Building Sunshine Model kits

An open forum to discuss all aspects of modeling the Akron Canton & Youngstown Railroad.
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wadegriffis
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Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby wadegriffis » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:48 pm

Thanks to a "Heads - up ' from Bob Lucas, I ordered and have received 4 Sunshine Models kits for ACY -"Big Mather" box cars. I have started one of the kits and have a few questions. #1) After I cleaned the flash from the castings , I washed the parts in a solution of liquid laundry soap and water and used a soft bristle tooth brush to remove the mold release from the parts. After drying them , they still feel "greasy". Is this the wrong kind of detergent to use? #2) I find no material to make the roof walks from. Is this normal for these kits? Everything else needed to build the model seems to be included. Using styrene to fashion the "wooden" roof walks is no big deal , am just wondering if I should contact Sunshine. #3) What type of paint will work best on this type kit? I like to use Scale - coat II. I have found it just lays out nicer , and since it cures out very glossy, gives a very good decaling surface.

Any hints , comments on these questions would be appreciated. Wade Griffis

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Luke
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby Luke » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:26 pm

Wade,
Thanks should really go to Tom Davidson who was instrumental in development of the Sunshine "Tall Mather" boxcar kits.

I did check with Mont Switzer... we both agree that washing the resin castings with mild dish soap and warm water should do the trick. I seem to recall there was a favored detergent brand, but believe any mild soap that does not contain moisturizers (e.g. Ivory Liquid) are OK. It's recommended washing the castings before construction and then the completed model again before painting. I usually first apply a light gray (primer) base as it better reveals the little detail mistakes and/or imperfections which can be repaired before the final finish coat.

I also checked the contents of my Sunshine Mather kit #103.3 and find the simulated wood roof walk integrated with some thirty other items, namely the brake appliance castings and miscellaneous parts. It seems strange that Sunshine would have mistakenly omitted this casting from all four kits? If just the roof walk is missing, I'd substitute one from a scavenged Walthers-PK2 Mather boxcar or stock car; otherwise, write Sunshine or fabricate one from wood or polystyrene.

As for paint, you should have no issues with Scalecoat II as I understand this product to be a plastic compatible formulation. I've also applied solvent based Floquil paints on resin kits with no problems.

Would appreciate any kit construction recommendations you have to include in Part II of the AC&Y's Mather boxcar story. And, of course, appreciate the expert insights of others (which is the purpose of the forum). Hope this helps. Bob

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wadegriffis
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby wadegriffis » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:37 pm

Bob: Thanks for the info. I was aware of the need to wash before and after. I put together one of F& C's B&O round top covered hoppers and they recommend the washing step also. I will give my parts another dunk in dish soap - see if the oily feel goes away. I am not sure if you tried to glue the kit together the way it is , whether or not if would ever hold together.

I examined all 4 of my kits - the 103.4 and 103.5 indeed have a very nice cast roof walk. Neither of the 103.6 have anything that can be even mistaken for roof walks. Did the last group of cars not have walks? The roof castings have support areas to attach the walks or at least suggest that it had them.

Will keep all informed how things go. These will be a nice addition. WBG.

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Luke
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby Luke » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:16 pm

Wade, believe the reason there are no wood roof walks in the Sunshine #103.6 kits is that the prototype cars had all-metal walks. Below is a photo of the prototype. The AC&Y's 3150-3174 "Tall Mathers" were actually built new for the AC&Y in 1954, likely the last single-sheathed boxcars built for any U.S. railroad. Wood running boards were pretty much obsolete by then. Not sure what the kit instructions say, but would suggest Kadee's 40-foot galvanized metal apex running boards (item #2003) over other options. Bob
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wadegriffis
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby wadegriffis » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:44 pm

Bob : I was wondering about that. I have started building this kit. Boy ! What a learning experience. I have built resin kits before , but this one is tough. Unfortunately , I find that the materials included are really of minimal help. They seem to be of a very generic nature , and the information seems really about another car all together. The pictures they included really don't show the car I am trying to build at all. Thank goodness for the societies recent article on these cars . Tom's drawings and other info got me straightened out, and now the car is coming along nicely . The car I am using is the same one you sent me the picture of . Lots of detail changes needed - had to remove the strap iron braces on the corners , needed to reform the top rib on ends . Needed to get new ladders - kit has very narrow ones that are only 6 rungs and spaced way to close together. The Detail Associates #6241 - 8 rung ladder set works really well. Have the underframe all plumbed. It looks good even if I do say so myself. Coupler height came out great . Am shooting to have the car ready for the convention , so will need to keep at it. Again thanks for the information. WBG.

