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Back in 2006 I managed to track down Ralph Brown and procure enough parts and various bits to build 5 heavyweights. Like many projects this got preempted by life and I am only now starting to build the cars.

Unfortunately Ralph passed away in 2007 and I haven't seen his models pop up anywhere else. Since demand for true 1:32 models is on the increase, and since 1:32 heavyweights are not commercially available (at least as far as I know), I thought I'd document what I can here of Ralph's construction methods for you ambitious builders. Be warned - his method relies on molds and castings which at this point you will have to produce yourself. I am attempting to take molds of the pieces I have left, but will not offer any of these for sale/trade unless I can get approval from Ralph's family or whomever the rights may have passed to.

Now for calibration sake, here is a typical heavyweight still under construction sitting behind an Aster Berkshire (1:32)...the interior is completely missing at this point, but the exterior is almost complete....

[url]http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/MarkScrivener/heavyweights/heavyweight-and-berk.jpg[/b][/url]
(Changed to link, image exceeds 640 pixel width & file size to large, SteveC mod.)

so on with the build!
 

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Since every car needs a foundation, we will start with the trucks. Here are the parts as supplied by Mr. Brown. Note that the parts shown are for producing 2 trucks.

[url]http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/MarkScrivener/heavyweights/truck-parts.jpg[/b][/url]
[/b](Changed to link, image size exceeds 640 pixel width & file size to large, SteveC mod.)

The side frames are drilled to accept the black delrin inserts (lower right of photo), with the center axle being drilled a little larger to allow vertical slop. This creates a rigid 2 axle truck and the middle axle just goes along for the ride. The side frames are held together by a soldered brass frame.

[url]http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/MarkScrivener/heavyweights/truck-top.jpg[/url]
(Changed to link, image size exceeds 640 pixel width & file size to large, SteveC mod.)

and here is the side view

[url]http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/MarkScrivener/heavyweights/truck-side.jpg[/b][/url]
(Changed to link, image size exceeds 640 pixel width & file size to large, SteveC mod.)

Despite being rigid, these trucks appear to have no problem with my layout (code 250 rail, hand laid switches, 7.5' min radius, less than 0.5% max grade). Also note that the flanges on these wheels are only 0.050" - much less than anything else in my layout. The Aster Berk in the first photo has 0.065" flanges, and an Accucraft 1:32 PFE refer has 0.076" flanges, so these are very fine flanges indeed. I will probably cut the tread down on these wheels by a few thou to increase the flange depth and reduce the likelyhood of a derailment.

Also, David Leech has suggested equalizing the trucks to provide better tracking over rough track. This is the method he uses on his streamliner coaches.


I'll give people a chance to ask any questions they might have on the trucks before proceeding with other parts of the build.

Cheers,

Mark
 

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the flanges on these wheels are only 0.050"


Mark,
The wheel look to have a nice rounded fillet between the tread and the flange, which probably helps them stay on track. If you turn the treads down, you might lose that.

I would try some equalization (I'm a big fan) - let them float a bit vertically and you may find they are just fine. With the rigid trucks that I  got with a kit, I released the bolster attachment to let the sides twist in a vertical plane. Looking at your "soldered brass frame", I'd suggest bolting the cross-pieces to the side frames and: (a) making the holes a tad too large, (b) tighten the bolts with a spring washer, and (c) drop some glue on the threads so the nut stays on.
 

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Mark,

Interesting kit I was unaware of. Are some of those parts plastic or resin?

Rigid trucks might work ok on good trackwork. Unsprung trucks with equalisation are quite nice running and are superior to rigid trucks. Sprung trucks are reasonable but unless the springs are perfectly engineered to match the weight of the rolling stock or they will be either too stiff or too weak. In addition working springs are usually wrong sectional diameter and look wrong.

I once offered 1:32 scale Fox trucks (some were brass and some were Britannia metal) that had dummy springs but were equalized. 6 wheel trucks do present some challenges but can be equalized.

Flange depth isn't the only consideration in keeping the wheels on the track. More important is the radius between the tread and the flange. A larger radius will tend to keep the wheel set centered on the track with less rubbing of the flanges on the rail. I think it is best to keep to G1MRA tread/flange standards if you can.

Looks like a fun project! Show us some pictures of the completed train?

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pete, Jack,

I agree, equalized is the way to go. I'm still kicking around some ideas and will post any mods I come up with.

Jack,

Most of the castings are resin, with a few white metal parts. The train is still under construction....stay tuned.

