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Author Topic: 19th Century Equipment  (Read 35674 times)
GCRailways

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« on: May 29, 2013, 10:36:30 PM »

Hello,

I have been frequenting the Bachmann site for a long time, looking at HO and 3-rail O gauge stuff for some time, so I thought I probably should join the forum here.  I am glad to see that the 19th century coach and combine have been reintroduced recently, and hope to get them soon.  Are there plans to re-release the four freight cars, as well (box, flat, gon, water tank)?  I would love to see all of the 19th century cars released in realistic paint schemes lettered to compliment the 1860's 4-4-0s. So far, the bobber caboose is already lettered for UP and PRR, so there is a head start!

Thanks,
Aaron
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Doneldon

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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 06:11:36 AM »

GCR-

Be aware that the old time passenger and freight cars are barely a match. The clerestory roof passenger cars were only barely introduced by the time of the Civil War (1861-1865) and the freight cars were on the way out. The tank cars were obsolete by 1861. The small box cars and flats were being replaced by larger ones. (The gons are really just flats with added fences.) The open-end, clerestory roof, wooden passenger cars would continue to be current designs for a couple of decades while the prototypes for Bachmann's old time freight cars would survive in general use for only a few years after the war, basically just until they could be replaced.

Please note that this is not a criticism of any of these cars. It is just an observation.
                                                                                                                             -- D
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 09:22:10 AM »

Don is absolutely correct in his observations of available model 19th century rolling stock. GCR, if you want to remain accurate to the period, you will have a very difficult time finding correct models. For years I modeled the latter part of the 19th century and was able to procure a significant number of MDC/Roundhouse unpainted car kits (now long out of production). These were painted and decorated for numerous railroads/shippers through the use of Clover House transfers. [ Perhaps Bachmann will produce some period cars in an undecorated version as they do with some of their On30 line.] It was later research that revealed that these 36' cars were really products of the extreme end of the 19th century and [better yet] the early 20th century (my layout was 'sited' in 1885).

You have chosen a very difficult era to model...and I wish you luck. There are virtually no locomotives available (those sweet-running Bachmann 4-4-0s are representative of the early 20th century), and ditto for correct rolling stock. Sadly, the "Golden Age" of railroading is poorly represented by the manufacturers and modelers alike. You, my friend, will have to repaint and decorate your own locomotives (sadly you will only have models of the Jupiter and Inyo to work with).

Some advice from someone who has gone down that 'road': 1) be content with approximating the prototype, 2) decorate your locomotives and rolling stock youself as there were a plethora of small railroads in that era, and 3) be prepared to do a lot of research.

If I had the space for a larger layout, then I would eagerly model the late 1800s again.

Keep 'em rolling,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
GCRailways

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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 11:04:34 AM »

I'm not too picky about choice of equipment; I'll accept a broader time span than what may have actually been.  I have noticed anachronisms already, namely that the bobber caboose probably didn't exist until at least the 1880s (probably later; I can't find anything on when they were first used).I already have what's left of the Bachmann Old Timer Freight set (that is, the cars but no loco) that I got secondhand many years ago, but the bright paint schemes definitely need to be replaced with duller reds, browns, grays, or blacks.

As far as ready-to-run equipment is concerned, I have noticed that Mantua's equipment is lettered to compliment the Bachmann locos.  I know the coaches are too short for the prototype, but they are at least a short-term option (at the modeler's discretion).

Aaron
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 01:54:27 PM »

If you aren't "too picky" (and I'm not, either), lots of "old-timer" rolling stock by Mantua/Tyco and MDC/Roundhouse (now owned by Athearn) is still available on eBay, both used and unused, and from time to time Athearn still issues new ready-to-run passenger and freight cars under the Roundhouse label.

