A surprise from a tradition HO producer of quality resin kits. Yarmouth Model Works has posted a picture of a new project in 1/48. It is a Pennsylvania X31f automobile car. In the early 1940s the railroad rebuilt older X31a boxcars into a group of 690 automobile carriers (81200-81889). The turtleback raised roof section allowed for the use of auto racks to increase the number of autos carried. I have read that this group was also used to carry Jeep vehicles during WWII.
The model was developed using 3D design tools and printed on a high end machine. I suspect the production cars will be resin cast. It will likely available with detail hardware such as ladders, brake equipment, sill steps running boards and an AB brake system.
The above prototype picture shows chain tubes extending below the underframe. The cars were equipped with a 2D-F12 truck like the one Protocraft has imported. The photo shows the National B-1 used on these cars. Protocraft imported these as well.
The prototype cars lasted for a long time with 680 still on the roster in 1963 and a significant drop in 1968 to 12. The posting mention that the kit is targeted for fall release.
NEW 3D PARTS PROPOSED BY SMMW
Smoky Mountain Model Works has proposed a series of 3D printed details in 1/48. Jim King circulated a list of possible details ranging from AB brake sets, new hand brake systems, ladders, and a bunch of other parts. SMMW is using a new printing resin in their Form3 SLA machine that produces parts that are much more durable than tradition printed resins.
Here is an extract from an email sent by Smoky Mountain Model Works:
Below is a list of items I’m considering adding to my O scale freight car details line. If you want something specific, just email me off-list with your suggestions and I’ll add them to the list. No guarantee it/they will be made because market demand and available info (drawings/photos) drive new products. All of these will start out as S scale items, then be upscaled and tweaked for O.
Keep in mind that these are highly detailed, printed parts in clear resin. Detail is equal to injection molded parts but the material is more brittle so applications need to be scrutinized. These are not “miracle” parts that survive rough handling. The trade-off to availability of parts that otherwise would not be produced is greater brittleness which should not be an issue for most modelers. Many suppliers have retired or the companies sold over the past decade, making their parts increasingly difficult to find and pricey if found. 3D printing addresses this and allows for new designs that cannot be justified using traditional manufacturing methods.
The ladder shown above is for S scale. Jim has proposed a ladder design with .016″ rungs and .021″ wide stiles. That would make them very close to scale. Part of the discussion has been about making replacement parts for the old Intermountain freight ladders and bracketed grab irons.
Stirrup steps will not be produced … they are FAR too brittle to survive. Flat wire, injection molded parts and brass castings are still the best options.
These brake wheel/housing designs come from the 1953 and 1961 CBCs; the Universal dates to 1940s AAR flat cars:
Superior brake wheel/housing
Ajax AB brake wheel/housing
Champion/Peacock brake wheel/housing
Klasing brake wheel/housing
Universal brake wheel + ratchet mechanism for flat cars
AB “complete” brake set (Apex platform, reservoir, cylinder, triple valve, at least 3 lengths of levers, phosphor bronze wire, chain, clevises, retainer valve, bell crank). Everything you need to detail 1 car, regardless of car’s length.
Apex brake platform (grid) with angular supports (sold separately from AB set)
Retainer valve (sold separately from AB set)
Bell crank (set of 10 or so; sold separately from AB set)
“Grid pattern” roofwalks/end platforms (Ajax and Morton are main ones) for 40’ and 50’ cars
Draft gear (coupler) box and lid with screws to fit Kadee 740 (no drilling of box required)
Boxcar doors (not sure of designs yet … tell me what you want)
This is an exciting development which can add a range of details to our scale. This is an important development since the previous line of Chooch Ultra Scale II plastic is not on the market with uncertainty on its return. The former San Juan standard gauge parts are also currently unavailable so their AB brake system leaves a huge hole in model building. The parts are critical for kit makers too. The lack of details may cause kit makers to think twice about offering anything new.
Jay Criswell is developing a new version of joiner bars that may be more appealing to many. A nickel silver that can be soldered directly to the rail to capture the adjacent rail.
You only need to solder the joint bars to one side of the connection. This will allow expansion and contraction of rail on your layout. Jay will be offering the castings in Code 148, Code 125 and smaller rail heights.
The new parts should be available shortly. Contact Jay for availability and pricing.
I have some new material from Lee Turner. I thought I would share a view. More material will be posted shortly.
Thank you for taking a look.