Alan,

The only head end car I have is a combination baggage/lounge - Pullman floor plan 3951. The other cars I have are:
Plan 3585 - 10 section, 1 drawing room, 2 compartment (shown in first post)
Plan 3410A - 12 section, 1 drawing room (body assembled but unpainted)
Plan 3960 - 4 compartment observation (body 80% assembled. Need to complete Obs deck)

The last car I have is currently a mystery. Thus far I have not managed to match its window pattern with a Pullman floor plan...not that it matters much as there were so many variations on Pullman cars I could just make up my own floor plan and call it good.

The baggage/lounge car was an ebay find, as was the mystery car. Unfortunately the seller had done a poor job assembling the baggage/lounge and the mystery car was un-built but its sides were coated in thick paint. Correcting the prior builders errors was a minor price to pay for the other contents of the box - Ralph Brown's contact details - which were buried in the pile of papers that accompanied the partially built kits. This enabled me to contact Ralph and obtain the other 3 cars as well as parts to aid in completion of the ebay cars.
 

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Posted By Mark Scrivener on 01/05/2009 1:01 PM

The last car I have is currently a mystery. Thus far I have not managed to match its window pattern with a Pullman floor plan...not that it matters much as there were so many variations on Pullman cars I could just make up my own floor plan and call it good.

The mystery of the mystery car has been solved.
Mark sent me photos, and it is:


Plan 4020 - 8 section - buffet - lounge - obs for the George Washington Service. 


This was just in case Mark did not have time to let you all know the answer, as you were all probably not able to sleep for the last couple of nights!!!
All the best,
David Leech,
Delta, Canada
 
 

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any updates? on your models? I am planning on making some 1/29 heavyweights but wasnt sure if the sides were to big to do in resin. any thoughts?

Brian
 

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Brian,
As I am sure that many others will tell us, there are MANY different resins.
The trick will be to find the one that works for you.
Many years ago I experimented with long sides in the resin that I normally use.
I was not too sure that by itself, that it was stable enough to do the job.
One complete car that I left out in the blazing summer sun warped.
Others I have talked to use professional type resins that are really rigid, but maybe harder to use, so I decided that I couldn't be bothered.
The other thing is the mould material.
I have found that with use, they can stretch just enough, and also with shrinkage of the resin, so all parts may not be the same length.
I am not trying to discourage you, and I think that you just have to be prepared to spend money on experiments, to get it to work for you.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Ralph Brown heavyweights

I build 1:32 heavyweights, but I was lucky enough to purchase 3 heavyweights from a guy that bought them from Kern Valley rr. When Ralph Brown died, Kern Valley bought the molds and made these heavyweights. One of the cars' had sprung trucks and what beauties they are. Here are some pictures of the cars. Bob.
 

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Well that was a decade old thread, but I am happy to see somebody is still paying attention. Interesting to me because I didn't know that Kern Valley made any cars at all. Only that they hoped to do so.
 

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google the gallon morning express. They are making a series of 1/32 heavyweights kits pretty dam nice as usual. Jack
 

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Well that was a decade old thread, but I am happy to see somebody is still paying attention. Interesting to me because I didn't know that Kern Valley made any cars at all. Only that they hoped to do so.
Funny how these things disappear - pity that the castings, etc., couldn't resurface when Kern Valley went away.


In the meantime, there is G.A.L. making 1/32nd express reefers and trucks - and I heard they were thinking of complete coaches.
http://www.thegalline.com/reefer32.html


And Iron Horse Engraving working with Bob (WuHu) on wooden coach kits:
http://www.livesteamg1us.com/cars.html


 

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Hallo MLSers,
simple question: could it be possible, that the Roof at last pic should be turned at 180degree, so that the small Roof-Windows fit with the bigger side-Windows??
greetings derPeter
 

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derPeter, I built the mail car and the roof could be put on either way, possibly the coach the same.
I believe that Bob of Wuhu has under development a 60ft steel coach for release some time this summer. LiG
 

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Hi guys, although I am in the middle of a big move to southern France, I can still follow things a bit, Here is my two cents worth: as Peter said the most useful part to keep a wheel on the rails is the fillet if you turn the wheel threads down you will probably destroy the fillet mark, so beware! I have been using very low flanges (Comstock wheels from Marlon Wilson) on my track which although in good state of maintenance is far from perfect being 36 years old, and they stay on the track.


Now for other info on Ralph Brown I have found by chance this wonderful site which gives all the diagrams he once offered: http://www.galtran.com/ASCC.htm

It would be wonderful if the Gal line did make some heavyweights in styrene.
Best to all.
 
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