RoadRailer Models

RCH said:

I don't know if you're "rolling your own" Long Runners or using the Walthers version, but you should expect to have to modify the landing gear on the straddling trailer to be even shorter than the shorter of the two that Bowser supplies in either case. I think you might be able to get away without trimming anything if you're using really broad curves and you're doing one of the half flush deck/half flange deck Long Runners, since the landing gear rides over the flush deck car. But just using the stock Walthers car means you'll have to do some modification. Some of the prototype cars I've seen have the deck widened at the point where the landing gear of the straddling trailer would be. If I knew a number series off the top of my head, I'd post a link to a prototype photo.

Its actually 2 Accurail 89' cars, they have the appropriate side sills, the walthers cars have the notched sides, the accurail cars were the smooth sides (simular to Autoracks). The Long runners I've seen have no top lip, , just a center lip to keep the trailer centered. It'll take quite the "modelers licence" to make that gapping 53' stay on. I'll post more in the future one i get a few good pics of long runners, and start th project, considering i have 2 more normal 89's from accurail for a triple 28, and a twin 45, or something...
Here are some prototype photos I found on the modelintermodal site:






These are mostly the two flush deck combination like you're talking about, Josh. I think the last one is a flush deck/channel side combo, though. The Walthers version is the double channel side combo. If nothing else, these photos are very useful for weathering your own cars!

Edit: The second to last one is the flush deck/channel side combo.
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Thanks, Old 97. One day when I get some free time I'd like to really superdetail those things. Oh, and finish detailing the other dozen I have hardly touched....
Some more questions RCH :)

Do the grabs that you have on the end of the couplermate come with the Plano kit, or are they from another manufacturer?

What paint did you use for the silver roof? (sorry if I missed this info elsewhere)

The grabs are Details Associates 2206. I just drilled the CouplerMate out for them. I can't remember if there were any pilot holes.

The silver paint was just some Scalecoat Aluminum mixed with white and thinner. I didn't mask off the tops - I put all the Roadrailers together so only the roofs were exposed - but masking would be a good idea if you only had a couple to do.

Hope this helps.

Edit: Whoops! That's 2202, not 2206. 2206 is the package of eyebolts, 2202 is the package of grabs. I always order the two together, though. You can never have too many of either.
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My pleasure, Nate. Maybe we can join forces to build the ultimate battle station, er, intermodal yard... :)
jbaakko said:
Can I include my spine cars, 89' flats, long runners, and such too?
I have some spine cars coming so I'm gonna try my hand at those too. And a *few* (like ~20) 86' high cube box cars...
20 is a few?!

I have three and they take up some significant real estate. I think I'll go with 60 footers from now on.

Autoracks are another story, however. I have four right now, but I hope to get some more, possibly the open kind (with appropriate side panels), depending on how late the open ones ran. I think six would look about right for the effect I'm going for. But anyway, back to intermodal...

I sure wish someone made a cheap early version of the Roadrailers (other than the Durango Press kits) to model the early 90s trains. There was a tremendous variety of the trailers back then, something you can't replicate even with all the different NS lettering sizes and logos. Short of that, the ones I have are great for a modern day Roadrailer train. Trouble is, I've been slowly backing my modeling era into the late 80s... My Roadrailer trains may become obsolete one day. :(

I'd like to see some more variety in the spine car market. The choices right now are Athearn's Impack, which accurate or not, I use as a stand-in for a Santa Fe 10-Pack Fuel Foiler (talk about taking up real estate!) and the OOP Walthers 48' spine car. IIRC, the spine cars did well on the Modern Freight Car List "Freight Cars Needed" poll, so there's a chance someone will pick up the slack and manufacture them one day.

Before I worked at an intermodal yard, I had no idea of the variety of cars on the prototype. At first glance, everything sort of blurs together, since it's all TTX yellow anyway (for the most part). But, after seeing enough intermodal rolling stock, the differences stick out like a sore thumb. HO scale manufacturers have barely scratched the surface.

So, despite the fact that in my limited experience Roadrailers and other intermodal equipment are kept/serviced/loaded in different facilities, I say welcome to as many different types of equipment as possible in my intermodal yard!
:D :D Okay, just a little past the 'few' mark, but I can't complain for the price :D :D

I'm planning to assemble/detail/weather a few and resell the rest. I'd love to keep them all, but I don't have any type of layout. Between those, the spine cars, and the stuff I have coming from ABC, I certainly won't be bored anytime soon :)

You did a great job with the Roadrailers; now I'll need ya'all to teach me how to do spine cars and high cubes! :rolleyes:
Haha, well I'm still learning how to weather those cars. My Fuel Foilers are being redone, since I weathered them at the end of their service life and I'd like them to be a bit more presentable now. Most of my 89' flats are still in an unweathered state (I was a bit more of a collector than a modeler back then) and my well cars are pretty unremarkable, too.

However, I can probably offer some tips on weathering boxcars if you're willing to work with artists oils. ;)
Alright guys...

I jumped right in tonight and started my project :D I just couldn't wait any longer.

I painted all of the tops silver. I think I'm going to opt for a second coat tomorrow as the paint I have is cheap water-based airbrush paint that is rather transparent (coupled with my lack of airbrush skills, and well, let's just say they could use a second coat :eek: ). I did however find my masking process to be quite successful (kinda a trade secret at the moment, perhaps declassified in the future).

As I gather supplies I'm hitting decision-making points and since you'ins are the experts, I'd like to get your opinions first. Keep in mind I'll probably be building this and eventually selling it...I don't have to worry about making it work with my coupling system or layout quirks (primarily because I don't have a layout, and therefore lack a coupling system :rolleyes: ), so my first instinct would be to go with what looks better, however you guys know what runs better, and if I'm going to sell it I want it to be a good runner. (wow...that was an incredibly drawn-out run-on non-stop over-worded redundant repetitive sentence).

-Metal Wheelsets. Kadee, LL, Intermountain, etc. Which and why?

-Couplers. #5s or #58s ?

-Grabs for couplermate. DA, Cal Scale, etc. Any real difference?

-Other detail parts. Plano kit / grabs for Couplermate. Air/brake hoses, etc?

-Detail decals. Placards, small lettering, little Roadrailer 'stickers,' etc. Do any exist, or am I better off printing my own?

-Finsh coat. Dullcoat, or airbrush the expensive stuff in the little bottles?

I'm sure they'll be more to come. :) Thanks in advance!
Thanks Josh! What do you like about the Kadee wheels? I kinda like that they're made in the USA, as opposed to the others from China, but they are a tad bit more expensive...
They're more detailed, and realistic, have real springs... Just pick up a few packages at a LHS and lookit the difference. Intermountian's are great too...
Difference is the Bowser trucks are going to be accurate for these models while the Kadees are a bit oversize. Remember: these things don't tip the scales and 200K gross, they're much lighter than that. They ride on 33" wheels, too, so take that into account. I have a variety of wheels on mine, from JayBee to P2K to Kadee. I have Intermountain semi-scale wheels on my 10-Pack, which really improves the appearance, by the way, but no IM's on the Roadrailers at this point. Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, ribbed-back wheels were banned long before anything this modern hit the rails. Personally, I don't care for the Kadee or P2K wheels, because of the plastic axles (which are prone to damage/warping/wobbling). I prefer IM for that reason.

Does your masking involve no masking?;) Mine didn't and it was quick and easy.:D And it looks good, too. But, don't forget to throw a patch or two on the occasional roof. Forklifts punch right through those flimsy roofs.