Re: Sunshine X 29b Kit - oversize door

Gatwood, Elden J SAD

Nice job, Tom! Your advice to those that have the early Sunshine kit is
right on.

I would also add that in the earlier Sunshine kit based on the C&BT kit, one
has to widen the door with styrene strips, and also add additional height to
the door, which does make the door proper dimensions, but the door is still
not the best rendition of that particular 7' Youngstown door, and the sides
have overly large rivets. Even so, it makes up into a nice model, and the
side sills and underframe provide the proper look and that odd X29 truck
spacing that characterizes these cars.

The bash I did with the Branchline car produces a superior X29B, as the BL
car is simply beautiful. Sides, doors, ends and roof are all excellent
renditions of those components. I have set aside a number of BL kits for
these X29 bashes.

The X29D will require more work, and I am mystified as to why no one has done
this model as a resin kit. It would be useful to many, many modelers, and
was quite numerous. Still, I plan to bash the BL 8'-door kit, but I will
have to create an underframe and side sill master, which will be a lot of
work, and also bash an overhanging diagonal panel roof. The late IDE ends
from BL are perfect.

The later X29 rebuilds (X29E, X29F, X29G) will have to wait until someone
either finds a prototype sitting in someone's yard, who can then look at the
underframe, or someone finds the drawings in the archives; the late rebuilds
had highly modified underframes, with, I suspect, both added and relocated
cross-bearers. Rich Burg, Ian Fischer, and Greg Martin have all talked to me
about these cars, and I think we need to do good research so those that
pursue them can do them right. Since these cars also had side sills that
mated to the side using extended interior side posts, both the side sills and
underframe will all require a new master.

No, none of the plastic cars lettered X29B, X29D, X29F, or X29G are even
close. Back when I was young I bought several of these.

All these X29 rebuilds are beautiful cars, and deserve to be offered to the
modeling population. They are one of those groups of cars that strangely,
remain undone in any form. If any of you have "pull" with the resin guys,
let us know!

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2009 5:08 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Sunshine X 29b Kit - oversize door


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

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

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) <>

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