Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
The difficulty that I reported with the #78 Kadee coupler was NOT related to the coupler per se, but how with its relatively-long shank this coupler has a much reduced pivoting radius when it is prototypically and deeply inset into a prototypically-narrow box- as has been successfully done in Jon Cagle's resin tank car kits.
The #78 coupler (when in its native box) projects far beyond its striker plate than would be expected on the prototype. IMHO, Kadee has done this probably to ensure that the coupler will swing sufficiently to accommodate the short-radius market. The price paid for this is that the head sticks out -akin to the long neck of Ichabod Crane- and in the process expands the distance between cars, and also allows the gaping mouth of coupler box to be fully and quite visibly exposed in the process. If one is to focused on accurate prototype appearance, neither is acceptable.
If one is going to model couplers and their boxes close to, or in a prototype manner- and they look like it-, the following are reasonable and quite defendable goals:
1) Coupler head close to scale size.
2) Coupler face extends no more than 29/30" from striker face.
3) Coupler box is narrow, commonly the same width of the centersill.
There are varying and balancing operational tradeoffs when these standards are applied, but rather than denying reality, it is more honest to acknowledge that these are the issues to be debated (and perhaps the prices to be paid) if we are to continue pursuing prototype accuracy in all that we do.
OK, I am coming off my morning coffee high-
Denny S. Anspach MD