Topics

New Walthers USRA based cars


Bruce Smith
 

Folks,


The new Walthers flyer includes four new steam era freight cars:


40' double sheathed USRA boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated


40' USRA single sheathed boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-composite-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

- dang, look at those boards! SMH


40' steel USRA rebuilt wood boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-steel-rebuilt-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated


40' Early Wood Reefer

https://www.walthers.com/40-early-wood-reefer-ready-to-run-undecorated

This looks like a USRA reefer.


These cars are in the WalthersMainline series and have molded on grab irons. Interestingly the "single sheathed boxcar" appears to not have the classic USRA underframe that the other 3 cars show. These may make some interesting detailing and kit bashing fodder.


Regards,

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL



Eric Hansmann
 

Bruce,

 

That “single-sheathed boxcar” has very little detail or hardware associated with a USRA Specification 1001-B: 50-ton Single-Sheathed Box Car. It looks more like the 1923 ARA XM-1 car design.

 

How did they spend so much in tooling up these “models”? I’d be hard pressed to add them to my  guide to 1920s era HO scale plastic freight cars.

 

I might have nightmares about these tonight.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 7:25 PM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] New Walthers USRA based cars

 

Folks,

 

The new Walthers flyer includes four new steam era freight cars:

 

40' double sheathed USRA boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

 

40' USRA single sheathed boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-composite-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

- dang, look at those boards! SMH

 

40' steel USRA rebuilt wood boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-steel-rebuilt-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

 

40' Early Wood Reefer

https://www.walthers.com/40-early-wood-reefer-ready-to-run-undecorated

This looks like a USRA reefer.

 

These cars are in the WalthersMainline series and have molded on grab irons. Interestingly the "single sheathed boxcar" appears to not have the classic USRA underframe that the other 3 cars show. These may make some interesting detailing and kit bashing fodder.

 

Regards,

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL

 


Benjamin Hom
 

Bruce Smith wrote:
"The new Walthers flyer includes four new steam era freight cars:

40' steel USRA rebuilt wood boxcar
https://www.walthers.com/40-steel-rebuilt-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated 

FAIL.  This model has 5/5/5 Murphy ends and XLA roof, indicating an early rebuild reusing these components that did not increase the dimensions of the original car.  Unfortunately, none of these rebuilds (ACL/C&WC, SL-SF) had 10-panel sides, but exhibited 8-panel sides.  Also, the model lacks an inset side sill and brackets that are a spotting feature of almost all rebuilt boxcars.  This, along with the Atlas "Rebuilt USRA boxcar" model, is an overpriced representation of nothing.


Ben Hom 



 

Just got their sneak peek.  As you know, I did every version of both the DS and SS USRA cars.  Unfortunately, the are serious mistakes in every one of the Walthers.  Most are easily fixable if they have the time.  I plan to call them tomorrow.

 

All of the DS cars shown had K rather than AB brakes.  The TH&B car had an Ajax brake wheel.  Although it’s not really clear, it appears that the brace on the door isn’t centered.  And UP never had the cars.  With dozens of roadmanes and lettering styles, why choose that?

 

Only one of the SS cars shown had a corrugated door, the Pennsy.  And it had AB brakes.  Home free?  Nope – it was upgraded with a Hutchins roof.  All of the cars should have doors the same of the DS and K brakes.  And the sill steps are wrong.

 

In this day and age, there’s no excuse for these boners.  All they have to do is look at the history sheet and photos in the Westerfield kits.  I only hope that they used actual railroad blueprints, rather than the plans published in Railway age, because there are significant differences between planned and actual.  Tichy and Kadee  got it wrong because they used the published plans.

 

  • Al Westerfield

 

 

 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Bruce Smith
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 5:24 PM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] New Walthers USRA based cars

 

Folks,

 

The new Walthers flyer includes four new steam era freight cars:

 

40' double sheathed USRA boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

 

40' USRA single sheathed boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-composite-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

- dang, look at those boards! SMH

 

40' steel USRA rebuilt wood boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-steel-rebuilt-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

 

40' Early Wood Reefer

https://www.walthers.com/40-early-wood-reefer-ready-to-run-undecorated

This looks like a USRA reefer.