Still plenty of Rivarossi/AHM/IHC 19th-century locomotives out there, too, to supplement the Bachmann "Jupiter" and "No. 119," though I've seen from reliable sources that the Rivarossi-etc. 4-4-0s are oversize for HO scale. Still, late versions are sweet engines, and they look "proportional" to 36-ft. box cars and 47- to 50-ft. passenger cars. Con-Cor has also issued kit versions of the Rivarossi-etc. passenger cars (baggage, combine, and coach), and these also show up regularly on eBay. They look like the Bachmann passenger cars, except that they have interiors, and they don't come with factory-installed knuckle couplers; you have to do that yourself.

If you are looking for pre-1900 or pre-1910 rolling stock, eBay is your friend.  Smiley

The design of those flat cars with the big wooden tanks on them may have been obsolete by 1861, but similar cars lasted in use on roads out West a lot longer. I've seen photos in George Abdill's books of similar cars in use on the Central Pacific at the end of the 1860s, and on a road in Arizona (Southern Pacific or Santa Fe subsidiary?) later than that.
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J3a-614

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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 05:41:52 PM »

I'll have more to say after an errand or two, but for now, check this site out, and the links within it, including some kit makers.

http://www.earlyrail.org/earlyrail-links.html



« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 07:44:24 PM by J3a-614 » Logged
J3a-614

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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 07:46:11 PM »

. . . .Well, I'm back, and happy to say I've re-found H. Minky's Pacific Coast Airline page ("air line," in railroad terminology, means "straight line," or "as the crow flies").  He is currently into On30, but before that, he had some adventures in HO standard gauge, both for the 1870s and the 1890s-early 1900s.  Both of these eras are in his archive on his site below.

Main page:

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/

1870s page:

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/1879/

1905 page:

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/1905/

More to come. . .
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J3a-614

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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 08:08:53 PM »

Here is another site with a great deal of 19th century material, very specifically in Virginia in 1863.. The site's owner is also the owner of Alkem Scale Models, one of the firms linked in the original post above:

http://usmrr.blogspot.com/

And here is someone doing the W&A in the same general era, in HO, with Mantua "General" 4-4-0s, and some other things, too:

http://western-and-atlantic-rr.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41222203@N05/show/

One thing you're going to need is people, and animals, too.  It's understandable that Bachmann doesn't make specialty items like this, but thankfully, there are others who do--and of course, they'll go well with the 19th century equipment Bachmann does make.

http://www.musketminiatures.com/
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 02:12:20 AM by J3a-614 » Logged
J3a-614

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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 08:26:13 PM »

Here is an earlier discussion page on older model kits that used to be available, and in some cases still are.  Most would have been "contemporary" for the time they were issued in the 1940s and 1950s, but some models were of period equipment, most notably cars from LaBelle and Northeastern Scale Models. 

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,12480.0.html

I'll also add that at one time, Central Valley Models had a slew of late 19th century cars in wood in HO scale.  Those haven't been in production for decades, but like so many other things, you might turn some up on e-bay and at train shows.
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J3a-614

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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 12:37:55 AM »

Now for some comments about 19th century modeling from a fellow who admittedly doesn't do it but would be intrigued by it:

There's no denying it could be challenging.  As noted, there isn't much commercially available for the earlier periods, particularly locomotives.  Car selection isn't much better, and then there's all sorts of other things that are different, including certain buildings, figures, and details.  A lot will probably have to be scratchbuilt, and virtually everything should be custom painted.

The overall look of things will be very different.  No paved roads except some streets, no power lines, no automobiles, no electric anything outside of some experimental stuff at the very end of the century.  Certain details do have to be added, such as a lot of backyard gardens and "necessary houses" (no indoor plumbing then--well, at least we won't be recreating the smell).  What yards there are will look a little rough compared with today (no gas lawnmowers then). 

