Re: Warped Plastic Gondola

Benjamin Hom

Paul Hillman wrote:
“How this all started is; ....Athearn is offering a C&EI, 95300-95399 series
C&EI gondola. It is generally accurate only in car-type numbering, otherwise
it's "generic". The model has 10 panels and the prototype car had only 8,
side-panels. (This was all mentioned in the C&EIHS Volume 29:1 "Flyer" Magazine
along with scale dwgs. of the prototype.)

I noticed, then, that I have this old gondola sitting here which has the correct
8 panels, and all of the dimensions are pretty close to the prototype dwgs.,
except for the "slight" warp it developed over the years. (Don't know when I
acquired it.)”

Tim O'Connor replied:
“Paul, I thought every AHM car said AHM in the tooling, so you should not have
to guess.”
True, but this is one of those models that have been copied time and time
again.  Versions of this 40 ft, 8-panel gon model with Dreadnaught ends have
been offered by Varney, Life-Like, AHM, and Walthers, and a couple of AHM/IHC
successor firms that I don’t recall at the moment.  I think the Varney car was
probably first, but I'll have to work the advertising timelines, and frankly,
that's not high on the priority list.  
“I agree with Ben it's probably not worth the energy to heat the oven to fix as
you can probably find a free replacement from almost anywhere.”
I wasn’t kidding – if you really want to do this project, I’ll send you a
replacement model for free.  It really isn’t worth fixing the shell you have
unless you want to satisfy Bilbo’s curiosity on fixing warped shells.
(BTW, I’ve had success with using both boiling water and a heat gun – an
inexpensive industrial-grade one I picked up at Fry’s years go which has more
“oomph” than a hair dryer.  The key is working slowly and carefully.  Dennis is
correct – the oven is a bad solution for styrene.  I once had a number of
slightly warped Tichy running boards which I tried to straighten in the oven. 
They turned into cooked spaghetti.)
Tim added:
“I am amazed you found a prototype for the model! :-)”
I am too.  We’ve been looking for years for a prototype for this model, and I’m
a bit skeptical about Paul’s call on this one.  I’ll have to pick a copy of the
reference and see for myself.

Ben Hom

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