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Accurail Ribbed Sided Box Car

Ken Adams
 

At long last the two Accurail Ribbed Sided Milwaukee box cars I have had on order for what seemed like eons arrived at my Local Hobby Shop today and I eagerly procured them and rushed home to unbox and see what I had acquired.  These are "favorite" cars of mine although I know next to nothing about the prototype. At one time I think I once had an MDC version of this car from the 1970's or 80's but it is not in my current collection. According to what little I know Accurail acquired the Rib Side Cars original maker of this version. 

I started to de-sprue but decided I needed more expert opinion before I went much further.  This is the contents (not including the instruction sheet) of the Accurail box. 


I have cleaned up the running board/roof walk casting a bit removing flash and trimmed the large molding gate from the underside of the main car casting. The brake wheel appears to be a representation of an Equipco brake wheel.  Is this correct? The door is rather unusual. How long did the cars retain these doors. The car has a representation of a metal running board with a rectangular grid pattern. The grabs are molded in as are all the grabs on the side of the body.  The ends have a 5+5 rib pattern and are rounded enough to indicate a W post end frame. 

Note that the car side is lettered with New 7-40. That will have to be changed to a repack date as I model 1950-54. I assume this is the as-built lettering.  The other car kit I bought is lettered for the Route of the Hiawathas and has a New 3-40 date. The color is a maroonish boxcar red which was the Milwaukee Roads standard box car color. 

All in all it appears to be a fairly nice kit. Accurail has certainly reworked the molding somewhat and it it unfortunate they were unable to include separate grab irons. But the kit cost under $20 (and i is marked made in the USA) so there is not much room for complaint.

Comments, criticisms and references to the prototype are the reason I am posting before I start constructing and enhancing the kit (cast on grab irons must go.)

 

Bill Welch
 

The doors are accurate. The "Rib Side" kits seem mixed regarding the grabs. I have only built the 40-ft DD and removed the mold-on grabs easily. I have the 50-ft w/6-ft door to build and the grabs are not molded-on. The brakes wheels are beautiful and correct I think. I replaced the molded on Sill Steps and scratch built new ladders for the DD version. The representation of the side ribs, the unique MILW roof and dreadnaught ends are well done. With some love these can be built into very nice models. 

I suggest consulting the appropriate RP CYC that focused on the Rib Side designs as some of them had wood running boards while some were mixed with steel Longitudinal and wood Latitudinals.

Bill Welch

Curt Fortenberry
 


RPC Volume 13 is the one you want.

Curt Fortenberry

Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, Feb 26, 2020 at 02:10 PM, Bill Welch wrote:
The doors are accurate. The "Rib Side" kits seem mixed regarding the grabs. I have only built the 40-ft DD and removed the mold-on grabs easily. I have the 50-ft w/6-ft door to build and the grabs are not molded-on. The brakes wheels are beautiful and correct I think. I replaced the molded on Sill Steps and scratch built new ladders for the DD version. The representation of the side ribs, the unique MILW roof and dreadnaught ends are well done. With some love these can be built into very nice models. 
Having inspected all the tooling, I find that only the first two releases, the 40' "long rib" single and double door cars, had molded on grabs. George then switched to supplying wire grabs, which, of course, the modeler had to paint himself.

The Rib Side Cars line was certainly a labor of love for George Schmidt, he had excellent tooling built, unfortunately, I doubt he ever got his money back with it. It has some interesting quirks, almost like as bills were piling up he'd just throw up his hands and authorize some shortcut just to get the project done. Case in point; the detail work on the car sides is impressive, but the grab irons were totally devoid of any attachment detail. I added a representation of the Milwaukee's unique Z section attachment brackets when I did minor repairs to the single door car, and will do the same to the double door car before we release it. Likewise, there was no handbrake rod or bell crank, which I added to the parts group, and the brake wheel as tooled was impossible to mold, in fact, they had the gate welded shut, and were apparently supplying an after market part. I added a new Equipco brake wheel cavity, based on information supplied by the Milwaukee Road Historical society and our own Gene Green.

Hopefully I'll get time to work over the 40' double door car this summer, in time for release at Milwaukee Trainfest next November.

Dennis Storzek

Clark Propst
 

I have to ask Dennis, do you have tooling for the other models. Short ribbed 40' and 50' cars?

Thanks for bring these back out!
CW Propst

Ken Adams
 

Dennis 

Thank you very much for the information on the mold history for what sounds like a series of Milwaukee rib sided cars from Accurail.  I have absolutely no complaint about the molded on grabs and short cuts in the brake gear underframe for the price of the car.  Again, personally I am not planning to be any sort of expert on these cars so not delving too deep.  I am however hoping our super detail experts on this and other resin/plastic model building group forums to come up with reasonable methods to enhance these wonderful cars and turn them into model works of art. 

If I ever get my Port Costa layout built to the point the mainline is working these cars will be "background" freight cars passing through as loads or returning empty on the SP mainline between the Bay Area and points east. 

Dennis Storzek
 

Clark,
We do. They will come out as I get time to work on them, and those are really filler jobs between large projects.
Dennis Storzek

Clark Propst
 

Glad to hear the rumors of the tooling's demise was exaggerated  ;   ))
CW Propst

Andy Carlson
 

For those who may haved missed it, Brian Leppert's Tahoe Model Works has a Barber S2 ride control 50-ton truck which is as close to perfect for the Milwaukee rib sided class of boxcars that will ever exist. He even tooled the truck for the uncommon for the period, but correct for the MILW, the truck spring planks. Substituting Tahoe's trucks for the kit's trucks would be my 1st improvement.
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA



_._,_._,_

Eric Hansmann
 

Here’s the Tahoe website for reference.

http://resincarworks.com/tahoe.htm

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Andy Carlson
Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2020 1:50 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Accurail Ribbed Sided Box Car

 

For those who may haved missed it, Brian Leppert's Tahoe Model Works has a Barber S2 ride control 50-ton truck which is as close to perfect for the Milwaukee rib sided class of boxcars that will ever exist. He even tooled the truck for the uncommon for the period, but correct for the MILW, the truck spring planks. Substituting Tahoe's trucks for the kit's trucks would be my 1st improvement.

-Andy Carlson

Ojai CA