Follow the link above to see the updates from September 2017!
Like with all good models that are worth the wait, the F-50-Series cars were delayed after some issues were found in mid-2016. Those issues have now been resolved and as of August 28, 2017, we are waiting for the last two parts to be delivered for packaging with the kits. The instructions are also at the printers and should be back in a week or so.
Tony Thompson has written his first overview on his ModelingtheSP blog for the OMM #2003 kit with a pilot model. Tony Thompson follows this impressions post with this one commenting on Building OwlMtModels Flatcar where he goes over the construction of our pilot model.Eric Hansmann also writes a nice announcement about the OwlMtModels Southern Pacific Flat Car Models. We look forward to photos of his 1920's versions of the models when he finishes them!
Below is a brief excerpt from the kit's intructions covering the history and roster of F-50-series cars built for the SP and subsidiaries:
The 2002 kit covers the cars listed in Table 1 (above in the instructions) with the white decal set and also have the SPMW decals to model the 181 or so F-50-5/8/9s converted by 1956 to MOW service. Additionally some F-50-5/8/9s were reassigned and renumbered over the years.
The OMM #2002 and #2004 kits will have the standard SP F-50-sides, AAR/ARA T-Section Trucks, late style endsills, K & AB-schedule brake systems, and double I-beam centersills. Some kitbashing will be required for the PE cars which were modified for 45-foot radius operations.
The 2004 kit is for modelers in the 1960-1970s eras wanting to model these cars near the ends of their lives in MOW service. The SP painting standards changed in 1958 with the Gray and Red diesel scheme, the SPMW cars changed from Freight Car Red with white lettering to a light gray color body with black lettering. This kit is the same as 2002 Kit, but with the white decal sheet replaced with a special black SPMW set. The total number of cars moved to SPMW is hard to sort out, but the numbers converted totaled about 181 assigned to MW service by 1956, many lasted into the 1960s and 1970s in MW service. We'll be posting the SPMW's roster (as of January 1956) for modelers to choose correct car numbers for their SPMW models.
SP 38809, a late first series F-50-10 with U-section trucks as supplied in Kit #2003 & 2005.
These kits cover the cars listed (shown below) with the white decal set and also have the SPMW decals to model the 36 or so F-50-10/12s converted by 1956 to MOW service. Additionally some F-50-10/12s were reassigned and renumbered over the years.
The OMM# 2003 kit will have the standard SP F-50-sides, AAR/ARA U-Section Trucks, late style endsills, K & AB brakes, double I-beam centersills and white decals.
The 2005 kit is for modelers in the 1960-1970s eras wanting to model these cars near the ends of their lives in MOW service. The SP painting standards changed in 1958 with the Gray and Red diesel scheme, the SPMW cars changed from Freight Car Red with white lettering to a light gray color body with black lettering. This kit is the same as 2003 Kit, but with the white decal sheet replaced with a special black SPMW set. The total number of cars moved to SPMW is hard to sort out, but the numbers converted totaled at least 36 cars by 1956, many F-50-10/12s continued into the 1960s in specialized service and may have been converted to SPMW service after the 1956 MOW roster. Also by the late 1950s many of the earlier class cars had received second hand trucks, making the 2005 kit a better starting point for modeling these converted cars in later MOW service. Many SPMW F-50-10/12s lasted into the 1970s. We'll be posting the SPMW's roster (as of January 1956) for modelers to choose correct car numbers for their SPMW models.
One area where we're pushing the limits with the new F-50-series cars is in the draftgear and endsills. During our development phase of this project, we observed that the F-50-series models are much smaller than what we're used to seeing in the hobby with the bigger boxcars (even WWI era USRA cars). If we put a full 1/4" wide coupler slot in the end of the car for a standard HO NMRA-Kadee box and reproportioned the other details around it, then the endsills looked very over-scale compared to prototype photos. We decided to try something new in HO scale.
