Author Topic: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?  (Read 3979 times)

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bsoplinger

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The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« on: February 05, 2008, 02:55:49 AM »
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Since we've pretty much completely hijacked the G41 thread...

When the G41 thread first started I had emailed Railyard Models asking about doing another final run of a dozen of these kits since he'd stopped production without notice. He wasn't interested. So now its on to the X58 or X65. Consensus seems to be for a X58 so everything that follows is for that model.

Does anyone know why the otherwise excellent prr.railfan.net has drawings which are marked X58, yet have only 8 panels per side, ie more like the X65? And does anyone know where there are suitable drawings for a X58? Or at least good detailed photos and dimensions? We need to provide this info to the FNS guy if we want X58's to get made. I see the prr.railfan.net site lists the plans as showing up in RMC 5/80. Does anyone have this issue to check if they're usable to make a model, especially if there is a side view? Also the book PRR Pass. & Frt. Car Diagrams has the Class plans, does anyone have this to know if those are usable?

It'd be nice if we could get the FNS guy to make cushioned coupler pockets like the ones that the G41 kit had. I have a kit that I haven't done any work with just for this reason so I can pass it along to him to see how it was done. Personally, if I'm going to go to the trouble to do this I'm going to use MicroTrains couplers and I think most folks would agree with me even though the best wheels for this might be an Atlas set which means you'd have the bits of an accumate around. The G41 kit had 2 sets of pockets, 1 for use with the guts of a MT 1023/1025 and another for use with the guts of an Accumate. Since the correct truck for those was the Atlas 100 ton truck, it sort of made sense to have both. But one could get the extended distance look for the X58 with just using a longer coupler, ie if the MT short length coupler would be correct for a car without cushioning just use a medium length extension. Does anyone know the correct truck for the X58, X58a/b/c if they're different?

Think that leads to wanting a kit that had the choice for the modeler to go 'easy' and just use longer extension truck mounted MT couplers or 'accurate' and built body mounted cushioned pockets.

In order to be accurate, the side 'ladders' should be built from BLMA type grabs. Those are the type 'C' items in this photo: http://www.blmamodels.com/images/store/400a.jpg. These are called "N Scale - Rolling Stock Details" "Transition Era Box Car Ladders" on the BLMA site for anyone who hasn't seen these items from BLMA before. Trouble is, that is a lot of work for someone who just wants one or at most 2 of these cars "because they'd be nice to have." So perhaps the side grabs could somehow be done in a way they could be removed and replaced with the BLMA bits for those who want really nice models and simply left there so that the model would appeal to more customers, which I think would make it appeal more to the FNS guy to actually make this model.

I too agree that filling in the roofwalk holes is a PIA and I think we could probably get him to make half holes for those. Have a hole on the inside of the shell that goes most of the way through so it'd be easy for someone to put the roofwalk on and wouldn't require filling in a huge gaping set of holes for those who don't want the roofwalk.

Again, separate end ladders would be great to allow for both full length and half length, allowing for the widest appeal. But cast on details would be better for the casual modeler. So I'm a bit at a loss on this one which I think would be best.

Right now I'm think we'd need a custom fret of details from Craig at BLMA, mostly made of things he's already done to make this work as a kit.

It should have 22 type C side grabs to make the ladders. 2 full height end ladders, 4 short ones. Brake wheel, the side coupling platform and the platform that goes under the brake wheel (when mounted high). The same platform and wheel could be used for when they are mounted low. Which means the boxlike thing that the brake wheel sits on must be modeled separately so that it can be mounted either high or low. Think it'd be nice to include a pair of the correct style cut levers too.

Then we'd need a few things BLMA hasn't done yet. We'd need that H-like brace that goes on the middle of the end of the car for the high mounted brake wheel option. The brake wheel should go here, as BLMA hasn't made any of those yet. The roofwalk and a pair of angle grabs that go on the roofwalk.

I think I've got everything. Comments?

Brian

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 06:20:27 AM »
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I built a few X29 boxes from FNS. The brake wheels were seperate from the vertical mounting rods, so I think installing etched ladders and a brake mount are not that hard. Those of us who just want to "make do" with an X58 stand-in would just buy the Con-Cor model. This kit is for people serious about this car and the model should reflect that.

Removing cast side grabs is not as big of a problem as removing them from the ends... so i think you are right about keeping them on there. I plan on using etched parts for the sides anyway. Another possible solution would be to feature the two end ribs a bit shallower then the rest, and a single etched part would be overlayed and glued onto those shallow ribs creating a full sized ribs. This overlay would look like a ladder, and could incude half-hight and full hight grabs.

Obviously decals sheets should also be made for LV, PC, PRR and CR. If these were repainted into NS or CSX those should be included as well.

The more I think about this car, the more I want an accurate model. I run 6 of the Con-Cor models now. I would like at least 6 of these to replace them.
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ai5629

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 09:26:56 AM »
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I must say that I am impressed with the enthusiasm expressed towards this car.  I thought that there were not that many N scale eastern modelers out there.  I have a copy of the PRR freight car diagram book (large, blue soft cover) I think you are referring to.  I will check to see if the drawing is a nine panel car.  This could also be used as a good start for PRR decals.  Problem is, aren't we violating some law by copying the book for this purpose?  Has anyone thought to ask the RYM guy (Gene Fusco I think is his name) where he obtained his information?  He has no interest in rerunning the G41's, but he might point us in the right direction.  Have you guys tried posting requests on the PRR, PC, and CR Yahoos Modeler's group pages?  I will try to throw it out there tonight at home.  We could contain the cost of the kit by having the modeler supply his own trucks and couplers.  Even with that, these cars are going to run around 20 to 30.  Thanks to those who are trying to spear head this project.  I hope it happens. 

