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random questions


ThisIsR@...
 

Good afternoon:
Is there a problem in getting models from Sunshine Models? I've heard
it mentioned on other lists that it takes a very loonnggg time to receive
models or
catalogs from this company.
Is there a particular detail parts company that is better at building
steam-era
super detail parts? More variety?
At what point did carbuilders and railroads switch from wooden roofwalks
to
steel roofwalks?
Thank you for your time!
Richard Stallworth


John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

Richard - I've never heard of any problem of getting models from Sunshine.
In general with cast resin there is not much duplication of effort, so there
is often just one source (or no source).
I have a date of 1944 when "other than wood" (meaning steel, but I guess
they kept the door open for aluminum) for running boards being required on
new cars. Also 1932 when when they first starting accepting non-wood
running boards on a case by case basis. You might want to check out our
timeline at:
http://www.union.rpi.edu/railroad/Time-line.html

- John

----- Original Message -----
From: <ThisIsR@aol.com>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 12:56 PM
Subject: [STMFC] random questions


Good afternoon:
Is there a problem in getting models from Sunshine Models? I've
heard
it mentioned on other lists that it takes a very loonnggg time to receive
models or
catalogs from this company.
Is there a particular detail parts company that is better at building
steam-era
super detail parts? More variety?
At what point did carbuilders and railroads switch from wooden
roofwalks
to
steel roofwalks?
Thank you for your time!
Richard Stallworth

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bhom3@...
 

Richard Stallworth asked:

"Is there a problem in getting models from Sunshine Models? I've
heard it mentioned on other lists that it takes a very loonnggg time
to receive models or catalogs from this company."

I'm in agreement with John - I've never had any problems with getting
kits from Martin. Your best bet is to order from him direct.


"Is there a particular detail parts company that is better at
building steam-era super detail parts? More variety?"

When it comes to detail parts, there isn't a "one-stop" vendor that
has everything, which isn't necessarily a bad thing given the variety
of the prototype. Here are some tips on some of the more common
parts (opinions expressed are my own and may not represent those of
the other members of the list):

Grab Irons: I prefer Westerfield's wire grabs - they're brass, which
I feel is easier to work with, especially when you have to file them
flush with the inside of an open car. Your choices for bracket type
grabs are much more limited, with the Details Associates part being
pretty much the only game in town.

Stirrup Steps: A-Line steps whever prototypically appropriate - the
wire steps hold up better under layout conditions than the Details
Associates derlin steps; however, Details Associates makes a greater
variety of types.

Brake Details: Tichy makes very nice K and AB brake sets which blow
away the previous standard, the old Cal-Scale sets.

Brake Wheels: For later brake wheels, Kadee offers the same ones on
their PS-1's spearately, though without housings. Details Associates
offers a variety of brake wheels with housings. Precision Scale
makes a very nice Ajax brakewheel (no housing).

Running Boards: Tichy offers the nice injection molded wooden
running board from their USRA SS Boxcar kit if you don't want to
build one from wood or styrene, although the lateral running boards
are for the USRA car's more narrow width and run parallel to the
ends. For metal running boards, etched metal is the way to go, with
Plano Model Products making a good variety of designs. Just remember
to use a flexible adhesive such as R/C 50 or Weldbond or (in the
immortal words of Tim O'Connor) SPROING!!

Various manufacturers also offer kit components separately -
(underframes from Red Caboose, Intermountain, and Central Valley, for
example), and Al Westerfield offers many of his kit castings as
separate parts. He will also run specific parts from his kits as
needed (I've got some eight panel USRA Steel Boxcar sides for a PRR
Class ARA boxcar kitbash that I still need to finish) - contact him
for specific terms and prices.

Hope this gives you a running start!


Ben Hom


Jeff Aley - GCD PE <jaley@...>
 

On Mar 1, 8:25pm, bhom3@home.com wrote:
Subject: [STMFC] Re: random questions
Grab Irons: I prefer Westerfield's wire grabs - they're brass, which
I feel is easier to work with, especially when you have to file them
flush with the inside of an open car. Your choices for bracket type
grabs are much more limited, with the Details Associates part being
pretty much the only game in town.
Aren't the DA bracket grabs too long for most applications? I tried
shortening them (cut off the grab; leave the bracket; replace grab with
wire), but my modeling skills are apparently insufficient.
Result: I use Red Caboose bracket grabs. (I should try replacing the grab
part of *those* with wire; perhaps it's easier since they're styrene).

