Re: AHM double-door double-sheathed boxcar prototype?


At the time AHM (Bernie Paul) toolmakers were all in Europe; Roco and other minor manufacturers, and it is doubtful any of them had ever seen any US rail equipment. They did, however, know toy trains.

I've always been under the impression that Bernie's product development consisted of sending an existing product sample along with some pictures with a note that said, basically, "Make this, but make it look like that." A good example is the AHM PS-1, both the first iteration made by Roco and the second, tooled by Lilliput; It's a faithful copy of the Athearn "blue box" 40' boxcar with different detailing. The key is the edge of the roof; Athearn's tool designer modified the angle of the edge of the roof panels so that the rivets could be cut in the roof insert and still de-mold, although on later production a lot of them tended to shear off. The AHM PS-1 faithfully copies this bogus profile for no good reason, as I don't recall the AHM car even having rivets in this area.

I seem to recall TYCO had a wood DS double door model, although it may have been Cox, at any rate it featured a running board molded integral with the panel roof. This is likely the "prototype" (in the truest sense of the word) for the AHM model.

Dennis Storzek

---In STMFC@..., <blindog@...> wrote :

Life has many mysteries, like how, many years ago, AHM could tool up a rather accurate plug-door PS-1 (certainly by the standards of the day it was nice), then turn around and tool up a strange 40' double-sheathed boxcar with double wood 6' doors, early dreadnaught ends, and a smooth panel roof with exterior carlines, all riding on that PS-1's underframe. The toolmakers didn't usually just invent car designs out of whole cloth. They usually had at least a crude erawing to work from. Question is, a drawing of whose car? Obviously they reused the existing underframe, as I would expect a double-sheathed box like this to have a heavier, fishbelly frame. But the other details seem like an odd mix.

The model was given to me when I was young (circa 1975) and has languished in my pile of stuff for years. It is destined to become an MofW boxcar on a friend's semi-freelanced layout, where it can be useful without provoking the Prototype Police. If nothing else it is different.

Scott Chatfield

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