Re: 1/12 scale R-40-23 reefer Dreadnaught end
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If you have a Deckel photograph available, wouldn't it have been easier to make the first generation master rib and then use it to panto all 5 ribs, using an offset method into a ABS sheet?
I model in 1/8 scale and have done steel tooling for 5 rib Murphy end panels. Now insert a piece .030 thick steel and apply 40 tons.
Are you envisioning resin or vacuum formed or fiberglass sides and roof?
What ever your choice, I'd recommend making sure it is UV and age/heat stable.
Sometimes it is easier to make your master 2 or 3 times larger and then panto it down to the correct scale.