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Author Topic: Big Hauler freight car box labling  (Read 4387 times)
ketchamb@bellsouth.net

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« on: April 23, 2014, 05:21:39 PM »

Just getting into Large scale railroading. I noticed that my Big Hauler item 93318 D&RGW box car is labeled as an "L" Box Car but my Item 93324 C&S box car is labeled as "LS" Box Car.
Just wondering what the difference is between "L" and "LS"
Thanks for any help.
Terry
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Chuck N

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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 08:45:52 PM »

My guess is that some time they changed from L for Large to LS for large scale, or visa versa.  If the cars are the same size, then they are the same scale.  Most Bachmann big hauler "Colorado" style (30' prototype) are 1:24.

Their spectrum rolling stock is 1:20.3.

Chuck
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ketchamb@bellsouth.net

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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 09:00:38 AM »

Thanks Chuck,
That makes sense. I was concerned about the scale of the Big Hauler line of rolling stock. Most articles I have read indicated that LGB equipment was built to !:22.5 scale and when Bachmann came into the picture they produced 1:22.5 equipment to keep in line with LGB, I assume this was the Big hauler line.
Then Bachmann added their Spectrum line at 1:20.3 to bring the scale equal to our 3' narrow Gauge.
However you mention 1:24 scale for the Big hauler line so now I'm confused. Just wondering which is correct.
Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.
Terry
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Chuck N

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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 09:40:24 AM »

I measured the LENGTH of LGB, USAt, Delton and Bachmann freight cars.  They are all about the same length and they are supposed to be 30' long.  My math got closer to 1:24 than 1:22.5 for all the above manufacturers.  LGB European meter gauge stuff is very close to 1:22.5. 

Chuck
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 12:09:35 PM »

The Big Hauler line is 1:22.5, but there is definitely some "selective compression" going on, and a degree of "wiggle room" depending on the particular model.

The original Big Hauler stuff is based on East Tennessee & Western North Carolina prototypes. The 4-6-0 is very close to the prototype in 1:22.5, as is the 4-wheel bobber. The early freight cars are based on ET&WNC prototypes, but are not scale models of any one particular car. The ET&WNC had unusually long freight cars for a narrow gauge railroad--many stretching to 36'. Most narrow gauge lines' cars were in the 27' - 30' range. The Big Hauler freight car models (box, reefer, stock, gon, flat, tank) all used the same underframe assembly, so they were all the same length and width (approx. 15" x 4"). This size is right in line with the equipment from LGB and Delton which was pretty much all that was available at the time.

In 1:22.5, a 15" x 4" car scales to 28' 2" x 7' 6", for which a fair number of matching prototypes can be found on various narrow gauge railroads. At 1:24, the same car scales to 8' x 30', also a fairly common overall size for freight equipment. (In 1:20.3, the cars scale to 25' x 6' 8", a bit on the small side, but not unheard of--especially for very early narrow gauge equipment.) The generic nature of the detailing on the cars makes them easy to use across the spectrum without them looking terribly out of place.

The thing to realize is that Bachmann and LGB both played fast and loose with the scale ruler for their product lines. The box may say "1:22.5," but that doesn't mean the model is 1:22.5. Bachmann's 3-bay hopper is "accurate" to the prototype in three different scales: 1:20 for the length, 1:22 for the width, and 1:24 for the height.

I generally tell people to ignore the scale printed on the box. Figure out which scale you're modeling in, and measure the car with that scale in mind. If it measures within the realm of plausibility, go for it. Minor details can always be changed here and there.

Later,

K
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gunrunner

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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 11:38:13 AM »

Big haulers are 1:24. It looks to me like they were designed to be comparable to the old Delton product line. Then Bachman decided to compete with LGB, so they started calling their stuff 1:22.5. Meanwhile, LGB started making some stuff in 1:24.
"oh 'tis a tangled web we weave..."
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 11:07:07 PM »

Quote
Big haulers are 1:24.
Gunrunner, I don't mean to hammer on a point, but all of the promotional material for Bachmann's "Big Hauler" stuff from the late 80s and early 90s (ads, reviews, product announcements, etc.) calls it "G-scale," which at that time in the development of the hobby was still a specific reference to 1:22.5. Delton and other manufacturers working in 1:24 tended to refer to their models as "1/2-inch scale." While viewed as compatible, there was actually a lot more clarity "back then" in terms of how manufacturers labeled their scales, even if their scale rulers weren't all that rigid.

