Author Topic: Texas Special sleepers???  (Read 2388 times)

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thomasjmdavis

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Texas Special sleepers???
« on: August 16, 2018, 12:25:39 PM »
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I should have known it would happen- I read the description of the cars through 3 times looking for the word "classic" and could not see it.  Until, of course,
 a couple of the posters below pointed it out to me.  So for that, I owe Lowell Smith an apology.  However, I do think he should not specifically identify the car as a "14-4"
 when it clearly is not.  Leaving my original comment intact with strike throughs.


Wondering if anyone who went to the National Train Show passed by Lowell Smith's booth and took a look at samples or got info on the now announced Texas Special cars.

I got one of those weekly Model Railroader promo emails with a link to NTS report #1
http://mrr.trains.com/news-reviews/new-products/2018/08/2018-national-train-show-report-part-1

which includes the announcement of 14-4 sleepers for the Texas Special from Lowell Smith's "RailSmith" line.  So I followed up by going to his site:
https://lowellsmith.net/product/texas-special-fleet-1-sleepers/

Was all set to order one (I only need one), then noticed what should have been obvious to me from the beginning- the attached artwork shows a (formerly) Walthers 10-6 painted in Texas Special colors.

So, now I am in a quaundry... In previous announcements, he had said that there would be new body styles in addition to the existing ones (14-4 would be logical if doing a Texas Special)  He also said there would be two types of releases- prototypically accurate and "classic"- ie: stand ins. 

So, which is this?  It is advertised as a "14-4" but the graphics are clearly the same-old 10-6 that has been on the market for most of a decade (and I have several I could repaint if I wanted foobies).  Is the announcement stretching the truth, or was there a mixup on graphics in the ad?  Nothing in the MR announcement or on his page tells me whether it is accurate or a "classic"- ie- a painted 10-6 stand in.

I would ask him, but his website "contact form" (no email is made available) requires a phone number- and frankly, its a thing with me, I just don't give it out.  I have good reasons for that.  He has no need for it in order to answer a product question.  Without it the form just goes red and tells me the number is "required".

Sorry, long ramble on my part.  I have no ill will toward Lowell Smith, and hope this is a successful venture for him, but I do think he owes it to his customers to be precise in his advertising so we know what we are getting for our $43 per car plus shipping. (and that is the "pre order special" MSRP is now up to $52- at least for the TS paint scheme)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 05:30:13 PM by GaryHinshaw »
Tom D.

Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.

Point353

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 01:13:13 PM »
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I would ask him, but his website "contact form" (no email is made available) requires a phone number- and frankly, its a thing with me, I just don't give it out.  I have good reasons for that.  He has no need for it in order to answer a product question.  Without it the form just goes red and tells me the number is "required".
Do you actually have to enter your phone number, or will any ten digits suffice to allow the contact form message to be submitted?

AlbertSpor

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 01:45:27 PM »
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Hi

The artwork looks like a 10-6, and not a 14-4.
It also says CLASSIC, between the line about special pricing for 3 cars and the $119 price.
Realistically I would think that Lowell would not have had enough time to get a new body style out yet.

Albert
Albert Spor

reinhardtjh

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 01:48:11 PM »
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Quote
Description

This is all three of the first sleepers for the Texas Special.  Sleepers  ‘JAMES BOWIE’, ‘WILLIAM B. TRAVIS’ & ‘JAMES CROCKETT’.

The MKT sleepers were named for those that fought for Texas at The Alamo.

These 14-4 sleeper cars were built by Pullman in 1948 and was part of two consists of  The Texas Special. The Texas Special ran from St. Louis to San Antonio and had connecting cars to New York City and Washington DC.

The consist was as follows in 1948:

One RPO Baggage, three Chair Cars, one Coach Buffet Lounge, one Dining Car, seven Sleepers, one Buffet Lounge Observation Car.  This fourteen car train was jointly operated by the MKT and the Frisco and pulled by two E-7 locomotives. This red and silver train must have been a sight to behold!

This selection to purchase all three sleepers in the fleet deal. Note that pricing here is a PRE-ORDER special.

Classic

I'm going to agree with Albert in that I think the "Classic" at the end signals it's a foob.

I'd also try something like "(812) 555-1212" for the phone number and see what happens.

John H. Reinhardt
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 02:06:31 PM »
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Thanks all.  I have added some "clarification" to my post above.  I did read the ad for the cars through several times looking for "classic" and just could not see it.  Apologies for any confusion.  Whatever else, the Texas Special cars sure are good lookin'.
Tom D.

Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.

squirrelhunter

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 04:17:16 PM »
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Thomas,

I agree with the above posters that the car is probably a 10-6 in the Texas Special scheme. I doubt we will ever see a 14-4 in N because there were only 7 or 8 owners in the entire country and I think only Southern, MKT/SLSF and New Haven had the fluted side cars. Smooth side cars were a B&O and MoPac thing. I don't think any of them went to Amtrak or had 2nd owners.

However, the Baggage, RPO, 56 seat coaches, buffet coaches, and diner from the Texas Special trainsets went on to variously work for NP, SP&S and Amtrak. So I wouldn't be shocked if those cars were eventually tooled up.

The real question is what they do on the 2-1 buffet observation cars. Those were a signature Texas Special car, but I think they were only used by MKT/SLSF.

