Author Topic: Replacement Covered Hopper Tops  (Read 729 times)

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basementcalling

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Replacement Covered Hopper Tops
« on: November 13, 2023, 12:29:10 AM »
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Does anyone know if some intrepid designer has created a replacement top for the old Precision Masters/Red Caboose 4750 series hoppers from the 90s/early 2000s?

These cars were decent hopper offerings before the days of Intermountain versions of this prototype, but the car's biggest lack compared to more modern offerings are the hatches and walkways. They are all molded as a one piece top to the car, removable for adding weight.

To my non 3D printing trained brain, it ought to be possible to make a replacement roof section, either with attached trough or individual hatches, and in the case of the trough hatches, separate pieces that could snap in place to allow mix and matching of types/colors. The new roof section would have the supports for etched brass/stainless steel walkways, perhaps, though with a few of the photos @GaryHinshaw has posted of his new tank car ends, printing the roof with walkways with perforations might even be an option.

Any interest or am I out of my ever loving mind?
« Last Edit: November 13, 2023, 12:30:50 AM by basementcalling »
Peter Pfotenhauer

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Re: Replacement Covered Hopper Tops
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2023, 10:31:16 AM »
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I would have mild interest.   I still think the old PM/RC cars hold up quite well despite the lack of etched metal, but I'm not arguing that an upgrade wouldn't be nice. 

I have found myself selectively buying them upon my return, because they're cheap and have some nice muted/faded colors like "The Rock" and some others.  For a faded ex-Rock CNW car their Rock Island car is a great starting point.   And they're still better than Atlas' 2ft thick walkways on their Trainman car.

If nothing else, having some alternate trough hatches would be nice.
Doug

basementcalling

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Re: Replacement Covered Hopper Tops
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2023, 12:32:50 PM »
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They are kinda surprisingly hard to find for sale used, which makes me think most people who have them still like them. The trucks were complete junk, but easily converted to MT. Body mounting was a harder job.
Peter Pfotenhauer

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Re: Replacement Covered Hopper Tops
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2023, 01:53:57 PM »
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I thought the Fox Valley most recent version was superb with metal etched walkways. I'd love to see these roofs available to retro-fit the old PM RC cars; but while we're at it, how 'bout a round hatch replacement roof for models of the 4740 GM&O and Southern cars?

Peachymike

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Re: Replacement Covered Hopper Tops
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2023, 05:51:01 PM »
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Any interest or am I out of my ever loving mind?

I think we are all out of our minds!  :) But I think it’s totally doable. I do a lot of drawing for a couple of local small manufacturers, they are doing 3d prints of complete cars, (as do I) so a roof should be an easy one. I’d offer to have a go, but I’m a little overloaded at the moment, the job that pays the mortgage keeps getting in the way of the fun stuff. If you can find an etched roof walk it might be the better option. Yes it could be printed, but I think the etched version would be a bit more resilient. If you could find enough interest, it might be worth contacting PPD ltd. To have the etched parts made. They are a pretty decent company to work with, very tuned into modellers and happy to do anything from one sheet to hundreds.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Replacement Covered Hopper Tops
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2023, 05:02:02 PM »
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Just catching up with this.  I agree that a replacement roof could be printed, and I also agree that an etched roof walk would probably be better than a printed one.  I'd mainly be concerned about maintaining flatness between the supports, though it would be worth a try.  Sadly it's not a project I have any bandwidth for at the moment...

ednadolski

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Re: Replacement Covered Hopper Tops
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2023, 12:09:18 AM »
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If you can find an etched roof walk it might be the better option. Yes it could be printed, but I think the etched version would be a bit more resilient.

Printed parts depend on the specific printer, and can get pretty delicate esp. if they have to be thin.  Removing them from the supports can become an issue. Even for an etched part, you probably want to go with some pretty thin stainless steel, if you wanted to get anywhere close to prototype perforation sizes.  Then there is also the matter of how to paint the parts w/o obscuring the detail.

I think we are all out of our minds!  :)

The trick with detailing is, after you upgrade one thing, then the next overscaled details seem more apparent. After roofwalks, then it may become stirrups, then couplers, then end cages, etc.  It becomes a matter of how far you are willing to take it ;)

Ed