 

These cars are in the WalthersMainline series and have molded on grab irons. Interestingly the "single sheathed boxcar" appears to not have the classic USRA underframe that the other 3 cars show. These may make some interesting detailing and kit bashing fodder.

 

Regards,

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL

 

 


Benjamin Hom
 

Eric Hansmann wrote:
"That 'single-sheathed boxcar' has very little detail or hardware associated with a USRA Specification 1001-B: 50-ton Single-Sheathed Box Car. It looks more like the 1923 ARA XM-1 car design."
https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-composite-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

Except (a) I can't think of any cars Pratt truss built to the XM-1 design with 5/5/5 ends and (b) any variants built to 9 ft IH vice the default 8 ft 7 in IH.  If I do my homework, I might be able to turn up a 9 ft IH prototype as a kitbash subject, but for $28 MSRP, I shouldn't have to. 
 
"How did they spend so much in tooling up these 'models'? I’d be hard pressed to add them to my guide to 1920s era HO scale plastic freight cars." 
 
The best thing we can do about these models?  Don't sign up for any advanced orders.  I'm sorry that Walthers would lose their tooling investment, but these don't derserve to hit the market.  The DS car is the best of them, but for that market, why pay $28 for a model that's inferior to the better and less expensive Accurail one?  The other two models are questionable at best.  Modelers who are considering those models are better off handing me $28 and I can whip up something better from stuff that I have on hand.  


Ben Hom


Robert kirkham
 

Wow – those look atrocious. 

 

I hope Walthers doesn’t screw up the market and make it hard for someone to bring a legitimate 21st century model to market.

 

Rob Kirkham

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 5:25 PM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] New Walthers USRA based cars

 

Folks,

 

The new Walthers flyer includes four new steam era freight cars:

 

40' double sheathed USRA boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

 

40' USRA single sheathed boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-composite-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

- dang, look at those boards! SMH

 

40' steel USRA rebuilt wood boxcar

https://www.walthers.com/40-steel-rebuilt-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

 

40' Early Wood Reefer

https://www.walthers.com/40-early-wood-reefer-ready-to-run-undecorated

This looks like a USRA reefer.

 

These cars are in the WalthersMainline series and have molded on grab irons. Interestingly the "single sheathed boxcar" appears to not have the classic USRA underframe that the other 3 cars show. These may make some interesting detailing and kit bashing fodder.

 

Regards,

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL

 


Benjamin Hom
 


Al Westerfield wrote:
"Only one of the SS cars shown had a corrugated door, the Pennsy.  And it had AB brakes.  Home free?  Nope – it was upgraded with a Hutchins roof.  All of the cars should have doors the same of the DS and K brakes.  And the sill steps are wrong."

It's much worse than that.  The model is a Pratt truss SS boxcar and nothing like any USRA SS boxcar.  They're better off calling it a "1920s single sheathed boxcar" or some other BS description.

As I posted earlier, don't make reservations for these models.  Far more deserving models died due to lack of reservations than these pieces of excrement.


Ben Hom




Tony Thompson
 

Ben is right. I’m reminded of the saying in past days: one’s greatest fear about any model is that Walthers will do it, it’ll be crap, and then no one will do it right. But we already have better models of these cars.
Tony Thompson

Ben Hom wrote:

The best thing we can do about these models? Don't sign up . . .


Roger Huber <trainpainter@...>
 

Well, I guess someone needed to pick up where Tyco left off?

Roger Huber
Deer Creek Locomotive Works


On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 10:51:15 PM CDT, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:


Ben is right. I’m reminded of the saying in past days: one’s greatest fear about any model is that Walthers will do it, it’ll be crap, and then no one will do it right. But we already have better models of these cars.
Tony Thompson
> Ben Hom wrote:
>
> The best thing we can do about these models?  Don't sign up . . .
>




rwitt_2000
 

Or maybe they are an excuse to replace some of the old Train-Miniature tooling Walthers owns.