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Luke
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby Luke » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:41 am

Wade, This is posted on behalf of Tom Davidson whom I had contacted regarding your questions about the Sunshine #103.6 Mather kit with steel ends:

"Sunshine used the same side for all versions. This is OK for most cars; but 3150-3174 had some differences in side details. I'm certain they used the same side casting for all versions in order to keep costs down. The lack of a roofwalk in the kit was probably just a simple mistake in packaging. I had not noticed the differences between the kit end and the prototype end, and I appreciate Wade's pointing it out. As Wade suggested, the diagonal corner braces need to be shaved off the endmost side panels. Look closely at the drawings and photos and you can see that two horizontal steel braces were added in these panels to compensate for the lack of diagonals. There are a couple rivets visible on these horizontal braces, which makes it possible to distinguish them from wood siding. These could be fashioned from paper or brass shim. I think styrene may be too thick. Rivets could be embossed in the old fashioned way, or added with rivet decals. (Why did it take so long for someone to come up with that idea?) The small diagonals flanking the doors at floor level should be added in the same way. Don't forget the rivets on these."

"One other thing should be mentioned: If you look closely at photos, you may notice that the sides are inset in relation to the ends. The carbody was the same width as the cars with composite ends, but the steel end was 7" wider. This means that the ends should overhang the sides by 3-1/2" on each side, and this becomes very noticeable once it is pointed out. As for the ladders, I'm sure Sunshine included these because they were available, somewhat close to correct, and reasonably priced. As on all resin kits, it's always good to look around and see if a better component part is available, and use it if you find it."

"Hope this is helpful. I've started building a couple of the standard cars, and they don't present so many problems. When you finish this one, you'll have something to be proud of."
Tom Davidson

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wadegriffis
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby wadegriffis » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:32 pm

The inset of the ends from the sides is good info to have. I finally kind of discovered that when I test fit the floor into the box and found it was way to narrow. Took whole car apart and started over ( the material these kits are made of lets you do that).
The thing I finally realized after I got the car together and had the ladders all beautiful is that the Mather people didn't use a ladder. They used the overhang of the ends and a piece of angle iron to build the ladder onto the car. Pretty smart. Next car i build I am going to try to duplicate this rather than use ladder stock.
My first car finally came out looking pretty good ( even if I have say so myself ). Had a problem finding some weight data to get proper values , but was able to use some stuff from an old NKP freight set. The decals for the set really are good for only the 80,000 lb cars.
Had fun , will build the older cars with original doors and the one with plywood doors after while.

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Tom Davidson
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby Tom Davidson » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:15 pm

Just thought I'd add one bit of information regarding these kits. Apparently, all of these cars used the patented Klasing brake wheel and power brake housing. As far as I know, this has never been available as a separate detail part. The Proto 2000 Mather boxcar, which represents an earlier, smaller car, uses an earlier version of the Klasing gear. It might be possible to modify the Proto 2000 housing to represent the correct housing for the 3000's, but the brake wheel itself would still be incorrect. At some time in the future, I suspect the correct Klasing gear will be available because it was used on quite a few other types of cars as well, and I expect that some manufacturer will eventually fill that void. Sunshine supplied an Ajax power brake set in the kit. The power brake housing is not correct, but it's not too objectionable if you don't look too hard. The Klasing brake wheel had a very distinctive look, which isn't represented by any other aftermarket part. On my own kits, I'm building the cars up to the point of the brake gear and stopping there. My cars will run without any power brake housing or wheel until I can get the right one. Hope I don't have to wait too long.
Tom

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jspinksjr
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby jspinksjr » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:55 am

Hi. I have recently purchased a sunshine 7.1 to model a "first batch" ACY Mather car. It came with 8 sheets of paper and none of them are instructions or even drawings of my kit. There are 2 pieces that I am unable to figure out their intended uses. If anyone can help, I will be very appreciative.
The first is a piece of white styrene that is slightly larger than the sides or roof. The second is a square resin strip the length of the car and approximately 1/4" wide.
Thanks.

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Tom Davidson
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Re: Building Sunshine Model kits

Postby Tom Davidson » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:18 am

Hello ---

Sunshine kits tend to use a generic set of instructions, so a boxcar kit will not necessarily show photos or diagrams of the specific kit in question. For house cars, the process is pretty standard: build the box, and then add the details. In some cases, it is worthwhile to build some parts in subassemblies, and some folks like to add grabirons etc. to the sides, ends, and roof before final assembly. Same for the brake rigging underneath.

I have several kits on order & am waiting for delivery. When they arrive I'll look them over and see what is currently being packaged, and I'll post a more detailed reply. I understand Ms. Lofton has continued to run the business since the death of her husband, Martin. She was very much involved in the business since the beginning, so I'm sure she has the knowledge to run it, but I don't know how much help she has. I am sure she will make a serious effort to correct any problems. So be patient & I'll address this after I've seen my new kits.

In the meantime, maybe somebody else who's bought kits recently can respond.

Tom


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