Re: Sunshine X 29b Kit - oversize door

Dennis Williams

I enjoy my kit any way!!

--- On Fri, 10/9/09, tmolsen@UDel.Edu <tmolsen@UDel.Edu> wrote:

From: tmolsen@UDel.Edu <tmolsen@UDel.Edu>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Sunshine X 29b Kit - oversize door
Date: Friday, October 9, 2009, 2:07 AM



I received an email from Al Buchan, the president of the PRRT&HS wanting to know what was the story regarding the door size of the Sunshine X29b that had just come out. He had received an email from a Society member stating that the member thought the door was too wide. This car had been announced many years before and was a hot item with the PRR modeling crowd.

Since I had previously (for ten years) been the HO modeling editor for The Keystone, he asked me to check it out. This is how it went down.

The real Youngstown door as used on the X29b is 7'4-5/8" wide with the center framed panel portion 7' wide. The door opening on the car is 7'. On the left or lock side, the door extension measures 2'-5/16" outside of the center framed 7' panel. This extension slides behind the front stop to form the weather seal on that side. The right side of the door, the door extension measuring the same has a rear weather seal which engages the post strip on the car body.

The model door is 8' overall including the door extensions. This means that the door is 5-3/8" too wide. Frank Hodina did the masters for this kit. He apparently used the master he made for the EJ&E Mini-Kit door when he made the master for the X29b car side. He apparently took a casting from the original 8' master and glued it in place on the X29b carbody master butting it up against the front stop, failing to allow for the fact that the door extension would normally be hidden from view. So the entire door including the door extensions are in view. This is what called attention to the fact that the door is too wide.

To determine how the door was too wide, I measured doors on the following models:

The original Uni-Body X29b kit which utilized the C&BT car body and doors.

A Branchline #BRA-1600 series kit with 7' doors.

the EJ&E Mini-Kit with the separate 8' Doors.

The C&BT car doors are undersize (6'10" wide including the door extensions).

The Branchline 7' doors are the correct size as matched to the prototype.

The EJ&E 8' Doors are also correct in size to the prototype.

References used to match the doors were the 1946 and 1949/1951 Car Builders Cyclopedias.

I have experimented with replacing the front door stop by substituting a piece of evergreen strip that is thinner than that of the cast door stop (salvaging the camel lock fixture on the door stop for use after making modifications) . I was not happy with this and still have to fiddle some more to see if I can reduce the door extension which should be partially hidden. Unfortunately, you would still have the opposite side to reduce and that is a problem as it is exposed on the prototype door.

That pretty much sums up the problems with the X29b kit from Sunshine Models. I presented my findings to the PRRT&HS modeling committee and Martin Lofton. Martin did not think that the door was not oversize enough to cause a problem and that he was not going to revise the kit as it would take a new set of masters to do so. I did not and have not talked with Frank in regard to the door problem. In any event, it would not have mattered as it was already too late to do so.

To avoid future errors, Martin advised me that he would be willing to consult with the committee on other models in the future. My recommendation to the committee was not to review the kit in the Keystone Modeler and pillory Martin as it would be counter-productive as the car was already out and had been sold to a large number of modelers by then. We did not want to discourage Martin from doing other PRR kits. The modeling committee concurred and that was it.

In summarizing events that took place almost a year ago, Greg may have overstated the door dimensions a little bit, but basically he was correct as I addressed much of this to him and to Bruce Smith at the time.

End of story!

For those who have the Unibody kits, substitute the Branchline carbody from Kit #BRA-1600 with the 7' door in place of the C&BT body and follow the kit instructions from there!


Tom Olsen
7 Boundary Road, West Branch
Newark. Delaware, 19711-7479
(302) 738-4292 (H)
(302) 740-2897 (Cell)
tmolsen@udel. edu

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