50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Re: 50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Postby railtwister » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:28 pm

Should we all just sit around getting gray (I'm already there!), griping about each model not having the correct number of panels and rivets, and wait for some benevolent manufacturer to sink a fortune into tooling up a perfect model of a boxcar that results in a model that must sell for $400 each in the production numbers that the TT market could support?

Why do we have to have 1 piece body shells? It would seem to me that by having separate roofs, floors, sides, and ends, we would be better off. Especially if we had a choice of those components to pick from, a kit a la carte, so to speak. Sure, they might not be accurately dimensioned down to every scale millimeter, but at this stage in TT's development, it should be close enough, and the tooling would be better utilized, since each style of component would only need to be tooled once. It sure would be nice to have a choice of roof types and ends to use with a Gold Coast 40' boxcar kit for instance, perhaps taller or shorter sides & ends that use the same floor & roof, or how about a 50' boxcar flat-kit that could have interchangeable sides, doors, roofs, & ends, so that a variety of "close enough" cars could be modeled? The same idea could apply to gondolas, reefers and other types of cars as well. If the model is a few scale inches off in any direction, who's really going to notice when the model's sitting on a layout anyway?

For instance, I would like to see some sides and ends that could use a Gold Coast floor and trucks to produce a 40' gondola and/or flat car. The gondola could be low, medium, or high sided, the flat could have straight or fish-belly sides, or all of the above. I'm not looking for a perfect model of a specific road number of a particular prototype, a generic model is OK with me.

To be perfectly honest, the MDC boxcar used as an example earlier in this thread, doesn't really bother me all that much, although it is too modern for my personal tastes. There were boxcars that had waffle sides, there were some that had flat roofs, some with plug doors, tapered sills, and there were some with dreadnaught ends, so the car is plausible. Some "experts" say that no such car ever existed with all those features in the same car, but honestly, I don't know that for sure, I'll simply have to take the "expert's" word for it. If it were made as a flat kit, with alternate ends, sides, and doors available, I think a plausible model could be made representing many different cars. I will say here that however a model is produced, I'm not a fan of poured resin kits whether flat or one piece.

This could be something that could be done slowly, one component at a time. Another thing that could be done for variety is parts like ladders and metal roofwalks. Does anyone know if the old punched brass ladder strip once made for TT scale is still available anywhere?

Those who would prefer having nothing rather something that isn't perfectly accurate, should already be happy, since that's pretty much what we have now.

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Re: 50ft "MDC"-type 4-high Waffleside

Postby Richard-B » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:31 pm

areibel wrote:For the availability of 50' boxcars in TT at the moment (which would be zero), I think this would do some good. Find a caster, get a quote and do a poll to see who would be interested..

Never say "NEVER" !!! <sigh>

Based on several requests over the past week... a very limited production run may happen.
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Re: 50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Postby areibel » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:19 pm

railtwister wrote:Those who would prefer having nothing rather something that isn't perfectly accurate, should already be happy, since that's pretty much what we have now.

Bill in FtL


Give that man a cigar!

If this master is only good for making a base model for other 50 foot cars, it's still light years above what we have now! If you don't want the aggravation of making up kits, don't do it. You don't need to add a chassis and trucks and details- leave that up to the modeller. Sell the shells straight from the caster. If someone wants to use a block of wood to screw the trucks to, they can. If they want a superdetailed chassis with all the brake rigging they can do that too- that much is a lot easier than building the entire car. Or if they want to cut the sides out and add a styrene to simulate welded sides with the plug door or a couple of doors cut from GC boxcar sides? Lots of more possibilities!
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Re: 50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Postby Rob M » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:29 pm

railtwister wrote:Why do we have to have 1 piece body shells? It would seem to me that by having separate roofs, floors, sides, and ends, we would be better off.
Bill in FtL


I was going to put this off announcing until Fall when I had more time to devote to it but while developing this PS 50' waffle sided boxcar the thought occurred to me that "build a boxcar" webpage might be a good idea. Dimensionally this is the same as the Railboxes so I was able to use the bottom I already had designed. The end, roof and sides are different though.