Regards,

-Jeff

--
Jeff Aley, Development Engineer jaley@pcocd2.intel.com
Graphics Components Division
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533


Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

The DA grabs are indeed 22" (or 24") ... too long for most uses.
The best replacements are Kadee's of course, but you have to buy
a whole boxcar to get them. ;o( Otherwise Red Caboose and
Intermountain and Branchline and Proto2000 all make bracket
grabs. You can greatly improve the appearance by cutting off the
plastic rod, and coring the brackets for .008 wire. This is kinda
tedious but not as hard as it may sound. They're also much stronger
than the originals when you do this.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeff Aley - GCD PE <jaley@pcocd2.intel.com>

Aren't the DA bracket grabs too long for most applications?


Jeff Aley - GCD PE <jaley@...>
 

On Mar 1, 3:48pm, Tim O'Connor wrote:
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: random questions
You can greatly improve the appearance by cutting off the
plastic rod, and coring the brackets for .008 wire. This is kinda
tedious but not as hard as it may sound. They're also much stronger
than the originals when you do this.
Tim,

Have you been doing this with the DA (delrin) grabs, or with
styrene grabs? I couldn't keep a good enough grip on the DA grabs to
accomplish this (after losing 4 or 5, I gave up!). Any tricks you can
offer would be most welcome.

Regards,

-Jeff

P.S. I'm using an Optivisor and use high-quality needle point tweezers
that I "borrowed" from work.

--
Jeff Aley, Development Engineer jaley@pcocd2.intel.com
Graphics Components Division
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533


Ted Culotta <ted@...>
 

Richard Stallworth asked:

"Is there a problem in getting models from Sunshine Models? I've
heard it mentioned on other lists that it takes a very loonnggg time
to receive models or catalogs from this company."

Ben Hom replied:

"I'm in agreement with John - I've never had any problems with getting
kits from Martin. Your best bet is to order from him direct."

Without trying to beat this topic to death (and that's happened before on
the FCL) I would like to add one comment. While Sunshine and F&C (not
Westerfield- Al's very speedy!) may sometimes take up to 3 months to fill
orders, thus angering some consumers, think of the alternative - a world
with many more homogenous freight car models. So, rather than getting
angry, pull one of those other unbuilt kits off the shelf and build it, or
if you're out of kits, make patterns for some resin parts that the rest of
us can use.

Suggested parts:
-- Underframe (Duryea) and doors for B&M's 1923 ARA box cars
-- Underframe for B&O's Duryea 1923 box cars
-- Ends for MDT (and sibling) steel reefers
-- Fixed "Pressed Steel" ends for a GTW 52'6" War Emergency gon
-- Drop "Pressed Steel" ends for a RI 52'6" War Emergency gon
-- Sides for an ART R-40-10 clone
-- Ends (rectangular panel) to make the B&O 40' box cars of the 40's (not
sure if it's that simple - did they have Duryea underframes?)
-- Duryea underframe and straps for the end side panels (plus grabs to
replace the ladders) to make a CNJ 52'6" War Emergency gon
-- Parts to make USRA 50-ton gon rebuilds (I haven't spent too much time
thinking about these - they may be simple kitbashes)
-- Tank car underframes and parts
-- sides for GN plywood box cars (orange/green)
-- sides for N&W steel box cars built in late 30's and 40's

Perhaps we can start another thread with users' kitbash parts wish lists.
This list does have the ability to tabulate polls, so once we have a list we
can poll it and send the results to Al, Martin, Steve and Sylvan.

Ted Culotta


Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Have you been doing this with the DA (delrin) grabs, or with
styrene grabs?
Styrene. I can't imagine trying it with Delrin (c) grabs.

Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@mediaone.net>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


byronrose@...
 

Hello Richard,

Since nobody seems to have answered all of your questions, I thought I'd
take it upon myself to do so and get everybody good and mad at me. Here
goes:

On Thu, 1 Mar 2001 12:56:44 EST ThisIsR@aol.com writes:
Good afternoon:
Is there a problem in getting models from Sunshine Models?
I've heard
it mentioned on other lists that it takes a very loonnggg time to
receive
models or
catalogs from this company.
The best way to get Sunshine Models is directly from Martin at one of the
many shows he goes to each year, especially his own in Naperville each
fall. Even when you order one from him in person that he doesn't have on
hand, it's still a 3 month wait. I've tried asking him for specific kits
a month before I was going to see him at a show, and it was still a 3
month wait - from the time of the show. Or ask a friend, perhaps someone
on this list, to pick them up for you when they see him.