Point353

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 07:29:48 PM »
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Eastern Seaboard Models (@bbussey) has a set of sides available for the 14-4 sleeper:

http://esmc.com/3110/Item3111.html


squirrelhunter

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 07:46:11 PM »
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Didn't know that ESM did sides. Although since there are no Texas Special decals and core kits are rare and hen''s teeth I'm not sure it helps much in this case.

At the end of the day, I think this is mostly a question of window arrangements- you would need to add a roomette window to each side and delete a bedroom window from one side. Perhaps use the part of the ESM sides in the window band to get the right arrangement?

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 08:01:19 PM »
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Eastern Seaboard Models (@bbussey) has a set of sides available for the 14-4 sleeper:

http://esmc.com/3110/Item3111.html


The ESM sides are plan 4159- the Texas Special (MKT Frisco) car is plan 4153.  The major "spotting feature" is that the 4153 (TS) has the bedrooms at the vestibule end, while the 4159 (NH) has the bedrooms at the non-vestibule end.  The plan 4153 is available from Union Station Products, and was also made by M&R (and sold in kits by Des Plaines), but was out of stock as of 6 or 7 years ago when I tried to order one.


Didn't know that ESM did sides. Although since there are no Texas Special decals and core kits are rare and hen''s teeth I'm not sure it helps much in this case.

At the end of the day, I think this is mostly a question of window arrangements- you would need to add a roomette window to each side and delete a bedroom window from one side. Perhaps use the part of the ESM sides in the window band to get the right arrangement?
The other option is to cut away the sides from an old Walthers or Kato car and use that as a core.  In both cases, you get a better roof, and both have internal bracing, so cutting away the sides is easier than it would be on an old Con Cor car.

ESM has several car sides listed on their site, including the FEC 10-6s that ran on ACL trains, and had purple letterboards to match ACL equipment.  Most are painted and lettered- so require care to assemble, but save a whole lot of time as long as you are careful.
Tom D.

Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.

peteski

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 10:06:54 PM »
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Didn't know that ESM did sides. Although since there are no Texas Special decals and core kits are rare and hen''s teeth I'm not sure it helps much in this case.


Microscale doesn't make any appropriate decals for these cars in N scale?
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CodyO

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 10:13:09 PM »
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Another option is the Pennsy 10-6s that where painted Texas Special colors no one currently makes them but you could paint up a 10-6 and use/make Texas Special decals.

They had shadow lining in the early 50s but this was replaced by a simpler Silver and Red paint scheme in the mid 50s.
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squirrelhunter

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 10:43:07 PM »
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Peteski, I am fairly certain they do not. Steve Goen tried to get Oddballs to make a set for the red/yellow/grey diesels and MKT passenger cars, but Oddballs never came through.

Basically if you don't want to roll your own decals, you need to find an BLI PA-1 or the IM FP-7A/B sets if you want to power a Texas Special.

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2018, 10:53:17 PM »
+1
Microscale doesn't make any appropriate decals for these cars in N scale?
Nope. Not Microscale.  At least I can't find them.  Or MKT or Frisco passenger cars, period.

Circus City Decals does make them in both HO and N.
https://circusdecals.ecwid.com/The-Texas-Special-MKT-KATY-Frisco-Passenger-Car-N-Scale-Decal-Set-p84234890 (N scale)

Frankly, Microscales selection of passenger car/passenger train decals is very poor.  Once you get beyond a relatively small number of popular roads, hard to find any. Luckily, there are some other companies and several historical societies that do.  In Microscale's defense, I imagine their business model limits them to making decals where they anticipate sales in the several hundreds or larger.

Of cars I am/have modeled, in cases where decals were not included- ATSF decals are mostly Microscale with some custom ones done by Russell Straw (IIRC), L&N from Great Decals, CEI and FEC from respective historical societies, ACL- adapted from loco decals by MS and white lettering, Wabash and CWI from Gary Roe, Erie just out from Prime Mover (have been using MS steam loco decals and misc dulux lettering), and Monon are "do it myself" plus some red and white lettering, CN and GTW from Black Cat.
Tom D.

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peteski

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2018, 11:58:28 PM »
+1
Didn't know that ESM did sides. Although since there are no Texas Special decals . . .

Looks like the Circus City Decal sheet would be just what is needed, no?



That, and the ESM car sides, should give you what  you're looking for (but it is not ready-to-run - some modeling is needed).
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Texas Special sleepers???
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2018, 12:26:46 AM »
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Looks like the Circus City Decal sheet would be just what is needed, no?

That, and the ESM car sides, should give you what  you're looking for (but it is not ready-to-run - some modeling is needed).

No, it won't.

To quote myself from above:
Quote
The ESM sides are plan 4159- the Texas Special (MKT Frisco) car is plan 4153.  The major "spotting feature" is that the 4153 (TS) has the bedrooms at the vestibule end, while the 4159 (NH) has the bedrooms at the non-vestibule end.  The plan 4153 is available from Union Station Products, and was also made by M&R (and sold in kits by Des Plaines), but was out of stock as of 6 or 7 years ago when I tried to order one.

USP or M&R sides for a plan 4153 plus the decals will give you what you want.
Tom D.

Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.