In 2013 we converted several test boxcars to use this new narrow draftgear-shank opening design. We 3D printed our first pilot model and tested it extensively in-service at a large model railroad club layout. Various positions in the train were tested, including putting the pilot model directly in front of a helper shoving on 40 cars on a 2% grade! The 3d printed pilot model did amazingly well in these tests that were designed to purposefully find problems with the design concept of the car.
We found that these cars performed very well and also worked down into tight 18" radius industrial spurs without any issue. The narrower coupler shank opening only became an issue when attempting delayed magnetic uncoupling on tight (18" Radius) curves. The Kadee-156 coupler heads and knuckles actually have enough freeplay (slack) in them that cars can stay coupled down to very tight radius (almost to the point of the corners of the two models touching).
We felt that in most operating conditions for the cars these days, the narrower shank opening combined with the extra 'slop' in the mating areas of the Kadee Scale Head couplers will perform well. Modelers running into any issues from the narrow draftgear opening can easily create more movement by filing extra width into the sides of the striker opening section of the box and continue until the needed draft gear movement is achieved.
OwlMtModels is also looking forward to our next Modular Lumber Load Kit to go with the new F-50-series cars. This new kit will be a "Narrow" lumber load suitable for gondolas and the narrower F-50-series flatcar decks.
In addition, a second kit with extra lumber parts will be offered to fit 52-60ft flatcars and gondolas.
These will be small mini-kits which can be added to appropriate F-50-series flatcar kits to make unique and special assignment cars.
SP 36" Sideboards (SP Style) - These should be added to cars modeling SPdeM and UP F-50-4s as-built. Many T&NO cars had sideboards fitted for stone loading and other assignments. SPMW Supply Flats often had sideboards as well, when delivering smaller items such as barrels, kegs, boxes, etc.
Picture from several years ago of our early rendering of a the SP 36" Sideboard set. These will be injection molded with wire tie-rods and etchings for the internal braces.
"Beet Rack" - Blackburn-style (1930's-1950 version) - This rack sat on top of the car with turnbuckle rods to the corners of the car. The Blackburn design had four large side doors and no vertical stakes mounting into the stake pockets. This rack was in regular service until the G-50-20 and G-50-23 cars were delivered in 1949.
Picture from several years ago of our early rendering of a Blackburn Rack. These will be injection molded with wire tie-rods. We also plan to made a removable 'beet load' and side pieces to make the car look correct when loaded!
The next step in the F-50-Series of projects will be the #2001 & #2006 Kits for the F-50-4, with new tooling for the single-beam underframe and new brake detail and parts.
This will allow correct F-50-4 class models to be built of the 1500 cars for SP and SP Subsidiaries; NWP, PE, SPdeM (SP of Mexico), CP, O&C, AE, GH&SA (Laster T&NO). This will be Kit #2001. SPMW received F-50-4s starting about 1937 and mostly ending in about 1951-52, according to the 1956 SPMW Roster. Many others went into logging service as LF-50-series cars in 1952 (see further ideas for those below).
The #2006 kit will be for the 300 UP and OR&N F-50-4 cars, and in addition to the tooling upgrades for #2001, this kit will have a new set decals - probably a two color set with white and yellow lettering styles.
More research will be needed on the UP roster of flatcars for these classes of cars. From what information we do have, there were over 1500 cars in these classes. These cars had different side sills and end sills than the F-50-4 and SP designs, so these UP classes will require extra tooling to produce. Hopefully this kit can use the same decals which will be done for the #2006 kit (above).
OwlMtModels in the future hopes to continue to expand this series of models based on the F-50-series flatcar. Which of these projects will get enough interest to justify injection molded tooling is a bridge we will come to after the currently planned F-50-4,-5,-8,-9,-10,&-12 (2001, 2002 & 2003) kits are released.
Some ideas include the SP LF-50-4,-5,-8,-9,-10,-12 type logging flatcar and SPMW Wheel flatcars (with wheel racks).
There are some other interesting add-ons we are considering and our friends in the modeling community have asked us to look into. While we may move forward on them at some point, we are focusing on the main car kits and the add-ons listed above as our priority.