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Author Previous Topic: The freelance California Railway & Navigation Co Topic Next Topic: Early Railroad Equipment into the 50s
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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 12/02/2017 :  11:49:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

Except for that funky floor and underframe, the AHM 34í boxcar is a fairly faithful copy of a Missouri Pacific prototype; the model appears to follow drawings in Railroad Model Craftsman decades ago.
I picked one up several years ago and intend to throw the floor away and build my own.

Mike


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

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 12/03/2017 09:00:16 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 4048 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/03/2017 :  12:11:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mike!

Thanks for your input!

Well... I'll have a LOT of those MP prototypes running about in Colorado eventually!

A few would have been welcomed variety... but over 2 dozen may be a bit much! If I had known, I would have preffered the overwhelming bulk of the "quickie" fleet to have been Bachmann versions.

The first of any duplicate projects is always the longest one. Once I have one modified, I'm sure the others will go a lot quicker... but I'm still left with that unusual rooftop and roofwalk. In the meantime, I will be adding select craftsman-type kits to the shelf to be built and added to the fleet later.

I am now tossing around the idea of doing the MINIMAL needed to the AHM boxcar that gets them run-ready (but not detailed)... then come back later and pull them a few at a time and change the elements on them I'm not satisfied with. However, the green CP versions are way too garrish for me to let them run in such paint. Still much to ponder.



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OK Hogger
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/03/2017 :  12:13:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Addendum:

Forgot to mention that I really like the look of the code 88 wheels!



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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 12/03/2017 :  09:40:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

Craig Bisgeier has used these cars on his layout without modifying the underbody and they look pretty good. You can see some here if you scroll down: http://www.housatonicrr.com/const_journal_13.htm With these examples he left the underbody black so they recede visually.

The roof walk is indeed unusual. I only recall seeing this type on a couple other railroads, notably the New York Central & Hudson River RR and the West Shore RR. Maybe there are more that a good search will uncover. The low body height and side ladders were typical features of boxcars west of the Mississippi in those days.

Mike



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

Country: USA | Posts: 4048 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 12/03/2017 :  09:57:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

And donít forget that the Missouri Pacific was Jay Gouldís railroad. MP cares were probably running all over your region.

Mike


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

Country: USA | Posts: 4048 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 12/03/2017 :  10:48:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

You motivated me to see what kind of job it is to modify the underbody of the AHM car. Hereís what I did:
1. Removed extensions of corners of underbody
2. Carved back ridges on inside of body a little.
3. Removed brake staff. It can be reinstalled once bottom part which extends into car is trimmed.





For the curious, here is the unusual roof walk:



The whole operation took about seven minutes. Not bad for the first time.

Mike


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

Country: USA | Posts: 4048 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/03/2017 :  12:44:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The roof is still a bit funky, got any plans for it?

dave


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

Country: USA | Posts: 7133 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/03/2017 :  3:36:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mike:

Yes, I did all of that and my first still doesn't settle down as it should onto the frame. Haven't had time to get back to it to see what is keeping it from setting down on the frame as it should. Your success gives me hope that it's something I overlooked... but then there's (see below)...

Dave:

Yes, the roof SUCKS. Doesn't EVEN look like a car roof from the 1880's to my eyes.

Like I said, I so wish I hadn't "assumed" these AHM/Pochers were the same basic mold that Bachmann used. They're NOT, and now I've got a ton of them to deal with. In my haste, I would simply purchase (sometimes in batch lots), and stack on the shelf for "later". Shouldn't 'a done that... should'a looked the first one over closely and compared it to the Bachmann/China knock-offs. Would have saved myself this hassle (even 7 minutes per car adds up when you're talking an entire fleet of 'em to fix), and then I'm still stuck with that roof.

Ah well... like the little fuzzy worm said when questioned how he was going to get across that big pasture: "Inch by inch it's a cinch!"






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OK Hogger
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/05/2017 :  10:55:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi All!

Thought I'd share some findings along with an update of sorts!

Working afternoon trains (Santa Train excursions) yesterday/today so I've had daylight hour time to be out in my new out-building tinkering on my Colorado & Pacific stuff. (Yup... as I had hoped, it is GREAT to sit at my hobby desk, the oldies station serenading me in the background with music I grew up with... toasty warm... and looking out at the cold overcast winter day through my desk window! Life is good!)

ANYHOO...

The rest of my coupler orders came in yesterday, so it was off to the building this morning to see how the smaller 58 series couplers were going to work in view of my "Givens n' Druthers". First up, the 34' cars. My findings:

* The short shank 153's (whisker type) will work fine and dandy mounted flush on the ends of 34' cars on 15" radius curves. The couplers even gather up and couple without assistance! AND... those 242 "snap fit" coupler boxes are THE BOMB! Love 'em. SOOO much easier to work with than the old 232 boxes/sheet box spring arrangement.

Next up were the AHM/Pocher Old Time passenger cars. All along my idea has been to mount the box as far inward as possible to allow swing on the tight little 15" radius curves that will be used in the hidden curves. I originally figured it would require the #158 long shank couplers. Did some head scratching, but then figured out:

* Where to drill/tap the hole for a 2-56 screw.

* That I needed to trim the excess on the rear of the 242 box.

I then tried the #158 long shank couplers. They worked... but looked loooooong, so the distance between the cars wasn't exactly to my liking. So, off came the boxes and I replaced the #158's with the #156 medium shank 58's.

Whoa... the back (horn) of the coupler was nigh flush against the end sill. Very close. In fact, I had to trim off a few cast-on underbody raised portions to allow the couplers to swing and self-center. They were going to be REALLY close-coupled. I had my concerns. With a couple of cars so equipped, it was time to plop them onto the 15" radius test track.