Regardless of how scale-specific "G scale" may or may not have been being used, the sizes are there for anyone to compare--at least on the models based on specific, identifiable prototypes. While I wrote in my previous post that the manufacturers were a bit flexible on some models, others were very true to scale. Measure the 4-6-0 and compare it to drawings of the Tweetsie prototype, and it's 1:22.5. Measure the Tweetsie bobber or EBT 8-wheel caboose, and compare them to drawings of their respective prototypes, and they also come in at 1:22.5. (I built a 1:24 model of the EBT 8-wheel caboose; the Bachmann model is decidedly larger.) Some of their other models are more generic in nature, so they're harder to pin down to any one scale. Still, from the outset, Bachmann's stuff was as much "1:22.5" as LGB's, and spoken of in that same light.

Later,

K
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Chuck N

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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 06:49:33 AM »

K

Gunrunner and I are talking about freight cars, neither of us mentioned an engine or caboose.  

I am working on the assumption that the freight cars (box, reefer, gondola and flat) are based on 30' prototypes.  If that is not the case, then any other scale is possible.

Chuck

« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 10:04:13 AM by Chuck N » Logged
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 01:01:34 PM »

Apologies; I took his statement to be a generalization to the whole of the Big Hauler product line.

With respect specifically to the freight cars, many of them are far too generic to be representative of any specific prototype. The Bachmann box car scales to within 6" or closer of known prototypes in 1:24, 1:22.5, and 1:20.3. The details on the Bachmann car are very generic, so--out of the box--it's an equally plausible representation of any one of them. Change a few details, and you can dial it in to suit your scale preference. Most other cars in the Big Hauler line are equally flexible in terms of being able to find prototypes in multiple scales. I've modeled in 1:24 and 1:20.3, and have used the same cars in both scales for different prototypes.

That--to me--is the appeal of narrow gauge railroading. Most railroads' rosters were made up of mixtures of equipment from different eras and builders. Rarely was there any real uniformity, except on the large lines (and even that didn't come along until the 20s and 30s). Variety is the spice of life!

Later,

K
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 01:03:15 PM by Kevin Strong » Logged

Chuck N

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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2014, 03:06:54 PM »

K

Accepted. 

What bothers me a little is that the USAt broadside reefers have 40' length in the dimension data (at least some of the cars I checked), while the same car in D&RGW lettering has 30' and scales to 1:24.  That makes the broadsides closer to 1:32 scale, in length, other dimensions are off. 

Chuck
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2014, 04:10:14 PM »

When you want a real exercise in mathematical impossibilities, take the inside dimensions printed on the cars, then see if they add up to the cubic feet that's printed on the cars.  Huh? If your tax accountant ever lists "designed graphics for model railroad equipment" on his resume, RUN AWAY!!!!!!  Shocked

Later,

K
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2014, 09:14:56 AM »

Terry,

First of  all welcome to the Large scale hobby and to the Bachmann line of excellent reasonably priced products.

Back to the labeling questions.  Bachmann when they first started out in large scale in 1989 used a maroon colored box.  It was on the ends of these boxes they marked the products using the "L" for large scale.  I remember in the mid1990's questions  from folks wondering what it meant.  No one knows why they used only the "L", but it did cause some confusion at the time.  I can't remember the exact date, but around 2000, Bachmann in a modernization changed the box color to the red and the designation to "LS" for large scale.  In 2000 Bachmann also announced that all new runs of rolling stock would come with metal wheels.   Many buyers today look for the red boxes to get a car with metal wheels.  My friend Wade Colyer may have more specific info on the dates.

As a new guy, I would suggest that when you buy a piece of Bachmann rolling stock that you check to make sure you get the later run with metal wheels, usually, but not always in a red box.
If you buy on Ebay, ask the seller about metal wheels if the listing is not clear.   Adding metal wheels later can be costly.

Again welcome to the hobby and feel free to join this group of helpful folks and ask any questions you may have!!

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
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