Is there a particular detail parts company that is better at
building steam-era
super detail parts? More variety?
Best in overall quality is Grandt Line. Next is Precision Scale.
Followed by Detail Associates, Tichy, Bowser (Cal Scale) etc., etc., etc.
But keep in mind that no one company makes everything you'll need for
any freight car project. Also, you have to beware that some parts made
by some of them should be avoided. Fer instance, contrary to what some
before me have said, Tichy and Cal Scale AB brakes fall into that
category. Most, if not all of their AB brake parts are undersize. Just
compare them to the same parts made by Grandt Line (and Detail Assoc.)
which are pretty close to correct HO scale. The Cal Scale AB valve is
grossly squished, about .025" was removed from its middle many years ago,
and good old Bowser copied it in that exact misshaped form last year.
Tichys part is closer to TT scale. OTOH, the Cal Scale K brake is the
only one made with a proper size and shape to the triple valve part of
it.

Of the other parts out there, you need to try some of each and see if
they represent what you are trying to create. Remember that you are
building miniature versions of a real once-existing piece of equipment
and every part going into the miniature should be representative of that
on the full size car.


At what point did carbuilders and railroads switch from wooden
roofwalks to steel roofwalks?
Although new car construction changed from wood to steel after WW2, older
cars never were required to change and many of them retained their wood
walks until their death or disroofwalkment. Many cars had their walks
changed when they underwent a major rebuilding at some later point in
their life. The only real answer to this question is to look at photos
of that which you are modeling. If you have a photo of a 1932 built box
car taken in 1958 and it has a metal roofwalk on it, it's a good bet
that's what your model should have a metal roofwalk if you want it
representative of 1958.

BTW, the best way to represent wood roofwalks on a model is with
Evergreen 2x6 styrene strips. Almost any cast roofwalk will have board
ends and carriage bolt heads (not nails or rivets, but that's a subject
for another diatribe) patterns which will probably NOT line up with the
supports on the car you're modeling. They're easy to build from scratch,
and give your model a little customized detail visible from it's most
viewed from position.


Thank you for your time!
Richard Stallworth
You're welcome!

Byron Rose
________________________________________________________________
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ibs4421@...
 

Gosh Byron, I ain't mad at ya! In fact, in answering Richard's questions, you answered some I had not thought to ask, thanks.

Warren Dickinson


byronrose@...
 

After my minor diatribe t'other day, I decided to review some of the
other answers given to friend Richard (Stallworth) and felt the urge to
go above and beyond. To wit:

Grab Irons: I prefer Westerfield's wire grabs - they're brass,
which
I feel is easier to work with, especially when you have to file them
flush with the inside of an open car.
This is kind of a cop out answer, since most wire grabs available are
brass. The question is should we be encouraging friend Richard to keep
using the same old, same old .012" wire which we all know is about 50%
overscale? Why not encourage him to bend his own using .010" or even
.008" wire, a task I find I can do in less time than straightening some
of the prefab grabs, and get nice sharp corners in the bargain. Besides,
a lot depends where he's installing those grab irons, somebodies kit
where the size is predetermined, or a self inflicted location.

BTW, sometimes filing flush is not the thing to do. Let them project
about .005" and it will represent the bolt head on the inside of the car.
remember, they do not use lag bolts to hold grab irons on. In fact one
of the major points in the original 1911 Safety Standards was that all
hand holds (sic) be held on in a non loosening way. That would mean
either rivets or bolts with the threads projecting about 1/2" beyond the
nut on the visible side and its edges peened over, i.e. riveted. The
theory being that a lag bolt could loosen up in transit and when a
workman grabbed on, it would come loose spilling said workman all over
the countryside.


Your choices for bracket type
grabs are much more limited, with the Details Associates part being
pretty much the only game in town.
Actually, as discussed, DA is not even in the game, unless you model in
OO scale. I'm still looking for a place to use 24" bracket grabs. Any
of the newer kits grabs, IM, BLT, RC are at least the more common 18"
wide, but represent 2" diameter rod, rather than the more common 5/8" -
3/4" used. And the bracket parts are closer to 1"x3" bar, rather than
the 3/8" x 11/2" used. There are ways to model them more accurately, but
not in an email message.


Stirrup Steps: A-Line steps whever prototypically appropriate - the
wire steps hold up better under layout conditions than the Details
Associates derlin steps; however, Details Associates makes a greater
variety of types.
More disagreement, especially because I hate to see these parts on a
model with those cursed wide radius corners while the prototype has crisp
sharp corners. The DA steps, where there is a close match, is so much
closer to scale than any DIY version I have seen, and I have yet to break
one, either off or internally. The key is proper handling and
installation.

