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