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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 04/04/2015 :  4:30:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
These are interesting and from appearances fun kits to build. I'm almost certain I know the person manufacturing these, so I don't want to criticize them. There are so few kits available for our period

Earlier somebody suggested the hopper is based on a Reading car, and this is maybe true. They certainly look like early P&R cars from the late 1860's to about 1880. The ambiguity might stem from the fact that the 1879 Car Builders Dictionary is the source of the engraving which comes with the kit instructions. The 1888 CBD has the same engraving but in the caption refers the reader to a drawing of a modern version, a Reading hopper.

If you look closely at the engraving, plans in the 1888 CBD, and plans in Eric Neubauer's book on the Reading's freight cars in the 1900's, you can see that the coupler 'pockets' are inline with the side and end sills, unlike most of the cars we build where the coupler is attached under the end and center sills. The hoppers have no center sills, just short intermediate sills running back to the body bolsters. The effect of course is that when we mount couplers under the end and center sills the model sits too high. As suggested you might want to use an offset coupler.

I believe the Reading was before its time in hauling coal in fleets of 8-wheel self-clearing hopper cars at a time when the norm was either four-wheel jimmies or hopper bottom gondolas that required men to shovel some of the coal out from the flat floors of the ends. These hoppers were only required to haul 10 tons of coal so the P&R could get away with a relatively weak frame. The trusses in the sides were undoubtedly a way to make up for the light frame.

Despite limitations, this is a fairly good model for the period represented.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

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CavalryTrooper25
Crew Chief

Posted - 04/06/2015 :  08:26:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The problem is there isn't much mounting bolster to work with. I agree, the Kadee offset couplers may become necessary....or you could go with link/pin. There matching height isn't quite so much of an issue.

Horse




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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/06/2015 :  09:35:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My thought is to remove the current bolster and replace it with a piece of styrene of the right height. But I haven't looked at this since slapping the trucks on it last week.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/07/2015 :  12:30:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's the Silver City and older Red Ball kits, side-by-side:

The Red Ball kit sits lower on the trucks with a thinner end sill.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7093 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 04/07/2015 :  1:52:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave how do these new kit compare in length to the red ball kits? They look a little shorter, I do like how the red ball models sit lower.

It's only make-believe

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CavalryTrooper25
Crew Chief

Posted - 04/07/2015 :  3:33:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not being all that familiar with this particular Red Ball kit, is it a wood craftsman kit, like most of theirs were?

Horse




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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/07/2015 :  4:43:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Red Ball kit was mostly white metal castings. The undercarriage was a solid piece of wood. These date to the 1960s or earlier, I've had them A Long Time (tm)

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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BlairM
Section Hand

Posted - 04/08/2015 :  10:59:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I picked up a pair of these hoppers as well from Silver City. After studying them next to the Red Ball Castings I can confirm that these castings are made using the same Red Ball parts. The detail duplicates right down to the orientation of the square bolts on the side frames. This is all okay and I believe these sort of castings have been cleared previously in legal situations.
The kit is nice at $8 and assembles quickly. The resin is of some formulation that the ACC glue I used cured immediately when it came into contact with the parts.
I assembled my kit with Bitter Creek trucks of the Bitter Creek Woodbeam trucks of the 3'-6" wheelbase, these are the trucks offered with the original Red Ball Kit and are also the PERFECT truck for building the model to the early 1860s Reading specifics. I went through all of the drawings in the White Freight Car book and found several drawings of this Hopper. In the 1870s this car was switched from Woodbeam trucks to small archbar trucks, also available from Bitter Creek in standard gauge.

When mounting the trucks it is important to file off the bolster included in the Silver City Kit, the trucks should be centered directly below the vertical frame member with the 2 diagonals pointing at the truck like an arrow. The vertical was placed directly over the truck to distribute the load just like a bridge truss (This car was built without an sort of queen post mounted truss support).
I shimmed the truck just enough to to allow it to swivel clear, I also removed material from the top of the woodbeam to bring the truck into a more accurate profile. I mounted Accumate Proto-mate couplers on my hopper with a cut down box and using only the bottom portion of the box, the height matches right to my standards when using this method. I will weight beneath a permanent coal load since the interior does not have any detail.
Additionally the corner steps should be cut off, none of the prototype had these, and these were only an addition by Red Ball to satisfy a market desire for such details. I can post plenty of photos that show this car without corner steps.




Edited by - BlairM on 04/08/2015 10:34:49 PM

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BlairM
Section Hand

Posted - 04/08/2015 :  11:23:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Early mid 1850s elevation


Late 1870s appearance with archbar trucks



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dave1905
Fireman



Posted - 04/08/2015 :  1:43:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From everything I have read, the P&R retired that tupe of hopper by the 1890's. Did any other roads continue to use that type of car into the early 1900's? LNE? CNJ?

Dave H.

Iron men and wooden cars

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BlairM
Section Hand

Posted - 04/08/2015 :  4:20:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Best as I know Reading was the end of the road for these cars. The 4 wheel jimmies were more hated than these and at the end of their career a giant ramp was constructed to launch the jimmies into a scrap heap where they were burned to salvage metal.
The turnover in new hopper designs was pretty quick in the early 1900s, lots of new designs and improvements were continually eclipsing designs every 5-10 years.
Westerfield makes a number of nice metal 1900 hoppers, 2 really nice LVRR & CRRofNJ/P&R.



Edited by - BlairM on 04/08/2015 10:22:03 PM

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BlairM
Section Hand

Posted - 04/08/2015 :  10:43:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Early 1870s Breaker


Reading Palmer Vein Colliery


Pottsville Jct. 1890



Edited by - BlairM on 04/08/2015 10:54:29 PM

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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/08/2015 :  10:46:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some great old photos of those cars, Thanks!!

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7093 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 04/09/2015 :  01:08:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for those great pictures.

It's only make-believe

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hon3_rr
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/09/2015 :  10:58:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm into narrow guage so not much to say about the kits. But it sure looks like you guys are having fun with the kit and its been enjoyable to listen in.

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

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