Author Topic: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars  (Read 1371 times)

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Denver Road Doug

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Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« on: January 24, 2013, 12:04:46 PM »
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Has anyone body mounted couplers on the Walthers n-scale ballast car? I would like to use either Atlas or BLMA 100T trucks with FVM or BLMA metal wheels, respectively, but other options are certainly considered. Decent coupling distance is desired, and I don't require magnetic uncoupling but being able to use a pick to uncouple would be a "nice to have". I'm thinking either some MTL N coupler, MTL Z, Unimate, or the Bachmann dummy coupler. I also have some of the Full Throttle Z couplers I could try although I was kinda wanting to keep those around for tank cars.  Not sure if there will be another opportunity to purchase more FT's.  Yes I'm aware of the NZT option "coming soon" but I don't really think these cars are worthy.   :P   I am aware of the FT/bodymount etching project/discussion but again not sure they are worthy plus availability is a question mark I think.


Walthers Ballast Car and Metal Underframe on the right.

Per the above photo, there looks to be plenty of real-estate and a nice metal backing to mount to. I suppose the issue is clearance though, since Micro-Trains doesn't list an option for body-mounting on its conversion sheet, and Google wasn't very helpful either.  I'm fully prepared to do trial-and-error, but just thought I'd try to avoid re-inventing the wheel if someone has this down.

So, if you have any experience with these please share how you did it. Thanks!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 12:14:44 PM by Denver Road Doug »
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ljudice

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 04:29:36 PM »
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I wish I could help...  I have a love/hate relationship with these cars....

I realized in doing BNSF now there are at least three starting points for ballast cars - Kato ACF's (I've done 2),  Atlas PS-2 (BN and ATSF) and the PS4000's for ATSF although I need some photos of the top and insides.

Are those the Kel'sNScale doors for the Thrall car?  I am working on ballast doors for Thralls and converted hoppers in Shapeways...

- Lou


Denver Road Doug

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 04:46:15 PM »
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Yes, those are from KelNScale.   I may have received the last shipment he ever sent out.   I sensed that he was going through a lot of personal issues and I offered to help but never heard back from him.  Hope he is doing ok.

That being said, there's not much to them.  It would be easy to replicate them with styrene.   With Shapeways you should be able to get more detail and I think Shapeways lends itself well to that kind of part.  Kel also had a conversion for the Deluxe car. (guessing that's similar to either the Kato or Atlas?  It checked out pretty darn close to a BN one I found online.)   It too was pretty simplistic but I've got one in the works.

I'm actually building a unit train of these (I think I have 22 now? which is about unit train length for me currently) to do in Union Pacific.  I model mostly BNSF too but UP runs unit trains of these all over, including via trackage rights on the BNSF line I model.  I have them all stripped and disassembled and making mods to include the diagonal end bracing and replacing stirrups and brakewheels.   I can't seem to find anyone that has body-mounted couplers on these.
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tom mann

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 05:15:44 PM »
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I've done this.  I'll start a thread later tonight. :tommann:

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 05:04:18 AM »
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I don't have any of these cars, so I can't provide any specific help, but I have a few questions:

* Is the red under-frame part of the Walthers car?  It looks pretty solid, no?

* What is the distance from the outer edge of the bolster post to the end of the under-frame?  to the desired outer position of the draft gear opening?

If you want to go with FT's, the etched pockets could almost certainly fit there and could be made available to you before too long.  We're working on Will to sell us more couplers w/o trucks or draft gear, but that avenue is still TBD.  Not clear these cars are worth it though...

I've done this.  I'll start a thread later tonight. :tommann:

bump.

Denver Road Doug

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 12:13:09 PM »
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OK, so I did a little homework.  The following figures aren't super scientific as my caliper was dead, but they should be fairly close.
Bolster to face of metal:13/64"
Bolster to face of hopper body: 19/64"
Clearance from BLMA axle to frame:7/64"

So there appears to be plenty of room.  I assumed that because my searches were coming up nil that it was some hugely impossible task.  A MTL 1015 is tight with the BLMA trucks...guessing there are MTL couplers that are thinner but don't know that.   And that's not considering coupler height either.   MTL 905's obviously fit fine too, but their problem is the age old "mounting hole lines up right at the center of the metal/plastic seam.  (as an aside, do they make Brown 905's?) That was eyeballing it though, I'm not certain that I can't get enough of the metal to hold the screw.   Or, just glue it on maybe?

