Author Topic: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)  (Read 6685 times)

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2-8-8-0

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Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« on: March 12, 2010, 11:24:18 PM »
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After about four years of collecting rolling stock and locomotives for a "someday i can build it" layout (im still in college and live in a small apartment) I have a bunch of hoppers waiting for decals, a couple Kato mikes waiting for me to finish their conversions, and a spectrum 2-8-0 that should make a sort of passable E-27 for the B&O. So much for my longed for West End (in reference to my other thread, ive been trying to work out B&Os mallets for, oh, about 2 years). Mebbe doing that in N was a bit TOO ambitious.

Frustration, like boiler pressure, can eventually reach dangerous levels. Sigh.

For me, a good deal of the fun IS the building and research. I never felt real thrilled if i just bought something and opened the box, plunked it on the track, and said "aaah." I enjoy building kits, painting, decaling, weathering. I probably get more enjoyment out of a 5 dollar hopper that i strip, repaint, decal, and weather, than i do out of a 100 dollar loco.

Assuming, of course, things like decals, kits, or even a starting point for a loco build, are available.

Well, i have a bowser L1 kit. (yeah, HO.  :-[) I have always liked the PRR, so i figured, hey...can always build my kit, maybe a PRR car or two, and have something to display and get my mind off the B&O for now, especially with the zero progress I have had, and get my model building fix. I poked around on the PRR historical society website, read a few issues of the Keystone Modeler, and found out that (old news to everyone BUT me) that Bowser has stopped making steam loco kits...

I dont know about anyone else, but if i can choose to 1) Buy an insanely expensive BLI loco, or buy (and get the fun of building, painting, etc) a kit for 1/3 as much, I know which way I wanna go. In a hobby that basically forces people to 1) scratchbuild or 2) make due with whats available, there is a suprising lack of a lot of things there really shouldnt be a lack of (like, i dunno...decals for B&O hoppers, they only had about 60 thousand of the things) which wouldnt be as annoying, if there was, you know...B&O hoppers on the market. And maybe once a year or so, 1 or 2 will come out, usually some USRA design with a new roadnumber (in HO, in N it seems easier to find a car with the college football team logo of your choice than anything that says B&O). Athearn made the ONLY correct B&O hopper in their old blue box W2 model, and what do they do...but stop producing it. Even that was only in HO. The trix 4 bay os hopper that there seem to be millions of are a nice stand in in N...if there were, o, maybe, decals...

So, we either buy insanely expensive models like the stuff from BLI...assuming its available, i guess their I1s sold out in like a week...or we try to kitbash and make due. But, with the trend moving from kits to RTR stuff (and a corresponding lack of supporting items, like decals) even that seems a hell of a lot harder than it was 10 years ago.

I used to be jealous of the pennsy fans, cause in my mind they had it "easy" and maybe they did, for a bit...I guess not. Is it even possible to pick a prototype, be reasonably faithful to it, and not have to scratchbuild half the stuff on the layout? I guess the PRR people can do it (in HO)...they did get a K4, M1, now the I1...but they sure dont come cheap=(

Just blowing off steam...and trying to figure out if modelling Pennsy would be any less of a pain. At least I wouldnt need mallets...
Just say no to dummy couplers.

Dave V

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 11:59:55 PM »
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Well none of that is available in N scale, so you have to build your own.  It's okay, it's just a challenge.  Sometimes that's the most rewarding.

I've kitbashed, in N, a PRR M1, an L1s, and an H10sb.  "Mad" Max Magliaro has kitbashed almost every class of PRR steam in N scale.  I know some others have too.

Here are my PRR steam kitbashes:



It can be done, and it can also be fun.
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eric220

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2010, 12:13:30 AM »
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Dave, I get insanely jealous every time I see your steam engines. Very nice!
-Eric

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ljudice

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2010, 06:22:58 AM »
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It's only a partial solution, but if you can use Adobe Illustrator (or similar vector graphics program), you can easily design decals and get them made for about $10 a sheet. I am sure you can fit more stuff on  a sheet than Microscale can...

It's really easy and changed my perspective on what can or can't be done...


