McCloud River Railroad Models:

U.S. Plywood All-Door Car Models

Three manufacturers have produced models of the US Plywood Thrall-built All Door Cars, two in HO scale and one in N scale. Red Caboose made the N-scale models in at least three road numbers, but that company has been out of business for a while. Intermountain Railway Company took over the Red Caboose product line but appears to have discontinued the all-door boxcar. This page will deal with the two HO scale models.


Life-Like's all door boxcar was a ground breaking model when first introduced in 1972. The company did not initially include U.S. Plywood among offered road names, but included it as the product line expanded. Life-Like offered the US Plywood car in only one road number, #1410. This website was not able to determine when production of these cars ceased, but it appears at least a couple other manufacturers re-used the molds to produce other all-door cars later in time. The model has definitely not held up well and would be considered toy quality at best today. They are readily available in the used marketplace.

Side view of the Life-Like model.

The end view of the car.

Walthers First Run

In 2000 Walthers released a highly detailed model of the "Thrall-Door" car. Walthers included U.S. Plywood in the first run of these cars, both as a single car (road number 1410, the same one as on the Life-Like car) and as a two-pack with road numbers 1413 and 1419. Unfortunately the #1410 was the only one of these three cars true to the prototype, as no real cars carried either number offered in the two-pack. Regardless, the cars are nice models and filled a major hole in the model market.

A side view of the #1410 from Walther's first run of the Thrall Door car.

Walthers Second Run

Walthers has offered many runs of the Thrall-Door car in the twenty years since their introduction. In 2019 Walthers finally announced a second run of U.S. Plywood cars, this one as part of their upper end Walthers Proto line. Like the first run these cars are being offered in three road numbers, but as individual cars instead of one single car and one two-pack. Unfortunately also like the first run not all of the road numbers offered are correct to the prototype. The model is offered as road numbers 1414 and 1438, which are correct, along with #1420, which was never applied to any of the prototype cars. The models are painted in a slightly lighter shade of green than the first run cars, through the effect is amplified in the photos on this page by the weathering job applied to the illustrated first run car.

A side view of the #1414 and #1438 from Walther's second run of the Thrall Door car.

Three-quarter views of the two "correct" cars from the second run.