I know a lot of our list members swear by A-Lines steps, but I prefer to
bend my own, with sharp corners, from DA .010" x .030" brass. It's a
little smaller than A-Line uses, I think, and takes a crisp corner, most
of the time. OTOH, I am looking for a source of strip brass closer to
.007" x .020" for my own future use. I may even have to cut it myself.


Brake Details: Tichy makes very nice K and AB brake sets which blow
away the previous standard, the old Cal-Scale sets.
Only if you model TT scale. See my previous message.


Brake Wheels: For later brake wheels, Kadee offers the same ones on
their PS-1's spearately, though without housings. Details
Associates
offers a variety of brake wheels with housings. Precision Scale
makes a very nice Ajax brakewheel (no housing).
Except for Ajax wheels and housings, where there is a choice, this
depends on what is appropriate to the prototype (don't you just enjoy
typing that word, all on one line of the keyboard!) being modeled and who
offers the correct type. All the non-Ajaxs seem to be pretty good
representations, but I'm sure there are others who know much more about
this subject than I do. I wish they'd make that info more readily
available.


For metal running boards, etched metal is the way to go, with
Plano Model Products making a good variety of designs. Just
remember
to use a flexible adhesive such as R/C 50 or Weldbond or (in the
immortal words of Tim O'Connor) SPROING!!
Done right, yes to all of above. Problem is, nobody does them right. If
you bother to check a real RUNNING BOARD (that was for RHs benefit),
you'd see that the thickness at the edge is about 1 1/4" to 1 3/4",
depending on type. Most etched running boards are .005" to .007" thick,
which is way less than half of what they should be. Look at a photo of a
typical model with an etched board, and besides the waves which infect
it, it looks like it will depress when anything heavier than a small dog
walks on it. The solution to metal boards is to solder wire to each
edge, which is nigh onto impossible and still keep 'em straight. Another
problem is the joints between running board panels which occur on the
(alternating) supports which on most steel roofs are at 37" or 39" apart
(I forget which). An unbroken stretch of etched metal board kinda looses
that rhythm of running board to roof ribs. It can be solved, but its not
as easy as it should be, at least not yet.

Properly building and detailing freight car models, as well as any
models, is an ongoing process. It starts with learning as much as
possible about your subject and then incorporating that knowledge into
your construction efforts. Learning can happen by building models,
reading how others build models, learning how real cars were (and still
are) built, and seeing how real cars are built. For instance, the best
way to see how underbody equipment is put together is too look under a
freight car. Fortunately, there are enough cars from our era still in
existence that can be peered under. There are also cameras available
today (that were not as recently as 15 years ago) that can effortlessly
take excellent underbody detail photos to share with all of us so the art
won't be lost when the cars are.

Just remember, pre-digital photographs don't lie. If you model what's on
a photo, your models should be pretty close to accurate. Just don't
question that statement please, because even I don't think I understand
it now that I've written it.

Byron Rose
________________________________________________________________
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Richard Hendrickson
 

Because I was out of town over the weekend, I'm a bit late getting to this
particular party, but I do want to add a couple of notes to Byron Rose's
insightful and very useful comments. Byron is a superb modeler with vast
experience, so his advice is well worth taking seriously. At the same
time, we need to bear in mind that Byron models freight cars as highly
detailed static display models, the way other people model aircraft, ships,
motor vehicles, and such, which sometimes leads to a "take no prisoners"
approach. Those of us who build models to operate on layouts or dioramas
may feel that .008 grab irons and .007 X .020 brass sill steps are a bit
over the top, and simply too fragile to use on models that must sometimes
be handled and may even (perish the thought!) get derailed. (Please note
that in saying this I am NOT arguing that operating highly detailed rolling
stock models on a layout is a waste of time or that freight cars will break
and shed pieces unless all the details are oversize and molded on a la
Model Die Casting; I have no sympathy with those who argue that models are
good enough if they look okay from three feet away or who can't get a well
detailed model on the track without breaking it.)

In light of the above, I unrepentantly admit that I routinely use oversize
wire grab irons and A-line steps, I don't model brake rigging and other
underbody detail unless it's visible in profile, I leave the uncoupling
rods on my couplers because the staging tracks on my diorama mandate
magnetic uncoupling, and make some other minor compromises in the interest
of durability and reliable operation. I can only hope that Byron doesn't
turn out to be the gatekeeper at the model railroad equivalent of Valhalla.

By the way, Byron, it's easy to make sharp corners in A-line steps without
breaking them. I hit 'em with a quick jolt from my resistance soldering
tweezers until they glow a little, then plunge them into water. Thus
annealed, they can be bent into any shape you want. Just don't overdo it;
too much juice for too long will melt (or, in the extreme case, vaporize)
them.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520