Re: Kadee's new offset twin hopper

Rob Adams


Just when I was getting excited about the potential of a factory decorated Kadee car that I could legitimately own and run on my 1938 road, you've dashed my hopes. I spent some time looking through the several issues of RP Cyc that contain material about the 1935 AAR offset-side cars and your comments the differences on the early cars now make complete sense. But drats, I was really looking forward to a Mopac or two, and even a Southern car on my roster. Looks like a compromise or two will be in order. Many thanks to you and Pat for providing so much excellent material in the RP Cycs. Anyone interested in the new Kadee car should really seek out those issues (1,2,4,8,9 & 13). The answers are there and the photos will provide plenty to ponder about Kadee's next road name releases.

Regards, Rob Adams

Ed Hawkins wrote:

On Monday, April 3, 2006, at 04:55 PM, Mike Brock wrote:

Ed didn't mention Sou for some reason. Perhaps an oversight.
Not an oversight any more than I didn't mention a number of other roads
as well that don't match up with the Kadee model. Southern's 50-ton AAR
hoppers all had the other side sill arrangement, which bends upward
from the bolsters to the corner posts (like the Atlas model). Also, the
ends were different having inward-facing channels extending from the
end sills to the bottom of the end sheets. The Kadee model has angles
extending from the end sill to the top of the flat ends. Other roads
having cars of the same basic arrangement as Southern included B&O
(N-35/N-35C; further different with Duryea underframes), BM, CP, L&N,
LNE, MEC, MP, T&P, and TC.

Variations such as these in the A.A.R. standard designs, of which the
50-ton hoppers had many, are testament to the difficulties that
challenge model manufacturers that care about producing accurate scale
renderings. Some companies would produce a generic model and slap every
imaginable road name on it (I think we know of a few) while other
companies are more discriminating in meeting the definition of "close
enough." Modelers make their own determinations of what's "close
enough" and that's why I believe there will be a lot of Kadee
undecorated models sold for these purposes. The cost of the Kadee model
is significantly greater than the Athearn and Atlas models, but there's
a HUGE difference in the level of detail. What I haven't commented on
yet is the fact is that the Kadee model actually has offset sides on
the interior, something that has never been accomplished before on a
plastic 50-ton AAR hopper car model in HO scale. For loaded cars this
isn't important, but roughly half of the time these cars ran empty.

Right now in HO scale we have the Kadee model that is essentially a
<major> upgrade of the old Athearn model from the 1950s, and there's
the Atlas model that is a different configuration (the earlier version)
of the AAR Standard design. Maybe one day an Alternate Standard hopper
will become available as an accurate HO-scale model. A model
manufacturer that cares about the level of prototype accuracy being
depicted will be concerned that C&O alone had at least 5 different end
arrangements to spend money for their tooling.
Ed Hawkins


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Rob Adams
Wellman, IA
Modeling CB&Q, CRI&P and Wabash operations in Keokuk, IA,
the Wabash Bluffs, IL to Keokuk branch, and the CB&Q's Keokuk & Western branch, circa 1938

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