purpose.’
General Cargo Containers
The most common seen on trains, trucks, on ships,
or at seaports would be 20ft and 40ft ‘dry cargo shipping containers.’ These typically
comprise of strong steel walls, a floor and a roof. The standard width is 8 foot. They are
generally watertight and well sealed to prevent unwanted animals, vermin, birds, or insects
hitching a free ride. They usually have lockable double doors at one end for easy access by
forklift. Some cargo containers have side access, but this is not generally the
Specific Purpose Containers
For some special loads the loading (packing) and
unloading (unpacking) needs access from the top, so instead of a steel roof, some containers
have a reinforced or canvas removable cover supported with special roof bows. These ‘open top
shipping containers’ are used for bulky or fragile cargoes such as glass sheets and heavy
machinery. Some really difficult loads might require ‘flat rack containers’ which just
consist of a floor and strong steel ends to enable safe stacking at container terminals. They
have special top and bottom corner fittings to compensate for the open-sided lack of
Shipping containers are commonly used for
freighting frozen goods and other perishable products. For this purpose additional insulation
features are necessary to maintain the correct temperature control or humidity. Closed
ventilated containers use special ventilators to control moisture and humidity.
Insulated containers (also called reefers or
thermal containers) are not generally fitted with temperature control devices, but are well
insulated internally to provide a constant temperature and some protection from climatic
extremes. They are common in 20’ and 40’ lengths.
There are also mechanically refrigerated and
non-mechanically refrigerated shipping containers. Those without a motor are well insulated
internally and have liquefied gas or dry ice added to cool the goods down during transit.
Mechanically refrigerated containers are equipped with a refrigeration unit to keep the cargo
cold or frozen. Heated containers are also used for some shipments.
Efficient freight transport is essential to speed
up delivery and reduce shipping costs. That’s why, almost without exception, the size
dimensions, capacity, and specifications of shipping containers are made to ISO governing
20ft shipping containers (very
40ft shipping containers (very
45ft shipping containers (less
48ft shipping containers (mainly in
53ft shipping containers (mainly in
Smaller 10ft containers are available in some
areas, as are 30ft containers.
In recent years dry cargo containers have become
more popular for use in home construction and for other commercial purposes. It is possible
to purchase new or used (second-hand) shipping containers from shipping companies and
Used containers are often used as offices on
construction sites because they are strong, secure, and easily transported onsite (and easily
removed when no longer required). In some countries they are used in self-storage complexes.
A concrete pad is usually poured to level the surface before rows of 20ft storage containers
are lifted into place to sit side by side. The land is usually sealed with tar seal
(asphalt), concrete, or bitchumen gravel seal so vehicles can drive in to load and unload.
The self-storage facility will usually be finished off with a high security fence, security
cameras, and sometimes a 20’ container is fitted out as a sales office.
Shipping container house plans are available for
those who want to convert used intermodal containers into homes. These houses can look very
stylish and cost much less than other construction methods. The structures can be in place
very quickly and the plans come with the necessary electrical information.
Plans to make scale models can also be purchased
where cargo boxes are required for transporting on model trains, or as realistic props
strategically positioned on scale model railroads and dioramas. They look particularly
convincing when they appear old and rusty, or are faded, or covered by graffiti like the
range of downloadable 3D scale model paper kits for sale from this