Re: Old Trains, New Parts?

Jeff Pellas <jppellas@...>

      I collect and model almost exclusively with "vintage" ho locos and rolling stock but I try to do so as accurately as possible. I am on this site to help me discern the models that aren't worth upgrading from the ones that are. To do that you have to have a general knowledge not only of the prototypes that are from your choses era but also what was available from the model manufacturers. Exactly where you draw the line to decide what to collect and what to pass on is subjective. For me it has to do with, of course, what prototype is represented by a particular model, how accurate is the model car's dimensions, how accurate is the paint job, of there are discrepencies, can they be fixed or lived with.. 
     The real fun for me, though, is kit bashing cars that aren't available using various parts from vintage models. I asked, a couple weeks ago, about info regarding a Seabaord B5 boxcar. I used the diagram on this website as a guide while I have been building the model from a combination of Ulrich, Train Miniature and Silver Streak parts. I'm actually building three variants of the XM1 boxcar as used by the M&STL, Seaboard and B&M all using the Ulrich car as the starting point. 
     My models will never be good enough for competition and the closer you look, the lack of fine detail will be obvious but they will help me achieve the general look of railroading in 1944.        


-----Original Message-----
From: Garth Groff sarahsan@... [STMFC]
Sent: Sun, Apr 5, 2015 11:40 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Old Trains, New Parts?


I agree with Ben. The caboose is good, and I did an upgrade on this car many years ago (I don't own it anymore). IIRC, the gondola and flat car are acceptable, and actually have prototypes. I believe both were eventually reissued by Con-Cor. I have never seen the stock car, but the boxcar and reefer aren't worth the trouble except as nostalgia pieces. All will require metal wheels. The flanges on their wheels are about a scale foot deep.

I have long searched for a contemporary Lindberg gondola. It was about 46' long, and might have kitbashing possibilities to represent WP and Rio Grande GS cars.

Some other interesting 1950s-era cars to look for are the Gilbert 50' flat car and 40' drop-center flatcar. These were one-piece metal castings, and as I remember them, weren't all that bad. I don't know about prototypes though. Their weight made them track really well. A couple of years ago I scored a pair of Thomas 8K tank cars in remarkably good condition (their getting rare because their zamac parts tend to crumble). I found both the single-dome and twin-dome cars. These have finally been upgraded, repainted and relettered. They look pretty nice, though they're not quite up to Proto, RC or Intermountain standards.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 4/5/15 11:04 AM, Benjamin Hom b.hom@... [STMFC] wrote:
John Sykes asked:
"I have been acquiring a bunch of old Revell train models from the mid to late-1950's (about 15 so far).

My motives are two fold; first, these were the first HO trains I ever owned, when I was 7 or 8 years old. Second, some of these old Revell models were very accurate for the time (e.g., the Revell caboose is dead-on for a UPRR CA-1).

Now here's the question . . .

How much effort should I put into upgrading these trains?"

The question you need to ask yourself is "what is really my goal for these models"? If you want some representative cars from your early days in model railroading, minimal upgrades for operation (e.g., couplers, metal wheelsets) is probably all you need to do. However, if your goal is to make more accurate scale models to run with your other "Green Dot" models), beware the law of diminishing returns as all of these models will take some effort to turn into credible models, especially the reefer and stock car, which are exceptionally crude.

Ben Hom

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