To my surprise, they rounded the curve without any problems whatsoever! Even bunched tightly (as in a shoving movement), there was a smidge less than 1/16" between sill corners and roof edges! Hey an inch is as good as mile, right? Well, in HO terms, a 1/16" of an inch is as good as a foot... right?

AND... much to my surprise, the couplers will gather and make (unassisted) couplings on the 15" curves!!

I'm in like Flynn in view of the space necessitated 15" radius curves for my hidden return loops.

Armed with the above, I can now order couplers en mass for installation.

AHM/Pocher 34' Cars:

Beginning to gather up Bachmann 34' boxcars to replace the bulk of the AHM/Pocher boxcars. I will be selling the boxed AHM/Pocher cars (eventually). Also purchasing a few select Central Valley Old Timer kits when I get an opportunity to make an offer for a reasonably priced kit. I also expect to pick up some Bitter Creek cars as well as some of the BTS offerings. I really would like to have some nice VARIETY in my boxcar (rolling stock) fleet EVENTUALLY.

Along this line, I started assembling a Central Valley kit I had on the shelf. It's been the mid-1980's since I've built one of these! In a pleasant surprise, I'm really enjoying it. Wood is SO much different than working with sytrene. Very nice change of pace compared to working with styrene/plastic for over 3 decades!!

OH... and those code 88 wheels look great. Experimenting with cars so equipped through switches indicates that I can expect NO code 88-induced issues with them in regards to tracking.

Like I said above: Life is good!


Andre





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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/05/2017 :  11:23:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shorter cars tend to accept close coupling, I think it's a matter of geometry on curves.

I have a couple of those AHM/Pocher cars with the funky roofwalk. I'm mulling over trying to mill out that roofwalk and gluing more conventional wood strips (running lengthwise.) Nice thing about those is there's low financial risk if I mess it up.

dave


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

Country: USA | Posts: 7133 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/05/2017 :  12:03:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave:

Yup on the shorter cars. A modeler's friend indeed. I actually sort of expected the little 34 footers to knuckle-up on the 15" radius, so the real (pleasant) surprise for me was the longer passenger cars coupling unassisted on the 15" curves.

AHM/Pocher cars revisited:

My thinking is along that line, too. I was also going to shave off the rivet strips (or whatever they are) that's on the roof and laminate on the thinnest scribed styrene available. However, given the amount of cars I need to get roll-ready PRONTO... that sort of project will simply have to wait.

At this point, I haven't decided yet what my "roll ready" threshold will be. The absolute most basic of essentials required are truck replacements (where called for), code 88 wheels installed, 58 series couplers installed with the "air hoses" trimmed off, all couplers mating with the height gauge. Such a car would technically be "roll ready" in a scale-type environment. Then come back later and pull a couple off, "detail/paint/decal/weather". However, with that approach, I'm left with the garish paint/plastic colors on the toy train stuff I'm converting. Unfortunately, adding "details/paint/decals/weathering" to the "roll ready" threshold will add a TON more work/time.

Decisions, decisions!

In all, though, it's been great getting back into actually spending some time piddling with models as opposed to simply gathering up models and dreaming.

Andre



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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/05/2017 :  1:32:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The roof ribs are supposed to be a Murphy patent roof, I suspect. Fairly widely used from about 1890s onward. (see http://nebwrailroad.com/index.php?title=NEB%26W_Introduction_to_Freight_Car_Roofs and http://www.pacificng.com/ref/freighttech/TheRoofProblem_By_Randy_Hees.pdf ) If sanding/milling just the roofwalk doesn't work out, I figure I can always sand the ribs off the roof and either replace them with smaller ribs (styrene strips), scribed sheeting, or even something to simulate a tarred cloth roof (painted kleenex, or even paper hospital tape.)

dave


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

Edited by - deemery on 12/05/2017 1:34:25 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7133 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/05/2017 :  2:22:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi again Dave!

Hm... would the "tar paper look" be found in the 1880s? I intend to be quite flexible in many of the era-specific elements of my layout, but a few things might bother me, even if I am trying my best to not return to being anal on counting rivets. For some time, I've had desire to have a layout "one of these days". Well, "one of these days" is fast approaching, and I'm not getting any younger, so I don't want to bog down majoring on what I now feel are minor issues. Anyway, if tar paper roofs were still in evidence in the 1880s, I've had success using tissue paper to represent tar paper. Some strip styrene over the roofwalk, and a tar paper roof could put a few of these AHM/Pocher's on the layout for a bit of variety.

All:

I now have two Bachmann 34' and two AHM/Rivarossi passenger cars cars "roll ready". Also have equipped one of my Bachmann NT 4-4-0's with a short shank #153 on the tender and a medium shank #156 on the pilot. The smaller size of the 58 series couplers looks really nice. Back onto the work bench went the Central Valley kit. Time to order boo coos of couplers.

Here's a parting pic. Like I said... LIFE IS GOOD!




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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/05/2017 :  2:42:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Read the Hees article for more details. Canvas roofs were pretty common in the 1880s. The difference there would be the entire roof was covered by a single strip of canvas, which was nailed down and then painted with something waterproof. Easy to model: Lay down a bed of craft paint, then lay a single sheet of Kleenex or even telephone book paper. Fold over the fascia strips (side and end) and trim. Then (re)paint with the roof color. Any small wrinkles you get are 'a feature'. Here's a highly weathered example.


Another example (O scale)


dave


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

Edited by - deemery on 12/05/2017 2:47:41 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7133 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/05/2017 :  3:16:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds good, Dave! Thanks for all your info!

A tar paper roof will salvage some of these AHM/Pocher's for me.

Off to work to go play trains!

Andre



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