Re: Triple Hoppers


benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

Cleaning out some old e-mails and found this one from April 2006 that
was never answered:

Armand Premo asked:
"Are there any good models of a quad hopper other than Bowser's or
Westerfield's (both Pennsy}?"

Depends on what you define as "good", as each of the following models
will need work:

Athearn/AHM (Roco)/Tyco/Bachmann (Cox) Offset Quad Hoppers:
The Athearn HO scale offset quad hopper, along with the Athearn 40 ft
prewar AAR boxcar are possibly the most copied models in the history
in the history of the model railroading hobby. This model has been
copied by various manufacturers in HO and N scale with varying degrees
of prototype fidelity, and offered in far more bogus than correct
paint schemes.

Prototype: All of these models more or less follow the B&O version
(Class W-2 and subclasses) of the 1926/1929 ARA offset quad hopper,
with the ladders favored by the B&O vice grabs preferred by most of
the other roads ordering these cars. Unfortunately, these models
fall below the current state of the art; a common problem of all of
the models is crude brake details, with the Athearn model having a
toy-like one-piece casting incorporating all three brake components
with a ton of extra plastic. Additionally, models of early cars need
to have the brake system backdated to K brakes and vertical staff
handbrakes.

See Railway Prototype Cyclopedia 5 and 14 for photos and roster
information.

Specific pros and cons of the HO scale models:

Athearn:
Pros: Readily available. Later runs have much improved lettering;
lettering on runs done for B&ORRHS are very nicely done.
Cons: Several glaring toy like details, most notably overly thick
operating doors that rarely stay closed and monolithic brake casting.
Lettering on earlier runs very badly done. Very light in weight.

AHM/Roco:
Pros: Later models have cast on non-operating doors which are much
better in appearance than the Athearn model. Readily available on the
secondary market, though you will need to shop around for the best
price.
Cons: Talgo trucks with the infamous AHM friction fit kingpin that
doesn't hold well in service. Early models have the operating doors.
Very light in weight.

Tyco:
Pros: Models have cast on non-operating doors which are much better in
appearance than the Athearn model. Readily available on the secondary
market, though you will need to shop around for the best price.
Cons: Model has incorrect fishbelly underframe. (This can be replaced
with strip styrene). Talgo trucks. Very light in weight.

Bachmann (ex-Cox):
Pros: Models have cast on non-operating doors which are much better in
appearance than the Athearn model. Current runs have body mounted
couplers and screw mounted trucks. Older models are readily available
on the secondary market; model is currently in production. Still
light compared with NMRA RP 20.1, but nowhere near as bad as the other
models.
Cons: Overall appearance of model is very crude, with the splice
plates on the sides modeled particularly badly. Model has incorrect
fishbelly underframe. (This can be replaced with strip styrene).
Earlier models have Talgo trucks. Cars lettered in B&O are badly done.

Given the choice, I prefer the later AHM models, with the Tyco model
coming in second. We'll cover building Class W-2 and subclass cars
from these models in a future issue of the B&O Modeler.

HObbyline/Lionel Quad: This is a model of a Lehigh Valley
prototype. Some details are rough (notably the molded on grabs, door
details, and brake details), but it captures the important details of
the prototype, inclucing the wheel clearance pockets in the hoppers.
Many of the prototype cars were later "kitbashed" into twins during
the late 1930s and 1940s. Tooling for the HObbyline model was later
used by Lionel for their HO scale models - go with the HObbyline
models as you can get them cheaper if you want to do this car.
Model photo from the pay side of the RPI website:
http://railroad.union.rpi.edu/displayimage.php?i=27165#

Roller Bearing Models PRR Class H25: Early resin kit; builds into a
credible model of a Class H25 quad but is a bit of a challenge to
assemble, particularly the hoppers, which are cast metal and
difficult to keep square.

Walthers Quad Hopper: Not a steam era design, but a 100-ton design
from the 1960s. See Jim Eager's article from the January 1993
Railmodel Journal for more information.
http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/932-4911

As for coming models, Funaro & Camerlengo displayed test castings of
a new HO scale PRR Class H25 quad featuring a one-piece body
casting. This model will be coming out this summer.


Ben Hom

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