some new rolling stock

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by nachoman, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Here is a Rio Grande Models HOn3 flat car kit I picked up at a train show a few weeks ago. It is a white metal kit based on a Westside Lumber Company prototype. i still need to weather the trucks, but tonight I put the trucks on to see if the couplers were at the correct height.

    Kevin

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  2. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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  3. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

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    it looks nice , you have mentioned couplers being at the correct height ,I have come to the stage in my lay out that some couplers are not even close to the other cars they couple up but it could be better ,
    how would i adjust them ?Or could some one point me in the correct direction .thanks
    Tommy
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    The idea is to either shim the coupler or the truck in order to raise/lower the coupler to the correct height. There is an NMRA standard for coupler height, and you can check what they are "supposed" to be by either measuring or using a gauge from the NMRA or Kadee. Or, you can find the height the majority of your couplers are at, and adjust the others to match the majority. My HOn3 couplers I just compare to the tender of a Model Die Casting locomotive.

    If your couplers are too high, you can either file some off of the bolster that supports the truck, or make a shim to go between the coupler box and the body of the car. Most cars will not have a separate coupler box, so you would need to trim off the coupler box and use the kadee box shimed to the right height. If you choose to file from the bolster, remove the truck and file from the pivot area where the truck meets the body. Keep in mind that filing from the bolster will reduce the clearance the truck can turn in, and it may cause interference with details.

    If your couplers are too low, you can place shims between the trucks and the body. Several companies sell shim washers - Kadee and Walthers come to mind. Adjusting the coupler box for too-low couplers is difficult, so shimming the trucks is the best option.

    One more option is to use the overset and underset shank couplers. I know Kadee makes them for HO, but am not sure if the others do. If the coupler is too low, swap it for an underset shank coupler and see if it solves the problem (it usually will). If the coupler is too high, use the coupler with the overhead shank.

    In standard gauge HO, I try the underset/overset shank couplers first. That is not an option for HOn3, so there I am forced to shim bolsters.

    Kevin
  5. FiatFan

    FiatFan Member

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    There are a number of ways to adjust coupler height. For most Athearn blue box, I found some brass #8s washers at a local hardware store that generally cures the low coupler height on the older Athearns. Kadee also makes fiber washers for the same purpose. I sometimes use small styrene shims inside the coupler box to cure droopy couplers. Kadee also makes couplers with offset shanks to allow one t adjust coupler height by installing the correct coupler.

    Good luck.

    Tom

    EDIT: Kevin, you beat me to it. And with a much more thorough explanation.
  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Here's a 24' box car. The Mogollon bought it second-hand around 1900, when the box car was already 20 years old. With mining operations quickly expanding, they were desperate for whatever rolling stock they could get. The men at the machine shops quickly painted over the old logo, and applied their own lettering. After 18 years of service on the Mogollon railroad, the boxcar is showing much wear, yet it is still daily service.

    Kevin

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  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    It is an APG models kit that I picked up at a train show. I have never heard of APG models before, and I don't know if they are still in business. The sides and roof are cast in resin, and they glue to a wooden structure. It went together pretty easily, and was fun to build. The resin poses a few challenges, and mounting the couplers was a bit tricky. I made my own decals using white decal paper and my printer, but I am not that happy with how they turned out. I don't mind the colored square around the lettering, because I am trying to simulate a car that was cheaply re-lettered by painting over an old logo. The problem is that the resin car sides have deep grooves between the "boards", and the decal did not settle into the gooves well. So, it is obvious that the grooves where the decal is are not as deep as the grooves elsewhere, making the decal conspicuous. I tried hiding it with weathering, but I still may wind up re-doing it with some other method at a later date.

    Kevin

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  8. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    Nice boxcar!
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Kevin, on any car with wood siding, use a new blade in your X-Acto to slice the decal along the "board" separations, then apply a strong decal setting solution, such as Walthers Solvaset. That decal will snuggle right down into the grooves until the film is almost invisible.
    Sorry about the big picture, but the effect is most noticeable on the white areas of the herald:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Wayne
  10. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Thanks for the suggestion, Wayne! While I don't think mine is as looking as good as that PFE car, it is a definite improvement :thumb:

    Kevin

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  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    It already looks better - sometimes it requires several applications of the setting solution to get everything settled into the grooves.

    Wayne