Author Topic: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)  (Read 1695 times)

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BCR 570

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2021, 11:23:54 PM »
+1
Interesting thread and timely as this weekend I have been installing interior bracing in what will likely be my last car built from this kit.  It was certainly the first prototypical Canadian car in N Scale as far as I can recall.

I had a front row of sorts during development of these various kits as I was working in Pacific N Scale on Saturdays during the early 1980s and watched these kits materialize.  They certainly gave me hope of modelling a Canadian railway one day.  Up until this point we had to make do with Canadian schemes on American cars.  We have come a long way since then, as the thread on The Canadian illustrates so well.

As for the woodchip car, to this day it remains one of only a very few such cars in N Scale.  I built two of the first kits to be made available which went into the store display case for many years.  As Craig has mentioned, one of them was unfortunately stolen, and the other was returned to me when the store in New Westminster closed.  I was very much a novice modeller in those days and the kits were built pretty much as is.

I followed these first two cars up with a set of eight for my own use.  With these cars I provided additional weight, a second floor to hide it and help keep the sides straight, and internal top bracing.  These cars ran at shows for many years.  With new and better models now approaching completion, they will soon be retired.

Some years ago I decided to try building some new cars with the goal of upgrading them as much as possible.  I replaced the molded brake appliances with cast brass parts, the molded grab irons with etched brass ones, formed wire top grab iron and cut levers, etched brake wheel and end platform, an assembly jig and internal floor to straighten the walls, and thinner internal top bracing with gusset plates.  These cars turned out quite well and were the subject of an article in N-Scale Magazine   (Nov-Dec 2012).

As I began operating sessions on my layout a few years ago, it became evident that i had a serious shortage of woodchip cars.  In recent months I have built an additional ten kits to the same latest standard which are currently receiving decals.

The woodchip car kit is still available from George; if anyone has an interest send me a PM with your email and I can have George contact you.

Tim
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca

nkalanaga

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2021, 12:29:24 AM »
0
Spades:  Very little for standard gauge.  The only one I can remember was a BN 50 ft log car, one of their rebuilt boxcar versions.  I did several narrow gauge models, but again, they were cars I wanted, and didn't want to have to build multiples of. 

As far as I know, all are still in his catalog, although I haven't looked at his site in years, not needing anything.  Be careful Googling his website, though, as "Republic Locomotive" also gets you a prototype locomotive builder!  Adding the "Works" clears up the confusion.

craigolio1:  Thank you!  I'm surprised that they, and other chip cars, don't show up more often on Northwest-inspired layouts.  The paper mills and chipboard factories weren't always close to sawmills, so the chip cars got around. 

Bob:  I never was interested in superdetailing brass locos (didn't have the money to buy that many), but I did turn the flanges on those old Kadee/MT wheels, mostly in the late 80s, at work.  The computer center was very slow overnight, just waiting for the reports to finish printing, so I made a dummy axle to fit my Dremel, and turned probably a thousand wheelsets while waiting.  The then-new RP-25 wheels were nice, but, again, why buy new ones when I could rework the old?  They've mostly been replaced by now, mostly with Precision Masters wheels, but they did work.  Now I need to replace THOSE with metal ones, hopefully before I die.  I haven't retired yet, so there's time.

DKS:  Thank you!  I couldn't remember exactly when they were first released, but they were available before I needed them, in the early 70s.

Carter:  I've used the CS Models wrapped lumber kits, and printed my own sheets, including one I made for my own lumber company.  That was a job, because I did it back in MS-DOS days, on a dot-matrix printer.  A literal cut-and-paste job, I designed, pasted-up, and printed it by copying the paste-up on the computer room copier!  For flatcar loads, I finally gave up on individual blocks, and used long strips, wrapping a strip with individual wrappers to get the random log placements, then scoring the joints for added depth.  It looks almost identical, and the rows are MUCH easier to keep straight!
N Kalanaga
Be well

bbussey

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2021, 01:03:35 AM »
+1
Of course I understand that there are many other items that pushed the hobby forward, but if it wasn’t for guys who were ambitious like this, to make a kit for a railway that didn’t send the car all over North America, in a scale not yet known for custom building, where would we be? They were certainly pioneers.

I strongly disagree.  As a modeler who was around at the beginning of N, Micro-Trains nee-Kadee jumped things forward in a major way toward prototype – first with their revolutionary coupler design and then with their freight cars.  That was in 1969 and 1972 respectively.  Then Atlas reset the standard and established the current foundation for motive power with the introduction of the RS-3 in 1980.  All current magnetic N scale couplers are a variation of the original Kadee design, and the overwhelming majority of the quality motive power designs are descendants of the Atlas/Kato efforts in the 1980s.  Those three significant events cemented N scale as a prototype scale.  There also were prototype-specific and accurate esoteric models on the market long before the woodchip kits appeared that still stand up today.  For example, the Kadee/Micro-Trains stockcar is a specific and prototypically-accurate New York Central prototype that first hit the market in 1974, which included a prototypically-accurate New York Central deco'd model in the initial release.  Their first wood-sheathed caboose (1975) is an SP-specific prototype that has been released multiple times in SP; the 40' wood reefer (1976) is a PFE-specific prototype that has been released dozens of times in PFE; the riveted mechanical reefer (1989) is an FGE-specific prototype with six releases - Kadee/MTL models all released well before the CSM kit that easily hold up today.  And other manufacturers' pre-1990 products are in that category as well.  Kato passenger equipment models that first appeared back then are still being released in current sets.  The ones that easily come to mind are the UP-prototype smoothside coach and UP-prototype smoothside diner.
Bryan Busséy
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peteski

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2021, 01:28:54 AM »
+2
I have to agree with Bryan B., DKS, and others that developments other than the CS Models woodchip car kit were much more instrumental in making N scale more than a mere toy.