Jeff
Jeff Lopez

amato1969

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 09:38:36 AM »
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I just checked the model rr mag index, and the May 1980 issue of RMC has a "profile" of the X58 (doesn't list a drawing, though).  I can certainly post on Jerry B's PRR email list.

As to grabs, I'm still partial to cast-on.  I live with the separate grabs when building Intermountain kits, but I'd rather not deal with them.

Separate ladders -- absolutely!   I think these are a must-have in order to allow early and late versions to be built from the same kit.

I also vote for the modeler to supply couplers and trucks.  Micro-Trains offers trucks w/ extended couplers.  Not sure how best to do this with body-mounts.

  Frank

Iain

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 09:52:15 AM »
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I personally prefer my kits to have plenty of detail available.  It is fun for me to build them, and the more complicated the kit the more enjoyment I receive.
Basically I am voting for seperate grabs with dimples to mark where the holes go.
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bsoplinger

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 03:19:53 PM »
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Basically I am voting for seperate grabs with dimples to mark where the holes go.

Can't put dimples in the upper half for the grabs since for the later model, post roofwalk, the ladder of grabs only go halfway up and you wouldn't want dimples going from the midpoint to the roof of the model on the side.

I really think cast on side grabs will be the way to go, hopefully with a way to remove them and use the BLMA grabs for those who want the extra detail.

And yes to modeler supplied trucks and couplers. I only mentioned MT in relation to the extended coupler pocket like the G41 had to make a cushioned pocket. And one that only used the MT 1023 bits, vs 2 different pocket kits like on the G41 for both MT and Accumate bits. I figure for those who don't want to go to the trouble they can just use a longer than required length truck mounted coupler to make a 3 foot rule cushioned pocket distance.

I do think the directions should mention specific models of MT or Atlas or whatever for the trucks. After all, the info can be ignored for the 'its a truck who cares what kind' crowd yet can be followed for those who really care about that sort of thing. Which is why I asked if there is a SPF out there who can tell me what type of trucks the X58 used, and it there were different trucks for the a/b/c versions.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 05:58:01 PM »
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I'm pretty sure all X58 series car rode on 2 coil 70t RB trucks. There is an X58 on display at the Danbury Train Museum in CT tha could be used for measurments.
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ai5629

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008, 09:28:57 PM »
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I found the diagram of the X58 in the Pennsylvania Railroad Compendium (published by the Middle Division).  It is primarily just a painting diagram.  It's nine panels, but not terribly useful.  It does not list any measurements.  I found the post about the fact that 90% of the N scale market is guys who want RTR rather interesting.  That's sort of discouraging.  I hope this idea doesn't die on the vine.  Thanks.

Jeff
Jeff Lopez

bsoplinger

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2008, 10:11:50 PM »
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Getting pictures to generate decals would let us get around any copyright issues and I think there are enough pictures of these around out there that it'd be possible to make the necessary decals without a problem. There are a few of us who post here that have ALPS printers so can make even the necessary white decals.

The much bigger problem is making the kit as close to the Athearn 'blue box' type kit as possible. Sometimes called a shake the box kit, these HO kits for those that don't know were not much of a kit. The grabs were usually cast right on the shell. Imagine an Atlas trainman car that wasn't assembled and just had the various pieces in a box. That's about what the old blue box kits were like. Put floor in car, put the doors in, put on roofwalk then add trucks and couplers. That's about all. The shell was completely painted and ready to go. Sort of like the MDC kits, a bit more modeling but close in idea.

And that's the best sort of kit to sell, one that might appeal to some of that 90% that wants RTR but might be persuaded to do an 'easy' kit. We could perhaps get very close to that, except for pre-painting the shell, and that's the biggest issue for many of the RTR group. They don't have an airbrush, don't know how to use one and really aren't interested in even buying a spray bomb to just paint 1 car.

Yet if we do it right, I think we could at the same time produce a kit that could be 'super detailed' into a very nice model for that 10% who really do like to model cars. Grabs that could be removed without too much work to allow for separate grabs on the sides, etc. But still have a 'not much work required' version that still would make a decent looking car.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2008, 10:25:34 PM »
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On that line... wern't the PRR cars and CR ones the same color? Maybe we could pre-paint the cars for an extra buck. Leave the decaling to the kitbuilder though.
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Ian MacMillan

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2008, 10:33:29 PM »
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But then you make it a pain in the a$$ for those who want to paint PC or LV cars...
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amato1969

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2008, 11:10:27 PM »
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Indeed.  If we're talking about approaching FNS, makes sense to me to stick with their current approach -- undec kits.

  Frank

David Leonard

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 09:45:20 AM »
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Is anything on Rob Schoenberg's PRR freight car site useful ( http://prr.railfan.net/freight/ )?  e.g.:
http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiagrams.html?diag=x58.gif&sel=box&sz=sm&fr=

TiVoPrince

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 01:32:46 PM »
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Wasn't
the 'whalebelly' covered hopper the first release of a "RailWire inspired kit"?  A very old RailWire version had a car announced that never materialized.  Forgot the car, or it may have been well before my time...
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Mark5

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Re: The first railwire inspired kit, PRR/PC/CR/LV X58?
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2008, 01:44:06 PM »
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I must say that I am impressed with the enthusiasm expressed towards this car.  I thought that there were not that many N scale eastern modelers out there.

I assume you are joking. The vast majority of the US population lives in the eastern part of the U.S.