NEW PRODUCTS: Rock Island Flat Car by Twin Star Cars

Twin Star is the creation of Ross Dando a number of years ago producing HO products.  Ross started the business up recently with the strong design to produce accurate 1/4″ scale products for his favorite railroad, the Rock Island.  His first creation is a stunning 53’6″ flat car kit.  It surpasses nearly every flat car produced in 1/48 scale.  The kit is primarily made from high quality urethane cast from patterns produced by Ross.  He entrusted the patterns to Jon Cagle who runs Southern Car & Foundry.  Jon is the go to guy when it comes to difficult jobs requiring a great deal of care and precision.   The basic patterns set this model above the field in terms of accuracy and fidelity to scale.

Ross is on the left side and Jon Cagle is in the background on the right.  The picture was taken at March Meet.

Detail like producing two different stake pocket designs that were crafted in 3D CAD and printed on a high resolution SLA printer.  The resulting parts were then cast in urethane by Jon Cagle for construction of the tooling master.

Here are two views of the flat car showing the different styles used on these cars.

A clue to the history of these Rock Island cars are the large splice plates on the sidesill.  The railroad’s shop extended two groups of shorter and older cars to produce a contemporary size for the era.  The cars would be able to handle the loads as the AAR 50-ton flat cars.

The detail is complete on the underside of the car.  The San Juan AB set provides the proper brake gear.

Ross developed this model while discovering information as he went along.  One example is the hand brake set used by the Rock Island.  The initial look pointed towards a Universal hand brake with a drop shaft.   Ross found a drawing on eBay that showed a Ureco hand brake set for this car.  This was after Terry Van Winkle had designed, printed and cast a number of sets.   Ross decided to bite the bullet and get the right brake set made.  Terry did a remarkable job of taking the drawing and converting them into a set of exquisite brass casting.  The CAD drawing shown below is the Ureco design.

Drop style hand brakes used a square staff on most designs.  Ross decided that he needed to do this.  He used a jewelers draw plate to form a square post out of round brass wire.

The hand brake is shown installed on the flat car.

Twin Star Cars will offer this hand brake set separately soon.  The Ureco hand brake was a commonly used appliance by a number of railroads.  I did find that the Northern Pacific 52′ flat cars had this style as well.

I have added the order announcement from Twin Star Cars.  Quality like this does cost more than a generic model made in China.  This kit will produce an exquisite and unique model.  I hope that Ross will produce more kits of this quality.

Gene

RI-53-6-Order-Announcement

 

 

 

 

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NEW PRODUCTS: PBL Products

P-B-L has been around for as long as I can remember.  For years I considered them a Sn3 supplier and importer.  I discovered their paint line called Star Brand and liked it for airbrushing.  Recently, I have puchased a few tools and found them to be good quality at a fair price.

I started to build up a pilot model for a new plastic kit and discovered that Testors liquid cement was doing much.  It appears that they changed the formula to protect us from ourselves.  The kit I am working on shot in ABS which is very widely used in the industry.  At that point I decided that I needed Methyl Ehtyl Ketone (MEK).  It is the forbidden modelers elixir here in the not so golden state of California.   However, I did find that I can buy it from P-B-L in small quantities.   Maybe there is a state called do Jefferson.   There is no substitute for the real stuff.  The parts were going together nicely.

While nosing around at P-B-L online store, I found a neat 4″ file that has a blank edge on one side and teeth on the other.  The file in made by Nicholson and is first rate.   It is very handy for filing down the thickness of plastic parts without damaging an adjoining surface.

P-B-L has a number of useful tools created by modelers for modelers. 

Check their site out.

Gene

NEW PRODUCTS: Modern Boxcar Kit and Assorted Goodies

It seems that the vast majority of craftsman/urethane kits have been focused on  the steam era.  Bill Yancey has changed that paradigm with the launch of his new 50 foot FMC boxcar kits.  His company is Modern Era O Scale.  He has invested a lot of time into making superb patterns and having them cast by the best foundry in the US.   The result is a product that will grab your attention.  This series of FMC cars are common in the modern railroad scene.   The Western Pacifc car was assembled and finished by Bill.

He used a novel technique for finishing the car.   Bill learned about using gouache at the Bridgetown RPM meet held in Portland,Oregon.  Here are his words describing his method. Gouache is an opaque watercolor.  It comes in tubes and available at your local art store or online. He used 4 colors: black; burnt umber; burnt sienna; and orange.  To keep them from just beading up, you paint them on at full strength.  Bill has had the best luck using an artist brush called a ‘filbert’.  It is stiff bristled and rounded. Then you use a lint free cloth to start wiping the paint down until you have the weathering you like.  The great thing about gouache is that it’s completely reversible.  You can then overspray with Dullcoat.  Then you can add more weathering if desired without disturbing the weathering already done. I have a tendency to accidentally over weather. Being so easily removed has been a big help in mastering the technique.

The kits can be puchased from his website and are sold less decals, couplers and trucks.   There are different configurations available.  The prices is $160 plus shipping.

Jimmy Booth tried his hand at the kit finishing it with an extreme weathering job.  Paint failure was done with hairspray I believe.

Protocraft continues to bring new products to the market.  Recently Boo Rim delivered a new Pennsylvania Railroad truck called the 2D-F12.  Like all of his recent trucks, this type has ball bearings on the axles and ribbed backed metal wheels.   The truck has a leaf spring which the prototype used to control oscillations in the coil springs.   The PRR used this truck on the following car classess:

FM, F32, GLa, GS, K7a, XL and X23 through X36.  In some cases these trucks replaced 2D-F8 trucks which had all coil springs.

