Date   

Re: M-53 (was Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued)

Richard Hendrickson
 

On Oct 17, 2009, at 9:16 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

.... I didn't know they planned to do the M-53, but
good grief, why can't we get a good high quality plastic kit? If
Wright Trak does it, that makes what - 4 - different vendors who
have done resin kits in HO? And all of them had problems or were
just difficult to build? Not to mention brass cars, and the old
Cannonball kit. Sheesh.
Patience, Tim - - though Lord knows we've all been waiting patiently
for this for a very long time. One is coming, with the tooling far
enough along that a model is almost certain to materialize, though I
don't yet know how soon.

Richard Hendrickson


Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued

Richard Hendrickson
 

On Oct 17, 2009, at 8:02 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

Richard Hendrickson tosses out the baby w/ the bathwater... :-)

There isn't a single Athearn freight car part that hasn't been
modeled much better by some other manufacturer, often several
other manufacturers.
I suspect you really intended that comment to refer specifically
to the old Blue Box kits and not to more recent Athearn models?
Just so, Tim, as I think was sufficiently obvious. Athearn's recent
steam era freight car models are excellent, and I can claim some
small credit for some of them, having provided photos and data.


Richard Hendrickson


Re: Tide Water tank car, TWOX 3050

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

I'd bet that the insertion of new bulkheads was done by removing the rivets on one end head and then re-riveting it after bulkheads were installed. One reason railroads liked riveted construction so well was because of just this capability, that rivets could be cold-chiseled or air hammered to remove them, and later new parts re-riveted.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: USRA composite gondolas

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson wrote:
No good news here, Mark. Almost all of the USRA composite gondolas were rebuilt or scrapped by the end of WW II . . . I can't think of any other RRs that still had them in revenue service.
As so often happens <g>, Richard has a hard time remembering the SP freight car fleet. I would call your attention to the data in the table on page 68 of my gondola book.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: M-53 (was Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued)

Mark
 

I wish to second that motion!
 
Mark Morgan

--- On Sun, 10/18/09, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


From: Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: M-53 (was Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued)
To: STMFC@...
Date: Sunday, October 18, 2009, 12:16 AM


 



Bob

I don't know, and I didn't know they planned to do the M-53, but
good grief, why can't we get a good high quality plastic kit? If
Wright Trak does it, that makes what - 4 - different vendors who
have done resin kits in HO? And all of them had problems or were
just difficult to build? Not to mention brass cars, and the old
Cannonball kit. Sheesh.

Tim O'Connor

Speaking of pre-50s models, will Wright Trak have the B&O wagontop available at Naperville?
Sincerely,
Bob Heninger
Iowa City, IA


Re: M-53 (was Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued)

Tim O'Connor
 

Bob

I don't know, and I didn't know they planned to do the M-53, but
good grief, why can't we get a good high quality plastic kit? If
Wright Trak does it, that makes what - 4 - different vendors who
have done resin kits in HO? And all of them had problems or were
just difficult to build? Not to mention brass cars, and the old
Cannonball kit. Sheesh.

Tim O'Connor

Speaking of pre-50s models, will Wright Trak have the B&O wagontop available at Naperville?
Sincerely,
Bob Heninger
Iowa City, IA


Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued

gn3397 <heninger@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Post-1960 modelers have been
deluged with excellent models from Athearn, while pre-1950 modelers
have been largely ignored... Hmmm, since Athearn is nothing if not
a successful manufacturer, what does that tell you about sales
potential in that (pre-1950) freight car niche?

Tim O'Connor
Tim,
I suspect that Athearn, being a successful manufacturer as you state, have chosen to fill a neglected niche of the hobby (60s-70s era prototypes), rather than representing a true lack of sales potential for earlier prototypes. I don't think our sources of pre-50s models are going away anytime soon.

Speaking of pre-50s models, will Wright Trak have the B&O wagontop available at Naperville?

Sincerely,
Bob Heninger
Iowa City, IA


Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued

Tim O'Connor
 

Richard Hendrickson tosses out the baby w/ the bathwater... :-)

There isn't a single Athearn freight car part that hasn't been
modeled much better by some other manufacturer, often several
other manufacturers.
I suspect you really intended that comment to refer specifically
to the old Blue Box kits and not to more recent Athearn models??
Or even to some amazingly improved older models (esp a few from
Model Die Casting)?

