Tangent Scale Models X58 Boxcars

Here’s a shot of the North Tonawanda switcher bringing two empty PRR X58 boxcars into the International Paper plant on Tonawanda Island.


These are the new from Tangent Scale Models. Mine arrived from Action Hobbies Kingsville on Monday. They’re really nice models, but that comes as no surprise to me; Tangent has established the highest standard of quality.

I have two of the now out of production Rail Yard Models resin kits for these cars. The Tangent RTR model is of equal quality, perhaps slightly better in a couple of small details. The Rail Yard kits took many hours (80?) for me complete, and they cost me about the same amount of money. I’ve created a “category” in the menu on the right side of the screen, so you can click on that to see my posts about X58 boxcars by both Rail Yard and Tangent.

The Rail Yard kit was superbly designed, and mine built up into the best models on my layout (until now). I happened to buy mine the month before Rail Yard closed, and I was quite disappointed when to learn that I wouldn’t be able to find more without paying upwards of $120 on ebay. Given the fact that the Tangent RTR model buys the hobbyist a ton of free time to work on other projects, I expect to see the used market value of the Rail Yard kits to drop substantially. And on that note, I’ve budgeted to buy a few more Tangent X58s, but if you’re one of those people who has hoarded away a stash of Rail Yard kits that you can’t sell and will never build, do be in touch with me. I’ll rid you of the burden ūüėČ



Cool Product: Fast Tracks Freight Crate

I have a few pieces of rolling stock that don’t have boxes, or came in boxes that are kind of flimsy. There are a few different products that I could use; some intended specifically for use with model railroad equipment, and some used for more general purpose storage or shipping. I decided to check out the Fast Tracks Freight Crate. It comes as a kit made from precision laser cut hardboard. It ships as a flat-pack in a pizza box (no, it’s not a used pizza box), and it goes together very easily and precisely. They come in different sizes to accommodate different lengths of rolling stock, and there are a range of Freight Crates for different scales. They’re sold in pairs, and I built my pair in about an hour. All you need to supply is some carpenter’s glue and a minimal amount of kit building skill. Anyone, even “beginner” skill-level, can assemble this kit. The most challenging part of the build, and it’s not much of a challenge, is to be sure not to use too much glue, especially when assembling the mechanism that locks the lid onto the box. I don’t have clamps that are large enough to hold the box together while the glue sets, but the finger joints are cut so precisely that I was able to simply hold the parts in place by hand while the glue set up. Each finished Freight Crate is a box that holds 8 models and a lid that locks closed. They can be interconnected like Lego to hold the two (or more) identically sized boxes in a stack. Models are held snugly in their own slot by wrapping bubble wrap around the model, and herein lies my only niggle with the product. The bubble wrap that’s supplied with the kit is slightly too thick and makes for a very snug fit with the boxcars I tried. It’s snug enough that it could potentially bend wire or fine plastic grab irons. Don’t let this dissuade you if you’re considering one of these. It truly is a very minor issue that may not even effect some models.

I’m going to experiment with different materials for wrapping models and holding them in place during storage. I’m sure I’ll come up with something suitable. Overall, the product is excellent. Its design is clever and it’s a pleasure to assemble. I’ll likely buy another pair at some point in the future. IMG_9593

Tangent GATX 8000 Gal. Acid Tank Cars

A few weeks before the holidays, I ordered and received a pair of 8000 gal. acid tank cars from Tim at Action Hobbies in Kingsville. ¬†These cars are by Tangent Scale Models and, like the rest of their product line, are very nicely detailed and finished. ¬†I dare you to click on the link to Tangent’s web site and not be overcome by¬†the urge to buy at least one model.

Models like these are expensive, by any measure, but one of the benefits of building a small layout is that I can put more resources into each model.  The paint scheme on the two cars I bought represents cars from a GATX lease fleet.  You may have noticed them in a photo from my December 29, 2014 post celebrating the installation of an NCE DCC system on my home layout.  Here is a shot of GATX 24941, off-spot at International Paper (on my layout, of course).


A keen eye will reveal that the car in the photo above is lettered for a pool of cars assigned to haul phosphoric acid, a food additive that provides tanginess. ¬†As they stand, these models are out of place at a paper plant. ¬†By default, my plan is to cycle these cars into the consist of trains¬†TF-2/FT-1, COJ-32, or any of the CASO trains once I build the North Tonawanda yard across from the paper plant. ¬†However, I’m exploring another possibility.

According to my limited understanding of the paper making process, sulphuric acid¬†is used to manage Ph levels of the digested¬†pulp as it passes through the washer and thickening machines. ¬†It’s also used to make chlorine dioxide to bleach fine paper products to a brilliant white. ¬†I’ll definitely need some sulphuric acid tank cars for my paper plant at Tonawanda Island.

Sulphuric acid is very dense, and is therefore moved in tank cars of¬†relatively small volume, by modern standards. ¬†At 8000 gallons, the prototype for these spectacular models by Tangent are approximately the right size¬†to have been in pool of cars assigned to haul¬†sulphuric acid. ¬†I’ll have to do some research and reach out to my friends who are more knowledgeable about the details of freight car useage to figure this out. ¬†The best-case scenario would have me undertaking some minor relettering to repurpose these two models. ¬†I’m hoping that will be the case, but if not, these cars are fine addition to the various through trains that will be modelled in the next phase of the layout.


New Bowser Products

Someone told me recently that the conventional wisdom (or Murphy’s Law) is that once you take the time to build a model that’s not already on the market, it will show up just after you finish it. ¬†Earlier this year, I modified and custom painted one of the older Bowser N8 caboose kits to get the road number and paint scheme I was looking for. ¬†I see that Bowser is now going to upgrade that old kit to their “Executive Line” standards. ¬†That’s good news for me, because I wasn’t prepared to rebuild another N8 kit, but I’ll certainly take one now that they’ve stepped up the quality.

More good news from Bowser… they’ve posted some photos¬†of the test models of their GMD SD40-2. ¬†These look good. ¬†I wasn’t going to buy any of these, but maybe I’ll contribute a couple to the WRMRC fleet.

Good news all around.