Author Topic: Let's talk rolling stock  (Read 1979 times)

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daniel_leavitt2000

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Let's talk rolling stock
« on: May 15, 2020, 06:14:31 PM »
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With the design work nearly complete for the Walthers PD hopper upgrade kit, in eager to see if interest picks up once you see a competed conversation.

I also realize this was probably a kit too specialized to introduce a new unproven manufacturer with. But I would like to see if there is interest in special projects. BLMA, GMM and Trainworx all made etched parts to help grow their business. And this is something I would eventually like to achieve.

Here are a few ideas that have been looking at.

1. Generic modern upgrade kit. Etched brake wheels, crossover platforms, short ladders, uncoupling lever grabs and drill jig. There would be enough materials to convert three cars. All parts would include multiple styles for variety.

2. Etched conversion box to adapt truck mounted MTL or Accumate couplers for use on the body. This has been an issue with me as I have 1000 cars to convert and it drives me nuts that I need new coupler kits because the boxes on the trucks don't mount well to the body.

3. A full resin and etched freight car kit. This would be a long way off. I would also need a large number of conformed orders before trying something like this. The body would be 3D printed and that master would be used for resin casting. I'm experienced in resin casting and this would be able to keep the cost of a multimedia kit like this down.

But what cars would you be interested in? What are the biggest holes in N?

No guarantee on any of this. And I think after the PD project, John need both a break and big raise lol.

Comments? Thoughts?
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prr7161

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 07:32:00 PM »
+1
As far as No. 3 goes, one of the big holes is reasonably accurate transition-era gondolas.  The Micrtrains cars are nice in their way, but are either too long or too short for the prototypes painted, have different #s of ribs, etc.  And they ride high.

A solid trio of USRA mill gons, AAR 52'-6" gondolas, and Greenville 15-panel gons would cover a huge number of prototype cars and be decent stand-ins for many more.


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cjm413

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2020, 07:51:58 PM »
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With the design work nearly complete for the Walthers PD hopper upgrade kit, in eager to see if interest picks up once you see a competed conversation.

I also realize this was probably a kit too specialized to introduce a new unproven manufacturer with. But I would like to see if there is interest in special projects. BLMA, GMM and Trainworx all made etched parts to help grow their business. And this is something I would eventually like to achieve.

Here are a few ideas that have been looking at.

1. Generic modern upgrade kit. Etched brake wheels, crossover platforms, short ladders, uncoupling lever grabs and drill jig. There would be enough materials to convert three cars. All parts would include multiple styles for variety.

2. Etched conversion box to adapt truck mounted MTL or Accumate couplers for use on the body. This has been an issue with me as I have 1000 cars to convert and it drives me nuts that I need new coupler kits because the boxes on the trucks don't mount well to the body.

3. A full resin and etched freight car kit. This would be a long way off. I would also need a large number of conformed orders before trying something like this. The body would be 3D printed and that master would be used for resin casting. I'm experienced in resin casting and this would be able to keep the cost of a multimedia kit like this down.

But what cars would you be interested in? What are the biggest holes in N?

No guarantee on any of this. And I think after the PD project, John need both a break and big raise lol.

Comments? Thoughts?

#2 -  MTL uses 1023 couplers on their trucks, all you need to do is order 1023 coupler boxes and lids direct from MTL customer service.  There are tons of options for Accumates...

cjm413

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2020, 08:06:47 PM »
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Re: Accumates

- can be used to replace broken 1015's inside of the 1015 coupler box, also McHenry couplers in the McHenry coupler box, Bachmann's "boxing gloves"
 
-Purchase new coupler boxes

http://www.athearn.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=ATH16788

https://www.shapeways.com/shops/wuttervehicles
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=21980.0

-Scratchbuild new coupler boxes:
https://www.shapeways.com/shops/wuttervehicles

I've also used styrene channel to mount Accumates directly to the underframe on cars that need underslung couplers, first example that comes to mind are the various FVM 50' cars.  I'll dig one up and send a picture.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 08:10:13 PM by cjm413 »

cjm413

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2020, 08:44:42 PM »
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This car has McHenry couplers mounted to the bottom of the frame with styrene channel, but the concept is the same with Accumates.

The picture of the coupler box is admittedly terrible...


« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 09:42:55 PM by cjm413 »

nkalanaga

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020, 12:53:42 AM »
+1
CJM413:  Ordering new boxes from MT is easy.  I did it eight years ago, 500 pairs, and converted all of my truck-mounted KD/MTs to body-mount.  Yes, some are old enough to be KDs.

I still have a bunch of boxes left over, and a few trucks with couplers, so I'm set for 1025s for a long time, especially since most new cars come with body-mount couplers.

And, like you, I've body-mounted Accumates.  Building extended draft gear for cushion underframe cars is fairly easy.  Adding couplers to lowered GHQ AAR flatcars was a pain, as the car floor was too thick for any coupler I had except the offset-shank from MT's TOFC cars.  That box on that one was too thick to clear the axles.  So, I built up the end sills to hold the springs on the Accumates, and pinned the couplers directly to the bottom of car!  A 1/32 inch brass rod through the floor, a 1/16 inch brass tube to get it up to the right diameter, and a 0.01 brass cover to hold everything together.  A dab of CA holds the cover in place.
N Kalanaga
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sd45elect2000

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 08:23:18 AM »
+1
As far as No. 3 goes, one of the big holes is reasonably accurate transition-era gondolas.  The Micrtrains cars are nice in their way, but are either too long or too short for the prototypes painted, have different #s of ribs, etc.  And they ride high.