There are no Athearn cars left on my freight car roster except
for two or three that have been so extensively kit-bashed as to
bear little evidence of their origins.
Such as Athearn's recent 65 foot AAR mill gondola? Or that rather
nice SFRD 50 foot reefer? Of course, you would not have any of the
more "modern" Athearn freight cars like airslides or PS 2893's but
you might have Genesis F units... Post-1960 modelers have been
deluged with excellent models from Athearn, while pre-1950 modelers
have been largely ignored... Hmmm, since Athearn is nothing if not
a successful manufacturer, what does that tell you about sales
potential in that (pre-1950) freight car niche?

Tim O'Connor


Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued

Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

Gentlemen,
 
                 try to see the bright side, we now own real collector's items. Wait about 10 years and divest them on e-bay for some ridiculous price!
 
Fred Freitas

--- On Sat, 10/17/09, Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...> wrote:


From: Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued
To: STMFC@...
Date: Saturday, October 17, 2009, 7:49 PM


 



On Oct 17, 2009, at 11:30 AM, Brian J Carlson wrote:

....Unfortunately or fortunately
depending on your point of view the blue box kits applicable to
this steam
era list have been largely superseded by Branchline, IM, Red
caboose, kadee
etc. The flaws of blue box kits are many, between crude detailing,
door
claws, poor brake components, and the propensity for Athearn to
paint them
in any scheme they thought up, prototype be danged. I have long
purged my
home layout of Athearn blue box kits, except for one PRR H31 stand in.



Young modelers will still be able to purchase Branchline yardmaster
kits,
Bowser, and Accurail kits to experience kit building before moving
onto more
advanced models. As for Athearn parts, they will continue sell the
blue box
kits built up so parts should be available. Although I am not sure why
Athearn brakewheels and roofwalks would be desired parts since much
better
detailed after-market parts are available. I will miss them from a
sentimental standpoint, but that is all.
Sic transit gloria mundi. The blue box bow-wows should have been
discontinued twenty years ago or more, as vastly better products came
on the market to replace them. Their only virtue was that they were
cheap, and that wasn't really a virtue as it depressed prices, thus
discouraging other manufacturers from developing better stuff which
cost more. Some of us fondly remember the very fine (for their day)
Athearn metal kits that the blue box models replaced, which were much
more accurate and better detailed than the plastic models, though
more challenging to build. But Irv Athearn saw undiscriminating
train-set buyers as the future of the hobby, and to some extent it
was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Parts? There isn't a single Athearn
freight car part that hasn't been modeled much better by some other
manufacturer, often several other manufacturers. There are no
Athearn cars left on my freight car roster except for two or three
that have been so extensively kit-bashed as to bear little evidence
of their origins.

Richard Hendrickson

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
















[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: USRA composite gondolas (long, but illuminating)

Richard Hendrickson
 

On Oct 17, 2009, at 11:24 AM, Ray Breyer wrote:

Richard Hendrickson wrote:
No good news here, Mark. Almost all of the USRA
composite gondolas were rebuilt or scrapped by
the end of WW II. Minneapolis & St. Louis had
me refurbished ex-L&N cars, some of which lasted
into the early '50s, but only one of those was
still listed in the 1/53 ORER. I can't think of
any other RRs that still had them in revenue
service.
Hi everyone,

With all of the work that people have put into tracking down
various odd, obscure, and single-road freight cars with limited
appeal (to the "great unwashed", anyway) I'm frankly stunned that
no one's bothered to actually study the USRA composite gons AND
their clones, to come up with anything approaching a definitive study.

[snip]
However, my ORER quantities, based on the car series that I've been
able to trace, are much more accurate. For those that are
interested, here's the list of all of the surviving cars in 1959,
which should prove illuminating:

ACL 90250-90499, 272 cars, original USRA rebuilt to steel WITH
original sides.
ACL 99300-99443, 8 cars, all-original cars, ex-AB&C.
C of G 10861-10935, 66 cars, clone rebuilds with open sides for pulp.
C&IM 15000-15001, 2 cars, steel clone rebuilds WITH original sides
for container service.
G&F 6001-6030, 13 cars, steel rebuild clones WITH original sides.
GM&O 12000-12374, 46 cars, wood-sided clones, ex-M&O.
GM&O 44000-44249, 246 cars, all-original cars, ex-Alton.
IC 82720-84997, 25 cars, all-original cars, mix of IC USRA cars and
ex-VS&P clones.
MILW 1-1000, 1000 cars, clones rebuilt without wood sides for pulp
and pipe service.
MILW 84000-90949, 4043 cars, wood-sided clones.
MP 28900-29999, 7 cars, original USRA rebuilt with side doors
replacing 3 panels per side.
SLSF 50000-50398, 62 cars, wood-sided clones.
SLSF 50399-53346, 764 cars, wood-sided clones (some MAY be steel
rebuilds, but not according to the ORERs)
SLSF 85000-85999, 129 cars, all-original USRA cars.
Wabash 13000-13249, 243 cars, LIKELY clones, WITH composite sides.