I'm not trying to take away from CS Models kit's role in N scale, but it was really more of a small blip than being instrumental in making N scale a "prototypical" scale.  I also own the vehicle models and I think the lumber loads I have are also from CS Models. both are very well done.
. . . 42 . . .

Tad_T

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2021, 02:01:18 AM »
0
Disclaimer:  I did the original masters for the RLW chip car - because I decided it would be easier to have him cast them, than to build a half dozen from scratch!  Considering that the prototypes were built in Portland, and run by the SP, GN, SP&S, and BN (that I know of), I'm surprised that Micro-Trains hasn't made one.

The Ashley, Drew, & Northern had a bunch of those cars.

I have a few of those RLW kits in my “to build” box.

Thanks for making the masters.

Missaberoad

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2021, 03:15:58 AM »
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the 40' wood reefer (1976) is a PFE-specific prototype that has been released dozens of times in PFE

Hate to pick nits but the Micro Trains 40' wood reefer is a 1926 FGE / WFE prototype not a PFE car.
Still a very accurate model and has been done in GN/WFE a number of times.

AFAIK no one has made an accurate PFE wood reefer in N scale.

Edit: here is a mostly original car in GN paint... note that in the 1930s most of these cars were modified with Hutchens steel roofs (like the ones on the Intermountain 1927 cars)

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 05:05:39 AM by Missaberoad »
Ryan in Alberta

signalmaintainer

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2021, 08:03:02 AM »
0
Well said, @bbussey. Although there were many contributors toward N scale's move into a serious modeling medium, Kadee, Kato (Remember the Con-Cor Alco PA?), and Atlas were the key drivers. Minitrix too, to a degree.

And let's not overlook Model Railroader's Clinchfield series.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 08:04:39 AM by signalmaintainer »
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Wlal13again

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2021, 08:31:43 AM »
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I always thought the N Scale "bust out " moment was when MR did the Clinchfield.
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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2021, 08:33:23 AM »
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Then Atlas reset the standard and established the current foundation for motive power with the introduction of the RS-3 in 1980.

1983, actually.

-Mark

bbussey

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2021, 10:40:41 AM »
0
1983, actually.

My mistake.  I was a regular squatter at the Atlas offices back then, so I saw it through the development phase.

Hate to pick nits but the Micro Trains 40' wood reefer is a 1926 FGE / WFE prototype not a PFE car.
Still a very accurate model and has been done in GN/WFE a number of times.

Agreed, still applies.  Though in nearly 50 years, MTL has yet to release an FGE scheme on the model unfortunately.
Bryan Busséy
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mmagliaro

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #40 on: May 03, 2021, 11:09:56 AM »
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I appreciate the trip down memory lane, and the kudos for CS Models.  But I too, quibble with the dates and accuracy of the claim.  I started in N in 1986, and never used Rapido couplers.  I either bought Microtrains, or converted the handful of "junk" cars I bought initially when I didn't know any better.  And while my first engine was a Bachmann junker, after that came the Kato Hudson, Kato F units, and an MRC Berkshire.  There was good stuff around in the 1980s.  You just had to know what to look for.

cjm413

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #41 on: May 03, 2021, 11:30:17 AM »
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Hate to pick nits but the Micro Trains 40' wood reefer is a 1926 FGE / WFE prototype not a PFE car.
Still a very accurate model and has been done in GN/WFE a number of times.

AFAIK no one has made an accurate PFE wood reefer in N scale.

Edit: here is a mostly original car in GN paint... note that in the 1930s most of these cars were modified with Hutchens steel roofs (like the ones on the Intermountain 1927 cars)

(Attachment Link)

Fine N Scale makes a R-50-1 kit

thomasjmdavis

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2021, 11:34:22 AM »
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Though in nearly 50 years, MTL has yet to release an FGE scheme on the model unfortunately.
I'll take a runner pack of wood FGE cars.  I may just break down and do it myself.
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Mark5

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2021, 11:50:44 AM »
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Agreed, still applies.  Though in nearly 50 years, MTL has yet to release an FGE scheme on the model unfortunately.

@MTLJoe

nickelplate759

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2021, 12:05:38 PM »
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I bought and built one of those CS woodchip car kits years ago, but lacking any idea of what the prototype looked like I struggled with it, and had no idea what paint scheme or decals to use.  I recall that the side were more than a little warped as well.

Still these flat kits were a great idea and I had fun with it.  For me the most influential kit of that era was the Columbia Car & Foundry  doodlebug body.  I still have that one, with a drivetrain cobbled together from an old MRC/Mehano C420 with a Sagami motor.  Building that taught me a whole bunch of new skills.  It doesn't run all that smoothly, but it does run, and it looked good enough to win a prize in the only modelling contest I ever entered.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.