Bob Witt


Benjamin Hom
 

Bob Witt wrote:
"Or maybe they are an excuse to replace some of the old Train-Miniature tooling Walthers owns."

That's probably close to the truth.  Bowser tooled up those goofy "AAR" boxcars based on the PRR round roof boxcar tooling to have controllable in-house models once the favorable terms for Athearn models to custom decorate for the their English's line dried up.


Ben Hom


Benjamin Hom
 

Al Westerfield wrote:
"All of the DS cars shown had K rather than AB brakes.  The TH&B car had an Ajax brake wheel.  Although it’s not really clear, it appears that the brace on the door isn’t centered.  And UP never had the cars.  With dozens of roadmanes and lettering styles, why choose that?"

The disappointment grows the more you look at these models...

Other issues with the DS boxcar:
- There is no inset at the sidesill.
- The sheathing retaining strap along the sidesill is missing.
- The lower door track represents some roads' cars later in life; however, as built, the cars had six distinct rollers along the side sill.
- The door stops are missing.
- That hand brake is a throwback to the Train-Miniature "TV antennas".  It's more S scale than HO.

Vote with your wallets...don't reserve these models, don't by them, and support manufacturers that do better.


Ben Hom   


 


Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 05:24 PM, Bruce Smith wrote:

- dang, look at those boards! SMH

I'll say... on the double sheathed cars, too!

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-wood-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

https://www.walthers.com/40-early-wood-reefer-ready-to-run-undecorated


They've made the same mistake that Train Miniature made fifty or so years ago, they read the call out on the drawing that the sheathing is "5-1/4" D&M" and didn't realize that the 5-1/4" siding has a center groove, meaning that the grooves should be spaced 2-5/8" apart. In actuality, it looks like the design and engineering  for these new cars was limited to measuring some old Train Miniature bodies.

Dennis Storzek


Marty McGuirk
 

Before I looked at the photos my immediate thought was the TMI tooling had come back somehow. Then I looked at the pictures. Ugh. 


In addition to the other comments I swear that it looks like the boards on the DS cars are too wide - or am I seeing things? And sorry Ben, the Atlas rebuild is a gem compared with these things(!)* At least it has a somewhat legit looking side sill. 


All that said, I'm actually not surprised at Walthers choice of prototypes, considering the "late steam" era seems to be experiencing a renaissance of late. But knowing full well who has the helm at Walthers product development, I'd be shocked if the decision to make these cars wasn't the result of some sort of customer survey - and I'm not shocked at all the execution of same. 


Hard pass. 



Marty McGuirk


*For the record I did own one Atlas rebuilt box .... for a while. 


 


On May 1, 2019 at 9:12 AM Benjamin Hom <b.hom@...> wrote:

Al Westerfield wrote:
"All of the DS cars shown had K rather than AB brakes.  The TH&B car had an Ajax brake wheel.  Although it’s not really clear, it appears that the brace on the door isn’t centered.  And UP never had the cars.  With dozens of roadmanes and lettering styles, why choose that?"

The disappointment grows the more you look at these models...

Other issues with the DS boxcar:
- There is no inset at the sidesill.
- The sheathing retaining strap along the sidesill is missing.
- The lower door track represents some roads' cars later in life; however, as built, the cars had six distinct rollers along the side sill.
- The door stops are missing.
- That hand brake is a throwback to the Train-Miniature "TV antennas".  It's more S scale than HO.

Vote with your wallets...don't reserve these models, don't by them, and support manufacturers that do better.


Ben Hom   


 


 


 


Tony Thompson
 

     I note that they don't actually call their single-sheathed car a USRA, which is good because of course it isn't, much more like the ARA design, though pretty poorly rendered. In looking at these, and thinking how far we have (mostly) come in model freight cars, I'm just glad Richard Hendrickson isn't here to see these Walthers things.