This all adds up to a grand total of 6,926 cars that at least look
like USRA gons running after the steam era.
Well, Ray, with all due respect, I wouldn't call this a definitive
study; not even close. I'll grant that I overlooked a couple of
groups of USRA cars that survived into the 1950s, but what you're
calling clones were, in many cases, not even close (e.g., the MILW
cars, which were built in the '40s with quite different dimensions
and Dreadnaught ends) and others had been extensively rebuilt. Just
because a gondola had composite sides and 42'11" LOA doesn't make it
a USRA clone.

Remember, the original question was whether the model could be
legitimately repainted and relettered, not what it might be
transformed into with extensive kit-bashing.

Richard Hendrickson


Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued

Richard Hendrickson
 

On Oct 17, 2009, at 11:30 AM, Brian J Carlson wrote:

....Unfortunately or fortunately
depending on your point of view the blue box kits applicable to
this steam
era list have been largely superseded by Branchline, IM, Red
caboose, kadee
etc. The flaws of blue box kits are many, between crude detailing,
door
claws, poor brake components, and the propensity for Athearn to
paint them
in any scheme they thought up, prototype be danged. I have long
purged my
home layout of Athearn blue box kits, except for one PRR H31 stand in.



Young modelers will still be able to purchase Branchline yardmaster
kits,
Bowser, and Accurail kits to experience kit building before moving
onto more
advanced models. As for Athearn parts, they will continue sell the
blue box
kits built up so parts should be available. Although I am not sure why
Athearn brakewheels and roofwalks would be desired parts since much
better
detailed after-market parts are available. I will miss them from a
sentimental standpoint, but that is all.
Sic transit gloria mundi. The blue box bow-wows should have been
discontinued twenty years ago or more, as vastly better products came
on the market to replace them. Their only virtue was that they were
cheap, and that wasn't really a virtue as it depressed prices, thus
discouraging other manufacturers from developing better stuff which
cost more. Some of us fondly remember the very fine (for their day)
Athearn metal kits that the blue box models replaced, which were much
more accurate and better detailed than the plastic models, though
more challenging to build. But Irv Athearn saw undiscriminating
train-set buyers as the future of the hobby, and to some extent it
was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Parts? There isn't a single Athearn
freight car part that hasn't been modeled much better by some other
manufacturer, often several other manufacturers. There are no
Athearn cars left on my freight car roster except for two or three
that have been so extensively kit-bashed as to bear little evidence
of their origins.

Richard Hendrickson


Athearn Blue boxes?

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

As Brian Carlson notes:


Ignoring the first parts of the message about business practice which are
out of line here.
Yep. Brion's...no last name...message violated about 5 STMFC rules. Oh, heck...guess I'll have to go down to Moderate Jail again. I hate to have to go down there. Never seem to recognize anyone...all those beards I guess. Hmmm. Wonder if the door still opens...Yep. Man...lots of white haired guys down here. Oh well...Clang!!. Closing the door always gives a kinda definitive sound.

Best to let Athearn do what they want to and the STMFC will do what it's sposed to do.

Mike Brock
STMFC Owner


Re: USRA composite gondolas (long, but illuminating)

Ray Breyer
 

Ray Breyer wrote:
Wabash 13000-13249, 243 cars, LIKELY clones, WITH
composite sides.
Ray those Wabash cars were World War II
War Emergency gondolas.

Thanks for the information Tim. I'll pull them off my list. I knew that the Wabash had WE gons, but wasn't sure of the numbers.

Wabash did own some near copies of USRA gondolas but they
had fishbelly underframes
Tim O'Connor
I have a photo of one of those cars, and didn't include that series in my list; they weren't close enough! (if I had included those cars I'd have included the closer Rock Island cars, and then the list would have just been of all composite gons...which would be a worthy exercise too!)

