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I’m working on a tank car scratchbuilding project.  The prototype car used three axle Buckeye type trucks.  I purchased a set from Wiseman, that are basically the old Quality Craft castings from their heavy duty flat car kits.   I built one out of the bag and it’s pretty losey goosey.   The screws that came with it were useless.   I am going give the car a test run with the trucks, hopefully later this week, but I was wondering if there is something to tighten these up a bit.  I was thinking of gluing some plastic shims in the trucks so the cross arms fit a bit tighter.   Has anyone had experience with these trucks?

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Perhaps an interesting tidbit regarding buckeye trucks, they were manufactured by Buckeye Steel Castings of Columbus, OH. Samuel P. Bush was president of the company, and was grandfather of President George HW Bush and great grandfather of President George W. Bush.

Keep us posted on your efforts in getting these trucks serviceable.  Seem to recall that Precision Scale had a kit for Buckeye trucks, if all else fails.

@J Musser posted:

I’m working on a tank car scratchbuilding project.  The prototype car used three axle Buckeye type trucks.  I purchased a set from Wiseman, that are basically the old Quality Craft castings from their heavy duty flat car kits.   I built one out of the bag and it’s pretty losey goosey.   The screws that came with it were useless.   I am going give the car a test run with the trucks, hopefully later this week, but I was wondering if there is something to tighten these up a bit.  I was thinking of gluing some plastic shims in the trucks so the cross arms fit a bit tighter.   Has anyone had experience with these trucks?

If I recall PSC made nice ones in brass. Not sure if they were roller or plain bearing.  And there are occasionally MG or KTM takeoffs on eBay.

Just my humble opinion but your scratchbuilding deserves better than the old white metal castings.  

Last edited by Rule292

Agree.  PSC had three types, and the kits were inexpensive.  The shorter ones are called "heavy duty" and the longer ones came with both bearing types.  Easy to assemble, and solid!

Lobaugh made some in sand cast, and I made some primitive masters for Trackside Specialties.  All Nation made sand cast parts for the Mountain tender.

Don't forget Lionel and MTH.  Die cast, but accurate and solid (well, sometimes they get a bad batch of pot metal and you get zinc pest).

So, I’m even more confused now.   It looks like I have the wrong trucks anyway.  I just saw six wheel and figured Buckeye.  My first problem is that the Wiseman ones are friction bearing, and I need roller bearing.  Precision scale makes the same truck, and does make a roller bearing version in HO, in brass, but doesn’t appear to in O.  Also P&D is out of the friction bearing anyway, so I would have to deal directly with Precision and not sure how that is at present.   Either way, and I’ll post a photo of the car I’m working on,  I’m not sure these are even Buckeye trucks.  They are six wheel, but the pivot arrangement seems different.  Additionally, they have brake cylinders attached to the side frames.   This might be a bigger challenge than I thought, and might turn into a 3d design and print project.   This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as since I typically cut parts for multiple cars, it would save money in the long run over purchasing 3-4 sets of the trucks, assuming I could find the right ones.    In the meantime, I’m going to finish up the trucks I have and maybe try a test run with them.  I’m sure I can use elsewhere.   BTW, the Precision Scale stuff that was coming up on their page looks to be white metal castings also.  Judging from a photo on eBay, the side frames didn’t look a whole lot more detailed or crisp than the Wiseman, but the cross arms and other frame stuff did look better arranged and made.    If anyone can ID these trucks, let me know what they were.  I’ll check some of the 60s and 70s Car Builder Cyclopedias I have at home later to see if I can find out.  



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The trucks in question, by all appearances, were manufactured by ASF.  They were prevalent on the "Railwhale" 6-axle oversize tank cars of the 1960's, of which MCPX 23020 is an example.

There are lots of photos of the various cars at this Railwhales website.

Here is a press photo from ASF showing a new truck.

I presume you are within striking distance of the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum in Strasburg.  They roster the PRR 500001, which features the ASF trucks.  Perhaps a field trip is in order.

You may want to try and track down Bobby Pitts, aka "Tankcarsrule".  He's an HO modeler with a thing for tank cars, and he's scratchbuilt really nice models of any number of them, including the one you want to build.  He has had a presence on any number of forums over the years, I think he has a facebook page (can't confirm, I don't do facebook), and I know that he has a Flickr site.  He may be willing to share information on either the prototype cars or his model build.

He has modeled MCPX 23034, with Buckeye trucks.  It appears from the the Railwhales MCPX page that some of the cars received the Buckeye trucks later in life, with MCPX 23034 sporting Buckeyes in a photo captioned "Wyoming 1987".  I have no idea if MCPX 23020 ever received the Buckeye trucks.  I also don't know if you have your heart set on modeling 23020 specifically.  But depending on your modeling date, you may be able to legitimately model a different car number with the more readily available Buckeye trucks.  But where would be the challenge in that?

As far as drawings of either the cars or the trucks are concerned, you might see if you can get your hands on a 1966 or 1974 edition of the The Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia.  Various editions can often be found at your local library, or made available by inter-library loan.  There's no way to know if the trucks are in either edition, without getting a hold of one and leafing through it.  I can tell you that the ASF trucks do not appear in the 1980 edition, although drawings of the 11'-0" wheelbase Buckeye trucks do.  I can always get you a copy of the drawing, which you could pull into cad and trace.   The N&W Historical Society also has a nice drawing of a Buckeye 6-wheel truck, but I can't tell what the wheelbase is from the low-res image on their website.  It can be purchased in electronic format, which is ideal to pull into cad.  Their scan will be better than anything I can get out of the cyclopedia, but then you get what you pay for I guess.

