Author Topic: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars  (Read 1156 times)

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nkalanaga

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Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« on: March 03, 2019, 02:41:39 PM »
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I was quite excited when Rail Smith announced that they would be doing the 1950s Empire Builder.  However, so far, none of the cars seem to be actual GN prototypes.  They're nice looking models, but the window patterns don't match prototype photos.

I've never bought any rolling stock from Rail Smith.  Does Rail Smith use generic artwork, and then make an accurate model, or are their models simply "what's available", in the desired paint?

For a $40+ passenger car, I want a reasonable accurate body.  Con-Cor/Kato at least go the window arrangements right 50 years ago!
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 09:26:54 AM by GaryHinshaw »
N Kalanaga
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C855B

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2019, 02:48:42 PM »
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New offering? My understanding is they are from former Walthers tooling purchased by Lowell (Smith). Don't know the prototype attributions, but to more directly answer your question it amounts to "what's available".
...mike

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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2019, 08:54:59 PM »
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The prototypes for the ex-Walthers cars

Sleeper is a Pullman Standard plan 4140, owned by PRR and several roads that interchanged with them.  The fluted version is a 4140 variant (4140F, I think) and was owned by several railroads involved in the Southern's Crescent service.  NP had a couple, and SP had a bunch (4140C if the notes I have are correct), but I am not sure if any other Western roads had plan 4140- although at first glance, it is very similar to the ACF cars ATSF had (but those are already made by Kato). It is a fairly generic 10 roomette- 6 double bedroom car.

Coach is a NYC 64 seat, built by PS, and I think NYC had them both fluted and smooth (or removed the fluting in later years?).  Again, they are quite similar to cars on some other roads.  Very close, IIRC, to the MKT/Frisco cars used on the Texas Special.

Smooth side baggage car was based on a small order delivered to the Chicago Great Western in the early- mid 1950s.  I am not sure that either of the fluted baggage cars had an actual prototype, but they produced them fully fluted  and also lower fluting only (similar to some C&O cars).  There were similar cars on several roads, depending on how picky you are on door styles and location.
Tom D.

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

Point353

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2019, 12:30:39 AM »
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I was quite excited when Rail Smith announced that they would be doing the 1950s Empire Builder.  However, so far, none of the cars seem to be actual GN prototypes.  They're nice looking models, but the window patterns don't match prototype photos.
I've never bought any rolling stock from Rail Smith.  Does Rail Smith use generic artwork, and then make an accurate model, or are their models simply "what's available", in the desired paint?
For a $40+ passenger car, I want a reasonable accurate body. 
Based upon the following description from the RailSmith site, you'll have to decide if what RailSmith calls "very, very close" is good enough for you.

"Great attention will be given to the paint, lettering, colors, and scale, to match historical societies and actual production records.

The RailSmith 10/6 Sleeper is based on the common Pullman Plan 4140. In some cases, a prototype may have had the roomettes on the vestibule end (a different floor plan of a 10/6 sleeper). In the case of a variation such as that, I will label these small variations as “CLASSIC” on the insert packaging.

A ‘Classic’ car is very, very close to the actual car but not 100%. Otherwise, a model that is 100% prototype will show “PROTO” on the insert label. In a coach example, the RailSmith coach is a Pullman 64-seat coach. I plan to produce, under the “CLASSIC” label, a 52-seat coach. As long as it was still built by Pullman and has the rectangular-shaped windows, it is my belief that a correctly decorated railcar with window arrangement close to prototype will be well accepted and appreciated by the modeling community. Especially since no other car like it may ever be done in that scheme. Most all other passenger car producers do this but don’t indicate when a car is ‘close’."


« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 11:01:34 AM by Point353 »

nkalanaga

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 12:51:04 AM »
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The GN never owned a 10-6 sleeper, so I know they're not correct.  The coaches are closer, and the 1947 Empire Builder had 60-seat coaches built by Pullman.  The 1950s cars were by ACF, but the window arrangement appears to be the same.

The current 64 seat coach has 8 windows, where the GN had 7 wide and one narrow.  I'll have to wait and see what the 52 seat car has.