Regards,
Ray Breyer


Re: USRA composite gondolas (long, but illuminating)

Tim O'Connor
 

Ray Breyer wrote

Wabash 13000-13249, 243 cars, LIKELY clones, WITH composite sides.
Ray those Wabash cars were World War II War Emergency gondolas.
Wabash did own some near copies of USRA gondolas but they had
fishbelly underframes: 7000-9049, 10000-10124 and 10125-10524 --
built between 1922 and 1925, and were all scrapped from 1944
thru 1946.

Tim O'Connor


blue box

ed_mines
 

The good thing about these kits and the inexpensive Athearn locos was they allowed newcomers to get into the scale hobby at an affordable price, comparable to a "train set" from a company like Model Power.

Ed


GodFatherRails.com

ed_mines
 

This new tribute web site has color photos from the early '50s.

One nice photo of a gondola.

Ed


Re: NYC diagram book

ed_mines
 

--- In STMFC@..., cinderandeight@... wrote:

Ed,
I believe the book you are referencing was reprinted by George R. Cockle in
1974.

Rich-

This was an old post. The same book (or one that's similar) is online somewhere (I think it's from the man with the CASO web site).

I have that reprint, sans cover and the first few pages.


Re: freight car kit discounts

ed_mines
 

I recently bought 7 for the price of 3 from them through the mail.

Ed

--- In STMFC@..., "Andrew Miller" <aslmmiller@...> wrote:

As far as I know F&C always offers 2 for 1 at show and by mail throught their flyer.

regards,

Andy Miller (who will be running F&C PRR MP54s at the North Shore Model RR Club Open house this week end)
----- Original Message -----
From: ed_mines
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 12:44 PM
Subject: [STMFC] freight car kit discounts


Anyone know somewhere which discounts Atlas 1932 box cars?

Has F&C recently been offering 2 for one at shows?

Any of the other resin manufacturers having sales?

Ed





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued

Brian Carlson
 

Ignoring the first parts of the message about business practice which are
out of line here. I like many others started with Athearn Blue box kits as
well as MDC, Front range, etc. In Buffalo we have 4 train oriented hobby
shops, only continues to stock blue box kits. Unfortunately or fortunately
depending on your point of view the blue box kits applicable to this steam
era list have been largely superseded by Branchline, IM, Red caboose, kadee
etc. The flaws of blue box kits are many, between crude detailing, door
claws, poor brake components, and the propensity for Athearn to paint them
in any scheme they thought up, prototype be danged. I have long purged my
home layout of Athearn blue box kits, except for one PRR H31 stand in.



Young modelers will still be able to purchase Branchline yardmaster kits,
Bowser, and Accurail kits to experience kit building before moving onto more
advanced models. As for Athearn parts, they will continue sell the blue box
kits built up so parts should be available. Although I am not sure why
Athearn brakewheels and roofwalks would be desired parts since much better
detailed after-market parts are available. I will miss them from a
sentimental standpoint, but that is all.



Brian J. Carlson, P.E.

Cheektowaga NY



From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Brion
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2009 1:14 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued



The very reason these items sold well was because of their simplicity and
the comfort of having a cheap starting point to begin hacking away. It takes
"cajones grande" to started chopping up a $$$ Kadee car or Branchline
sleeper as a neophyte. Frankly, if they just sold the undec shell they'd
probably do better. How many of us use Athearn trucks? Brakewheels?
Roofwalks? I hope someone buys the molds and keeps a trickle coming out.
Might be enough to keep a small concern going with a hand full of employees.

Enough. Time to start hoarding.

Brion


Re: Athearn Blue Box kits discontinued

gn3397 <heninger@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Brion" <BrionBoyles@...> wrote:

<big snip>

Enough. Time to start hoarding.

Brion
Interesting rant, but I don't think you'll get much sympathy on this list. I will admit to running lots of "blue box" Athearn kits as a kid, but I last bought one about twenty years ago. All the relevant steam era models from Athearn have long since been replaced by new injection molded or resin kits.

Although I appreciate Irv Athearn's contributions to the hobby, and have many fond memories of slapping those kits together, I don't think model railroading will dry up and blow away because they aren't available. I think Accurail has replaced Athearn in the market for those who want a relatively inexpensive, easy to assemble kit. And they are made in the USA as well.

As for the loss of kitbash fodder, the craftsmen (and women) of today are as likely to assemble a resin kit, or scratchbuild the masters for a kit, as they are to spend hours hacking apart an Athearn boxcar and still end up with a compromised model.

Just my two cents.

Sincerely,
Bob Heninger
Iowa City, IA

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