So I guess an update on my g's & d's:
-this is a unit train of older tooling cars, so lower cost is a higher priority...n-scale couplers (and really possibly even dummies) will be OK
-I want the body mounting mostly because of the ability to use BLMA (or Atlas) 100T trucks...
-...and to allow closer coupling, or else I would probably just use Atlas 100T trucks/FVM wheelsets with (gulp) Accumates, glued shut
-Would like brown couplers but not a deal killer

So, based on the above, I probably will go with an N-scale MTL coupler with clearance (if available), another (hopefully not Accumate) N-scale option, or 905's.
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ljudice

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 12:40:13 PM »
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You just know that someone is going to release this car as soon as you're finished!   :facepalm:


Denver Road Doug

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 01:05:48 PM »
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You just know that someone is going to release this car as soon as you're finished!   :facepalm:

Probably.

I've heard rumors but nothing else.   And the rumors were a different prototype although not sure I buy that if they're even true to begin with.  I started this project about a year ago and began collecting the Walthers cars, then stripping them, etc.   I posted on Trainboard and hoped that if a mfg saw it they would PM me and hint at stopping (which has happened before) but nothing.

As I do more of these projects I do find it funny the folks that complain about prices of new highly detailed freight cars and in the same breath talk about "model something".   I probably average about $9/car buying these up on eBay. (+ time)  Probaby spent 50 cents per car on alcohol stripping them. (+ time)  Paint will likely be at least 50 cents per car. (+ time)  Decals will likely end up costing $2 per car, and that includes a lot of custom artwork and printing. (+ lots of time)   Trucks and couplers will be close to $9 at a minimum. (+time)   Etched details and other detail parts will likely be close to $2. (+ time).    That's TWENTY THREE DOLLARS per car, plus a TON of time.   AND, I'll have something not even approaching as nice a model as the likes of BLMA, Trainworx, ESM, Atlas, etc.  Makes a lot of sense to me...   :trollface:    I do get it...the reward of creating something.   But I have probably 100 projects like this...maybe not all this large...but if I had to approach everything like this, I'd never achieve any of my goals.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 03:20:21 PM by Denver Road Doug »
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ljudice

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 01:53:16 PM »
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Doug, same here...

I've put together a fleet of about 20 Kato ACF and Atlas PS-2's and have recently begun stripping them and cutting the roofs off.
Also gathering photos.  I will need to do some custom decals, since there is no way I'm cutting numbers apart anymore - but I also have
a bunch of Walthers DIFCO cars already painted for BN/BNSF  (I didn't like the dark colors they came in).

The other project I've been working on is improving some LBF Greenvile 65' gons and doing a couple in BNSF - one red and one with a logo panel for the "swoosh".

- Lou

Denver Road Doug

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2013, 02:19:45 PM »
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I've done this.  I'll start a thread later tonight. :tommann:

Bump.   :P
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FEC Railway

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 07:33:37 PM »
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where are you guys with the shapeways ballast doors?

FEC Railway

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 08:57:33 AM »
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bumped again

tom mann

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2013, 09:21:03 AM »
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Bump.   :P

Sorry!  I thought I had the ballast cars but they were the greenvilles.

bbussey

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Re: Body Mounting Couplers on Walthers N Ballast Cars
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 10:43:27 AM »
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What is the problem with using #1015 couplers with the BLMA trucks?  If the axle hits the #1015 coupler box, use the #2001/2004 box instead, which has a thinner profile.  If the coupler rides too low, use the #2001/2004 knuckles.  #1015 knuckles will work in #2001/2004 boxes, and vice versa.

Bryan Busséy
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