I'll admit that I'm being picky, mostly because my railroad has no regularly scheduled passenger service, and I'm on a budget. 
N Kalanaga
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Ike the BN Freak

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 01:04:23 AM »
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Having talked to Lowell at a few shows and via email, he does desire to make additional cars at a later date. However currently he is limited to the ex-Walther's tooling.

However, I am still hopeful that Kato does an accurate 1955 EB, as I need 5 cars from the set to make into BN business cars.

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 09:22:00 AM »
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Per the RailSmith webpage:
Quote
A ‘Classic’ car is very, very close to the actual car but not 100%.

To judge how "close" is "very, very close" in RailSmith terms....

As we know, the prototype for the sleeper is a Plan 4140 sleeper (Lowell Smith himself notes this on his main page for RailSmith cars).  The RailSmith GN Empire Builder cars are lettered for cars in the "Pass" series (Lewis and Clark Pass, etc).
GN "Pass" series is a 6 roomette- 5 bedroom- 2 compartment car (plan #?)

So that is how close "very, very close" is in the eyes of Lowell Smith. Whether his definition is "close enough" is up to the modeler. The correct car sides are available from Brass Car Sides, for those not willing to wait for Kato to get around to it. 

Tom D.

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

Ngineer

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2019, 12:46:35 PM »
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NP had a couple, and SP had a bunch (4140C if the notes I have are correct), but I am not sure if any other Western roads had plan 4140

Correct. The NP hat exactly two 4140C sleepers: # 364 and # 365.

Both were painted at least in two different paint schemes: The Loewy green scheme and the SP Cascade scheme, lettered for Northern Pacific.

   Javier

OldEastRR

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2019, 05:47:09 PM »
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I think you'll be waiting a long time for a KATO EB. I wonder why KATO doesn't make American passenger sets of trains with songs written about them, like "Orange Blossom Special" or "City of New Orleans". Seems like the market for those would be for more than just model rails. What other songs are named for famous trains?

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2019, 06:45:29 PM »
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Wabash Cannonball.
Tom D.

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

coldriver

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2019, 07:36:12 PM »
+1


Correct. The NP hat exactly two 4140C sleepers: # 364 and # 365.

Both were painted at least in two different paint schemes: The Loewy green scheme and the SP Cascade scheme, lettered for Northern Pacific.

   Javier


Speaking of the NP 364 and 365, Lowell has released models of both.  The photo shows Lowell's model below vs the previous Walthers release above.  Obviously it's the same tooling, but nicely upgraded on the windows and grabs. 

cjm413

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2019, 09:49:00 PM »
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Kato Empire Builder 2.0.....

nkalanaga

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2019, 02:12:36 AM »
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Yes, I saw the prototype for the NP sleeper, years ago, in Pasco.  Nothing wrong with that model.

The main reason NP bought those two cars was for through service with the SP, so it makes sense that they were built to an SP design.

I have quite a few of the Brass Car Sides, some built, some stashed for future use, along with core kits for those.  They do make nice cars, but also take considerable work, especially if you want the underbody detail close to correct.
N Kalanaga
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bbussey

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2019, 07:31:59 AM »
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In addition to verifying whether the bodystyle is prototypical for a railroad, I would advise also confirming the car name/number is accurate before purchasing.
Bryan Busséy
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Ngineer

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Re: Rail Smith Empire Builder cars
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2019, 07:40:38 AM »
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Speaking of the NP 364 and 365, Lowell has released models of both.  The photo shows Lowell's model below vs the previous Walthers release above.  Obviously it's the same tooling, but nicely upgraded on the windows and grabs.

@colddriver

Can you PLEASE show us the other side? That's where the important difference between 4140 and 4140C is.

I already have the two from Walthers, numbered 364 and 365 as per their decals.

What I don't know for sure: Did they have small white Pullman lettering? At least for a short period? The newer model has it, but I'm not sure they had always this Pullman lettering.

On a side note:

RailSmith has announced the PRR Stoney Rapids. GREAT. I wonder why Kato never made this car. AFAIK it travelled on the CoSF.

But on which train did it travel between Chicago and the east coast?

   Javier
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 10:58:24 AM by Ngineer »