The truck has a uniform bolster height which makes it easier to upgrade existing cars in your collection.   It is a very clean set of brass castings assembled with care and mechanically sound.

The trucks sell for $52.95 plus postage.  They can be ordered via the Protocraft website.

 

Speaking of Protocraft, Norm recently posted a bunch of new decal sets.   There was a backup at Microscale due to a very large order of airplane decals for someone in the UK.  Things are getting back to normal in terms of turnaround.

A new resin kit supplier has entered the scene.  They are Twin Star Models.  Their first offering will be a 53′ steel flatcar once owned by the Rock Island.  The railroad spiced the cars to add length to fifty-three feet.   Here is a sample of what Twin Star is doing.

This a shot of the uerthane deck for the kit.  It is far and away the best “wood” deck I have ever seen.   Can wait to throw some weathering on this beauty.  You will be able to see the pilot model for this new kit.

Thanks for stopping by

Gene

 

NEW PRODUCTS: Diesel Details

Hi-Tech Details just released a new diesel detailing set of 1/4″ scale.   It is sprue of various air and signal lines used on diesel locomotives.  The set is molded in a rubber material that is flexible enough to prevent breakage in normal handling.

Hi-Tech Details also sells air hoses for freight installations. They are available with or without brass mounting brackets.

Hi-Tech said that they will have the parts listed on their website soon.   In the mean time, you can order direct.  The price is $14.95 and $5.00 for shipping.

Thanks for checking in.

Gene

 

NEW PRODUCTS: A Better Mitre Box

I have mentioned how handy these metal mitre boxes and the micro saws before. It is an essential part of my tool kit. I use it all the time when working on models. The first one I bought was not wide enough to fit a .250″ strip of material in the box. I just found a new version of the mitre box that is wider and longer. I now easily fits .250″ strip easily in the box as you can see above. The dimensions are .410″ wide, .288″ deep and 4.255″ long.

The new box is sold by UMM-USA

UMM is an online supplier of items used by military modeler. This product sells this very handy tool for $16.95 for part number MN048.

I recommend the product to you.

Gene

MODELING/NEW PRODUCTS: Latest Lee Turner Project and a New Kit

Lee Turner just sent several photos and description below.

Here is a Westside Models heavy duty 16 wheel flat car. Cut levers and air hoses were added. It was painted and lettered to match one of three PRR F34 class flat cars , note the Dahlman two level heavy duty trucks with a short five foot wheel base. The load was supplied by the owner who had bought these resin cast “scooper things” at an estate sale of a O-scale steel mill modeler. They were painted with a dark gray and then sponge painted with a light gray which gave a good base simulating mill scale. A quick wash of modelers crack (Vallejo dark brown wash) gave definition to the structure of the object. Bits of sponge were used a again to apply Vallejo dark rust, red leather and light yellow rust. Some Winsor & Newton tube oil burnt sienna was used to bring all the rust tones together in the heavily rusted interior portions. Lastly a very thin coat of burnt umber was judiciously sprayed on the edges and seams. The Mesta Machine placards were done on the computer and printed  on photo paper. The deck of the flat was prepared with Evergreen styrene angle for this load and excess angle and strip was glued around the deck to simulate dunnage from previous loads. Simulated fresh welds and chalk marking from the layout of angle iron bracing was the final touch to load and cars.
  As a side note Mesta Machinery was a real company who made the huge machines used in steel making like presses and shears. IF you google image search “Mesta Machine” you will find many shots of various PRR heavy duty flats and loads along with the products they manufactured.
 Lee’s work is incredible.  I would have never thought of adding chalk marks on the deck.  Thank you for the inspiration.
RAILS UNLIMITED

Rails Unlimited has released a several new urethane kits that are available as a flat or with pre-assembled bodies.  They sent several photos of their Rock Island stock car kit.  It is a classic design that was rebuilt from Fowler clone boxcar.  The Rock Island ran these cars for a long time well into the diesel era.

The patterns and the pilot model were done by Jeff MacDonald. I understand the production kits were cast by Westerfield.   The castings look very nice based upon a photo sent by Ross Dando.

 

WORTHWHILE BLOG

Mike Cougill is a skilled modeler with a strong sense of seeing the scale and features of a model or scene.  I found the picture shown below on how to create an effective scene that creates interest and draws the person into the work.  You should check out Mike’s work at OST Publications.

 

Thanks for stopping by

Gene

NEW PRODUCTS: Busy Time of Year

This time of year seems to be busier than the rest of the time.  Decorating and preparations for family and friends visiting consumes the day.  Retirement wasn’t supposed to be this busy.   As you would expect my modeling time is an expendable part of the daily routine.  I have done very little new to show for the time.

NEWS FROM PROTOCRAFT

Protocraft survived the Wine Country fire this fall.  While Norm’s home and railroad did sustain damage, he was luckier than many in his community.  The state continues to battle wild fires but in the southland.

I wanted to show you two parts that Protocraft has in their extensive line of parts.  The first is a threaded bushing that is designed to be used on wood, plastic or resin cars. The knurled surface will enhance the attachment.  The bushing is threaded for 1-72 shouldered screws that are included.

The second part I am highlighting is a cast brass roping bracket.  Freight cars were often moved at an industrial site with a cable that was attached to a bracket that was at the car bolster.

 

 

The roping brackets of this style was commonly used on Southern Pacific single sheathed boxcars.  Other railroads used similar or identical parts on their freight cars.

 

 

 

I have pointed out a typical installation of the bracket on the body bolster of the A-50-6 automobile car.

 

 

Here is a closeup of the bracket installed on this  Southern Pacific B-50-13 boxcar. 

Protocraft expects a large shipment from Korea of new models and trucks in the new year.  Stay tuned.

Gene