Re: B&O wagontop models

Don Valentine

Quoting Gail Madden <tgmadden@...>:

Ted Culotta:

The side/roof castings are actually two pieces that are curved.
Each constitutes one side and half of the roof.

Martin casts the wagontop side/half-roof as one flat piece, removes
it from the mold before it is completely cured, and bends it around
a shaped mandrel. This is not a technique which will produce a
succession of exactly-matched parts.
Don Valentine:

Would it not make FAR more sense to use one such piece that he
particularly pleased with as the master for all of them? Like others
this list I have had some issues with Martin over the years but never
thought he was this foolish.
That's a pretty harsh judgment. Martin was working within the limits of
technology, which was (and still is) limited to flat casting. He's
more out of it than I would have thought possible (witness his gondola
shells), but he's still restricted to parts that can be cast in
molds, then covered with a cap sheet. Yes, the wagontop boxcar would
been a drop-dead simple one-piece body for him to cast, but he chose not
go that route. He and Al got the same closed-mold casting tutorial
within a
few months of each other back in 19<mumble>. Al made the leap and had
one-piece MILW gon kit on the market within two months, but Martin made
conscious decision to stay with flat casting. Short-sighted? Perhaps.
foolish? No - especially when you consider he can't keep up with the
for his current offerings.

You have have simply confirmed my point. My issue with Martin has
never been with his products, especially since he gave up on Steve Funaro
and began molding his own kits. But you have noted that Martin "made the
conscious decision to stay with flat casting" for an item which quite
obviously cannot be done correctly that way on a consistent basis. Thus
it would seem that rather than diminish his reputation for qaulity Martin
might have chosen not to offer such a troublesome kit to begin with. What
has occured is that a substandard model is now available from Sunshine
that will in all likelihood restrain others who might do it correctly in
the same medium, such as Al Westerfield whom you seem to acknowledge
could do it, from doing so. Let's hope Branchline does this prototype
and then we won't have to worry about it.

Don Valentine

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