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Re: 50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:49 pm

Give that ^^^^ man a cigar as well!
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Re: 50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Postby areibel » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:55 pm

I'll agree with that! They look great Rob!
But it also means I got to get my arse in gear, I've got to finish up my Railboxes before the new ones come out! They're built but I really need to get painting!
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Re: 50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Postby scaro » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:19 am

the argument about producing sides, roofs and ends as flat pieces is one i've had before and lost. in this case the guy went ahead and produced his one-piece.

what could have been a decent kit, ok, mildly crappy ... but able to be used to make a few good things, was now a one-piece pile o'poo, and beyond saving. surgery for the patient was now impossible.

i didn't buy his one-piece, as i had said i wouldn't. problem was, neither did anyone else. people noticed the errors.

the train set crowd might have, but he wasn't in a section of the hobby that had a train set crowd.

he got sore with me and the model railway world generally, and that was the last i heard of him. until a couple of years later, i did buy one of his models, hacked up the sides to remedy the faults and used it to do a casting for something entirely different. he contacted me threatening all sorts of legal action.

i wasn't selling my castings in any event; i doubt anyone would have wanted them. needless to say that threat was as much of a non-event as his career as a producer.

what i would say about one-piece flat parts is that because of print orientation and the ability to sand flat pieces, it's probably a lot easier to make them as shapeways prints.
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Re: 50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Postby railtwister » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:06 am

scaro wrote:the argument about producing sides, roofs and ends as flat pieces is one i've had before and lost. in this case the guy went ahead and produced his one-piece. what i would say about one-piece flat parts is that because of print orientation and the ability to sand flat pieces, it's probably a lot easier to make them as shapeways prints.


While I wasn't really referring to 3D printed parts, and have stated on numerous occasions that I personally have little interest in resin kits in general, I agree that you may be correct about the horizontal printing producing better results.

The main thrust of my post was to lobby for flat kits with interchangeable components such as sides, ends, roofs, doors, etc., hopefully in an injection molded plastic such as styrene or ABS. I have heard that there are small injection molding machines that are used for mold test shots and low volume production items, which are manually operated rather than automatic. It's my understanding that a lot of the Grandt Line parts are produced in these type machines, and from what I've heard, it sounds like such equipment would be ideal for TT production runs. Molds cut from aluminum or brass (which is cheaper than steel, though shorter lived) would probably be adequate for TT production as well.

In addition to the injection molding process, Rob has shown with his CNC milled kits that such production techniques are another way to produce flat-kits in the kind of numbers the TT market can support.

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Re: 50ft (not Gunderson) 4-high Waffleside

Postby scaro » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:22 am

yes, you are right in your call. i would think low tech mold making is satisfactory.

people however are wedded to things produced either RTR or near as, in the commercial side of the hobby, i have never understood why folk thing this is a good idea in something like TT but no point going there.

maybe a diversion, but at the moment, i'm more and more convinced of the merits of paper as a model making material.

this has application particularly for american steel boxcars, in combination with cast ends, roofs and doors.

as long as it's laminated to something sturdy, paper shows rivet, bolt detail and weld lines remarkably well. considerably better than styrene. riveted styrene invariably is overscale for TT as the styrene itself is too thick, so when pressed through, the rivet usually looks too big. unlike styrene, paper doesn't pick up things like fingerprints, brush marks and solvent overflow marks. nor does it warp.

all you need is a sharpened noticeboard pin for rivets, a slightly blunter one for bolts, a sharp hobby knife for cuts, a blunter one for pressing weld lines, and a dead biro for indenting heavier pressings ie, those in boxcar doors. a finished side can be laid flat onto sheet styrene, just brush on MEK which will soak through and laminate it securely and then cut it out of the styrene sheet.

what you may find handy for american boxcars is paper sides printed with lettering etc on the 'display side' which have the lines, indents and rivet detail printed on the reverse side so they can be scribed or punched through in the correct place, to create the 3-D effect.

it would obviate the need for decals, which i have noticed often look poor in small scales; very hard to hide the decal film. i think printed TT boxcar sides are sold on ebay, but i do not know whether they are thin paper or cardboard and i doubt they come with a template on the reverse to locate and allow indenting of detail. as for accuracy, most of those listed seem to be distressingly 'prototype free' .

i think paper is better than cardboard although obviously care is needed. old models using paper tended not to last well, but in that era they didn't have styrene to laminate it to, and solvents like MEK which just soak through the paper and stick it flat to the styrene in an instant.
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