Against these "downsides," you have certain advantages.  Unless you're modeling a really busy railroad like the New York Central ca. 1890, you likely won't need as much in the way of equipment.  Except for Pullmans after 1890 or so (which were as long as passenger cars of today), most of the equipment will be smaller.  This particularly applies to the locomotives, and in fact, many 19th century modelers have noted that an 0-scale 4-4-0 is about as long as a 4-6-2 in HO.  Big power in the 1890s would be 2-8-0s and 4-6-0s that, with some changes in appearance, would be seen as survivors on branch lines some 40 years later.

Depending on your time period, to a certain extent what equipment you do have to scratchbuild will also be simpler.  Most if not all of it will lack air brake equipment, a lot of earlier cars didn't have all the hand grabs and ladders that were required later on, and although we often think of old equipment as having truss rods, this was not always the case.  Against this is the lack of automatic couplers, something you can sort of ignore, or you can work out link-and-pin couplers as some modelers have done as seen in the links above.   

At the same time, though, this could be a very rewarding approach.  The most obvious reward is that something like this is going to be different from what everybody else does, and will stand out on that alone.  It's been noted that a lot of research will likely have to be done, but that is a great hobby in itself.  Finally, there's no denying the classic beauty of equipment from this period.  The 4-4-0 was the queen of the railroad world in that time, and she could be lovely. . .

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=437110&nseq=0

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=437009&nseq=1
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J3a-614

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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 01:50:16 AM »

Late in the era, and he has to fudge a bit with locomotives, but this fellow has some really interesting work. . .

http://www.housatonicrr.com/Index.htm

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ebtnut

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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 02:50:43 PM »

This topic has been explored here before.  The biggest obstacle to modeling, as noted, has been the lack of appropriate motive power.  As noted above, the old Rivarossi models, like the Reno, were oversize for HO.  The Mantual General is a decent candidate, though its tender drive is a minus.  Same with the Bachmann models.  If you are not too picky, sticking a diamond stack on an original Richmond 4-4-0 is a decent trade-off.  The fundamental difference between the 1860's era 4-4-0 and the later versions is that the bioler was raised so as to set the firebox on top of the frames, instead of down beween them.  More firebox area = more steaming capacity = bigger locos to haul bigger trains.  A good, Spectrum-quality model of a loco like the York or the B&O's William Mason would be a great step forward. 

Virtually all the rolling stock of the period was wood, which might give you a chance to hone your scratchbuilding skills.
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J3a-614

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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 09:24:46 PM »

This discussion tickled those old brain cells, and I remembered this photo and the ensuing discussion on the website, Railway Preservation News:

http://www.shorpy.com/node/14355?size=_original#caption

According to one fellow on RyPN, Chicago & North Western No. 605 looks to be a locomotive from the 1880s, and would be almost 20 years old at the time of this photo in 1899.  Despite its age, it's in beautiful condition, although there are some inelegant details in the form of extra plumbing added over time.

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=34337

This Milwaukee 4-4-0 also turned up in the discussion; note that it's a later locomotive (though still from the 19th century), it is also considerably larger:

http://orion.math.iastate.edu/jdhsmith/term/slusomhaF8.jpg

Now, who wants to have some fun modifying Bachmann's UP 119 to resemble that C&NW loco?  

For real fun, who wants to do it with the N-scale version?

« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 09:28:17 PM by J3a-614 » Logged
CNE Runner


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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2013, 10:11:37 AM »

I wasn't going to add any more to this thread (other than what I have posted earlier); but reading subsequent posts got my 'gray cells' sparking. With all the miniaturization of technology evident today, one would think somewhere there is a very bright engineer(s) who can design a drive system - such that would fit into a correctly-sized 4-4-0. With this accomplished, the tender could be used for one of the smaller DCC decoders and speaker assembly.

So, all you 'whizkids' out there working for Ratheon, Boeing [et.al.]...get cracking! I know our military has some appropriate miniature technology that would solve the 19th century 4-4-0 dilemma.

You have your term assignment,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Pops


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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2013, 12:39:21 PM »

  . . .  AND - you can fit a smoke machine in a diamond stack . . .
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