SkipGear

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 11:49:15 PM »
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I feel your pain but not all of the rant is justified. In the past couple of years there have been approx. 20 correct for B&O hoppers released.

Athearn has most recent release, 3 bay offset sides, a W-7 close enough, in 13 states logo came in two 5 packs for a total 10 numbers.
Before that Atlas offered 2 bay offset sides in a 3 pack with 2 single numbers.
Also around that time, 3 more 55T Fishbellies.
Before that a BLW / Brian DeVries Special run 3 pack of 2 bays.

Stuff on it's way, Bluford 3 bay in I think 6 numbers although it is a little late for steam, it still fills in a train.

I can currently build a train of a mix of about 50 uniquely numbered 2 and 3 bay coal hoppers in B&O with the stuff that has been produced over the years. All these are good for up to the late 50's.
Tony Hines

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2010, 12:11:23 AM »
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I knew, even as i typed my rant, it was poorly thought out; 20 cars in the last couple years isnt bad at all. If I could build a 50 car train, I would be in heaven, apparently I need to pay closer attention to the new releases... :-[

All kidding, ranting, and raving aside, I have been trying to "pick" a prototype now for about 6 years. I started off in HO, and even had a layout, which was subsequently destroyed in the floods in 2006 here in NE Ohio (no great loss, 1st layout, and thankfully my collection of WSM brass was upstairs in the curio cabinet!) so that sent me "back to the drawing board".

I selected the B&O because of the long history it and my family has (Philippi, West Virginia) and because it fit the role of the prototype i wanted; coal hauling railroad with great lakes connections. I live (and have lived most of my life) in Ashtabula, Ohio, so the Pennsy was a logical choice, that also moved coal and had huge ties to great lakes shipping.

This is one of the benefits to the first layout getting destroyed I suppose, It let me stand back, look, and think long and hard about what I want, before I plunk down a bunch of money again. Its starting to appear as though C&O may be a good choice; A decent prototype mallet in a reasonably priced mass produced loco that should be available for years to come, decals, hoppers...no Allegheny in N for many years, but that i can live with, im not a fan of that particular type anyways. 2-6-6-2s are neat locos. It sure has the coal hauling AND lake connections i want.

I have amassed a sizable collection of B&O reference, but for me that just may be the best part, and the C&O Historical society has an incredible selection of books and diagram booklets...
Just say no to dummy couplers.

SkipGear

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 12:37:27 AM »
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C&O is probably the easiest to do right now, but easy is not always fun. I have the H-5's, some H-4's on the way and an H-8. Add to that the Walthers 0-8-0 and Berkshire, the Bachmann 2-8-0, and the brass offerings, there is a lot out there. That is why I am modeling a fictitious interchange between the B&O and C&O based around my current hometown, which is on the B&O Ohio division main line into Cincinnati. It was actually an intechange with Pennsy but the C&O is more my flavor and I have a good amount of it. It isn't really a coal line but it will be for me.

For B&O there are some decent options out there:

Bachmann 2-8-0 as a stand in for an E-27, remove the pilot truck and modify the pilot for an L class 0-8-0 stand in.
Model Power 2-8-2 w/vanderbuilt makes a decent Q-3b if I remember
Model Power 4-6-2 fits for some of the smaller P3's.
Bachmann Mountains for the various T class loco's.
Bachmann 0-6-0 with a spectrum USRA short tender is perfect for a D-30 switcher.

The articulateds are the hardest part.
Tony Hines

John

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2010, 08:21:45 AM »
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man .. ashtabula has a huge coal operation ..

DaveB

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2010, 09:15:49 AM »
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Athearn has most recent release, 3 bay offset sides, a W-7 close enough, in 13 states logo came in two 5 packs for a total 10 numbers.

Stuff on it's way, Bluford 3 bay in I think 6 numbers although it is a little late for steam, it still fills in a train.


Any opinions out there on the relative merits of the Athearn and Bluford hoppers?

2-8-8-0

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2010, 11:56:22 AM »
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man .. ashtabula has a huge coal operation ..

It does indeed, and I can see the docks out the kitchen windows! I wish I had some photos of Ashtabula Harbor from the 40s, it used to have twice the slipways, a shipyard, and 8 Huletts (so I am told). THAT would make an impressive layout all on its own.

