Re: Blackstone Models UTLX tank cars

Dennis Storzek

--- In, "Charlie Vlk" <cvlk@...> wrote:

Blackstone would be smart to tool a standard gauge cast steel sideframe truck and offer their car to the general HO market.
My guess is that the car would outsell the narrow gauge version. Anyone looked into how many paint schemes/roadnames the
prototype would be good for??
Charlie Vlk

One, Union Tank Line.

I'm going to disagree with Charlie here. Model railroad manufacturers tend to establish themselves in a niche, then continue to market to that niche. Doing ONE kit that is aimed at a different market risks having a "one trick pony" that no one knows about, so doesn't sell. Don't be surprised if the suggestion to do a standard gauge version is met with stony silence. If they do it, what will they follow it with? I don't think a standard gauge version of Rio Grande 3000 series boxcar is going to sell very well.

Case in point, how many here are aware that Precision Scale Company has made this same kit in both narrow gauge AND standard gauge for about the last dozen or so years. They are currently in stock at Walthers now; Freight Car Kit -- UTLX Frameless Tank Car Plastic Kit, #585-10611 with plastic details, less trucks for $22.50, #585-10612 w/Brass Details, Less Trucks for $24.50. How many have ever seen one? I haven't.

And apparently Jon Cagle of SC&F makes a resin kit for this car, although I don't see them on his web site.

No the best I'm hoping for is that the narrow gauge version is well detailed, with robust walkways and steps that won't fall off, and nice paint and lettering. I'm perfectly capable of changing the trucks myself, and perfectly willing to use the stock number from a narrow gauge car especially if they do some cars in the pre 1947 numbers, since they were taken at random from the standard gauge series.

I'd also give building a new center sill for a class X car a shot, starting with a frameless model, since the wide frame added to the narrow gauge conversions looks like more trouble than it's worth. If anyone goes this route, before casting covetous eyes on other tankcar kit underframes, be aware that the class X cars predate the general adoption of 12" cannel for center sills, and the prototype used 15" channels. This is the car MDC tried to model years ago, but somehow managed to double the depth of this already hevier than normal sill.


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