A solid trio of USRA mill gons, AAR 52'-6" gondolas, and Greenville 15-panel gons would cover a huge number of prototype cars and be decent stand-ins for many more.

I second the gondolas and add steam era tank cars, something other then a ACF type 27 car. Maybe a two dome UTLX car or a high walkway GATX car. There are still many holes.

ncbqguy

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2020, 02:35:27 PM »
+1
Daniel-
Maybe the answers are a little off mark of the question....
If I read your opening correctly it seems you are looking for upgrade ideas using etched, RP, or resin parts.....not full blown complete production hard tooled new cars.
If you and the other people involved have a preference to era that should factor in as well.  Success is harder when a product line lacks focus.
While there was a time when transition era stuff dominated so much “modern” equipment has been released in the last decades that there is an even need for state of the art products across steam, transition, and a couple of modern epochs that would be commercially viable.
All the comments are on mark but not necessarily for your situation.
Charlie Vlk
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cjm413

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2020, 04:42:40 PM »
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Daniel-
Maybe the answers are a little off mark of the question....
If I read your opening correctly it seems you are looking for upgrade ideas using etched, RP, or resin parts.....not full blown complete production hard tooled new cars.
If you and the other people involved have a preference to era that should factor in as well.  Success is harder when a product line lacks focus.
While there was a time when transition era stuff dominated so much “modern” equipment has been released in the last decades that there is an even need for state of the art products across steam, transition, and a couple of modern epochs that would be commercially viable.
All the comments are on mark but not necessarily for your situation.
Charlie Vlk
Railroad Model Resources

I read #2 as "a product that allows couplers (and in some cases, springs) from truck mounted coupler boxes to be reused as frame/body mounted couplers without buying a completely new set of couplers and coupler boxes"

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2020, 01:17:30 PM »
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I read #2 as "a product that allows couplers (and in some cases, springs) from truck mounted coupler boxes to be reused as frame/body mounted couplers without buying a completely new set of couplers and coupler boxes"

If the 1023 coupler box is available separately and cheap, that would certainly fill the void. Basically I need to transport the guts of the truck mounted couplers to a body mount package. The truck boxes are far too large to fit where I need them.

Upgrade kits:
I was thinking items similar to the PD project. The Atlas ACF 5250 would be a good candidate for a full upgrade including end cages. These could also be used in the 2 bay ACF.

I also think a kit for some of the Walthers cars is probably due because Atlas won't. A Russell plow kit with a front coupler, hand rails, steps, walkways, headlights, and a front truck with proper wheel spacing.

The ballast hopper could really use new end cages and grabs.

Maybe an ACF Flex Flo upgrade for the AHM car but I think a full car kit would be easier in the end. The body lends itself to easy casting.

A late transition era gondola could be an interesting project. I imagine it would be cast as a flat kit. Something that covers early 50's to late 90's.
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2020, 01:25:05 PM »
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I think, if you want to be successful with this, you want stuff with the widest audience.

I think upgrades for Atlas Trainman (and Bachmann and Model Power) cars is a good start. Those things are UBIQUITOUS.

I'd love an upgrade for the beer can tank car.

You know what else would be cool? Generic tank car railings. I've seen a bunch of videos of MTL tank car style cars retrofitted with railings around the domes.

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2020, 01:56:39 PM »
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Ed, could you show me some photos of what you mean?

I have always thought the GMM kits are good.
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peteski

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2020, 05:03:32 PM »
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I'd love an upgrade for the beer can tank car.


Plano sells beer can tank railing/ladder upgrade - I just bough few recently.
http://www.planomodelproducts.com/ntankcar_scq.html
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cjm413

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Re: Let's talk rolling stock
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2020, 07:50:57 PM »
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If the 1023 coupler box is available separately and cheap, that would certainly fill the void. Basically I need to transport the guts of the truck mounted couplers to a body mount package. The truck boxes are far too large to fit where I need them.

Upgrade kits:
I was thinking items similar to the PD project. The Atlas ACF 5250 would be a good candidate for a full upgrade including end cages. These could also be used in the 2 bay ACF.

I also think a kit for some of the Walthers cars is probably due because Atlas won't. A Russell plow kit with a front coupler, hand rails, steps, walkways, headlights, and a front truck with proper wheel spacing.

The ballast hopper could really use new end cages and grabs.

Maybe an ACF Flex Flo upgrade for the AHM car but I think a full car kit would be easier in the end. The body lends itself to easy casting.

A late transition era gondola could be an interesting project. I imagine it would be cast as a flat kit. Something that covers early 50's to late 90's.

The last time I ordered 1023 coupler boxes and lids (sold separately) they were $0.25 each, so $1.00 per car, not including 00-90 screws.