Skip, yep, you are correct on there being some decent stand in B&O items; The spectrum 2-8-0 is nice for the E-27 (I have one) and, me being dumb, never made the connection that it would make a nice L2 0-8-0 cause they were made from the E27s. I always thought the Kato heavy mike wouldnt be too hard to make reasonably Q4-ish, but the tender problem creeps up. The Q3s were just USRA light mikes, so easy enough. But, no mallets, apparently no good source of tenders, no decals, no wagontop cabs or boxcars (in N) nothing resembling a P1 pacific, S1/S1A (other than your build, of course)...the list goes on.

I dont mind hard. C&O may be too easy; like i said, never been a huge fan of just buyin something and looking at it. "Yep, there it is." The 2-6-6-2s require some modification to resemble a specific class, and some hoppers need end extensions added, repainted and decalled. That is enjoyable stuff.

I just dont like (or perhaps, dont know how to deal with) overwhelming. I dont really know where to start on a project like your 2-10-2. I read the article in B&O Modeler and never would have thought of what you did. Mr. Vollmer, i love your layout and your locos, and things like the L1 i could probably handle. The 2-8-0 you built, probably in my range. The M1, i doubt i could do at the moment. But none of them bend in the middle, which is the repeating issue with B&O. Heavy trains means mallets or S1s, period.

I have contacted a decal maker about making some custom decal sheets for the hoppers, even if i switch prototypes, C&O or PRR would still have loads of B&O cars in their trains.

Methinks this is how freelance roads are born.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 12:18:03 PM by 2-8-8-0 »
Just say no to dummy couplers.

chessie system fan

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2010, 05:51:58 PM »
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There's also the old Atlas 0-4-0 and the ubiquitous Docksider, both of which are B&O prototypes.
Aaron Bearden

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2010, 06:32:48 PM »
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2-8-8-0 (BTW - what is your name?)

The cabooses are not a problem, and decals, I have that covered also....

I-1 -


Scratch Bash I-5b (wrong road number on it though) -


I-12 (JNJ Resin Kit) -


Caboose decals -


Hopper decals are on file, just never finished yet.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Anything can be done if you work at it hard enough.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 06:36:57 PM by SkipGear »
Tony Hines

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 09:39:08 PM »
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Yes, the name was chosen when I joined as those are, always have been, and probably always will be my favorite locos. No idea why, I just love them (C&Os H7, oddly, comes in a close second, but they arent ELs)

I aint giving up, by a longshot. But i think i need to back down and start with an easier kitbash than one of those. Making an L2 out of a spectrum 2-8-0 would probably be a better bet for me atm, or trying the kato mike-into-Q4 type of build. E-27s and Q4s would both be right at home on mine runs for B&O, as would a usra Q3. And im going to get the decals for the hoppers made (I am totally useless with computers, i dont mind paying someone to design and print decal sheets for me...money well spent!)

Ill see what railfest this weekend brings (gonna look for 1 or 2 of the spectrum 2-6-6-2s as well, just for the C&O-ness!)

Thanks for the nudging Skip.

Tim

Just say no to dummy couplers.

SkipGear

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 11:36:13 PM »
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Tim,
 What scheme hopper decals? I just need a little nudging to finish the artwork for them. I was planning on "13 Great States" scheme sets for 2 and 3 bays as well as number overlays for existing stuff out there to cure dupicate issues. I had thought about setting up the car sides as one single decal relative to the type of car it would be installed on to make creating multiples much easier.
Tony Hines

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Re: Pennsy...B&O...both seem to be leaving a bad taste. (a rant)
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 01:45:30 PM »
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Athearn has most recent release, 3 bay offset sides, a W-7 close enough, in 13 states logo came in two 5 packs for a total 10 numbers.

Stuff on it's way, Bluford 3 bay in I think 6 numbers although it is a little late for steam, it still fills in a train.


Any opinions out there on the relative merits of the Athearn and Bluford hoppers?
The Bluford car is a later prototype (1938 and later) than the Athearn/MDC car. As for features, see this page: http://www.bluford-shops.com/bluford_1025_002.htm

Craig