By the way, that reminds me of something.  If you do decide to go with the Buckeye trucks, be aware that there were different wheelbase length 6-wheel trucks made by Buckeye.  So the PSC or Wiseman trucks may not be appropriate even though they are Buckeyes.  If I recall correctly, Bobby Pitts indicated at some point that he had to scratchbuild the correct 6-wheel Buckeye trucks he used on his model, which he did based on the 1980 cyclopedia drawing, because the correct wheelbase was not commercially available.

Hope all this helps, and good luck!
Jim

Last edited by big train

Thanks Jim for the info.  I figured someone would know about these.    I’ve seen Bobby Pitts stuff and talked to him about this car and any plans.  He either built it from eye, or is holding any drawings tight to the vest.    I have both those Car Cyclopedias - 66 and 74 at home, but no drawings, or even pictures of these trucks.  Plenty on the Buckeye.   I think Pitts did a later version of the car, presumably when they had replaced the original trucks with newer Buckeyes.   I’m modeling the original version, with those ACF trucks, and the full Monsanto regalia.  It’s funny you mentioned the railwhale at the Pennsylvania Museum.   I stopped there a few weeks ago after the Strasburg O show and actually took about 25 photos of those trucks from over the fence (was still closed then, but open now), and didn’t     I’m building three or four of them, so I don’t mind the effort to draw in 3d for printing.  I’ll have to find some appropriate springs as I imagine these will derail without.   One good thing about 3d printing is the precision, especially with the cross arms and bolster assembly.    I realized after I posted last night, that not all Buckeyes are the same - I have one of these cars to the point of everything but all the fussy details, platforms and railings are installed, but full structure.  I attached the Wiseman Buckeyes, and they are obviously of a shorter wheelbase than the prototype - friction bearing - and the side frames are different looking.    Additionally, I built my bolster too high and the tank sat higher off the rails than it should.  I usually don’t build anything without plans, so this is a first, but it’s just a few clicks on a screen and then laser cut new end frames/bolsters.  The cars are built with 2.25 and 2.5 OD aluminum tubing; 3d printed ends, transition/whale belly sections, brake tanks, valves, and other gear (an now trucks), and topside fittings; and laser cut frames, platforms/walkways, and platform brackets; and a bunch of wire and styrene.   I’ve always liked this car since I saw in the Morning Sun Tank car book years ago.  It’s technically a rail whale but it’s not super long, more a whale because of the heavy material it carries.   I have at least a half dozen tank car projects going, but it’s funny that my favorite car from each of the Morning Sun Tank car books involve Phosphorus - this one, that carries elemental phosphorus, and then in the full sill book, a liquid phosphate car.   I am building the other one also.  It’s much smaller, and plans were published in RMC a few months ago of a slightly different version, which was helpful.  It was a Canadian prototype, but the only difference were the shape of the tank end.  I’m building three of each version of those eventually.    I’ll post a photo of both cars (in-progress) when I get a chance.  

Jim - Just looked at a photo I took of those trucks - very different, a potentially a bit tricky to model.   Unlike the Buckeye, there are no cross frames at the springs.  The two side frame castings are hinged in the middle, and the cross beams at the springs, only look to extend just past the wheels to a very heavy cast inner frame.  Presumably the inner frame has a crossbeam bolster assembly.  This explains why they cause the car to sit so low compared to the truck too.  27D9A2D8-8AE4-4180-9A12-C165632572EC

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Well, I didn't actually know about them either before last night, but now we both learned something.  I've got a bit of a thing for trucks, and I found these interesting.  Too bad you didn't realize about the PRR car at Strasburg though, I guarantee that those frames have at least a foundry mark on them, and they may (probably) actually say ASF along with the mark.  No worries though.

I don't know if you are printing with an FDM printer or with a resin printer, but you can probably print the springs.  I've printed springs with FDM previously, and they behaved like the real thing.  Although they were at 1/10 scale rather than 1/48.  I also know that springs printed by Shapeways in FXD at 1/48 behave properly as well.  So printing might be a viable option.

Coincidentally, I need pictures of an odd and specific truck in Strasburg, although mine is at the railroad rather than the museum.  The ex-Philadelphia & Reading Strasburg cars 58, 65, and 92 all feature an unusual truck design that was probably specific to the P&R.  However, those cars often were sold to other railroads, and one of them ended up on the A,C,&Y.  I have a drawing from the 1912 Car Builders Cyclopedia, but I would like to make the trip and get some pictures some day.

I look forward to seeing updates on your progress on these cars.  I'm probably 20 or 30 years behind you on era of interest, although I grew up on PC and Conrail from the mid-70's to the mid-80's.  But good modeling is good modeling regardless of content.

Jim

Last edited by big train

6446F83D-A609-4639-A4F9-D369BFB25F01Jim.  I have both FDM and Resin printers.  I’ve not tried printing actual working springs, just rigid ones.  These might require some experimentation to get to run correctly.  I might have to mill the flange off the center wheels.  I’m only an hour and a half from Strasburg, so I’m planing getting there in a few weeks now that the museum is open.  Hopefully measure and more photos.      You can see the model sits too high, for 2 rail anyway, and the trucks just aren’t right.  

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