Tony Thompson




Benjamin Hom
 

Bruce Smith wrote:
"40' Early Wood Reefer
This looks like a USRA reefer."

Disappoinment grows...this looks more a generic 40 ft reefer than any representation of a USRA-design reefer.  Quick summary of these cars at the Westerfield website:

This could have been a winner...even though the USRA-design cars were exclusively Santa Fe, that fact would guarantee sales.


Ben Hom 





Donald B. Valentine
 

I'm sure some will disagree vehemently but I will take the Ertl cars over this junk any day of the week. Hopefully what Walthers is depicting are only pre-production samples. If not, as stated, the Ertl cars are quite satisfactory and can be improved with little effort. They can often be found on eBay at very attractive prices if one is patient. I particularly like the very tin but operable door
on then which also allows one to paper the door like the prototypes were often found to keep specific cargoes clean.

Cordially, Don Valentine


Eric Hansmann
 

Tony,

 

While the single-sheathed car is not labeled as a USRA car, the web address for the model insinuates it’s a USRA car.

https://www.walthers.com/40-usra-composite-boxcar-ready-to-run-undecorated

 

 

And this is in the product description.

 

Based on later rebuilds and upgrades of standard 40' boxcars designed by the United States Railroad Administration (USRA) introduced during WWI, these cars would remain in general freight service into the 1960s, with many rebuilt for work train service lasting into the 1980s.

 

Which is the same wording used in the product description for the rebuilt USRA car models.

 

Based on later rebuilds and upgrades of standard 40' boxcars designed by the United States Railroad Administration (USRA) introduced during WWI, these cars would remain in general freight service into the 1960s, with many rebuilt for work train service lasting into the 1980s. 

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tony Thompson
Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 8:58 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New Walthers USRA based cars

 

     I note that they don't actually call their single-sheathed car a USRA, which is good because of course it isn't, much more like the ARA design, though pretty poorly rendered. In looking at these, and thinking how far we have (mostly) come in model freight cars, I'm just glad Richard Hendrickson isn't here to see these Walthers things.

Tony Thompson

 

 

 


Benjamin Hom
 

Don Valentine wrote:
"I'm sure some will disagree vehemently but I will take the Ertl cars over this junk any day of the week. Hopefully what Walthers is depicting are only pre-production samples. If not, as stated, the Ertl cars are quite satisfactory and can be improved with little effort."

There's a nice USRA DS boxcar model hiding in that Ertl box.  The major faults (which can be easily fixed) are as follows:
- Most of the paint and lettering schemes are bogus or poorly executed, the result of following a fantasy Mainline Modeler lettering summary.
- The weathering is overstated and too consistent from model to model.
- The model comes with cast steel trucks and should be replaced with Andrews trucks.
- The models come without additional weight to allow the addition of loads that were marketed separately.
- The styrene grabs are a bit heavy, but are easily replaced with wire grabs.

These are still fairly common on the secondary market.  The original MSRP was ridiculously high, but many freight car models were sold at very reasonable prices as Ertl departed the HO market.  I picked up a bunch when The Great Train Store chain went out of business.

Ertl did not make a USRA SS boxcar or rebuilt boxcar.


Ben Hom


Benjamin Hom
 

Marty McGuirk wrote:
"...sorry Ben, the Atlas rebuild is a gem compared with these things(!)* At least it has a somewhat legit looking side sill."

I'd take the Atlas rebuild over these as it's not too hard to turn the 8-panel side model with 5/5/5 Murphy ends into a legit model of the ACL/C&WC or SL-SF cars.  Larry Kline corrected the side sill on the Atlas O version, and it looked good.


"All that said, I'm actually not surprised at Walthers choice of prototypes, considering the "late steam" era seems to be experiencing a renaissance of late. But knowing full well who has the helm at Walthers product development, I'd be shocked if the decision to make these cars wasn't the result of some sort of customer survey - and I'm not shocked at all the execution of same."

Can these people be the same ones also run the Walthers Proto line? 


Ben Hom